Thailand, Indonesia look to buy more COVID-19 vaccines hinh anh 1Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi gave a virtual press statement regarding the arrival of the third batch of AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX Facility. (Photo: ANTARA)
Bangkok (VNA)Thailand and Indonesia have planned to buy more COVID-19 vaccines, while Singapore decided to stop accepting new entry applications for work pass holders from higher-risk countries or regions amid the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in many Southeast Asian nations.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that his country will purchase up to 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in preparation of unforeseeable emergencies as the pandemic continues to rage on in some countries.

In the immediate future, the Thai government had set a target of buying 100 million doses to inoculate 50 million out of about 70 million Thais and thus create herd immunity, he said.

As the pandemic continues to spread in the country, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has decided to extend a week of COVID-19 prevention measures to May 17, with places affected by the order including schools, entertainment venues and public parks.

Shopping malls can open until 9pm and convenience stores are allowed to shut their doors one hour later.

Thailand confirmed 2,419 new cases and 19 more deaths related to COVID-19 on May 8, lifting its total of infections and fatalities to 81,274 and 382, respectively.

In Indonesia, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi announced that the country received 1,389,600 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the multilateral COVAX Facility on May 8.

Two day earlier, Indonesia also received 55,000 doses of COVID vaccine through the mechanism, raising its total to 79.5 million doses, including 68.5 million doses of Sinovac, 6.41 million doses of AstraZeneca and 1 million doses of Sinopharm.

Meanwhile, the Manpower Ministry of Singapore said on May 7 that it will also reschedule entry into Singapore for work pass holders who had earlier obtained approval to come to the country.

Work pass holders from higher-risk places who were approved to enter Singapore before July 5 will no longer be allowed to do so, with the exception of those from the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors and migrant domestic workers.

The agency said it was making these changes during a period of heightened alert, in view of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in several countries and the emergence of new virus variants.

With 25 new cases of COVID-19 reported on May 7, the total number of infections in Singapore reached 61.311./.