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Thailand reports record number of COVID-19 cases for fourth day

Thailand reports record number of COVID-19 cases for fourth day

FILE PHOTO: People queue for free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests at a mass testing station, as the spread of COVID-19 continues, in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jul 15, 2021. (Reuters/Chalinee Thirasupa)

BANGKOK: Thailand reported on Monday (Jul 19) 11,784 new COVID-19 cases, the fourth consecutive day of record infections, as the country struggles to tackle its worst outbreak to date.

The Southeast Asian nation's COVID-19 task force also announced 81 new deaths, bringing total fatalities to 3,422 and with 415,170 cases registered.

On Sunday, the government announced an expansion of COVID-19 restrictions that included travel curbs and a night-time curfew to three more provinces. 

Shopping malls will also be closed and a 9pm to 4am curfew will be imposed from Tuesday in Chonburi, Ayutthaya and Chachoengsao provinces, an announcement on the official Royal Gazette showed.

It has also imposed a nationwide ban on public gatherings, with a maximum penalty of a two-year jail term or a fine of up to 40,000 baht (US$1,219.88) or both. 

READ: Thailand bans public gatherings as COVID-19 cases and deaths hit daily records

READ: People jabbed with Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine to get AstraZeneca as second dose: Thailand health ministry

Last week, Thailand's health ministry announced plans to combine the Sinovac and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in its national inoculation programme to boost public immunity against the coronavirus variants.

Authorities said they will administer the Sinovac jab as the first dose with AstraZeneca being the second dose.

Thai health authorities believe the combination of COVID-19 vaccines in such order will increase public immunity against the coronavirus, particularly the highly-contagious Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

However, the World Health Organization's chief scientist has advised against mixing vaccines, calling it a "dangerous trend" as there was little data available about the health impact.

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Source: Reuters/lk

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