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Curfew in place from today – the details

Jack Burton

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Under the state of emergency declared last week, the government of PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has imposed a nationwide curfew starting from today, banning all people from leaving their homes from 10pm to 4am, in its latest move to contain the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Existing curfew orders in other provinces with stricter requirements will remain in effect.

In a televised speech last night the PM announced the curfew, “effective until further notice”. He called for calm and asked the public not hoard food as they will still be allowed to go out during the day, though they will be required to observe social distancing (and wear a face mask at all times).

Exemptions from the curfew include medical and banking personnel as well as logistics workers handling consumer goods, agricultural produce, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, newspapers, fuel, post, products bound for export and imported goods. The travel of people to quarantine venues is also allowed.

Exemptions also apply to employees working night shifts, individuals heading to or from airports with authorised documents stating their purpose, officials carrying out official duties and those who authorised to leave for emergencies.

Violators face a jail term of up to two years and/or a fine of up to 40,000 baht.

“I won’t let anyone hoard the products and take advantage of people during this difficult time.”

Prayut says more economic stimulus packages will be introduced, including financial aid, debt suspension and restructuring, and a liquidity boost. A centre will be set up to manage travel in and out of the kingdom with more strict screening, quarantine and monitoring measures. A press briefing will be held daily at the government’s Covid-19 centre.

The PM says that unauthorised people will not be allowed to give interviews, and again warned of the consequences of spreading fake news or sharing information from unknown sources. He urges everyone to cooperate for the ultimate goal of “zero infections”.

Earlier yesterday, Prayut announced that the government will block all entry to Thailand including by Thais, starting today until April 15, to prepare quarantine facilities after more local cases were linked to “imported” cases.

“In the meantime, agencies will prepare the venues and coordinate with Thai embassies to ensure all Thais returnees will be quarantined and get proper medical checks.”

Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government’s newly formed Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says Prayut told the officials at the centre that arrivals of both foreigners and Thais from abroad will have to be “slowed down to stop the disease.” He says arrivals from abroad have proved to be a major source of infections.

The new ban does not apply to people who already have permission to travel to Thailand, but Taveesin urges affected travellers to contact Thai embassies and follow their instructions.

Thailand yesterday reported 104 new infections, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 1,875. 3 more deaths were also reported, raising the death toll from the novel coronavirus disease in Thailand to 15.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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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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