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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand’s Prime Minister takes control as the State of Emergency is activated




PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai PM says he promises to do his best to lead Thailand through this Covid-19 crisis, to ensure the safety of the Thai people, and urges everyone to have faith in his leadership.

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke earnestly to the Thai people telling them to expect the worst in the next “several weeks or months” as the virus continues to ravage the country. He says that more stringent measures will be imposed that will affect their daily lives.

The State of Emergency is now in effect. The PM said that more stringent measures are necessary to slow the spread of Covid-19 and to reduce the socio-economic impacts from the contagion.

He urged all Thai people to cooperate fully with the government, to act responsibly and to comply strictly with preventive directives, even though they may feel their freedom is being eroded.

The Thaiger has all the latest Covid-19 news on one page HERE.

The PM also warned opportunists, hoarding goods and profiteering, that they will be dealt with decisively. He also noted that “more will follow in the near future, which may further inconvenience people”.

In recent days there has been rumours of a national curfew but, at this stage, none has been enacted. Locally, there was a curfew in Phuket last night, from 5pm-midnight, asking all tourists to remain in their accomodation. The announcement, from the Phuket Governor, was an effort to avoid a repeat of spontaneous gatherings on Patong Beach the night. Few people knew about the local curfew even though it was randomly posted on local social media (Phuket’s Governor certainly didn’t bother sending The Thaiger a copy of the edict).

From today Thailand’s prime minister takes a firm leadership role under powers outlined in the 2017 Constitution in an emergency situation.

Prayut is in directly in charge of Thailand’s fight against the coronavirus. He will be overseeing all efforts at prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, and will report directly to the people on the progress of the government’s efforts.

“Several weeks or months from now may be the worst time for us, the most difficult time for Thailand. It will be an unprecedented and challenging time for us. We must accept that Thailand is now at a turning point in the fight against Covid-19 and the situation may worsen considerably. It will affect our health, our income and our ways of life.”

The PM said the government will issue updates on the virus situation every day. He urged the media to rely on government information only, and to refrain from interviewing medical professionals, so that they can focus on looking after the sick. He also asked netizens to refrain from sharing fake news.

“The government sector cannot fight the contagion alone, but needs public participation. Many capable members of the private sector have been mobilised to join the fight.”

“This may be painful for all of us, but it is an opportunity to demonstrate that courage, love and care for one another will bring us through the crisis.”

“We will weather this crisis together, to be strong again. We will fight together and win together.”


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