Covid cases surge in Bangkok nightlife cluster

Thailand found 559 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, most related to the cluster at entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, officials said Friday.

“This is a concern for everyone in the country as the daily number had increased by the hundreds and we believe that the direction will continue to be shooting upward,” said Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Of the new cases, 549 were local, including 245 related to the entertainment venue cluster.

Of the 245 cases, 214 are people who have been to entertainment venues that have reported cases while the other 31 came into close contact with them afterward.

Bangkok’s main clusters are now located at entertainment venues in Thonglor and Ekkamai.

Nationwide, the entertainment venue cluster has led to 749 confirmed cases in 20 provinces between March 22 and April 8.

The CCSA continue to urged anyone who visited any of the 21 high-risk bars, pubs, lounges and restaurants any time from March 22 to get tested.

These venues are: 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.

New measures  

Taweesin said that the CCSA’s main meeting on Friday had approved the temporary closure of entertainment venues in 41 provinces from April 10 to 23.

The entertainment venues that would be close from midnight onward include pubs, bars, karaoke venues, lounges and anything similar, including massage and bath parlours.

The CCSA said they will not provide any further nationwide measures, while provinces will be given the autonomy to deal with the latest outbreak.

Other businesses will continue to be open based on the nationwide zoning.

However, local authorities have been instructed to step up their efforts to enforce covid-prevention measures at all high-risk venues in preparation for the Songkran holiday period.

They have also been given the state of emergency decree’s power to order the temporary closure of any venue or cancel any event that they deem to be at high risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Currently, nine provinces are labelled orange or “controlled” zone where entertainment venues are allowed to open but only until 11 pm and with no dancing.

These nine provinces are Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathumthani, Tak and Ratchaburi.

While travelling 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.

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