Thailand reports daily record 967 new coronavirus cases after new outbreak

The spike comes ahead of major national Songkran holidays, known for big street water fights

  
Health workers sit inside a field hospital recently set up to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the country deals with a fresh wave of infections after tackling earlier outbreaks, in Bangkok, Thailand, April 10, 2021.

Health workers sit inside a field hospital recently set up to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the country deals with a fresh wave of infections after tackling earlier outbreaks, in Bangkok, Thailand, April 10, 2021.

Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK - Thailand on Sunday reported 967 new COVID-19 cases, its biggest daily jump, but no new deaths as the country deals with a third wave of infections and a highly contagious variant.

Of the infections, 964 were domestic transmissions, including 236 in the capital Bangkok, the epicentre of an outbreak that has spread to most of Thailand's 77 provinces.

The spike comes ahead of major national Songkran holidays, known for big street water fights that authorities have now banned for a second year due to the pandemic. 

Authorities have urged people to avoid unnecessary travel and reduce gatherings to help limit the outbreak, which includes the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant first identified in Britain.

"Right now, the situation is worrying. But we can manage it if everyone helps," senior health official Sopon Iamsirithaworn told a briefing.

At least 38 provinces have required visitors from risk areas to undertake a 14-day quarantine. Nightspots such as pubs and karaoke bars in Bangkok and 40 provinces will be closed until April 23.

The managers of two entertainment venues in Bangkok, where many infections were reported, had been sentenced to two months in jail for COVID-19 violations, police said on Sunday.

Thailand has reported 3,661 domestic infections so far this month, including 1,294 cases in Bangkok, the highest amid the new outbreak. That brings total to 32,625, with 97 deaths.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by William Mallard) ((orathai.sriring@tr.com; +662 0802309;))

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