New COVID-19 infections in Thailand surge to 279 in a single day

New COVID-19 infections today (Friday) jumped to 279, the most in a day since the second wave of infections began in December. The contagion has now spread to 53 provinces, according to the CCSA.

CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Wissanuyothin said that, of the 279 new cases, 273 are locally-acquired and 6 others are in state quarantine facilities. Two more deaths have been recorded

Cumulative infections, to date, are 7,163, with 4,273 recoveries and 63 deaths.  The new fatalities are a 44-year old man in Bangkok, who visited a bistro in Bangkok on December 20th, and the other is a 70-year old man in Mae Sot district of Tak province, who snuck across the border from Myanmar on November 29th.

Lamphun and Sa Kaew are the latest provinces to see infections. Dr. Taweesin described the spread across the country as very fast, considering the first case in this wave was recorded in Samut Sakhon province on December 17th.

In Myanmar’s Thachilek Township, which is opposite Thailand’s Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, the last three COVID-19 patients were discharged from the district hospital on Wednesday and no new infections have been reported since.

People there celebrated the arrival of the New Year last night by going out, eating and drinking while observing social distancing and wearing face masks.  They dispersed before the curfew came into force.

In Chiang Rai, three infected people are still undergoing treatment at the provincial hospital. 70 others have been discharged. 11 more Thais, returning from Thachilek yesterday, are now isolated in state quarantine, but all have tested negative for the virus.

The common border with Myanmar still remains sealed off by troops, police and local officials, while the permanent checkpoint at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge remains open for cross-border movement of cargo and Thai returnees from Thachilek.

In Bangkok’s neighboring province of Samut Prakan, the Bangphli fresh market, close to Theparak Road, was ordered closed for a month on Thursday after 12 migrant workers were placed under investigation and isolated out of concern that they might be infected.

Anyone who has visited the market has been asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days as a precaution. Infections in the province are 35, excluding those arriving from abroad and in state quarantine facilities.

Professor Dr. Prasit Wattanapha, dean of the Faculty of Medicines at Siriraj hospital, said today that the condition of Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak Vichitsaengsri remains stable, but that he is still on a respirator.

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