Thailand on Tuesday saw a slight decrease in the number of locally transmitted coronavirus cases with 10,710, although another 595 were found in prisons.
The figures released today by the Public Health Ministry mark the third straight day of 11,000 or more total cases and comes as new curfews, stay-at-home and travel restrictions take effect.
Another 80 deaths were reported as well.
Chonburi – one of thee newly designated “deep red” maximum control and strict control areas saw 537 more cases with a record 193 found in Banglamung District, which includes Pattaya.
Today brings more control to the maximum-control areas. A “suggested” stay-at-home order will be in place during 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the public told to stay home unless necessary. While there will be no fines or jail time for those leaving home, authorities said they considered the only legitimate reasons to be out are to purchase food or medicine, seek medical attention or Covid-19 vaccinations or to go to work when working at home isn’t possible.
All non-essential businesses remain closed but those permitted to stay open – supermarkets, convenience stores and takeout restaurants – must now close at 8 p.m. The hard curfew continues from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Starting Wednesday, no domestic flights to or from Bangkok and other dark red areas will be allowed, with exceptions for medical flights, emergency landings and flights serving the Phuket “sandbox” or “Samui Plus” tourism schemes.
Surface transport also is getting locked down. Checkpoints have been set up on the borders of the 13 dark red provinces with people needing to show approved documents to leave the provinces, including ones that display QR codes obtained here.
The movements of people in the 13 provinces will be restricted, while those who seek to visit dark red zones needing a valid reason and be subject to screening upon entry. The toughened measures will be in place until at least Aug 2.
These 13 provinces comprise Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Chon Buri, Chachoengsao, Ayutthaya and the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla and Yala.
The continuing high number of daily cases will not ease anytime soon, the Center for Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration said. Models produced by the agency indicate that, even in a best-case scenario, cases will remain at 9,000-12,000 thrugh at least the middle of August.
Left unchecked, the virus could infect nearly 32,000 people, a day, the CCSA. That, however, won’t happen as long as people abide by lockdown rules.
Should they not, the government warned, a complete lockdown – day and night – could be coming for the dark red zones.