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By Linda Khoo Hui Li
BANGKOK, April 8 -- Thailand’s COVID-19 cases surpassed the 30,000 mark today as the kingdom faces fresh wave infections and the arrival of a highly contagious variant.
Over the last 24 hours, Thailand recorded 405 new cases including 391 local transmissions, and zero fatalities, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 30,310 and 95 deaths.
The new outbreak in the kingdom is connected to Bangkok’s nightspots and the arrival of the COVID-19 B117 UK variant that spreads 1.7 times faster than viruses without the mutation.
To halt the spread of COVID-19 in the kingdom, Thailand plans to close entertainment outlets in Bangkok and 40 provinces for at least two weeks.
Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said the centre will propose to the public and private sector to let employees work from home to reduce non-essential travel and the risk of infection.
“The Bangkok’s nightspot cluster has spread to 20 provinces thus far,” he said at the COVID-19 daily briefing, here, today.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha, who will chair the CCSA meeting tomorrow, will further discuss and make a decision over the spike in new cases.
Local media reported that the relevant authorities may reconsider the quarantine period introduced this month. Thailand reduced its mandatory 14-day quarantine to seven and 10 days starting April 1.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said there is no need for a nationwide lockdown to contain the latest outbreak.
He said Prayuth has allowed governors and communicable disease committees in each province to take action depending on the situation in their areas.
“I personally think is the most suitable approach.
“The outbreak situation may vary from province to province, so each governor should be able to issue measures suitable for their community while creating minimal impact to the people and the local economy,” he said, as quoted by The Nation.