Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health announced on Friday that it had discovered 273 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours and that two more people have died from the virus.
Of the 279 new coronavirus cases, 273 were local infection cases with the rest being in state quarantine.
The two new fatalities brings the death toll to 63.
“I want to bring you good news on new years but we have to be realistic and tell the truth,” government spokesman Dr Thaweesin Visanuyothin told the public in a televised address.
“It is now vitally important that people follow the restrictions put in place by the provincial governments. We cannot live the way we have been living but we have to take part in the new normal.”
New outbreak clusters
Chonburi and Samut Sakhon saw the most new case with 51 and 89 cases, respectively.
This is followed by Rayong with 37, Chanthaburi with 29 cases and Samut Prakan with 13 cases.
According to Thaweesin, these cases were from mid-December before measures were implemented and he hoped that numbers would decrease after some lock-down measures were imposed.
The virus has now spread to 53 provinces with Lampoon and Sra Kaew reporting new cases. Samut Sakhon still has the most number of cases, with the province the first place to report the new outbreak in migrant worker dormitories, with 1,739 cases.
This is followed by the Rayong with 316 cases stemming from a gambling den. Bangkok with 180 cases and Chonburi with 207 cases make up the rest of the list of provinces with over 100 cases.
The two new deaths occurred in Bangkok and Tak province.
The first patient was a 44 year old male who was overweight and received the virus from an entertainment venue within Bangkok. The venues visited were in the Tha Phra and Barom areas.
The second was a 70 year old male who resided in Mae Sot, Tak.
Thaweesin told reporters that the government was asking provincial governors to enforce stricter measures including lockdown measures in the hardest hit provinces.
In Bangkok and its conurbation, entertainment venues will be shut and restaurants will be open only for takeout.
Public health officials at the Ministry of Public Health previously told Thai Enquirer that a lockdown was likely after the new year period.
Many within the ministry expect a spike in cases after the new year period.