Health officials worry about potential spread of Covid-19 during Chinese New Year

With families across Thailand likely to get together to celebrate the Chinese New Year this weekend, health officials are concerned the gatherings could potentially spread Covid-19. In Bangkok, Friday’s festivities celebrating the year of the ox in Yaowarat, known as Chinatown, have been cancelled by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration due to Covid-19 concerns.

Health officials are urging the public to practice disease prevention measures like social distancing when reuniting with family and friends. The director of the emergency disease and health hazards control division under the Department of Disease Control, Chawetsan Namwat, says strict social distancing is important at family get-togethers and suggested reuniting virtually instead, using video calls to make sure there is no risk of infection, especially with elderly family members who are the most at risk.

“People are advised to wear face masks when talking, or use chat applications with video call features to reduce physical contact.”

Recently, a number of coronavirus infections in Bangkok have been linked to social gatherings. 4 separate parties in Bangkok are behind nearly 40 cases of the Covid-19 virus, according to spokesperson from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. They say alcohol was a main factor in people letting their guard down when it comes to practicing disease control measures.

In Tak’s Mae Sot district, bordering Myanmar, 11 people from 7 families tested positive for Covid-19. The infections are all linked to the same person. Following the recent cases, provincial officials declared the district a maximum control zone, banning large gatherings and imposing a mandatory 14 day quarantine for all arrivals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Bangkok NewsCovid-19 NewsThailand News

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Caitlin Ashworth

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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