Thailand raised its COVID-19 alert level on Thursday following rising infections prompted by the spread of the Omicron version of the coronavirus, a senior health official said.
The change from level three to four sets out an excuse for possible measures, such as closing off high-risk areas and banning domestic travel or public gatherings.
“Thailand has entered a new wave of infections, where new cases are increasing rapidly,” said Kittipham Vongarajit, permanent secretary of the health ministry.
“Level four means we can close off high-risk places and announce more measures.”
The move comes amid a sharp increase in daily infections since the beginning of the year.
Thailand reported 5,775 new cases on Thursday, a 48% increase from the previous day and nearly double the number on January 1.
The Southeast Asian country has vaccinated about 69.1% of the estimated 72 million people living in the country with two doses, but only 10.9% have received booster shots.