Thailand suspends travel from India as it steps up COVID-19 measures at home

Bangkok: Thailand has suspended issuing travel documents from India over concerns of imported coronavirus cases, as more venues were closed in Bangkok on Monday as part of efforts to contain a third wave of infections in the Southeast Asian nation.

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India on Monday set a global record for coronavirus cases for a fifth straight day with 352,991 new infections, as its caseload crossed 17 million and with hospitals running out of oxygen, beds and anti-viral drugs.

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The Thai embassy in New Delhi said in a statement that certificates of entry for non-Thai nationals travelling from India will be suspended until further notice.

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The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) denied reports that private jets carrying wealthy people from India were flying into Thailand.

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“We confirm that no chartered flights from Indian millionaires have sought permission from the CAAT to come to Thailand,” it said in a statement on the weekend.

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There would be four repatriation flights from India to Thailand in May, CAAT said.

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Thailand is dealing with its own outbreak and reported 2,048 new cases on Monday, bringing its total infections to 57,508 and 148 coronavirus-related fatalities.

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Of the cases reported on Monday, 901 were in Bangkok, which has been the epicentre of the outbreak.

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Parks, gyms, cinemas and day-care centres in Bangkok were ordered to shut starting on Monday until May 9.

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A 20,000 baht ($635) fine was also introduced for not wearing masks in public with new measures being considered to rein in the outbreak.

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