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Coronavirus

Thailand’s Total Number of Confirmed Virus Cases Surged Past 5,000 on Monday

December 21, 2020

BANGKOK — Thailand’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged past 5,000 on Monday as hundreds of migrant workers tested positive for the disease.

Thailand has been one of several Southeast Asian countries that had been relatively unscathed by the pandemic. But on Saturday, health officials reported a daily record of 548 new cases, almost all of them among migrant workers in the seafood industry in Samut Sakhon province, 34 kilometers (21 miles) southwest of Bangkok, the capital.

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said his government would wait to see how the situation looked in a week’s time before deciding on any special restrictions for New Year’s celebrations.

The new cases in Samut Sakhon, most not exhibiting symptoms, were found by mass testing after a 67-year-old shrimp vendor at a seafood market tested positive.

The province has also imposed a night curfew and other travel restrictions until Jan. 3. Many public places have been ordered closed.

Most migrant workers in the province are from Myanmar, Thailand’s western neighbor, which has seen a surge in coronavirus cases beginning in August.

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