Hundreds of Bangkok cops quarantined after dozens of infections hit ranks

Photo: Metropolitan Police Bureau / Facebook
Photo: Metropolitan Police Bureau / Facebook

Dozens of cops who hit a trifecta of infection vectors were among the 136 new COVID-19 cases reported Monday, health officials said.

Hundreds of police officers have been ordered to self-quarantine for two weeks after 27 metro cops were confirmed infected today, according to Lt. Col. Pakkapong Pongpetra, commander of Bangkok’s metropolitan police force.

Health officials do not know if they became ill during a recent trip to Spain, at an army-owned boxing stadium where many took ill, or while dining out in Bangkok’s Thonglor area, where another large outbreak cluster has emerged.

More than 100 people became infected early this month at a match at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium held after it was ordered to close and despite several warnings. The army said it would conduct its own internal review, a standard measure unlikely to add any public clarity or accountability.

To date, health officials have not said who patient zero was that brought the virus into the stadium.

Pakkapong said that apart from the 27 officers, 326 were ordered into self-quarantine.

The police ranks were thinned elsewhere in the capital as well.

On Sunday, Lt. Col. Somkiat Anantakarn, a deputy station chief in Bangkok’s Taling Chan area, was reported to have COVID-19. His infection, the source of which officials also said was not immediately known, sent six other cops assigned there into self-isolation for two weeks. 

Health officials announced another 136 cases and two deaths on Monday, raising the total number of known infections to 1,524 since January. Two more fatalities announced today increased the total to nine.

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