BANGKOK: Thailand on Thursday (Jul 1) reported a daily record of 57 deaths from the coronavirus, the second day in a row of record-high fatalities as the Southeast Asian country struggles to quell a stubborn third wave of COVID-19 infections.
The report came on the same day as Thailand is kicking off a programme to revive tourism on Phuket, which has seen far fewer cases than the mainland after Thailand prioritised vaccinations for the population of the resort island.
READ: Thailand’s popular resort island Phuket reopens to international tourism
Under the plan, foreign tourists vaccinated against COVID-19 can bypass quarantine requirements and freely move around the island. After 14 days, barring any coronavirus issues, they can travel elsewhere in the country.
Thailand lost about US$50 billion in tourism revenue last year as foreign arrivals plunged 83 per cent to 6.7 million, from a record 39.9 million in 2019. Phuket was hit particularly hard by job losses and business closings.
The new COVD-19 deaths reported on Thursday take Thailand’s total number of fatalities to 2,080 since the pandemic started last year.
The country’s COVID-19 task force also reported 5,533 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections to 264,834.
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