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Health minister urges demonstrators to wear masks, observe social distancing

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PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said yesterday he doesn’t oppose students’ demonstrations but urged them to wear facemasks and observe social distancing to help avoid spreading Covid-19 coronavirus. He said his main concern about student rallies is safety, but masks and social distancing could cope with the disease. (Thailand hasn’t had a locally transmitted case of the virus for over 2 months.) He said he won’t oppose students’ demonstrations because they want to communicate their feelings to the government.

“Rallies should not lead to infection because Thailand has been free of local COVID-19 infection for 2 months and foreigners from countries where COVID-19 is spreading are not allowed to visit Thailand. Besides, those who return from other countries must be quarantined for 14 days.”

Asked if the government could meet students’ demands, he said that many issues could be considered, including amendments to the constitution, but demonstrators must abide by laws.

According to Anutin, If protesters demands were met, there would be an assembly to draft a new constitution, and a referendum. If everyone agrees, the House would be dissolved and there would be a general election, held in a democratic manner

He oppposed dissolving the House before a constitutional amendment, saying that would not make any difference.

SOURCE: TNA

 

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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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