BANGKOK: Thailand reported more than 4,500 COVID-19 cases in a new wave of outbreak, which has spread from nightclubs, parties and concerts since early this month, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
On Wednesday (Apr 21), CCSA reported 104 new infections directly linked to entertainment venues, parties, concerts and restaurants nationwide. This brought the total number of such cases between Apr 1 and Apr 21 to 4,791. Bangkok alone accounted for 1,614 cases.
However, according to CCSA assistant spokesperson Apisamai Srirangsan, there are also other patients who were infected through their visits to existing clusters, and their numbers “continue to increase”
“These people were in the low-risk and high-risk groups,” she said in a press briefing on Wednesday. “But they were asymptomatic and didn’t realise they could carry the virus. So they came into contact with their family members and transmitted the disease.”
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Following the recent spike in cases, the Thai government ordered a temporary closure of nightclubs, pubs and bars nationwide, along with other measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Several venues that became COVID-19 clusters in the latest wave have implemented different measures to limit risks of infection. One of them is Dirty Bar in Bangkok’s Thonglor neighbourhood, where several clusters have been reported.
The bar said on its Facebook page that it has taken precautionary measures to prevent the disease transmission prior to the outbreak. It added that it has cooperated with the authorities by sending all employees for COVID-19 tests and monitoring their results.
“Our venue has been cleaned regularly with disinfectant and we have always carried out safety measures such as providing a check-in area and hand sanitiser, cleaning utensils, scanning body temperature of both our customers and employees before service as stipulated,” the post read.
The bar also recommended its customers who visited the venue during the outbreak in the Thonglor neighbourhood to complete a risk assessment and follow the government’s advice.
Last week, Bangkok and 17 other provinces in Thailand were declared maximum control areas or “red zones” as the country battles the third wave of COVID-19 infections.
Since last Sunday, various measures have been implemented, including a ban on some activities and the closure of several venues to limit people's movement and reduce the risk of infection.
Nationwide, night venues such as pubs, bars and massage parlours face a temporary closure of at least 14 days. Schools and universities are also shut unless permitted by the education ministry for special reasons such as exams.
On Wednesday, CCSA reported two deaths and 1,458 new cases, bringing the total to 46,643. In the latest wave alone, the number of patients has already exceeded 17,000.