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27 JAN 2021

BANGKOK: Thailand has started a three-week active case detection exercise in its bid to break the COVID-19 chain of transmission in Samut Sakhon province, the epicentre of the latest outbreak in the kingdom. Deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun said the number of COVID-19 cases there continue to surge following the current outbreak that began at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon in mid-December.

Thus, he said the health authorities had begun the three-week active case detection exercise in Samut Sakhon starting Monday (January 25) to February 7 in various areas and local communities. “In the past two days, there was a sharp increase in daily COVID-19 cases in Samut Sakhon, between 150 and 900 cases. This is expected following an accelerated active case detection. “We expect the number of infections will reduce in the third week (February 8 to 15). If there is a lower number of infections, especially in local transmission, the authorities will relax some restrictions and measures,” he said at the daily COVID-19 daily briefing here today.

Natapanu added that most of these confirmed cases found during active case detection were asymptomatic, which do not require the same treatment like those symptomatic patients. “Therefore, they (asymptomatic patients) will receive treatment at state quarantine facilities to avoid overcrowding in hospitals,’ he said. Meanwhile, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesman, Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said Thailand recorded 819 new COVID-19 cases including 808 local transmissions and one death over the last 24 hours, bringing the tally in the kingdom to 15,465 cases and 76 deaths.

Thaweesilp said of the 819 new cases, 716 cases were detected through active case detection – 714 cases in Samut Sakhon, and one each in Rayong and Samut Prakan. He said another 92 COVID-19 cases involved those visiting high-risk premises and seeking treatment at hospitals, including 78 in Samut Sakhon and six in Bangkok while another 11 cases were imported cases. He added that the single fatality involved a 56-year-old Thai man in Samut Sakhon who suffered ischaemic stroke. Meanwhile, Thaweesilp said the CCSA plans to ease restriction measures including reopening of schools and the operating hours of restaurants will be extended, “The relaxation measures will be discussed and finalised at the CCSA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha this Friday based on the COVID-19 situation in each province and district,” he said. - Bernama

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