Thailand: Growing Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand may threaten Phuket reopening

  • A growing outbreak in Thailand, where local Covid-19 cases hit a new daily record on 11 Apr 21, threatens to undermine the nation’s plan to welcome back tourists.
  • Of the infections, 964 were domestic transmissions, including 236 in the capital Bangkok, the epicentre of an outbreak that has spread to most of Thailand’s 77 provinces.
  • Cases have spiked every so often since the start of 2021, and the latest figures suggest that the coronavirus spread has yet to be contained in the South-east Asian nation. This could jeopardise the tourism-reliant country’s efforts to boost the local travel industry.
  • At least 38 provinces have required visitors from risk areas to undertake a 14-day quarantine. Nightspots such as pubs and karaoke bars in Bangkok and 40 provinces will be closed until 23 Apr 21.
  • “The outbreak is worrying and could derail Thailand’s plans” to resume tourism activities more widely, said Jeremy Lim, director of the Leadership Institute for Global Health Transformation at the National University of Singapore. “From a public health perspective, it would be a disaster for the world if Thailand pushes through its plans regardless of the ground situation, and Thailand becomes a super spreader site.”
  • The managers of two entertainment venues in Bangkok, where many infections were reported, had been sentenced to two months in jail for Covid-19 violations, police said on 11 Apr 21.

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