Thailand’s government said on Sunday that it had found 198 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.
Of those, 191 were local infections and seven were imported cases, according to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Of the 191 local infections, 118 were found via tests at medical facilities and 73 via proactive tests, mostly in Samut Sakhon, where the ongoing second wave began.
This brings the total number of infections since the pandemic began last year to 13,500 cases while 10,567 people have recovered from the disease and 2,860 patients are being treated.
One new fatality, bringing the death toll to 73 people.
The deceased person was a 73-year-old female patient from Sumut Sakhon. She had congenital diseases, including high blood pressure and epilepsy, before she contracted the virus from a family member and tested positive for it on December 9.
The second wave of the outbreak has led to 9,263 confirmed cases between December 15 and January 24.
While avoiding the term “lockdown”, the government has imposed travel restrictions in 28 highly controlled provinces including checkpoints and penalties.
Bangkok, one of the highly controlled provinces, had relaxed some of its partial lockdown measures to allow 13 temporarily closed venues to reopen last Friday.
Clusters and provinces
The second wave of the outbreak has reached 63 out of the 77 provinces in Thailand so far.
The hardest-hit province continues to be Samut Sakhon, which reported 5,332 confirmed cases between December 18 and January 24.
This was followed by Bangkok (678), Chonburi (648), Rayong (574), Samut Prakan (334), Chanthaburi (220), Nonthaburi (160) and Ang Thong (110).
Of the 191 local infections reported on Sunday, 148 were found in Samut Sakhon (72 via proactive tests in the province) followed by Bangkok (21), Samut Prakan (12) and Samut Songkhram (7).
Of the seven cases imported cases, six were found in quarantine facilities while one case was a 26-year-old Myanmar person who tested positive for the virus at a border checkpoint.
Dr Apisamai Srirangsan, CCSA’s deputy spokeswoman, said there were only seven provinces that have reported confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, compared to 39, 30 and 24 provinces during the first, second and third week of 2021 respectively.
This shows that the government’s covid-prevention measures are working and as a result, the partial lockdown measures that are still in place in 28 highly controlled provinces could be eased in the coming weeks, she added.