Thailand to shut down more venues as COVID-19 cases spike

Photo taken on July 20, 2021 shows a sparsely-crowded street in Bangkok, Thailand. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)

(Xinhua) — Thailand will order more venues to close in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) announced on Wednesday.

The venues and businesses required to close include beauty salons, swimming pools, public parks and museums in Bangkok and 12 other provinces identified as the most affected areas, according to the CCSA spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangsan.

The starting date for the temporary closure has yet to be announced, she said.

This decision came as Thailand’s daily COVID-19 tally hit another record high amid a new wave of the pandemic driven mainly by the highly contagious Delta variant.

The country reported 13,002 cases on Wednesday, the fifth consecutive day with more than 10,000 daily cases, taking the total caseload to 439,477. Deaths rose by 108 to 3,610, according to the CCSA.

Local media quoted the Department of Medical Sciences as saying that the Delta variant has overtaken the Alpha variant as the dominant strain in Thailand.

To tackle the recent surge of infections, the authorities will open a field hospital next month at two airports in the Greater Bangkok area, deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul said on Wednesday in another press conference.

The planned field hospital at Suvarnabhumi airport is designed to have 4,500 beds while the one at Don Mueang airport will provide 2,000 beds, she said.