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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: PM calls for urgent meeting, expected to discuss “lockdown” measures

Caitlin Ashworth

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UPDATE: The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration meeting set for 10am tomorrow will address the “worsening situation” in Thailand, according to spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the daily CCSA meeting in English.

Natapanu says the media has been “predicting the results” of the meeting, but he assures the public that there will not be a so-called “lockdown.”

“We would not call it a lockdown, but measures that would be appropriate for the situation now where we have an increasing number of new cases per day.”

Original story…

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has reportedly announced an urgent meeting for tomorrow to discuss measures to control the spread of Covid-19. Reports in Thai media say officials are considering travel restrictions similar to those set back in April of last year during the first wave of infections. Restrictions are likely to be imposed in Bangkok and other provinces with high infection rates and could be in place for 14 days to control the spread of the virus as the rapid-spreading Delta variant becomes more prevalent.

Nightly curfews could be imposed. Other restrictions reportedly on the table for discussion include work-from-home orders and travel bans between provinces, like the measures set in April 2020. Last year, the government also ordered the temporary closure of non-essential businesses.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has danced around the word “lockdown,” but media reports in both Thai and English have said a lockdown could be in the near future.

With the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus becoming more prevalent, especially in Bangkok, the CCSA is preparing for a spike in infections and says the daily Covid count could exceed 10,000 new cases by next week. To prepare for the influx of infections, a new field hospital is being set up at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to treat patients, including those with severe symptoms.

Nateetorn Sinthopwaragul contributed to this report.

 

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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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