Thailand's new COVID-19 cases climb over 20,000, biggest 1-day gain

Kyodo News

Posted at Aug 04 2021 04:03 PM

Health-care workers move a dead body to a container after a hospital morgue overwhelmed by COVID-19 deaths began to store bodies in refrigerated containers, as the country struggles to deal with its biggest outbreak to date, in Pathum Thani, Thailand July 31, 2021. Soe Zeya Tun, Reuters/File

BANGKOK— Thailand on Wednesday reported 20,200 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic early last year, with a record single-day death tally of 188.

To date, the total number of infections has reached 672,385, with 5,503 fatalities.

Like many countries worldwide, the current wave of infections in Thailand has been fueled by the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Less than 3 weeks ago, on July 17, daily new cases in the Southeast Asian country exceeded 10,000 for the first time.

Following the surge, the government has extended its emergency decree until the end of September. Rising cases have caused a shortage of available hospital beds, with some patients dying in their homes after being infected.

About 20 percent of the population, or 14.2 million people, have received at least 1 dose of coronavirus vaccines as the government seeks to accelerate its inoculation drive.

Meanwhile, anti-government protesters have staged gatherings to demand that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government step down, accusing the government of mismanaging its COVID-19 response.