Thailand is tightening virus containment measures, imposing a ban on gatherings of more than five people and non-essential travel, along with an overnight curfew to quell a worsening Covid-19 outbreak. This comes as the Southeast Asian country reported a record high of 9,418 community infections on Sunday, a day after recording a record of 91 new daily coronavirus fatalities. Thailand has had 336,371 confirmed infections and 2,711 deaths since the pandemic began last year. The Thai health ministry on Sunday said more than 600 medical workers who received two doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine have been infected with Covid-19, as authorities weigh giving booster doses to raise immunity Of the 677,348 medical personnel who received two doses of Sinovac, 618 became infected, health ministry data from April to July showed. A nurse has died and another medical worker is in critical condition. An expert panel has recommended a third dose to trigger immunity for medical workers who are at risk, senior health official Sopon Iamsirithawon, told a news briefing on Sunday. “This will be a different vaccine, either viral vector AstraZeneca or an mRNA vaccine, which Thailand will be receiving in the near term,” he said, adding that the recommendation will be considered on Monday. Most Thailand’s medical and frontline workers were given Sinovac’s shots after February with the viral vector vaccine from AstraZeneca arriving in June. Thailand is expecting a donation of 1.5 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from the United States later this month and has ordered 20 million doses that will be delivered after October. Neighbouring Indonesia, which has also heavily relied on Sinovac, said on Friday it would give the Moderna vaccine as boosters to medical workers. Meanwhile, the restrictions on movements from 9pm to 4am will cover the Bangkok metropolitan area and four southern provinces with the highest infections, according to a statement published in the country’s Royal Gazette on Saturday. Limited services and operating hours for restaurants and shopping malls, closures of spas and beauty clinics as well as a ban on large gatherings will be implemented in Bangkok and surrounding districts. The measures take effect from Monday until at least July 25, the statement said. The Southeast Asian country, the first outside China to report a Covid-19 infection, has struggled to stem the pandemic after its initial success in combating the virus last year, when it imposed a hard lockdown. Still, the curbs crippled Thailand’s all-important tourism industry and plunged the economy into its worst performance in more than two decades. “Investors are paying close attention to three things: the outbreak situation and vaccination progress, tourism reopening, and fiscal policies,” said Tim Leelahaphan, an economist at Standard Chartered Plc in Bangkok. “But any reopening or stimulus package can’t happen when there’s an outbreak. These restrictions are tools to contain the outbreak, and are prerequisites for tourism and fiscal stimulus.” Government agencies are working on measures to compensate those affected by the latest curbs and will submit recommendations to the cabinet soon, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said on Saturday. Thailand’s national Covid-19 task force, led by Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, ordered schools in the Bangkok metropolitan area to move classes online. It also made it mandatory for government employees in non-essential services to work from home, while appealing to the private sector to do the same. While non-essential services in shopping malls and department stores must close, pharmacies, supermarkets and banks can operate within the premises until 8pm. Public parks may also remain open until 8pm.