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Thailand sees second day of record high virus deaths

FILE PHOTO: People line up to receive their vaccine against coronavirus (COVID-19) at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand April 28, 2021. REUTERS / Jorge Silva

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s Ministry of Health on Sunday reported 1,940 new cases of coronavirus, while deaths hit 21 for another day, the highest daily number of deaths since the pandemic began.

Thailand largely controlled the virus early in the pandemic through shutdowns and strict border controls. But a deadly third wave, beginning in early April, includes the highly transmissible B.1

.1.7 variant and has accounted for about half of its total cases and deaths.

Sunday’s figures brought the country’s total confirmed infections since the pandemic last year to 68,984. The total deaths are now 245.

Thailand has so far vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people, mostly medical workers and vulnerable people, using imported doses of China’s Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.

A mass vaccination program starts in June with locally produced AstraZeneca doses. Vaccine registration opened to the public over the weekend with the goal of inoculating 70 percent of the country’s adults of more than 66 million people.

Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Edited by Christian Schmollinger and Tom Hogue

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