BANGKOK: Thailand on Saturday (Jul 17) reported a new daily record of 10,082 new COVID-19 cases, as authorities consider bringing in tighter restrictions to contain soaring infections in the latest outbreak that started in April.
The country also reported a record daily number of COVID-19 deaths, with 141.
The new cases bring the total number of infections to 391,989 and 3,240 fatalities since the pandemic started, the country’s COVID-19 task force said.
The record number of cases and fatalities come despite the government imposing partial lockdowns in Bangkok and nine other provinces this week. Thailand is considering bringing in tighter coronavirus curbs in a bid to contain soaring infections.
Since Monday, areas considered high risk in Thailand have been under the toughest restrictions in more than a year, with new curbs on movement and gatherings, the closure of malls and some businesses, and curfews between 9pm to 4am.
“After assessing the measures there are still concerns,” said Apisamai Srirangsan, a spokeswoman for the government COVID-19 task force said on Friday. “We may close more places and intensify the measures.”
READ: Thailand considering limits on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine exports
The government also plans to increase the number of COVID-19 tests which currently cover 70,000 to 80,000 people per day by introducing home-testing kits which will be available from drugstores next week, Apisamai said.
The Thai health ministry this week also gave the go-ahead for home isolation of COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms.
The Thai Red Cross on Friday said it had bought 1 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines from the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO).
The GPO is due to sign a deal next week to import 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine that should arrive in Thailand sometime in the fourth quarter or the start of next year.
READ: Three more Thai islands open to vaccinated travellers despite surge in COVID-19 cases
In a statement, the Red Cross said some vaccines will be administered free of charge for medical workers and vulnerable groups, while others will be sold to organisations around the country for general distribution.
Thailand’s main vaccine rollout started last month and has relied mainly on the AstraZeneca and Sinovac shots, though the pace of the roll-out has been slower than in some neighbouring countries.
More than 5 per cent of its more than 66 million people have been fully vaccinated so far.
BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram