It won’t do much for oil prices, but it will flatten Thailand’s Covid-19 ‘curve’ and help with the country’s air pollution problems. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is aiming to cut public transport use by as much as 90% around the country in order to stem the rise of Covid-19 coronavirus infections.
Just yesterday, Thailand’s Department of Land Transport announced that four southern provinces – Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Phuket – will be closed to all public transport, except essential goods vehicles, medical and government vehicles. The director-general Jirut Wisanjit said the closures are effective from now (yesterday) and will help prevent the virus from spreading between neighbouring provinces.
“All modes of public transport are now cancelled and passengers must contact relevant agencies to get a refund.”
Now a broader plan, covers the entire country, is proposed by army chief Gen Apirat Kongsomgpong.
Compared to March 21, the number of journeys made by the public a week later (March 28) had decreased by 46% after please from the government for the public to stay at home and keep errands and travel to a minimum. Personal car use fell by 41% while the number of electric train passengers had fallen by 59% during the same 7 day period. The number of inter-city train passengers had also dropped by 65% and the number of boat passengers had come down by 40%.
CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin. noted that the need to curb inter-provincial travel was indicated by the latest statistics that show most of the new cases are now outside of Bangkok.
“The number of patients in other provinces is growing faster than Bangkok. Cases in Thailand are increasing at a similar pace to Malaysia. People must cooperate with disease control measures.”
He said that the government was maintaining restrictions on people’s movements in four southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Phuket and Yala. In Phuket the beaches are now closed, people asked to stay indoors from 8pm – 3am, restrict their travel and wear a face mask anytime they are out in public. The Phuket Governor has also sealed off the land and sea borders and the Phuket International Airport will close on April 10. Narathiwat Airport has also suspended all services until further notice.
The government spokesman’s office is asking media not to send reporters to Government House in Bangkok but follow announcements given by the PM and other cabinet ministers via live streaming.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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