Thailand reports 109 new COVID-19 cases as PM urges Thais to stay home
Thailand reported 109 new COVID-19 cases today (Saturday), bringing total infections in the country to 1,245, and one more fatality, bringing the official national death toll to six.
Dr. Anupong Suchariyakul, a senior doctor at the Disease Control Department (DCD), told the media that the deadly contagion has now spread to 57 provinces.
Most of the infected are aged between 20 and 59. The oldest case is 84 and the youngest is just six-months old. Among the 109 new infections, 10 are related to the boxing stadium cluster and eight to entertainment venues. 17 are new cases, which include eight arrivals from abroad.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thaveesilp Wissanuyothing, spokesman for the Command Centre for the Management of the COVID-19 Situation (CCMCS), told the media that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has, again, reminded members of the public of the serious need to stay at home and observe social distancing strictly, as an effective way to reduce the speed of the spread of the disease.
He said that the Prime Minister praised the majority of people who are observing the stay-home measure, but feels that some people should do more, as the rate of new infections has not slowed.
To decrease the rate of new infections, Dr. Thaveesilp said that up to 90% of the population must stay home and strictly observe social distancing.
Geographically, most of the infections are in Bangkok and its vicinity, tourist destinations in the eastern region, Phuket and the three southern border provinces.
Meanwhile, the spokesman said the Prime Minister has ordered the Comptroller Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Government Pharmaceutical Organization to ease procurement restrictions on medicines and PPE equipment for medical personnel, so that they can be readily imported to meet the growing demand.
Chulalongkorn Hospital, however, has had to issue an internal notice, to all medical personnel, to use N95 face masks sparingly, waning that the remaining stock will only last about two weeks.
The hospital’s director, Professor Dr. Sutthipong Watcharasindhu, said that there is a shortage of N95 face masks worldwide and, although the hospital has tried its best to procure them from various channels, the supply is still insufficient.