People and police officers wearing protective face masks due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, keep a social distance at a police station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand reported 109 new coronavirus cases and one death on Saturday, bringing the total to 1,245 infections and six deaths.
The new cases include 39 patients linked to previous cases, 17 new cases deemed to be imported ones, and 53 awaiting investigation, Anupong Sujariyakul, an expert in preventive medicine at the Disease Control Department, told reporters.
The government urged people to stay home and introduced a state of emergency earlier this week, banning foreigners and closing public facilities and businesses in major cities until April 30.
Essential businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies remain open, but commercial banks will be closed this weekend before they are reopen on Monday.
“If we don’t do anything, the number until end of April may exceed 3,500 cases,” Anupong said.
Bangkok has the highest total number of coronavirus cases at 534, while the southern provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani have a total of 79 cases, health ministry data showed.
Narathiwat and Pattani are in lockdown while several other provinces have issued orders to restrict the operating times of 24-hour convenience stores.
Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Stephen Coates