85-Yr-Old Dies from Virus; Gov’t Hints At Relaxing Lockdown

A health official in protective clothing talks to a woman at a health quarantine checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi Airport on April 16, 2020.
A health official in protective clothing talks to a woman at a health quarantine checkpoint at Suvarnabhumi Airport on April 16, 2020.

BANGKOK — The government’s response center to the coronavirus epidemic on Friday reported the 46th death in Thailand as 28 new infections are confirmed.

The latest fatality is identified as an 85-year-old woman in Chumphon province who had diabetes and hypertension prior to the infection, Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration, said. The patient fell ill after coming in close contact with an individual who previously tested positive for the virus.

“I stress once again that the eldery and those who have preexisting conditions should take extra care of themselves,” Taweesin said.

The center also reported 28 new cases today. Sixteen of them were those who were close to individuals previously diagnosed with the virus, while another group of five patients were either infected from overseas or working in a crowded environment, the spokesman said. Seven patients are being investigated for their travel histories.

As of Friday, 964 infected patients are being treated at hospitals, while 1,689 patients have recovered, Taweesin added. The country has reported 2,700 cumulative infection cases so far.

Taweesin also said that the task force is mulling over the proposal to loosen lockdown measures following a fall in the number of new cases. The new measures would allow salons and shopping malls to reopen, but they are due to be approved by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha next week, he said.

“You’re doing well. The number of new cases has fallen to double digits, so we have to reconsider the measures as a reward,” Taweesin said. “However, you must maintain the precautions you’re practicing. It has to be a new normal.”