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One death, 819 new Covid cases in 24 hours, strict measures may be relaxed in some provinces


The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Wednesday reported one death and 819 new cases in 24 hours, including 11 people who travelled from abroad, and announced it would consider a proposal to relax strict anti-virus measures in especially "orange-coded" provinces including Bangkok.

Of the new cases, 92 were exposed to the virus while visiting high-risk areas.

The province with the highest number of infections in 24 hours was Samut Sakhon (70), while six cases were confirmed in Bangkok.

Proactive testing led to the discovery of 716 cases – 714 in Samut Sakhon, 1 in Samut Prakan and 1 in Rayong.

The 76th domestic death was confirmed as a bedridden male patient, 56, who had an ischemic stroke. He passed away on January 25.

He experienced breathing difficulties and had a lot of phlegm on January 22. He was confirmed positive the next day. Despite treatment, his condition deteriorated rapidly.

Of the returnees, two are Thai nationals who came home from Bahrain and Sweden. Also testing positive are one Indian from the United Arab Emirates, an Australian from Mozambique, three British nationals, a Polish citizen, an Iranian, a Swedish national, and an Indonesian, who flew in from their respective nations.

Meanwhile, 162 patients have recovered and been discharged.

CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin announced that a draft of fresh guidelines has been proposed for setting the level of risk in each province, with “maximum controlled” areas coded red, “highly controlled” being orange, “controlled” light orange, “high surveillance” yellow, and “surveillance” green.

If the proposal, or draft, is accepted by the CCSA's main committee, the only maximum controlled province will be Samut Sakhon, which will need to continue conducting intense Covid-19 tests and employ all preventive measures. A CCSA sub-committee has suggested that some remote districts of Samut Sakhon, which are far from the centre of the outbreak, could even relax strict rules for businesses.

Meanwhile, Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani are expected to fall into the highly controlled category (orange). These provinces could go in for further relaxations, including allowing food and alcohol to be served in restaurants until 11 pm, opening schools fully and allowing an unlimited number of guests in banquet rooms but with strict virus-preventive measures.

The proposal, by the Public Health Ministry, will be sent to the main CCSA committee for consideration this Friday.

As of Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand has risen to 15,465. Of these, 13,058 contracted the virus domestically, including 6,248 who were found via proactive testing, and 2,407 are returnees. So far, 11,054 have recovered and been discharged, 4,335 patients are still in hospital and the death toll has increased to 76.

According to Worldometer, as of 10am on Wednesday, the number of confirmed cases globally has increased to 100.83 million (rising by 528,698). Some 72 million have recovered, almost 26 million are active cases (110,299 in severe condition) and 2.17 million have died (up by 15,879 in 24 hours).

Thailand ranks 121st on the global list of most cases. The US tops the list with 26 million, followed by India 10.69 million, Brazil 8.93 million, Russia 3.76 million and the United Kingdom 3.68 million.

Published : January 27, 2021

By : The Nation