Thailand confirms 120 new coronavirus cases, 2 more deaths

Thailand confirms 120 new coronavirus cases, 2 more deaths

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Phuket
The deserted empty Patong walking street which usually is crowded with tourists is pictured during the first day of the lockdown imposed by Phuket governor amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on Phuket island, Thailand, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Sooppharoek Teepapan

BANGKOK: Thailand confirmed 120 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths on Wednesday (Apr 1), said a spokesman of the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

The new figures brought the total number of infections in the Southeast Asian country to 1,771 and 12 fatalities.

The two new deaths included a 79-year-old Thai man from a southern province who attended a wedding in Malaysia in early March and a 58-year-old businessman who returned from England last month, spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin said.

READ: Thailand reports 127 new COVID-19 cases and 1 more death

READ: Thailand bars entry as state of emergency bites

Thailand declared a state of emergency last week and urged companies to adopt work-from-home policies to limit movement of people. Schools have also adopted remote learning.

To encourage people to continue staying home and limit the spread of COVID-19, the government will give the public free mobile data, a senior official announced on Tuesday.

"Individuals can register for 10 gigabytes (GB) of mobile data each month starting Apr 10," said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission.

The commission will compensate operators, a spokesman said separately, but no details were available.

Thailand's main three mobile operators did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Top mobile operator Advanced Info Service has seen mobile data and broadband volume growth of more than 10 per cent in the last month, chief consumer business officer Pratthana Leelapanang told Reuters.

Video conferencing grew more than 10 times, partly due to the increase in remote learning because of the closure of schools and universities, he said.

Rival operator True Corporation said last week it would triple its broadband capacity after seeing a 52 per cent increase in broadband use and 18.4 per cent jump in mobile data usage in the last month.

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Source: Reuters/jt