Thailand reports two new COVID-19 deaths, bringing total to nine

BANGKOK (CNA) – Thailand’s Public Health Ministry said yesterday that two more people have died from the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to nine.

The two deaths included a 54-year-old Thai man in the southern province of Yala who had recently returned from Malaysia, and a 56-year-old Thai woman in Bangkok, said Anupong Sujariyakul, a senior official at the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Disease Control.

The two died on Sunday, he said. Earlier yesterday, Thailand reported 136 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 1,524.

Among 1,388 patients still hospitalised, 23 were in critical condition, Anupong said.

Infections in Thailand are likely to keep rising, and recently new cases have been reported more in the provinces than in the Thai capital, Bangkok, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, the spokesperson for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

The Thai government on Friday ordered the closing down of more public facilities and businesses to curb the spread of coronavirus, and has extended existing closures until the end of April. The provinces of Narathiwat and Pattani in southern Thailand are in lockdown while several other provinces have issued orders to restrict the opening and closing times of 24-hour convenience stores.

A medical staff member takes the temperature of a man, during the launch of a new rapid testing kit to combat the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. PHOTO: AFP