Thailand: Covid-19 cases continue to soar as third batch of Sinovac vaccine arrives in country

Images from The Nation Thailand/ANN

BANGKOK, April 10 (Bernama/The Nation Thailand-ANN): Thailand recorded 789 new Covid-19 cases and one death over the last 24 hours, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 31,658 and 97 fatalities.

The single fatality is a 68-year-old Thai man from Nakhon Pathom with underlying health conditions such diabetes and high blood pressure, who died on April 4. However, yesterday, doctors concluded that he died of Covid-19.

Of the 789 new cases, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said 781 were local transmission including 522 were those seeking treatment at hospitals and 259 through active case detection, and eight imported cases.

"The latest outbreak has spread to Bangkok and 61 provinces of 77 provinces in the kingdom.

"The new cluster linked to entertainment outlets infecting 2,697 people including 1,058 in Bangkok, ” it said in a statement.

Following the rising number of Covid-19 patients in Bangkok and nearby provinces, the government is opening field hospitals to increase the health sector’s capacity.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to set up field hospitals to accommodate the rising number of Covid-19 patients in the capital.

Governor Aswin Kwanmuang said the field hospitals can accommodate up to 5,000 patients and can expand to 10,000 patients.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said the ministry planned to set up 10 field hospitals in Bangkok and nearby provinces to provide 3,000 beds.

Meanwhile, Thailand today received additional one million doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine.

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said in a Facebook post that the vaccine will be distributed to the people as soon as possible.

Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) director Dr Withoon Danwiboon said the vaccine is the final lot of two million doses purchased from China’s Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd. The first lot of 200,000 doses arrived on Feb 24 and second lot of 800,000 doses on March 22.

He said Thailand has procured additional 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine which is expected to arrive by end of April to inoculate high-risk groups.

A senior virologist from Chulalongkorn University Dr Yong Poovorawan said the fresh wave of Covid-19 in Thailand is likely linked to the ‘Cambodia strain’ which was found spreading in Cambodia about six weeks ago.

He said the strain of Covid-19 found in Thailand among visitors to nightspots in Bangkok matches perfectly with the Cambodia strain.

"The latest strain found in Thailand does not match 100 per cent with the British or other strains, but displays a 100 per cent match with the Cambodia strain,” he said.

For the record, so far - 28,161 Covid-19 have recovered and been discharged, 2,645 patients are being treated, and 96 have died.

According to Worldometer, as of 10am on Saturday, the number of confirmed cases globally had risen to 135.29 million (up by 785,896), 108.86 million of whom have recovered, 23.3 million are active cases (102,033 in severe condition) and 2.92 million have died (up by 13,268).

Thailand ranks 113th on the global list of most cases, which is topped by the US with 31.8 million, followed by Brazil 13.37 million, India 13.2 million, France 4.98 million and Russia 4.62 million.
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