BANGKOK (REUTERS) – Thailand on Saturday (July 17) reported a new daily record of 10,082 new coronavirus cases and 141 new deaths, as authorities are considering bringing in tighter restrictions to contain soaring infections in the latest outbreak that started in April.
The new cases bring the total number of infections to 391,989 cases and 3,240 fatalities since the pandemic started, the country’s Covid-19 taskforce said.
Since Monday, areas considered high risk in Thailand have been under the toughest restrictions in more than a year, with new curbs on movement and gatherings, the closure of malls and some businesses, and curfews between 9pm to 4am.
“After assessing the measures there are still concerns,” said Apisamai Srirangsan, a spokesman for the government Covid-19 task force.
“We may close more places and intensify the measures,” she said.
The government also plans to increase the number of Covid-19 tests which currently cover 70,000-80,000 people per day by introducing home-testing kits which will be available from drugstores next week, Ms Apisamai said.
Thailand on Friday reported 9,692 coronavirus infections and 67 new deaths.
The Thai health ministry this week also gave the go-ahead for home isolation of coronavirus patients with mild symptoms.
The Thai Red Cross on Friday said it had bought 1 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines from the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO). The GPO is due to sign a deal next week to import five million doses of the Moderna vaccine that should arrive in Thailand sometime in the fourth quarter or the start of next year.
Thailand’s main vaccine rollout started last month and has relied mainly on the AstraZeneca and Sinovac shots, though the pace of the rollout has been slower than in some neighbouring countries. More than 5 per cent of its more than 66 million people have been fully vaccinated so far.