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Bars, Slums to Blame for Bangkok’s New Covid-19 Wave, City Hall Says

Inside the Sukhumvit Soi 7 beer bar complex, where only the Moonshine Pub has a restaurant license. How do the other bars operate? Sorry, dumb question. (Photo: Twitter)
Inside the Sukhumvit Soi 7 beer bar complex, where only the Moonshine Pub has a restaurant license. How do the other bars operate? Sorry, dumb question. (Photo: Twitter)

Bars and slums are responsible for spread of the coronavirus omicron variant in Bangkok, city hall believes.

Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said Friday that owners of pubs and bars who turned their venues into restaurants must pass evaluation and receive approval from their respective district offices to continue business.

Venues serving alcohol and crowded slum communities are the two main factors in the surge of the coronavirus in the capital, he said.

Thailand on Saturday reported 7,793 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 18 deaths. On Friday, 969 of the 8,167 confirmed cases were in Bangkok. There are many more unconfirmed cases found through home antigen tests.

While testing is showing that Bangkok’s infection rate was lower than 10-12% detected during the four previous waves, city hall still is mobilizing for the worst.

The BMA has readied about 10,000 beds to treat Covid-19 cases as it daily logged about 970 new caseloads that accounted for 1-2% of about 4,000 people undergoing mass testing every day.

However, the BMA could double the number of beds to 20,000 in 48 hours if daily caseloads significantly rose, Pongsakorn said.

At present, the BMA operates 101 Covid-19 vaccination centers. First shots are available on a walk-in basis and third and booster shots must be reserved in advance via QueQ app.