Another protest leader contracts Covid-19 after weeks in jail as Thailand reports new daily record of 34 deaths

A nurse checks on a patient in a Covid-19 coronavirus intensive care unit in Bangkok on April 26, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Another leader from Thailand's anti-government protest movement has tested positive for the coronavirus after spending eight weeks in jail pending trial on charges of insulting the country's powerful king.

Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, who was freed on bail last week from pre-trial detention, said on her Twitter account that she was being treated in a hospital after testing positive for the virus following her release.

Two others from the protest movement, including human rights lawyer Arnon Nampa and Chukiat "Justin" Saengowng, who remain in detention, have also tested positive for Covid-19.

Panusaya said she did not have any symptoms and had tested negative while in prison on April 22. After her release, she stayed home for three days before getting tested.

Her case comes as Thailand reported a new daily record of 34 coronavirus deaths as authorities try to tackle a third wave of infections in the South-east Asian country.

The total number of fatalities now stands at 486.

Thailand's Covid-19 task force also reported 1,983 new Covid-19 cases, taking the total number of infections to 88,907 since the pandemic began last year.

Two other protesters who received bail a day earlier, including Parit "Penguin" Chiwarak, have yet to announce if they have been tested for the virus.

Parit was hospitalised two weeks ago due to deteriorating health caused by a hunger strike.

He is accused of various violations, including sedition and insulting the monarchy.

Panusaya also took part in the hunger strike with Parit.

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