Thailand confirms record 914 new coronavirus cases

Thailand has confirmed a record 914 new cases of the coronavirus, all in Samut Sakhon province near Bangkok where a major outbreak began in December

The previous high was on Jan. 4, when 745 cases were reported, mostly in Samut Sakhon among migrant workers from Myanmar. The province is a center for fishing and industry. The first case reported in the recent surge was detected there in mid-December at a major seafood market, which has been closed.

They said 844 new cases were detected Monday through pro-active testing and 70 discovered in hospitals. Thai nationals accounted for 119 cases and migrant workers for 795.

Earlier Monday, Health Ministry officials had announced 187 new cases nationwide, bringing the total to 13,687. Two deaths pushed the death toll to 75. The Samut Sakorn figures were announced in the afternoon and not yet officially added to the national total.

Cases linked to the Samut Sakhon outbreak have spread to more than 60 of Thailand’s 77 provinces. A cluster of cases also occurred among itinerant gamblers who gathered at illegal gambling dens.

Restrictions to control the spread of the disease were reimposed in most provinces, including Bangkok, where schools were closed and restaurant hours limited, among other measures.

Samut Sakhon Gov. Veerasak Vijitsaengsri was hospitalized with the coronavirus before the New Year, and remains in critical condition with severe lung damage, according to the Bangkok hospital where he was admitted.

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This story has been amended to correct number of Thailand provinces to 77, not 78.