Thailand confirms 46 new Covid-19 cases; PM Prayut hints at further curbs

There were seven imported cases from abroad. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BANGKOK (REUTERS, THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Thailand confirmed 46 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday (Dec 23), of which 39 were locally transmitted cases found in several different provinces, the public health ministry said.

The infections were reported in 17 provinces. There were seven imported cases from abroad, Dr Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the country's Covid-19 task force, told a briefing.

There were no reports of new infections among migrant workers linked to the south-west province of Samut Sakhon , where Thailand's coronavirus worst outbreak yet was confirmed at the weekend.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged all Thais to join forces to overcome the latest Covid-19 outbreak, but hinted that further disease controls would be imposed.

Addressing the nation in a televised appearance, the premier said the fresh outbreak in Samut Sakhon had been tackled with stringent measures. The outbreak has so far spawned more than 1,000 cases.

Mr Prayut added that the virus crisis is now growing around the world. This would impact the global economic recovery and, in turn, affect Thailand's economic revival, he said.

The global situation also meant that Thailand would have to maintain entry restrictions for foreign travellers to curb transmission of the disease.

The authorities would keep a close watch on airports and other access points, including trains, buses, boats and natural border crossings, said Mr Prayut.

He added that additional stringent measures might be needed to handle the situation. New Year events may also face extra controls or even cancellation.

He said gangs who trafficked migrant workers must be eradicated, regardless of whether state officials were involved.

The Prime Minister also vowed to do his best to deliver vaccines to all Thais.

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