The Kingdom of Thailand has reported on Tuesday 527 new cases of the COVID-19. Most of these are migrant workers in the Kingdom, and only six cases are results of local transmission of the virus.
This brings the accumulated total number of cases to 8,966, with a death toll of 65.
Although the number is high, Tuesday’s total reported cases is smaller than the 745 cases reported on Monday, which included 541 cases of the COVID-19 in Samut Sakhon alone. Monday’s figures are also Thailand’s record highest number of daily cases since the start of the pandemic in January.
Tuesday’s results covered 439 migrant workers, who were discovered through the health authorities’ active testing campaign in the province. 82 Thais have also been found positive for COVID-19, Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration spokesperson Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyuothin told reporters.
Although Dr. Taweesilp did not specify the location of the migrant workers, reports indicate that they are most likely living around the Central Shrimp Market in tambon Mahachai.
The Central Shrimp Market, which is located in Samut Sakhon’s Muang district, is the epicenter of the initial outbreak that saw the virus spread from Samut Sakhon to more than 50 provinces in Thailand.
While initially only a large number of migrant workers were found infected, other cases of local transmission were soon found in many provinces including Phuket and Bangkok.
Samut Sakhon, as the epicenter, remains the province with the highest number of local transmissions at 31 as of Tuesday. Nonthaburi follows second at 20, while Bangkok is at 3rd with 15 cases.
As of Tuesday, two provinces have reported their first COVID-19 cases, namely: Sing Buri with 3 cases, and Nan, with one case.
Samut Sakhon has been placed under lockdown since the middle of December to contain the virus. The Public Health Ministry has deployed a field hospital in the Central Shrimp Market in order to treat patients with moderate symptoms of the COVID-19.
Another field hospital has also been set up by the Royal Thai Navy in its base in Chon Buri by the end of December, which is also intended to treat mild to moderate symptoms of the virus.
The four provinces – Samut Sakhon, Rayong, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi and Trat – are currently under the strictest of regulations due to the high number of infections in their jurisdictions, Dr. Taweesilp explained.
Due to the situation, Dr. Taweesilp also added that the CCSA has approved the extension of the emergency decree to the end of February. The spokesperson said that they are now awaiting the approval of the Cabinet.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has signed into law over the weekend a series of directives that govern restrictions in “maximum control zones.” These directives form the basis of what restrictions provincial governors can enact should they decide to exercise their authority to enforce a lockdown on their jurisdictions.
Although it warned of a second national lockdown if the situation worsens, the CCSA said that they have decided to rule out such a decision due to the economic damages it brings.