Thailand again extends state of emergency

Thailand is again extending its state of emergency, until the end of next month.

This is the ninth extension since the government declared the emergency in March of last year. The latest decision comes as the country faces a surge in coronavirus cases on the heels of a fresh outbreak last month.

The Thai government confirmed 527 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the country's total to over 8,900. The number has doubled in about half a month.

While the authorities introduced new regulations for Bangkok and 27 provinces on Monday, they have announced even stricter measures for 5 provinces where the infections are particularly widespread. The measures include setting up more checkpoints and inspecting all vehicles crossing provincial borders.

On most days in Thailand since last May, no new cases had been reported except for foreign visitors and Thai returnees, thanks to the government's strict anti-virus measures.

But the new cluster infections that broke out last month swelled the number of new cases. These include infections among Myanmar migrant workers at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon near Bangkok in one of the 5 provinces designated on Tuesday.