Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health recorded 405 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, with most of the cases related to the cluster at the Narathiwat Provincial Prison and the cluster at entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
The government also said on Thursday that nationwide zones to delineate covid hot spots will remain the same but entertainment venues in 41 provinces will be ordered to temporary shutdown for 14 days from Friday onward.
“We hope that we could all have a traditional Songkran this year but now we are worried,” said Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Of the 391 local cases found on Thursday, 146 were found via proactive tests at the Narathiwat Provincial Prison.
Another 95 cases were found in Bangkok followed by 23 in Samut Prakan and 18 in Nonthaburi.
The majority of the cases that were found in Bangkok, Samut Prakan and Nonthaburi could be traced to entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, Taweesin said.
Bangkok’s main clusters are now located at entertainment venues in Thonglor and Ekkamai.
The entertainment venue cluster has led to 504 confirmed cases between March 22 and April 7.
The cluster has also spread to 20 provinces in the same period including Bangkok (356 cases), Chonburi (31), Samut Prakan (28), Sa Kaeo (20), Suphanburi (18), Nonthaburi (16), Nakhon Pathom (8), Pathumthani (6), Prachuap Khiri Khan (6), Chiang Mai (2), Khon Kaen (2), Chumphon (2), Samut Sakhon (2) and one each in Loei, Kanchanaburi, Tak, Ayutthaya, Phuket, Lopburi and Lampang.
The CCSA urged anyone who visited 21 high-risk bars, pubs, lounges and restaurants starting on March 22 to get tested.
These venues include: Krystal Club (Thonglor), BarBarBar, Ekkamai Beer House, Emerald (Thonglor), Dirty Bar, Bottoms Up (Thonglor), AINU Hokkaido Izakaya & Bar, The Cassese Music Bar (Ekkamai), 63 Music House (Ekkamai), Pik Mai Restaurant, The Jazz, M Club, 76 Garage, The Play Exclusive Club, TOPONE Club Bangkok, Chill Chill Restaurant, Hiso Ciety, Dubai luxury Club, 69 Tomdiiz Pub, Dollar Bangkok and 7-Ducks Pub & Lounge.
Taweesin said that the government has ordered the closure of any entertainment venue that has seen a coronavirus case.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, on Tuesday, ordered the temporary shutdown of 196 entertainment venues in three districts including Khlong Toei, Watthana and Bang Khae between April 6 and 19.
The CCSA said they will not provide any new nationwide measure while provinces will be given the autonomy to deal with the latest outbreak.
Currently, nine provinces are labelled orange or “controlled” zone where entertainment venues are allowed to open but only until 11 pm and no dancing.
These nine provinces include Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathumthani, Tak and Ratchaburi.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of Public Health has proposed for the CCSA to shutdown entertainment venues in 41 provinces for 14 days, including Bangkok and surrounding provinces.
The CCSA’s committee in charge of applying restriction measures approved the measure on Thursday morning and it is now awaiting approval from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha who will chair the center’s main meeting on Friday.
Other businesses will continue to be open based on the nationwide zoning.
While traveling between provinces is still permitted, some provinces have already opted to impose travel restrictions, such as mandatory reporting to local authorities on arrival and a mandatory self-quarantine for 10-14 days. (Read more here)
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