Bangkok to close schools for two weeks as number of COVID-19 cases rise

Bangkok: The Thai capital of Bangkok will close all schools for two weeks after the New Year holiday as it tightens measures to control a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the city said on Friday.

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Thailand confirmed 279 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with the majority of them linked to a cluster among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon province south of Bangkok, and another cluster linked to illegal gambling dens that started in the eastern province of Rayong.

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These new clusters have started to spread into Bangkok, prompting the city’s administrator to tighten measures to curb the spread of the virus.

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“We begin to detect new cases linked to students and other service businesses,” said Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, the spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

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“Therefore we decided to close more places,” he said.

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All schools, daycare centres for the young and elderly, preschool and tutorial centres will be closed from January 4 to 17 while other public facilities including amusement parks, playgrounds, public baths and massage parlours will be closed starting from Saturday, he said.

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Pongsakorn also said the city is considering restrictions on eating-in at restaurants but said that more discussions were needed with the government COVID-19 taskforce on Saturday.

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Thailand recorded two new deaths from coronavirus on Friday, taking the total number of infections to 7,163 and the number of deaths to 63 since the outbreak started last January.

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The majority of the new cases resulted from local transmission of the disease while six were imported from abroad, the government COVID-19 taskforce said.

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