Thailand to increase COVID-19 tests on at-risk groups hinh anh 1A medical staff takes a swab sample from a monk before he goes into a state quarantine facility in Samut Prakan province. The special facility has been set aside as more than 200 monks and nuns have returned from a pilgrimage in India and New Zealand this week. (Photo:

Bangkok (VNA) -
The number of COVID-19 tests on at-risk groups, such as healthcare workers, migrants and new prisoners, is expected to double next month, in line with the Thai government's efforts to contain the virus, according to the Department of Disease Control (CDC).

The department’s chief Suwannachai Watanayingcharoenchai said the board decided that increasing the number of laboratory tests is necessary as the government plans to relax emergency measures. The department expects to be able to conduct at least 5,000 tests per one million people by next month.

He said target places include Samut Sakhon, Bangkok and three provinces in the south of the kingdom.

Suwannachai said CDC board members during the meeting discussed what steps other agencies can take to allow some businesses to reopen.

These include markets, restaurants, department stores, massage shops, gyms, spas and production houses, he added. Owners will still have to abide by social distancing rules and personal hygiene.

Suwannachai said the board will submit a plan to the Centre for the COVID-19 Situation Administration, which is chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Thailand recorded seven new COVID-19 cases on April 30, with no new deaths. The country has to date reported 2,954 patients, of whom 54 had died of the disease./.