A dharma practice centre in Chiang Mai has been shut down after 50 nuns there contracted COVID-19, said the provincial public health office.
Chiang Mai public health office closed the centre in Muang district for 14 days from Saturday after 50 Buddhist nuns there tested positive for COVID-19.
The office also asked people who took part in the activities at the centre in tambon Pa Daet’s Mae Kha Noi village from 7th April to undergo a test at the field hospital set up at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Meanwhile, Weeraphan Dee-on, deputy Chiang Mai governor, has ordered a probe after staff found the centre, which was registered to provide dharma training, was also providing other services, possibly without permission.
The services include traditional treatments of some diseases free of charge, such as herniated disc, knee pain and tendinitis.
The first 20 patients linked to the dharma meditation centre cluster have been in care since Friday. As of yesterday, the number of new infections with links to the cluster rose to 34.
Also in Chiang Mai, Yot Khunyotying, chief of Doi Saket district public health office, said another field hospital was up and running in tambon Mae Kue municipality on Friday to treat COVID-19 sufferers who are mostly children, teachers and parents in the area.
Mr Dee-on, meanwhile, said new daily cases in Chiang Mai now stand at 151, and an investigation into clusters linked to the dharma meditation centre, a nursery in Doi Saket district and a nursery in Muang district, showed most patients contracted COVID-19 from social activities before the virus spread quickly.
Three other clusters earlier emerged in the province, in which 45 people fell ill.
The first cluster was detected at a company where 13 workers in the same division were infected.
The virus is suspected to have been caught by one of the workers who frequented an entertainment venue at the onset of the third outbreak early this month.
The worker, who was asymptomatic and had no idea he had the virus, went to work as usual, took meals with colleagues and attended meetings at the company.
The second cluster originated at a funeral in Om Koi district. An infected person participated in the rite and subsequently passed the virus to seven other people. About 200 people in the community are in the at-risk group and they will be tested.
The third cluster occurred at a party in a direct-sales firm in the province where 25 COVID-19 cases were reported.