Covid-19 infections surge after Songkran festival in Thailand with 1,004 new cases & 3 deaths

Covid-19 cases surge after Songkran celebrations in Thailand

Following the end of the annual water festival, Songkran, in Thailand, the country saw an increase in Covid-19 cases, according to the Department of Disease Control (DDC) of Thailand.

Thongchai Keeratihattayakorn, the director general of the DDC, shared on Sunday (21 April) that 1,004 new Covid-19 inpatients were admitted. This equated to an average of 143 cases daily, with three deaths occurring in the week ending 20 April.

The reported deaths were in the at-risk demographic which include the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic diseases, noted Bangkok Post.

Extended Songkran brought millions of visitors

The Covid-19 surge after the Songkran festival was attributed to the large gatherings and parties that normally accompany this yearly celebration.

According to The Strait Times, Thailand is celebrating Songkran for the entire month of April 2024 to boost tourism. The longer celebration saw millions participating in the world’s largest water festival, stated Voice of America.

Source: Mono News – ข่าวโมโน on Facebook

Dr Keeratihattayakorn explained that the surge in Covid-19 after Songkran was not unexpected. However, it primarily affected Bangkok and other tourist destinations in Thailand.

Most cases linked to the JN.1 subvariant

Thai PBS World reported that the majority of cases were linked to the JN.1 strain, a subvariant of Omicron.

Source: Thaiger

Many patients experience flu-like symptoms such as coughs, sore throats, runny noses and headaches.

First discovered in Thailand in 2023, the JN.1 strain is a subvariant of Omicron and the most prevalent type in the country.

Dr Keeratihattayakorn assured that while contagious, experts don’t expect the JN.1 subvariant to cause more severe symptoms than the Omicron variant. Patients are likely to encounter mild symptoms such as a fever and a cold.


But due to such symptoms, patients may fail to isolate themselves as they are unaware of the infection.

Stick to wearing masks & washing hands often

While the variant doesn’t cause alarming symptoms, Dr Keeratihattayakorn urges people to wear masks in crowded places.

They should also wash their hands often to protect themselves from getting infected, Thai PBS World quoted him as saying.

Also read: S’pore Can Withstand Covid-19 Wave But People Should Continue Taking Vaccines: Ong Ye Kung

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Featured image adapted from Mono News – ข่าวโมโน on Facebook.

Thanawut Fasaisirinan

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