Nearly half of Thailand’s 77 provinces are now reporting coronavirus cases as the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration recorded 81 new infections Friday.
Thirty-five provinces have registered new Covid-19 cases since a seafood seller at the Samut Sakhon Central Shrimp Market tested positive Dec. 17. Not all the cases, however, are tied to market, as four northern provinces continue to see a smattering of new cases tied to legal and illegal border crossers from Myanmar.
The Christmas Day tally of 81 cases included 35 migrant laborers tested in Samut Sakhon, eight quarantined arrivals from overseas and 37 new locally transmitted cases – nine not directly connected to the Samut Sakhon cluster.
Total cases in Thailand now are 5,910 with 1,713 people hospitalized and 4,130 recoveries. The death told remains at 60.
CCSA spokesperson Dr. Taweesin Visvanathan said 8,810 people now have been tested with 1,308 found infected. Of that group, only three patients have suffered serious symptoms, two suffering from severe diarrhea and the other a pregnant woman close to delivery.
A field hospital has been set up at the Central Shrimp Market for quarantined migrants who are either asymptomatic or only mild effects. Some market neighbors have complained about keeping the infected there, but Taweesin said there were plenty of medical and security personnel to keep the site secure, even though seven migrants escaped quarantine earlier in the week.
Samut Sakhon, obviously, has seen the most cases of any province at 1,356. Bangkok now ranks second with 34.
Among provinces recording their first local cases were Chonburi, which officially confirmed two seafood company workers infected. They had visited Samut Sakhon Dec. 2 and had brought the virus back to Jomtien Beach and Muang District. The province earlier had said it found an illegal Cambodian migrant at a checkpoint in Panthong District.
A five-year-old is among six new Covid-19 cases in Chai Nat Province. Gov. Somboon Sirivej told a new conference on Thursday afternoon that the province now had six confirmed cases since Dec. 20.
Hoping to bring some order to piecemeal regulation that has occurred at the provincial level, the CCSA has defined color-coded zones that describe the severity of an outbreak and the measures enforced to control the virus’ spread.
Samut Sakhon currently is the only province designated a red “high-controlled area”, with semi-lockdown measures enforced. Bangkok, Samut Songkhram, Ratchaburi, Nakhon Pathom all have been designated orange “controlled areas”.
The capital and other orange provinces are subject to businesses having hours limited, active case hunting underway, public employees are required to work from home when possible and the public is advised to avoid large gatherings and downsize new year celebrations.
Pattaya is now in “under high surveillance” area, downgraded from “under surveillance”. However, there are no additional restrictions added.