Thailand reports 18 new COVID-19 cases

BANGKOK (CNA) – Thailand’s new coronavirus cases rose to 18 yesterday, after falling to single digits for the past week, but the country reported no new deaths.

Yesterday’s report brought the total number of cases to 2,987 since the new virus was detected in Thailand in January, with a total of 54 deaths.

The new cases were migrants who were entering Thailand through an immigration checkpoint in the southern province of Songkhla, which shares a border with Malaysia, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesperson of Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

They were all being quarantined in an immigration detention centre, along with 42 cases found previously on April 25, Taweesin said.

Around 40,000 Thai nationals have been repatriated from Malaysia since the country’s movement control order (MCO) began on March 18. “However, not all Thais are requested or expected to return to Thailand,” said a representative from the Thai Embassy in Malaysia.

The representative also said specific Thai border entry points had been opened with effect from April 18.

The daily number of returnees is capped at 350 people, as those who enter Thailand will have to undergo a medical check-up and a 14-day quarantine.

“Therefore, we need to make sure that proper treatment and facilities will be made available upon their entry into Thailand,” said the representative.

Thailand from Sunday eased some of its COVID-19 control measures. However, the government warned that it would reverse this if the number of new cases increases during a 14-day observation period.

A woman checks the temperature of a customer, as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19, at a hair salon in Bangkok. PHOTO: AFP