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Thailand extends ban on passenger flights

Thailand has extended a ban on incoming passenger flights until the end of April in a bid to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s aviation body said on Wednesday.

The ban was first introduced on April 4, and the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has already extended it in once until April 18.

Since the outbreak escalated in January, Thailand has reported a total of 2,613 cases and 41 deaths, while 1,405 patients have recovered and gone home.

Thailand’s tourist industry, a major employer and foreign currency earner in the country, particularly hard.

Thailand’s economy is expected to lose 1.3 trillion baht ($A62 billion), almost all of it in the tourist sector, due to the initial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, though that figure will increase if the crisis lasts beyond the second quarter, according to an estimate from the Thai Bankers’ Association.

Earlier this month, the country’s interior ministry said Thailand will re-open borders in 21 provinces on Saturday to allow Thais in neighbouring countries to come home, after shutting down borders in late March.

Up to 100 people will be allowed to enter per one border checkpoint per day, and they will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine, the ministry has said.

Thailand shares borders with Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

On Wednesday, Thailand reported 30 new coronavirus cases and 2 deaths on Wednesday.

Of the new cases, 19 patients were linked to previous cases, and three had no links to old cases, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

One of those infected was in state quarantine, and the cases of seven people who tested positive were being investigated.

Since the outbreak escalated in January, Thailand has reported a total of 2,643 cases and 43 fatalities, while 1,497 patients have recovered and gone home.

Originally published as Thailand extends ban on passenger flights

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