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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM announces urgent measures to handle coronavirus

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today issued 14 urgent measures to handle the COVID-19 coronavirus situation - Asia Times

State agencies will seek the cooperation of private companies to avoid or postpone activities that will see a mass gathering of people, which might expose them to the risk of virus infection.

Even as the government announces new travel restrictions and struggles to create a plan to deal with thousands of Thai workers returning from South Korea, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today issued 14 urgent measures to handle the COVID-19 coronavirus situation. The measures are:

  • State agencies must strictly enforce the Public Health Ministry’s measures and guidelines on the outbreak and, if necessary, issue their own internal measures.
  • State officials must suspend or postpone overseas official trips to destinations where the virus is spreading and those being monitored by the Public Health Ministry. If they cannot cancel the trips, they need permission from their superiors or related agencies to go.
  • State employees who have returned to Thailand from countries at risk or have transited through these countries or suspected to have contracted the virus can work at home for 14 days to observe their condition; the work at home will not be regarded as taking leave.
  • An information centre will be set up at Government House to collate data from all agencies and receive complaints as well as provide accurate information to the public regarding the virus.
  • The Commerce, Public Health, and Industry ministries will jointly evaluate the demand for products needed to prevent the situation from escalating, such as gels and masks, and provide these to sufficiently cater to public needs.
  • The Commerce Ministry is to prevent hoarding of such products both online and in shops/stores.
  • Transport agencies and local administrative bodies must strictly screen passengers at key areas such as airports, train stations and bus stations.
  • The Labour and Foreign ministries must closely monitor and take care of Thais living in the areas affected by the virus.
  • The Interior and Defence ministries will prepare locations for quarantine and observe the condition of people who have returned to Thailand or those suspected of being infected.
  • In case the Public Health Ministry and related agencies have to procure medical equipment needed to handle the outbreak, they can coordinate with the Budget Bureau to request more money.
  • The committee coordinating the prevention of and solutions for the coronarivus should hold a meeting on a regular basis and constantly update the PM on the situation.
  • The Public Health Ministry must take care of medical personnel and staff and provide them with special consideration to boost morale.
  • The Interior and Public Health ministries have to integrate their information on the situation.
  • State agencies will seek the cooperation of private companies to avoid or postpone activities that will see a mass gathering of people, which might expose them to the risk of virus infection.

 

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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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