By Linda Khoo Hui Li

BANGKOK, Oct 1  — Though the number of new COVID-19 cases in Thailand dropped below the 12,000 mark on Friday, Thai Health authorities have raised concerns on the surge in new COVID-19 cases and fatalities in southern provinces.

Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) assistant spokesperson Dr Apisamai Srirangsan said the new cases in southern region contributed to about 17 per cent of new cases nationwide.

Over the last 24 hours, she said Thailand recorded 11,754 new COVID-19 cases and 123 fatalities, bringing the total infections in the kingdom to 1,603,475 cases and 16,727 deaths to date.

“Several southern provinces were listed under top 10 provinces for new cases (over the last 24 hours) including Narathiwat reporting 515 new cases, Songkhla (415), Pattani (406), Nakhon Si Thammarat (378).

“A total of 26 fatalities have been reported in the southern region,” she said at COVID-19 briefing here today.  

Apisamai said among factors contributing to the surge of new cases in southern provinces including many  not wearing face masks as well as gathering and drinking in public.

“Cooperation from the public is vital to curb the spread of COVID-19,” she said.

A senior public health officer attached to the southern region, Dr Suthep Phetmak said large gatherings and a low vaccination rate were the primary concerns in the region.

“The dominant strain in the southern region is Alpha which is about 58 per cent followed by Delta (38 per cent) and remaining cases are related to Beta,” he said.

Meanwhile, starting today, Thailand halved its 14-day mandatory quarantine to seven days for fully vaccinated visitors.

Unvaccinated travelers arriving by air and sea would be subjected to 10-day quarantine and those arriving by land would undergo 14-day quarantine.

Besides that, Thailand is also easing more restrictions and allowing more businesses as well as services to reopen in Bangkok and 28 provinces at maximum and strict controlled areas or “dark red zones” starting today. 

The nightly curfew is reduced by one hour from 10 pm to 4 am, effective today. 




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