3 New Virus Cases Found, Mall Tracing Site Questioned

CentralWorld on May 17, 2020.

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Thai Chana as an application. It is in fact a website.

BANGKOK — Officials said Monday three more people tested positive for the coronavirus, while questions are being raised at the efficiency of a virus tracing application touted by the authorities. 

Two co-workers in Bangkok and a saleswoman in Phuket were identified as the new patients, Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration said, though the lingering threat of the coronavirus did not deter a citywide rush to shopping malls over the weekend. 

A 29-year-old woman, a 55-year-old man, co-workers in the same office in Bangkok, were tested positive on Friday, as well as a 27-year-old saleswoman in Phuket. This brings the total tally of infected to 3,031. 


One additional person recovered from the virus, bringing the total recovered to 2,857. The number of dead still stands at 56. 

Does Tracing System Work? 

Sunday was the first day malls were allowed to reopen and the curfew pushed back from 10pm to 11pm. Visitors are required to register their information before they can enter shops and malls. 

At shops, customers must line up and scan a QR code, then check in and provide their phone number to a government website called Thai Chana. This process must be repeated for every shop they visit. They are also encouraged to register again on the way out. 

Officials said the customers must give their information so that they can be traced in the event of an outbreak. 

 A total of 2,002,897 people reportedly registered with the website as of Monday.


But a CEO of Kapook news website said people can fill in bogus phone numbers without any consequences, raising concerns that the system will not work as intended.

Poramate Minsiri, who posted about his findings online, urged the government to rely on LINE or Facebook logins instead of asking for phone numbers.