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By Linda Khoo
BANGKOK, April 18 -- Thailand’s COVID-19 cases hit record high on Sunday as the authorities are preparing to provide thousands of extra beds at the field hospitals nationwide for asymptomatic patients.
Over the last 24 hours, Thailand reported 1,767 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest daily jump since the pandemic in January last year, bringing the total number of infections in the kingdom to 42,352. Two deaths were reported, bringing the total number so far to 101.
It is the fourth consecutive day that Thailand has recorded more than 1,500 cases in daily tally.
Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman, Taweesin Visanuyothin said of the 1,767 new cases, 1,765 were local transmissions including 1,477 seeking treatment at hospitals and 288 identified through active case detection, while two were imported cases.
He said Bangkok topped the list with the highest number of cases at 347, followed by Chonburi (229), Chiang Mai (164), Nonthaburi (100) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (66).
“A total of 13,489 COVID-19 cases were reported in the third wave of the outbreak which were linked to nightspots in Bangkok since early April. Seven deaths were reported in this fresh wave of COVID-19 outbreak,” he said at the COVID-19 daily briefing here today.
“The government is well aware of the people’s concern over the shortage of hospital beds due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
“As a result, the government has ordered the authorities to prepare 25,000 extra beds nationwide in addition to the capacity in the normal situation.
The authorities are also developing hospitals and field hospitals to increase beds for patients,” he said.
National Health Security Office (NHSO) secretary-general, Jadet Thammathat-Aree said that yesterday, 700 COVID-19 patients were waiting to be admitted to hospitals, as reported by Bangkok Post.
At present, Thailand requires all COVID-19 patients to be admitted and treated at hospitals to reduce transmission.
However, the local media reported that the Public Health Ministry is considering to allow COVID-19 patients who live alone to undergo treatment at their respective homes.
To halt the spread of the viral infection in the kingdom, Thailand has closed educational institutions and nightspots as well as banned alcohol sales in restaurants for at least two weeks starting today. Besides that, activities involving more than 50 people are prohibited.