BANGKOK: Thailand on Monday (Jan 25) confirmed a record 914 new cases of COVID-19, all in Samut Sakhon province near Bangkok where a major outbreak began in December. The new cases shot the national total past 14,000.
The previous high was on Jan 4, when 745 cases were reported, mostly in Samut Sakhon among migrant workers from Myanmar. The province is a center for fishing and industry. The first case reported in the recent surge was detected there in mid-December at a major seafood market, which has been closed.
Any new cases in other provinces will be announced on Tuesday. National totals are announced the day after test results, but Samut Sakhon health officials released local results on Monday, the same day they began mass proactive testing in the province, targeting up to 10,000 people a day for a week.
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They said 844 new cases were detected Monday through pro-active testing and 70 discovered in hospitals. Thai nationals accounted for 119 cases and migrant workers for 795.
Earlier Monday, health ministry officials had announced 187 new cases nationwide, bringing the total to 13,687. Two deaths pushed the death toll to 75. The Samut Sakorn figures were announced in the afternoon and not yet officially added to the national total.
Cases linked to the Samut Sakhon outbreak have spread to more than 60 of Thailand’s 77 provinces. A cluster of cases also occurred among itinerant gamblers who gathered at illegal gambling dens.
Restrictions to control the spread of the disease were reimposed in most provinces, including Bangkok, where schools were closed and restaurant hours limited, among other measures.
Samut Sakhon governor Veerasak Vijitsaengsri was hospitalised with COVID-19 before the New Year, and remains in critical condition with severe lung damage, according to the Bangkok hospital where he was admitted.