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Even if effective, Thailand’s curfew may be extended

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PHOTO: The Pattaya News

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam told reporters on Friday night that even if the current nationwide curfew, currently 10pm to 4am, shows signs of helping reduce gatherings and preventing crime, it could be extended.

“The primary purpose of the curfew is to encourage social distancing and combat the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.”

Critics of the curfew say the limited 6 hour period won’t help stop the virus, but Wissanu said that large numbers of mostly young Thai people gathering at night for parties, as well as an upward tick in crime thanks to millions being out of work, were also reasons behind the curfew.

While a nationwide a 24/7 lockdown has been mentioned by PM Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who is concerned over the current transmission rate of the virus, Wissanu says it is not feasible at this time, especially in Bangkok.

The current curfew exempts some occupations – medical and delivery staff, and those going to the airport for outbound flights with approved documentation. Some occupations, such as fishing, can also get clearance for being out at night during the curfew from local authorities.

Those who violate the curfew face fines of up to 40,000 baht and up to 2 years in prison under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree, effective until at least the end of April.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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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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