BANGKOK — Kickboxing aficionados came from all over Thailand to attend a major Muay Thai match at Bangkok’s indoor Lumpini Stadium on March 6. Dozens or more went home unknowingly carrying the coronavirus. The wayward boxing fans led an inevitable rise in infections this month that forced the government to abandon its less than sturdy approach to combating COVID-19 that has failed to inspire public confidence. As of Friday, confirmed cases from three boxing stadiums in Bangkok totaled 72, more than a fifth of the national toll of 322. An actor, a major-general, a politician, a boxing trainer and a slew of ordinary fans are among the coronavirus cases from the March 6 event. It’s feared hundreds more in all corners of the country could be viral time bombs. Health officials take the threat seriously. “The more people who report themselves, the easier it is for us to track down others with the virus before it’s too late.” said Dr. Thaveesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the Public Health Ministry. But even as Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha this past week announced measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 — including postponing a major three-day holiday, shutting down schools and allowing provincial


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