Thai officials say Covid-19 vaccine shortage under control as cases keep surging and total now almost 200,000

Thai beauty queens Miss Universe Thailand 2020 Amanda Obdam (centre), Miss Universe third runner-up Praewwanich Ruangthong (left) and Miss Universe Thailand 2019 contestant Patrapong Wang handing out food boxes made by Michelin-starred chefs to children in the Klong Toei slum area of Bangkok on Monday (June 14, 2021), as both the food and beverage industries as well as food security amongst the poorest communities in Thailand continue to free-fall due to ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus restrictions. - AFP

BANGKOK, June 14 (Xinhua): Thai officials on Monday tried to play down concerns about Covid-19 vaccine shortage, saying the country's vaccination program will continue apace despite postponed vaccination set for this week due to delivery delays.

"There is a slight technical difficulty, causing the demand to overtake the supply temporarily," but the slight postponement does not mean the vaccination process will not go according to plan, Natapanu Nopakun, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at the daily briefing of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

This came after Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang announced that vaccination of the first shot scheduled between June 15 and 20 was postponed until further notice. He said inoculation will resume in Bangkok as soon as it received the delivery.

CCSA official Nattapon Nakpanich said at a separate press conference that delivery of locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine has been delayed, but said delivery will be entirely provided as planned.

The country will ensure that 50 million people get the first dose of vaccine in September or October as planned, Nattapon said, reaffirming that 6 million shots will be administered this month as planned.

Thailand started on June 7 a mass vaccination program amid efforts to stem its worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began.

As of Sunday, the country has administered more than 6.18 million doses of vaccine. It has set a target of vaccinating about 70 percent of its nearly 70-million population by the end of the year.

On Monday, Thailand reported 3,355 new cases, raising the total case tally to 199,264. The total death toll increased by 17 to 1,466, according to the CCSA.

Bangkok led the list of most cases with 925, followed by Nakhon Pathom (292), Nonthaburi (232), Samut Prakan (196), Samut Sakhon (158) and Songkhla (106).

Meanwhile, 3,530 patients have recovered and been discharged in the last 24 hours.

According to Worldometer, as of 11am on Monday, the number of confirmed cases globally had risen to 176.71 million (up by 300,173), 160.74 million of whom have recovered, 12.16 million are active cases (85,067 in severe condition) and 3.81 million have died (up by 6,784). - Xinhua
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