The Narathiwat and the Greater Bangkok clusters have led to 112 and 71 cases respectively: No curfew yet

Thailand found 194 new coronavirus cases on Monday, mostly in Bangkok and Narathiwat.

Of those, 182 were local infections and 12 were found in quarantine facilities.

Of the 182 local infections, 94 cases were found in Narathiwat and 46 cases in Bangkok, said Apisamai Srirangsan, spokeswoman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

A cluster in Narathiwat Provincial Prison has led to 112 cases between March 29 and April 5.

The index case is a nurse who began to show symptoms on March 29. The authorities are still waiting for results from other samples. The prison is now closed for visitors between April 5 and May 5.

“The Department of Disease Control said they are confident that they can contain the outbreak [within the prison],” Apisamai said.

“However, more cases relating to the cluster could continue to be reported this week as proactive tests are still being conducted in and around the facility,” she added.  

For Greater Bangkok, the cluster that was found at entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces has led to 71 cases between March 13 and April 5.

The index case can be tracked back to a college student in Pathumthani, who infected a music band that travelled to perform at entertainments venues in Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Phet Kasem Road, Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road and Khao San Road.

The people who were infected by the band then travelled to entertainment venues in Chatuchak, Ekkamai and Thonglor.

From the initial investigation, the cluster had spread to seven provinces in total including Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Pathumthani, Loei, Chonburi, Chiang Mai and Chumphon.

The minimum airflow, the lack of social distancing and mask wearing and the sharing of foods and drinks are the main reasons for outbreaks at entertainment venues, Apisamai said.

The Songkran holidays will commence while entertainment venues will continue to be open, she added.

However, any entertainment venue that reported a confirmed case would be shut down for two weeks.

The CCSA is considering the lockdown of entertainment venues in certain areas, such as Thonglor, Apisamai said.

Local authorities, such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, could also order the closing down of entertainment venues in the entire province if necessary, she added.

General Nattapon Nakpanich, secretary-general of the National Security, said on Monday morning that the CCSA will not propose the use of a curfew, yet.

“I do not think it would reach that point and Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-ocha said any policy that affect the general public and unnecessary should be avoided,” he added.    

Daily numbers

The CCSA reported 194 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

Of the 182 local infections, 87 were found via tests at medical facilities and 95 via proactive tests at known clusters.

This brings the total number of infections since the pandemic began last year to 29,321 cases. While 27,840 people have recovered from the disease, 1,386 patients are still being treated.

There was no new fatality, leaving the death toll at 95 people.

Clusters and provinces

The second wave of the outbreak has reached 68 out of the 77 provinces in Thailand so far. Of the 68 provinces, 34 have not reported any case in the past 28 days.

The hardest-hit province continues to be Samut Sakhon, where the second wave began, which reported 17,166 confirmed cases since December 15.

This was followed by Bangkok (2,315), Pathumthani (767), Chonburi (673), Rayong (584), Samut Prakan (445), Chanthaburi (221), Tak (218), Nonthaburi (211), Nakhon Pathom (181), Ang Thong (125) and Narathiwat (103), respectively.

Of the 182 local infections reported on Monday, 94 were found in Narathiwat, followed by 46 in Bangkok, nine in Samut Prakan, seven in Chonburi, seven in Suphanburi, four in Nonthaburi, four in Samut Sakhon, two in Pathumthani, two in Prachuap Khiri Khan, two in Chaiyaphum, two in Chumphon and one each in Tak, Samut Songkhram and Sa Kaeo.

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