Thailand marks 21 days with no local COVID-19 cases

BANGKOK (CNA) – Thailand yesterday lifted a nationwide curfew after more than two months as the coronavirus crisis eased, with 21 days since a recorded case of local transmission.

The Southeast Asian nation of about 70 million people was the first country outside China to report a case of coronavirus, on January 13, and has been a relative success story in containing it.

The total number of confirmed cases in Thailand stands at 3,135, with 58 fatalities. About 2,987 patients have recovered. Officials have credited Thais’ early adoption of wearing masks – ubiquitous in public since January – as well as its border closure, shuttering of many business and the curfew for the retreat of the new virus that has infected 7.9 million worldwide and killed more than 430,000.

Other establishments allowed to reopen yesterday were schools with fewer than 120 students, exhibition halls, music concerts, film productions, playgrounds, amusement parks and sports competitions without spectators. Karaoke outlets and entertainment spots will remain closed.

Yesterday was the second time in five days that Thailand reported no new cases. All new cases in the past three weeks have been found in quarantine among Thais returning from abroad, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s COVID-19 task force.

A mobile food vender looks for customers in Bangkok, Thailand. PHOTO: AP