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COVID-19: Thailand reports 374 new cases, zero deaths

— Thailand recorded 374 new COVID-19 cases and zero deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the tally in the kingdom to 12,054 cases and 70 fatalities.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman, Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said of the 374 new cases, 364 were local transmissions — 321 cases through active case detection and 43 cases linked to those visiting high-risk areas, and 10 imported cases.

He said Thailand saw a second wave of outbreaks beginning in mid-December, recording 7,817 cases and 10 fatalities. The latest outbreak has spread to 61 provinces.

“We are expecting more COVID-19 cases as the public health authorities are stepping up active case detection at factories in a few provinces,” he said at the COVID-19 daily briefing, here, today.

Since the outbreak in January last year, Thailand has recorded 12,054 COVID-19 cases, of which 9,777 were local transmissions including 3,707 through active case detection while 2,277 were returnees from abroad.

Meanwhile, Thaweesilp expressed concern over undocumented migrant workers who skipped the COVID-19 test in fear of legal action taken against them, as they could spread the deadly virus.

“We estimate that there are 50,000 illegal migrant workers in the kingdom and they could potentially spread the virus if they dodge COVID-19 tests during the active case detection,” he said.

To curb the spread of COVID-19, Thailand has allowed undocumented migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to apply for a work permit without penalties to enable the authorities to monitor their health.

They are allowed to work in the country legally until February 2023.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan o-Cha assured that the authority would not rush to approve the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the English news portal, The Nation, Prayuth refused to let Thais be guinea pigs.

“I have an important policy, that is, to ensure that the vaccine is safe, so that it can be used for Thai people,” he said.

Thailand is expected to receive its first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech in February.

The first shipment of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive by the end of February and 800,000 doses by end of March and one million doses by end of April.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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