BANGKOK • Thailand's Health Ministry reported a new daily record of 31 Covid-19 deaths, as the South-east Asian country grapples with a third wave of infections.
After managing to largely contain the spread of the virus for around a year using shutdowns and strict border controls, Thailand faced a spike in cases last month that is proving harder to control and putting pressure on parts of the medical system.
The ministry reported 2,041 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, taking the country's total to 71,025 since the pandemic began last year. The total number of deaths now stands at 276.
According to The Nation, the ages of those who succumbed to the virus ranged from 31 to 83. All of them reportedly suffered from chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
The new outbreak, which includes the highly transmissible B117 variant first detected in Britain, has accounted for more than half of total cases and deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Thailand aims to have 70 per cent of its population vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the year, though the roll-out of vaccines has been slower compared with some neighbouring countries.
Nearly 1.5 million people - mostly medical workers and vulnerable people - have been vaccinated using imported doses of vaccines made by AstraZeneca and China's Sinovac.
Registration for vaccinations for the general public began on Saturday, with about 16 million people aged over 60 or those with pre-existing medical conditions getting priority.
Mass inoculations are set to begin next month, when the first batch of a targeted 61 million locally manufactured AstraZeneca doses becomes available.
Percentage of its population that Thailand aims to vaccinate against Covid-19 by the end of the year, though the roll-out of vaccines has been slower compared with some neighbouring countries.