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Bangkok temple ordered to stop handouts due to huge queues

Jack Burton

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PHOTOS: Richard Barrow

Local authorities in Bangkok have ordered local temple Wat Don Mueang to temporarily stop giving away food and water, as queues have grown to over a thousand and pictures have gone viral on social media, raising concerns over social distancing, according to the Bangkok Post and Bangkok radio station Jor Sor 100.

Photos of people gathered along Song Prapha Road for up to a kilometre went viral showing what appeared to be well over a thousand people in line for food and water being offered by the temple. The order comes as Thailand’s Supreme Patriarch asks temples across the nation to help those in need during the pandemic, which has led to hundreds, or in some cases thousands, lining up at temples for free food and water.

Millions of Thais are out of work due to closures and restrictions under the national state of emergency declared due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with hundreds of thousands of “non-essential” businesses across the country closed as part of the plan to reduce the spread of the virus. The government has said they are meeting and discussing loosening restrictions later this month, and that they understand the peoples’ plight, but they must be cautious in any reopening of the economy to avoid a second wave.

Bangkok temple ordered to stop handouts due to huge queues | News by Thaiger

Responding to massive online criticism for stopping the donations, an official in Don Mueang told reporters the closure was temporary while officials worked with the temple on proper social distancing procedures, and was not meant to stop people receiving food from charity organisations.

In Pattaya lines are reaching similar levels leading to growing calls to reopen the economy and local businesses, even on a gradual basis and with proper social distancing measures.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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