BANGKOK, March 23 (Bernama) -- Thailand has confirmed 122 new COVID-19 positive cases today, raising the total number to 721 cases.
Public Health Ministry spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said 20 of the new cases were linked to earlier infection - 16 of them had close contact with previously confirmed cases while the other four visited boxing stadiums in Nonthaburi and Nakhon Pathom.
Another 10 cases comprising four who travelled abroad while the other six worked in crowded places and had contact with foreigners, he said.
"The authorities are investigating the source of infections for the other 92 new cases.
“There is a sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in other provinces outside Bangkok as many returned home following the closure of major venues such as shopping malls, entertainment outlets and sports arenas in the capital of Thailand from yesterday to April 12,” he said at COVID-19 daily briefing here today.
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He also attributed the soaring number of new cases to the significant increase in testing for COVID-19 in the kingdom.
To date, Thailand reported one fatality while fifty-two patients have been discharged and 668 remain hospitalised with seven of them in critical condition.
Meanwhile, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Mahidol University Prof Dr Prasit Watanapa warned the number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand could hit 350,000 and record 7,000 deaths by April 15 if the number of new cases rose more than 20 per cent daily.
At present, the number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand rose 33 per cent daily, he was quoted saying by Bangkok Post.
Prasit added that if the number of patients in critical condition reached 17,000, it would overwhelm the country’s medical resources.
“The increase of local cases must be limited at 20 per cent or 32.7 new cases a day. To achieve this, people must stay home and practice social distancing. We must practice social distancing and the number of new cases will start to fall in four weeks,” he said.
He estimated the outbreak would continue for about nine months in the kingdom.
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