Dr Sukhum Karnchanapimai, permanent secretary for health, said the new cases were cluster infections.
Two were a woman, 36, and a man, 37, who went to a pub in a group of 15 people, 11 of whom were declared COVID-19 patients on Thursday (Mar 12). They were all drinking buddies, some of whom met visitors from Hong Kong last month.
The three other new patients’ infections were linked to a 27-year-old Thai woman who returned from South Korea, where she had plastic surgery, Dr Sukhum said.
One is her younger brother, aged 19. He fell sick last Saturday (Mar 7) with a cough, runny nose and phlegm. He was examined at a private hospital on Monday (Mar 9) and is being treated at a private hospital.
Another is a Thai woman, 29, who is a friend of a 27-year-old Thai returnee from South Korea being treated at Nopparat Rajathanee Hospital in Bangkok. She also fell sick last Saturday (Mar 7) with a fever and coughing, and was examined at a private hospital on Sunday (Mar 8).
The woman had earlier gone to an entertainment venue with 13 friends.
One of the friends was the other new patient, a 37-year-old man who fell sick last Monday and went to a public hospital on Tuesday with a sore throat and a runny nose.
Total COVID-19 cases have risen to 75 – of whom 35 have recovered and 39 remain at hospitals. The other patient died.
“Now Thailand is starting to see clusters of patients, and there are various generations of patients,” Dr Sukhum said.
“The Public Health Ministry will instruct the operators of the premises where patients sought services to clean their places according to our standard procedures, and will search for the other people who were in contact with these patients, to stop cluster-based transmissions,” he said.