Five of Thailand’s coastal provinces placed under total lockdown
Thailand’s five coastal provinces of Samut Sakhon, Chon Buri, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat have been placed under total lockdown, meaning travel in and out of the provinces is banned, unless it is absolutely necessary.
Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutacha said in his Facebook post on Monday that he would like to thank Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the CCSA for approving the proposal from the Ministry of Public Health to lock the provinces down due to the rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rate.
While acknowledging that the tough measure will impact the economy and the normal livelihoods of the people there, he said that, without this tough but short-term measure, the pandemic may spread across the country.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of the Royal Household has ordered the temporary closure of The Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the Bang Pa-in Palace, the Puping Palace, Chang Hua Mun Royal Project, Queen Sirikit’s textile museum, Silpa Paendin museum and Sala Chalerm Krung Royal Theatre until January 31st.
A research team from Prince of Songkhla University has developed a COVID-19 test kit, which is capable of detecting the presence of COVID anti-bodies in blood in 15 minutes with 99% accuracy.
Assistant Professor Thirakamol Pengsakul, head of the research team, explained today that, since over 90% of infected people are asymptomatic, the test kit is used to detect anti-bodies in a person exposed to the virus in the previous 1-2 weeks.
He said the test kit has been approved by the Thai Food and Drug Administration and mass production can start shortly, with the capacity to produce up to 100,000 test kits a day.