Rayong Casino Worker is 1st Virus Death Since New Outbreak Began

A woman receives a coronavirus test in Rayong province on Dec. 27, 2020.

BANGKOK — Thailand reported the first death associated with the coronavirus since the new wave of outbreak struck a little over a week ago.

Thailand’s 61st coronavirus fatality was a 45-year-old employee of an illegal gambling den in Rayong province, who also had heart disease and diabetes, deputy health minister Satit Pituthecha announced on his Facebook. The patient tested positive for infection on Sunday before he was rushed to a hospital when he had difficulty breathing this morning.

“New fatality reported at Rayong Hospital,” Satit wrote. “The 45-year-old man had an existing condition of ischemic heart disease and was considered at risk since he worked at the gambling den.”

His death is yet to be confirmed by the government’s pandemic response center.


Health authorities identified Rayong as one of the two clusters in the ongoing outbreak.

The province reported 56 new cases on Monday, raising the total tally of confirmed cases to 141. Officials said most of the cases were traced back to the suspected casino near the provincial bus terminal. Minister Satit said the man worked as a traffic attendant at the gambling den.


The last virus death in Thailand was reported in November, in which the victim was identified as a 66-year-old man who had diabetes and hypertension as pre-existing conditions.

The government’s pandemic task force logged 144 new cases on Monday. A total of 2,045 infected patients are being treated at hospitals, while 4,180 patients have recovered.

The country’s cumulative case number now stands at 6,285.