Medical workers wait to take Covid-19 swab tests from international passengers arriving for the “Phuket Sandbox” tourism scheme that allows vaccinated visitors at Phuket International Airport in Phuket on July 1, 2021. ( AFP / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA)

False claim circulates that Thailand tops global data for new Covid-19 cases on June 28

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As Thailand grappled with its worst-ever Covid-19 wave, Facebook and Twitter posts shared hundreds of times claimed that the kingdom ranked highest in the world for new coronavirus cases on June 28, 2021. The claim is false; at least three other countries, including Brazil, India, and the United States had more new Covid-19 cases than Thailand on that day, according to the data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The claim was shared here on June 28, 2021 on a Facebook page with more than 40,000 followers.

The post shows a ranking of ten countries based on the number of new Covid-19 cases, with Thailand listed at the top with 5,406 new cases and 22 new deaths, followed by Mexico and Mongolia.

The Thai-language post's caption reads: "Today, we have the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world. Are you proud?"

Screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on July 5, 2021

The figures appear to have been taken from worldometers.info, which collects statistics on various fields such as populations, health, and economics.

On June 28, 2021, Thailand's Ministry of Public Health reported 5,406 Covid-19 cases and 22 deaths. The kingdom's total tally was recorded at 289,233 cases and 2,276 deaths as of July 5, 2021.

The same screenshot of the data table was also shared here and here on Facebook and here on Twitter.

However, the claim is false. Thailand did not report the highest new Covid-19 cases in the world on June 28, 2021.

According to this Covid-19 dashboard from World Health Organization (WHO), there were at least three countries that reported more new Covid-19 cases than Thailand on that day.

The United States reported 8,426 new Covid-19 cases on June 28, while India saw 46,148 and Brazil reported 64,134 fresh cases that day.

Screenshot of WHO statistics
Screenshot of WHO statistics
Screenshot of WHO statistics

The data map on the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center website also shows countries with higher Covid-19 daily cases than Thailand on June 28.

On July 1, Thailand welcomed the first group of international travellers in Phuket under the quarantine-free scheme as it tried to reboot its battered tourism industry while also enduring its worst coronavirus outbreak, AFP reported.

COVID-19