Thailand warns of significant increase in coronavirus cases in January

Bangkok, Dec 29 (efe-epa).- The Thai authorities on Tuesday predicted that the number of Covid-19 infections in the country would increase significantly in January.

Thailand had kept the pandemic under control until an outbreak in mid-December.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesperson for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), told reporters that the most likely scenario was that daily infections would rise to 8,000 by the next month-end, a significant increase from the maximum daily cases of 809 recorded so far.

The prediction is based on the measures currently in place, which have included limited restrictions on movement and partial closures of entertainment venues.

Without restrictions, cases could peak at 18,000 per day while tougher restrictions would keep infections at around 1,000 daily, according to the expert.

On Tuesday, the authorities confirmed 155 new infections, most of them locally transmitted cases.

Since mid-December, Thailand has been experiencing a Covid-19 outbreak detected at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon province, located adjacent to Bangkok, which has already spread to more than 40 provinces.

The Thai authorities claim to have controlled the outbreak but admit that they have not been able to trace the possible source of the infections other than the seafood market.

The outbreak in Samut Sakhon has set alarm bells ringing in the country as infections account for about one-third of the total number of cases recorded in Thailand.

The country has registered 6,285 patients and 61 deaths due to the pandemic.

The authorities have isolated market workers and those living in nearby dormitories, mostly immigrants, and imposed restrictions in the province.

The government has closed schools and recommended that people telework until early January. It has restricted the hours of bars in Bangkok.

Other jurisdictions have also enforced restrictions, although, for the time being, the authorities are ruling out stricter measures, including night curfew and widespread quarantines. EFE-EPA


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