Thailand is seeing a record number of new daily coronavirus infections, apparently driven by cases emerging in jails around the country.
The Southeast Asian country on Monday reported 9,635 new coronavirus cases -- the highest number of new infections since the pandemic began, according to Thailand's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Of those cases, 6,853 were found in eight prisons and detention facilities across the country, the CCSA said.
As of 6:00 p.m. (7:00 a.m. ET) on Sunday, a total of 10,748 inmates and prison staff across the facilities had been found to be infected with Covid-19 between May 1 and 16, according to Thailand’s Communicable Disease Department.
More than 300,000 inmates are held in prisons across Thailand. CNN cannot yet confirm when the prison cases emerged.
International rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a statement on Thursday warning the country's “overcrowded prisons and detention facilities are at grave risk from Covid-19 outbreaks.”
“The Thai government needs to be forthright about the Covid-19 outbreaks in its prison system and how it intends to avoid disastrous consequences for those held,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW.
“Many people warned the Thai authorities that they needed to act proactively to avoid such a situation, but it seems they got caught sleeping at the switch.”
As of Monday, Thailand had recorded 111,082 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began and the total number of fatalities stands at 614, according to the CCSA.
At least 1,843 cases from Monday’s new infections were found in Bangkok, the CCSA said. Most of the new cases found in the capital on Monday are from housing facilities at construction sites, it added.