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Thailand to shut bars, schools to curb COVID-19 outbreak


Thai authorities have ordered the closure of bars, schools and entertainment venues in an effort to curb the latest Coronavirus outbreak, which has led to record numbers of new daily infections.

Taweesin Visanuyothin, the spokesperson for the government’s Coronavirus task force, announced on Friday that the new measures also include a ban on drinking alcohol in restaurants.

The measures would become effective starting on Sunday.

Taweesin said that although a travel ban has not been imposed, people were encouraged to refrain from leaving their homes between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Shopping malls and fitness gyms have been ordered to start closing by 9 p.m.

Restaurants were also ordered to stop serving in-house customers by 9 p.m. and stop takeaway orders by 11 p.m.

Taweesin said the new measures would be enforced for two weeks, after which officials would evaluate whether they needed to step up.

Thailand on Friday saw its fifth record daily number of new Coronavirus cases this week, with 1,582 new cases.

The southeast Asian country, with a population of around 70 million, has seen a total of 39,038 Coronavirus cases with 97 deaths.

Officials have said that the latest outbreak, which included the more contagious variant of the virus first discovered in Britain, started spreading in nightclubs in Bangkok.