BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand reported more than 500 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the country's highest daily tally.
The 548 new cases, most of them connected with an outbreak at a wholesale seafood market on the outskirts of Bangkok, come after the country saw only a small number of infections over the past several months due to strict border and quarantine controls.
Health officials said 516 of the new cases were found in connection with the outbreak at the Klang Koong shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province.
The first case at the market was confirmed on Thursday, followed by 13 more on Friday.
Samut Sakhon Gov. Veerasak Vichitsangsri said late Saturday that strict measures, including a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew, will be taken in the province to combat the outbreak. The restrictions will be in effect until Jan. 3.
Samut Sakhon is 34 kilometers (21 miles) southwest of Bangkok, the capital.
With fewer than 5,000 cases and 60 deaths, Thailand has been able to largely control the virus. Prior to this week's outbreak, there had been very few cases of local transmission in recent months, as life returned largely back to normal.
The CCSA reported the first case found at Klang Koong Market (the shrimp market) in Samut Sakorn on Dec 17. Then, they tracked down and found 13 more cases at the same market. Then, they tested 1192 alien workers related to this market, and found 516 positive cases.
All of the new infections – an unprecedented number – were linked to a 67-year-old seafood vendor who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier, Opas Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Medical Sciences said in a news conference broadcast to all TV channels on Saturday night.
The governor of Samut Sakhon province, where the new cases were found, said the
months of a only a small number of daily cases and that Thailand has managed to bring life largely back to normal thanks to strict border and quarantine controls