Thailand raises COVID-19 alert level amid rising new infections

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(Xinhua) — Thailand on Monday raised its COVID-19 alert level to the second-highest tier following a rising number of new infections linked to the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Ministry of Public Health raised the COVID-19 alert level from 3 to 4, a category that includes regulations discouraging dining or drinking at restaurants and avoiding public gatherings to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The ministry expected the number of new infections to keep rising in the coming one or two weeks due to the fast spread of the Omicron variant, which now accounts for more than 90 percent of active cases.

Thailand reported 18,883 new cases and 32 additional fatalities over the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections and fatalities to more than 2.73 million and 22,656 respectively, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The ministry advised the public to take booster shots as soon as possible, especially those aged above 60 or with underlying diseases.

As of Sunday, 71.1 percent of the country’s nearly 70-million population had been fully-vaccinated, while 27.5 percent had received booster shots, according to the CCSA.