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Journalists barred from field reporting during curfew hours




“There shouldn’t be any news during that 6 hour period.”

Journalists have been instructed not to report in the field during the nationwide curfew that went into effect last night night.

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam told reporters at the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that journalists will not be exempted from the curfew, though he said that newspaper circulation, as well as medical, banking, and logistical operations, can continue as usual.

“No, absolutely not. There shouldn’t be any news (field reporting) during that 6 hour period.”

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced the curfew, 10pm to 4am, in a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus which has infected more than 2,000 people in Thailand.

Wissanu defended Prayut’s decision to limit his curfew order to nighttime, saying people would be less likely to comply if it were imposed round the clock.

“Covid-19 is a virus. It doesn’t stop at night, but we have considered the necessities of people during daytime. We can’t shut them down entirely. If we shut them down during the day, they wouldn’t listen. Therefore, we have to keep it this way to make people consider what’s happening and be more compliant.”

But the deputy PM hinted that the curfew may be extended to 8 or 10 hours depending on the situation and its effectiveness.

“Prior to the nationwide curfew, we experimented with some of the provinces such as the three southern border provinces, Phuket, and Bangkok to send some signals. We hope it can limit the number of people wandering around at night because people don’t go gallivanting about during the day. They have to work.”

“But during the nighttime, people would like to come out as they are depressed from quarantine, so we have to keep them at home. We will also use the time to clean the streets.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English


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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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