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Some southern provinces stop interprovincial public transport

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Khaosod English

Thailand’s Department of Land Transport announced today that four southern provinces – Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Phuket – are closed to all public transport, except essential goods vehicles, medical and government vehicles, after witnessing an increasing number of Covid-19 coronavirus patients. Director-general Jirut Wisanjit made the announcement and the closures began today (Monday, March 30) to help prevent the virus from spreading.

“All modes of public transport are now cancelled and passengers must contact relevant agencies to get a refund.”

So no public transport, at all, can travel in or out of those four southern provinces.

The measure follows Phuket Governor Phakkhaphong Thawiphat’s announcement yesterday that all modes of transport except air would be halted until April 30 in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Air travel will also be halted on April 10.

Meanwhile, the Department of Airports has suspended services at Narathiwat Airport due to the pandemic, according its director-general Tawee Gasisam-ang.

Some southern provinces stop interprovincial public transport | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

In response to the provincial governor closing some locations, the airport shut its doors from yesterday and will remain closed “until the virus situation is resolved.”

Passengers who have booked Thai AirAsia or Thai Smile tickets have the following options :

Thai AirAsia

• Change to another domestic route and schedule travel within October 31 with no service charge;

• Register under Big ID for a new booking with the flight being in the next 365 days;

• Refund tickets via www.airasia.com (though according to the airline you might not receive a full refund).

Thai Smile

• Full refund HERE

• Change your route or schedule another flight without a fee.

In another development Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam said today that Thailand Post will deliver 2.3 million face masks across the country, starting this evening.

He says that the 11 manufacturers nationwide can now produce 2.3 million masks a day. Of that total, 1.3 million will be given to the Public Health Ministry for healthcare workers while the Interior Ministry will take the balance of 1 million for distribution to village health volunteers and officials providing services to the public.

The distribution of masks will gradually expand to cover the general public, while exports will be banned without permission.

Wissanu added that the Finance Ministry is working out a plan to lower import taxes on medical equipment, after cutting the import tax on masks to zero. He denied a report that the government had prepared a plane to repatriate Thais stranded in Italy.

SOURCES: The Nation | The Nation | The Nation

 

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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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