Thailand logged a record 312 new Covid-19 fatalities — substantially more than the previous high of 239 — and 20,515 new cases over the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry reported on Wednesday morning.
During the 24-hour period, 22,682 Covid-19 patients recovered and were discharged from hospitals
An official said later that 100 of the deaths actually occurred previously.
Dr Chawetsan Namwat, emergency health hazard and disease control director at the Department of Disease Control, said that the 312 new fatalities included 100 previously unconfirmed deaths that had occurred earlier this month and before.
The number of people who died of Covid-19 on Tuesday alone was actually 212, he said.
Apisamai Srirangson, assistant spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said in the afternoon briefing that the 312 fatalities ranged from 28-102 years old.
Five were Myanmar nationals, one was Cambodian, one British and the remaining 305 Thai. Sixty-two percent were elderly people and 24% had chronic diseases.
Three died at home in Lop Buri province, 139 either lived in or visited outbreak areas, 90 got the virus from acquaintances and 47 contracted it from family members.
Bangkok deaths drop, but still lead provinces
Bangkok still had the most new fatalities – 78 – while a further 70 were recorded in the adjacent provinces of Samut Prakan (25), Pathum Thani (18), Samut Sakhon (17), Nakhon Pathom (6) and Nonthaburi (4).
“In early August, new fatalities in Bangkok slowed down, possibly because of accelerated vaccinations among elderly people and those with seven chronic diseases,” Dr Apisamai said.
Central plain provinces reported 84 new fatalities – in Lop Buri (25), Chon Buri (20), Saraburi (10), Ayutthaya (6), Sing Buri (4), Nakhon Nayok (4), Kanchanaburi (4), Ratchaburi (3), Phetchaburi (2), Rayong (2), Ang Thong (1), Prachuap Khiri Khan (1), Chachoengsao (1) and Sa Kaeo (1).
The Northeast logged 37 new deaths – in Nakhon Ratchasima (7), Roi Et (7), Kalasin (5), Surin (4), Buri Ram (3), Sakon Nakhon (2), Chaiyaphum (2), Si Sa Ket (2), Yasothon (2), Khon Kaen (1), Nong Bua Lam Phu (1) and Amnat Charoen (1).
The North reported 27 new deaths – in Kamphaeng Phet (6), Tak (5), Phetchabun (5), Nakhon Sawan (4), Nan (2), Phayao (2), Lampang (1), Phitsanulok (1) and Uthai Thani (1).
The South had 16 new fatalities – in Songkhla (5), Pattani (2), Narathiwat (1), Nakhon Si Thammarat (3), Ranong (1), Surat Thani (1), Chumphon (1), Phuket (1) and Phatthalung (1).
The 20,515 new cases consisted of 20,250 local infections, 248 among prison inmates and 17 imported cases.
Actual caseload probably much higher
Of the local infections, 16,520 were confirmed at hospitals and 3,730 via mass testing.
The figures excluded 7,210 positive cases detected with antigen tests which had yet to be confirmed, Dr Apisamai said.
Greater Bangkok logged 8,961 new cases and 123 new deaths. Four southern border provinces had 864 new cases and eight new deaths. The remaining 10,425 new cases and 176 new fatalities were spread around the 67 remaining provinces. Prisons reported 248 new cases and five more deaths.
Bangkok alone recorded 4,154 new cases, followed by 1,820 in Samut Sakhon, 1,335 in Samut Prakan, 1,206 in Chon Buri, 756 in Nonthaburi, 719 in Nakhon Ratchasima, 632 in Chachoengsao, 471 in Si Sa Ket, 468 in Nakhon Pathom and 437 in Ayutthaya.
Covid-19 was spreading at workplaces and workers were transmitting it to family members, Dr Apisamai said. To counter this, medical workers were speeding up antigen tests among workers.
Daily US cases top 200,000
On Tuesday, 207,553 people received treatment for Covid-19 at hospitals. Of them, 5,458 were seriously ill and 1,155 were dependent on ventilators.
Since April 1, around when the third wave of Covid-19 began, there have been 940,094 Covid-19 patients, 725,693 of whom have recovered.
Since the pandemic started early last year, authorities have confirmed 968,957 Covid-19 cases, 753,119 of whom recovered.
The death toll was at 8,191 the third wave and 8,285 from the beginning of the pandemic early last year.
The previous high of daily Covid-19 fatalities was at 239 on Tuesday, when there were 20,128 new cases.
Global Covid-19 cases rose by 645,515 in 24 hours to 209.38 million. The worldwide death toll went up by 9,907 to 4.39 million. The United States had the most cases at 37.89 million, up 137,307, and the most deaths at 640,093, up 873.
Dr Apisamai said that new daily cases in the US had been 20,000-30,000 but were currently about 100,000 (actually 244,730 on Tuesday). New cases in the United Kingdom, France and Germany were also increasing, she said.
UK logged 26,852 new cases for a total of 6.32 million cases, France 28,114 new cases for 6.50 million and Germany 5,382 new cases for 3.84 million. She attributed the rise to eased controls and football matches.
The Delta variant of Covid-19 was dominant globally, she said