New COVID-19 infections surge to 17 today, but no deaths

People eat at a street restaurant implementing social distancing with plastic dividers after the Thai government relaxed measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Bangkok’s Chinatown on May 21, 2020. – Thailand continued easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus on May 17 by allowing various businesses to reopen, but warned that the stricter measures would be re-imposed should cases increase again. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP)

Thailand’s new COVID-19 cases surged to 17 today, all of them Thais in state quarantine, after returning from the Middle East.

 

The double-digit single day increase has brought the country’s cumulative infections to 3,101, with 2,968 recoveries. The death toll remains at 58.

CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said today that 13 of the new infections are males who came from Kuwait and are currently in isolation in Bangkok and neighboring Samut Prakan province.  All except one are asymptomatic and they were found to be infected in a second round of tests, he added.

 

Two others returned from Qatar, a man and a woman.  The man is asymptomatic, while the 29-year old woman developed a cough and headache. Both were found to be infected with the virus in a second round of tests.

The last two men, aged 28 and 29, arrived in Thailand from Saudi Arabia via Malaysia and entered state quarantine in Songkhla province.  Both are asymptomatic but tested positive.

Dr. Taweesin said that the CCSA, at its recent meeting, felt that the double-digit increase was quite high and stressed the need for sufficient quarantine facilities to accommodate an average of 400-500 Thai people returning from abroad daily, since it is legally impossible to prevent Thais from returning to their home country.

 

It was also recommended that health officials in Thailand’s three southern border provinces hasten the screening process for the returnees, so they can enter state quarantine quickly.

The surge of new infections, 164 cases to date, reflects the real situation in Qatar, Kuwait and India, where new infections are steadily rising. Whereas, in Saudi Arabia, the rate of new infections has slowed.

 

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