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Thailand reports biggest daily jump of 32 new infections

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The Thai health authorities yesterday announced 32 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily jump to date, bringing the total to 114.

“This is a turning point. Our disease control process needs to become faster to keep up. We are doing our best to contain infected people so they won’t spread the disease,” said Dr Thanarak Phaliphat, deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department.

Among the 32, nine attended a match on March 6 at Lumphini Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. Thai actor and boxer Matthew Deane, who acted as an emcee for the match, had announced on social media last Friday that he tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Three other cases were the remaining members of a group of 15 Thais who partied at nightclubs with a tourist from Hong Kong who had symptoms. The tourist left Thailand early this month.

Also among the new cases were five people who visited the same nightclubs in central Bangkok and tested positive, according to the Public Health Ministry.

Three immigration officers at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport were also confirmed infected.

Two people who were in contact with a restaurant owner also tested positive, health officials said.

The restaurant owner in question is believed to be the 36-year-old Singaporean owner of Hawaiian restaurant Ohana Poke in Bangkok who tested positive earlier and is being treated at a government facility, as it was the only case referred to as a business owner. However, the identity and nationality of the person have not been confirmed by the ministry.

A total of 51 other people are being tested in connection with the new cases.

Separately, 83 Thais who flew back from Italy early yesterday have been isolated. Six who had flu-like symptoms have been sent to hospital, while the rest have been put under 14-day quarantine, officials said.

Among the confirmed 114 cases, one has died and 37 have been discharged.

Last Saturday, Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the government is considering closing nightclubs.

Health Ministry officials also said they will intensify hygiene inspections at crowded places such as public transport hubs, supermarkets, restaurants and religious places.

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