Thailand bans gatherings as Covid cases, deaths hit record high1 min read . Updated: 17 Jul 2021, 09:53 AM IST
- Anyone found in violation of the order faces two years in prison or a 40,000 baht ($1,200) fine or both.
Thailand banned gatherings nationwide and may implement further restrictions as the country saw daily coronavirus cases and deaths surge to fresh records.
The Southeast Asian nation reported 10,082 new infections on Saturday, exceeding 10,000 for the first time, despite the imposition of lockdown-like restrictions since Monday. There were 141 deaths, data from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration show.
The ban on public gatherings will take effect immediately, according to a Royal Gazette announcement published late Friday. Anyone found in violation of the order faces two years in prison or a 40,000 baht ($1,200) fine or both.
Thai officials are grappling with a wave of infections stemming from the highly contagious delta variant. A virus management panel headed by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha is considering shuttering more types of businesses after people violated earlier bans on inter-provincial travel, gatherings of more than five people and an overnight curfew.
“Curbs on people’s movements haven’t done enough," Prayuth said in a statement on social media. “We will have to consider tightening measures, otherwise the situation may escalate to the point where it will have serious consequences for the public health system."
The figures take Thailand’s cumulative infections and deaths to 391,989 and 3,240, respectively. More than 360,000 of those cases have come since early April, mostly in Bangkok.
The latest outbreak threatens to derail the economy’s expansion. The Bank of Thailand has warned it may revise down this year’s gross domestic product growth forecast from 1.8% if the wave is prolonged, while the World Bank may trim its estimate to 1.2% from 2.2%.
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