Health minister to “suggest” closing bars, nightclubs

PHOTO: - Bangkok Post

Thailand’s gaffe-prone public health minister and deputy PM Anutin Charnvirakul is back at it, telling a press conference this afternoon that the Public Health Ministry will “suggest additional precautions” to the government and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday, including the temporary closure of bars and entertainment venues, including nightclubs, concerts, live music venues and other venues where people congregate.

Anutin says these measure would be to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, and would be based on zone-by-zone decisions by the government and coronavirus response teams.

Only a day after his Twitter account was made inactive, ostensibly as a result of a tweet making disparaging and xenophobic comments about ‘white’ foreigners (farang), the minister said he will make the suggestions as many people are “not listening to rules being set for self quarantine,” both foreigners and Thai nationals returning from foreign countries, and are going to bars and nightclubs, potentially exposing hundreds to the virus.

He stressed that Thailand remains at Stage 2 of the outbreak and has no sign of true community spread at this time, but said he wants to ensure the country does not develop the problems issues faced by China, the US and Europe, by taking “proper precautions.”

He did not specify which zones, areas or cities would be at risk of a potential bar and nightlife closure.

Anutin announced several other measures will be suggested to the PM, to include potential limitation of travel for Songkran and enforced cancellation of private cultural and local festivals.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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