Thailand faces growing outbreak ahead of New Year travel

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities are struggling to contain a growing coronavirus outbreak just days before the country’s traditional Songkran New Year’s holiday, when millions of people travel. Health officials reported 559 new infections Friday, following increases over the previous two days. The government response has so far centered on closures of nightlife venues in 41 provinces for two weeks. The outbreak is increasing criticism of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s handling of the pandemic. Critics say the vaccination drive is too slow _ less than 1% have gotten their jabs _ and support for people whose livelihoods have been wiped out by the pandemic is lacking. The chief epidemiologist warned there could be 10,000 cases per day if no measures are taken.