The public health ministry has announced another 29 Covid-related deaths and 3,277 new infections for Saturday. 892 of today’s cases have been from Thai prisons, an ongoing source of infections where around 22,000+ inmates have now been detected as new Covid cases.

• Meanwhile the Thai Justice Ministry says the start of a vaccine rollout in the overcrowded prisons started on Thursday.

Thepsuthin Somsak urged the ministry’s Department of Corrections to distribute vaccines to all prisons, to ensure that all officials and inmates receive doses. Prisons in provinces with a high infection risk will be first on the list for vaccine delivery.

He said the move was to “comply with human rights standards”.

• Phuket suffered its fourth Covid-related death yesterday. The island has had 677 infections logged since April 3 when the so-called third wave arrived.

• Thailand’s Education Ministry says the first semester of the 2021 academic year “will go ahead on June 14 and will not be postponed again”.

Trinuch Thienthong says the ministry has tasked all schools with preparing for the reopening on Monday and adjusting their teaching methods based on on-site, on-demand, online, on-hand or on-air, to suit the situation in their respective areas.

She said schools which choose the on-site approach “must prioritise the protection of students from Covid-19 and must provide necessary facilities, such as hand-washing stations and spaced seating in classrooms”.

On-site learning is will NOT be permitted at schools in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan. Schools in these provinces are free to adopt online learning or resort to on-air education, according to the Minister.

• Thailand’s Department of Medical Sciences reports that almost 90% of Thailand’s Covid cases are of the Alpha variant, first detected in the UK.

DMS Director-General Supakit Sirilak said studies of 4,185 cases in Thailand, conducted in collaboration with university laboratories from April to June, found that the Alpha variant had infected by far the most people, 3,703 or 88.48%. Just 348 cases, or 8.32%, were found to be of the Delta variant, first detected in India.

“98 cases, or 2.34%, were B.1 (dade G), B.1 (dade GH), B.1.1.1 (dade GR), first found in China. Also, 26 cases, or 0.62%, were of the Beta variant, first found in Africa, and the rest, 10 cases or 0.24%, were of the B.1.524 variant.”

(Source: – The Thaiger)