Thailand reports 559 new COVID-19 cases, closing entertainment venues

©Kyodo News

Thailand reported 559 new cases of the new coronavirus Friday, with nearly 400 of them linked to entertainment venues in Bangkok, health authorities said.

Thailand's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration spokesman, Taweesin Visanuyothin, said in a press conference Friday that the government will order such entertainment facilities as bars, karaoke and massage venues in 41 provinces including Bangkok to close for two weeks from Saturday.

The order is part of the government measures to tackle the recent surge in the COVID-19 cases ahead of a long holiday period of the water-splashing Songkran festival next week when people will return to their hometowns, according to the center.

The government has urged communities nationwide to celebrate the festival under its guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. But many of the water-splashing events have been canceled already.

The country has reported over 30,860 cases as the cumulative total of the nationwide tally and 96 deaths.