JAKARTA, Indonesia 

Thailand reported a record 1,582 COVID-19 cases on Friday after this week’s celebration of the traditional Thai New Year or Songkran festival.

The new cases marked the highest number in a single day since the start of the pandemic and the fifth record daily tally this week.

The Buddhist-majority country’s COVID-19 Situation Administration Center said the new cases took the total number of infections to 39,038, with deaths remaining at 97.

By province, Bangkok logged 312 new cases, Chiang Mai 272, Chon Buri 111, Prachuap Khiri Khan 100, Songkhla 89, and Lampang 59.

Despite the numbers, the government is confident it can overcome the current COVID-19 crisis without needing a nationwide lockdown, Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul said on Thursday.

“We have seen no point in imposing a lockdown for the time being,” Chanvirakul said after a meeting of the national committee on communicable diseases.

Chanvirakul said the current cycle of disease is only two weeks old and that the government is getting good cooperation from all stakeholders.

“What we need to see now is less mobility. If we can do it, we will definitely see a declining number of new infections by next month,” he added.

On Wednesday, Thailand’s Public Health Ministry urged people living in high-risk areas to work from home or stay put for two weeks to curtail the upward trajectory of COVID-19 infections, expected to skyrocket in the wake of the festival.

The ministry has designated high-risk areas as red zones in nine provinces, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, Sa Kaeo, and Narathiwat.

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