BANGKOK (Reuters) – At least 10 Thai cabinet ministers and dozens of lawmakers isolated themselves on Wednesday after being exposed to coronavirus positive cases, amid a sharp rise in infections in the capital Bangkok.
Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob told local TV on Wednesday he tested positive for COVID-19, while his Bhumjaithai Party said ministers, lawmakers and politicians of the coalition The other had contact with confirmed cases.
Thailand has seen a spike in infections over the past week, although numbers are still low compared with some of its neighbors in the region, due to more than a year of border control procedures in place. strict translation, testing and exposure tracking.
Authorities recorded 334 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, with no new deaths, bringing Thailand’s total to 29,905 and 95 deaths.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha changed the weekly meeting of his 36-member cabinet to a virtual meeting on Wednesday and urged ministers to avoid exposure to the virus.
He said the public should be cautious ahead of Thailand’s New Year celebrations next week, where crowds traditionally gather across the country.
The bustling holiday tradition of hoarding people huddled in the streets to splash water was banned this year to prevent a major spread.
Bangkok authorities earlier this week closed 196 entertainment venues in three districts of Bangkok for two weeks after the emergence of venues left more than 250 people infected with coronavirus.
According to the Ministry of Health, Thailand is aiming to start the mass vaccination campaign from June and has already vaccinated health workers or people deemed vulnerable, with more than 200,000 recipients until now, according to the Ministry of Health.
Authorities are also vaccinating the public in Phuket, a holiday hotspot, as part of Thailand’s reopening to foreign tourists.
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