Thailand announces 32 new coronavirus cases, biggest daily rise to date

Private security personnel takes the temperature of visitors to a commercial building in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 14, 2020.
Private security personnel takes the temperature of visitors to a commercial building in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 14, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK - Thai health authorities on Sunday (March 15) announced 32 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily jump to date, bringing the total to 114.

“This is a turning point. Our disease control process needs to become faster to keep up. We are doing our best to contain infected people so they won’t spread the disease,” said Dr Thanarak Phaliphat, Deputy Director-General of the Disease Control Department. 

Among the 32, nine attended a match on March 6 at Lumphini Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. Thai actor and boxer Matthew Deane who acted as an emcee for the match announced on social media on Friday he tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus

Three other cases included the remaining members of a group of 15 Thais who partied at nightclubs with a tourist from Hong Kong who had symptoms. The tourist left Thailand in early March. 

Among the new cases were five people who visited the same nightclubs in central Bangkok and tested positive, according to the Public Health Ministry. 

Three immigration officers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport were also confirmed infected

Two people who were in contact with a restaurant owner were also positive cases, health officials said, although it was not made clear if they were referring to the 36-year-old Singaporean man who owns Hawaiian restaurant Ohana Poke in Bangkok who tested positive for the coronavirus and is being treated at a government facility. 

A total of 51 other people in connection with the new cases are being tested. 

Separately, 83 Thais who flew back from Italy early on Sunday have been isolated. Six who had flu-like symptoms have been sent to hospital, while the rest have been put under 14-day quarantine, officials said. 

 

Among the confirmed 114 cases, one has died and 37 have been discharged. On Saturday, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the government is considering closing nightclubs.