Emergency Decree extended, but vows not to infringe on freedoms

PHOTO: Emergency Decree extended a 19th time. (via MCOT)

The Emergency Decree, declared throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, has officially been extended for another 2 months. The decree which declares that Thailand is in an official state of emergency was set to expire on July 31, but this extension covers from August 1 to September 30. This is the 19th time the Emergency Decree has been extended.

Prolonging the decree may be welcomed by people who have been staying in Thailand by getting a Covid visa waiver stamp on their passports every month or 2, but also brings worry to people fearful that it could bring more pandemic restrictions or even lockdown.

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, which was itself created as part of the Emergency Decree and would be dissolved at the end of the decree, met yesterday to discuss the Covid-19 situation in Thailand now. The decision was made to extend the decree for 2 more months based on the rising infection numbers in 23 of Thailand’s 77 provinces, including Bangkok, where the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is considering reopening community isolation centres.

Despite the extension of the Emergency Decree, the CCSA spokesperson said that the government has no intentions of limiting people’s freedoms and rights (hinting at fears of future lockdowns), but is solely aimed at protecting people from Covid-19 spreading and outbreaks becoming overwhelming in the country. Infection rates are rising and, though many cases are mild, more severe cases with serious illness and the need for ventilators have also increased in the past week as well.

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Of the 23 provinces that saw coronavirus cases on the rise, many are major tourist destinations, particularly worrying as the government pushes towards its lofty goal of 9.3 million international visitors this year. Phuket has had particularly troubling infection numbers, along with Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai, according to the CCSA spokesperson.

“COVID-19 cases declined in 54 provinces and increased in 23 provinces including Bangkok, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Phuket, and Samut Prakan. Cases soared especially in Phuket. We would like to ask people to join forces to reduce the number.”

SOURCE: Thai News Agency MCOT

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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