BANGKOK, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's Ministry of Public Health on Monday reported 136 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases in the country to 1,524.
The ministry also reported that the rate of new infections in the provinces will soon overtake that of Bangkok city.
According to the Public Health Ministry, the contagion of the virus has spread to 59 of Thailand's 76 provinces, with most of the 1, 524 confirmed cases still in Bangkok and its vicinity, but there are signs of an increase in new cases in Phuket, Krabi, Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat, Sa Kaeo and Ubon Ratchathani.
"COVID-19 infections are rising, stay home, practice social distancing, avoid social activities, or face harsher measures like mandatory home confinement," warned Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Monday.
Meanwhile, in Thailand's Southern Province of Phuket, there are currently 41 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 298 people in quarantine, including 37 foreigners.
An 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. curfew is in effect and all beaches and public parks are off-limits.
Lockdowns have also been imposed in Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, where people are forbidden to travel into or out of the province without official permission.
Dr. Thaveesilp Wissanuyothing, spokesman for Thailand's Command Centre for the Management of the COVID Situation, said on Monday that since the imposition of the state of emergency last Saturday, many people had been staying at home.
The spokesman said there had been a 45.58 percent drop in the use of public buses, a 41.32 percent reduction in the use of private cars, a 58.63 percent drop in the number of commuters using mass transit and a 64.67 percent drop in train travel.
"On March 27th and 28th, about 71 percent of Thais avoided crowded places and 67.9 percent practiced social distancing. However, the figures are not yet high enough, we need to be more pro-active. I urge all to stay home."