BANGKOK — Thailand reported two additional deaths related to the coronavirus and 28 more cases of infection on Monday, raising the total tally to 2,579.
The new victims were a 56-year-old man who had a close contact with a COVID-19 patient, and a 43-year-old man with diabetes and kidney failure, Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration said. They were the 39th and 40th people to die from the coronavirus in Thailand.
Eighteen of the 28 new cases were those who were close to individuals previously tested positive for the virus, while another group of seven patients were either infected from overseas or working in a crowded environment, Taweesin added.
He also said three more medical professionals were infected.
It is unclear how many tests were conducted each day, but Taweesin recently said about 70,000 tests were taken so far. The figure trails behind countries like the US, Italy, and South Korea.
Speaking at today’s news conference, he defended the country’s relatively low number of tests, saying that it is not economically feasible to conduct mass screening tests.
“We conducted fewer tests, so we can be economical,” Taweesin said. “We only conduct tests on those who are more vulnerable and we can find more. Our country is not rich, so we have to be frugal.”
He also urged people to comply with the government’s curfew measures. He said 820 people were arrested for breaking the curfew over the weekend, while 79 were busted for illegal social gatherings.
“Please don’t do it. The prosecution doesn’t matter much, but you risk yourself catching the virus,” Taweesin said.