Thailand reported a record 1,543 COVID-19 cases on Thursday amid the celebration of the traditional Thai New Year or Songkran festival that takes place on April 13-15 every year.
The new record is the sharpest increase since the start of the pandemic and the fourth record rise this week in a third wave of infections in the Southeast Asian country.
In a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand's COVID-19 Situation Administration Center said the new cases took the total number of infections to 37,453, with deaths remaining at 97.
Meanwhile, retailers and malls nationwide have been asked to close earlier at 9 p.m. local time, following the private sector's most recent bid to help curb the country's third COVID-19 outbreak.
Yol Phokasub, the president of the Thai Retailers Association (TRA), said the TRA and Thai Shopping Centre Association jointly announced to their members and trade partners nationwide that they must maximize their COVID-19 screening measures.
Both associations asked their members to close at 9 p.m., starting from Thursday until further notice.
On Wednesday, Thailand's Public Health Ministry urged people living in high-risk areas to work from home or stay put for two weeks to curtail the upward trajectory of COVID-19 infections that are expected to skyrocket after the Songkran Festival.
The ministry has designated high-risk areas as red zones in nine provinces, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Sa Kaeo, and Narathiwat.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.