THE SONGKRAN PARTY IN THAILAND HAS NEVER STARTED SO BAD
A day before the start of the traditional Songkran New Year festival, Thailand registered the highest number of new corona infections since the pandemic started Monday. 985 new cases were reported within 24 hours, almost all of which were locally transmitted, Thai authorities reported.
The worst hit are Chiang Mai in the north and the capital Bangkok, the Bangkok Post newspaper reports. Most of the cases are said to be the UK variant of the virus, which is considered significantly more contagious. So far, the Southeast Asian country with its 70 million inhabitants had come through the crisis relatively lightly: a total of 33,600 cases were reported, 97 people died in connection with Covid-19.
The government now fears the virus will spread through the Songkran festival, which runs from today through Thursday. During the biggest festival of the year, many Thais return to their hometown and celebrate the New Year with their families.
However, the noisy water fights that characterize the celebrations are prohibited. Last week, authorities announced that they would close all entertainment venues in Bangkok and 40 other provinces for two weeks. Bars, pubs, clubs and karaoke bars are affected. Most new cases of infection are said to be related to entertainment venues in the hospitality industry.