Thailand expands Covid-19 restrictions as infections grow

Bangkok, Apr 26 (EFE).- Thai authorities extended restrictions Monday due to the pandemic in Bangkok, the city most affected by the third wave, after the country registered a record 2,839 new Covid-19 cases Saturday.

The spokesman for the Covid-19 Administration Center Apisamai Srirangsan said at a Monday press conference there had been more than 2,000 new infections and eight deaths, taking the total to more than 25,000 patients hospitalized throughout the country.

The new measures in Bangkok, which will be in force for at least two weeks, include the obligation to wear the mask on the street, as well as the closure of public parks, libraries, museums and massage rooms, among others. Gatherings of more than 20 people will also be banned.

These restrictions are in addition to others that were already applied in much of the country since the beginning of April, at the beginning of the third wave, such as the closure of schools, the prohibition of the sale of alcohol in bars and restaurants and limiting opening hours in shopping centers.

Thailand is one of the countries that has best dealt with the pandemic with effective measures such as closing its borders, but the new variants of the coronavirus have accelerated infections, fearing the health system could collapse.

According to authorities, the country has about 30,000 hospital beds, including more than 2,900 enabled in recent weeks in field hospitals to alleviate the increase in the number of patients.

Bangkok is the most affected city in the country with more than 9,000 of the 28,000 infections of the new coronavirus detected since Apr. 1, according to the Covid-19 Center, which warns that cases registered during the second wave between December and February.

Since the start of the pandemic, Thailand has suffered more than 57,500 infections and 148 deaths due to Covid-19.

Thailand began vaccinating against Covid-19 on Feb. 28, but to date it has only inoculated about 972,204 people (1.4 percent of the population), of which more than 177,400 have received a second dose, given the slow supply.

Authorities agreed to purchase 61 million doses of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine, which will partly be produced in the country, as well as another 2 million from Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac. Thailand has also shown interest in acquiring jabs from other producers such as Russia’s Sputnik V. EFE


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