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Coronavirus

Bangkok Venues Close as Surge Fills Hospitals

BANGKOK — Cinemas, parks and gyms were among venues closed in Bangkok on Monday as Thailand sees its worst surge of the coronavirus pandemic.

A shortage of hospital beds, along with a failure to secure adequate coronavirus vaccine supplies, have pushed the government into imposing the new restrictions, though no nationwide lockdowns, curfews, or travel bans. Health care workers say the measures are not enough to relieve overburdened hospitals.

Thai health authorities on Monday announced 2,048 new cases and eight deaths, bringing the totals to 57,508 cases and 148 deaths. The Thai capital has seen a rapid rise in infections since early April.

The latest measure aimed at curbing the spread of the virus is a fine of up to 20,000 baht ($636) for failing to wearing face masks in indoor and outdoor areas in 48 provinces including Bangkok.

Starting Monday, 31 types of venues in the capital, including cinemas, parks and gyms, were closed for two weeks, and gatherings of more than 20 people are banned. Shopping malls and department stores may open for limited hours.

Thailand also has banned the entry of visitors coming from India, excepting its own citizens. The ban takes effect May 1.

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