48-Yr-Old Dies From COVID-19 as Bangkok Mulls Business Reopening

People wash hands before entering Wat Mangkon Kamalawat in Bangkok on Jan. 11, 2021.
People wash hands before entering Wat Mangkon Kamalawat in Bangkok on Jan. 11, 2021.

BANGKOK — Thailand recorded a new death from the coronavirus on Wednesday, just as the authorities were planning to ease business restrictions in the capital.

The latest virus victim was a 48-year-old woman who worked as a driver for migrant workers in the border province of Tak, pandemic response center spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangsan said in a news conference. The woman fell ill with pharyngitis on Dec. 16 and later tested positive for coronavirus on Dec. 27.

Her death brings the total coronavirus fatalities in Thailand to 71.

Of the 59 new infections reported today, 28 were local transmissions, 23 from active case-finding operations, and 8 were ‘imported’ cases found in state-run quarantine, Apisamai said. The country’s cumulative case of infection now stands at 12,653.

Apisamai urged members of the public to remain vigilant, even though the new wave of outbreak appears to be winding down. Today’s report marks the first double-digit rise in new case numbers this month.

“Although the number remains high, the curve is trending down,” Apisamai said. “The current situation is stable, but it’s impossible to bring it back to zero. Many establishments complained that they couldn’t hold it any longer, but I ask everyone to remain watchful.”

Meanwhile, deputy governor of Bangkok Sophon Pisutthiwong said the City Hall will discuss a possibility to reopen establishments such as spas, fitness centers, and banquet halls on Thursday.

Many businesses were shut down since Jan. 2 when the new outbreak began to spread from a shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province to the capital. The authorities also ban consumption of alcohol in restaurants and bars.

Correction: The victim tested positive for coronavirus in December, not in January as stated in the previous version of this article. We regre the errror.