Bangkok has reported a jump in COVID-19 caseloads, many involving infections in restaurant-cum-pubs and crowded communities, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC).
On Thursday the capital reported 939 new infections, including 45 imported cases. Of the locally-transmitted cases, 300 contracted the virus in restaurants that also opened as pubs, as well as from crowded communities, according to the DDC’s Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention.
The institute’s director, Dr Suthas Chottanapan, said many infections were also detected in student dormitories and police flats.
The spike in caseloads can be attributed to people visiting high-risk places where groups of five people or more were infected.
If high-risk places with a SHA+ (Safety and Health Administration) certificate were found to have acted recklessly causing infections to occur on their premises, they will be stripped of the SHA+ certification, he warned.
Dr Chottanapan advised people to avoid poorly- ventilated areas and being stuck in crowded places with others who are unmasked, especially at drinking parties. He also recommended people put off their travel plans at this time.
Although fewer people have died from COVID-19 in recent months, 61% of the fatalities nationwide from the virus were people who were either unvaccinated or had not received double doses.
In Bangkok, a total of 6,905 people have died from COVID-19 since April 2021, which marked the start of the third major outbreak. Of them, 4,266 were either unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
City Hall spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said there have been no major clusters in Bangkok to date.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has prepared at least 10,000 beds for COVID-19 patients in preparation for the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
COVID-19 patients occupy 18% of beds available in the capital. Also, vaccination points are being expanded to 129 locations including department stores to provide more booster shots.
In Khon Kaen, 34 people were caught during a police raid on a restaurant that found alcohol was being consumed.
Meanwhile, Pattaya police and investigators from the provincial Chon Buri police office inspected service venues and eateries in Pattaya on Wednesday night.
Twelve venues were found flouting COVID-19 restrictions by serving alcoholic beverages to customers after 9pm behind closed doors, according to the police team.
The owners, staff and customers were handed to Pattaya police station to face charges.