Thailand sets goal to accelerate vaccination in August

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BANGKOK, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) — Thailand has set a target to reach a vaccination rate of over 50 percent in August, as the country battles its worst outbreak fueled by the highly contagious delta variant.

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced on Monday that it planned to vaccinate 80 percent of residents in capital Bangkok, 70 percent in other provinces deemed as “dark red zone,” the most affected area, and 50 percent in the remaining provinces by the end of this month.

As of Sunday, Thailand has administered over 17.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide, with nearly 20 percent of its total population received the first jab.

The Southeast Asian country on Monday registered 17,970 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally to 633,284, according to the CCSA. The accumulative deaths also rose by 178 to 5,168.

The CCSA has decided to extend current lockdown restrictions for at least two weeks and to expand the “dark red” zone provinces from the current 13 to 29.