All Songkran festival activities throughout every district of the Bangkok province have been officially cancelled to prevent more outbreaks of Covid-19. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced this difficult decision today in light of a rise in Coronavirus infection clusters around the country. Many of these outbreaks have been directly linked to entertainment venues, nightclubs and bars, including in Bangkok’s Thong Lor and Ekkamai areas. These venues are easy targets for Covid-19 spread as they often don’t follow mask-wearing and social distancing measures, and many are poorly ventilated, making a fertile breeding ground for transmission.
Deputy Governor Kriangyos Sudlabha announced the closure of all entertainment venues on Bangkok nightlife hub Khaosan Road before Songkran from April 7 to 12. Free Covid-19 testing will also be provided to all merchants in the Khaosan area.
“The Songkran activities at Lan Khon Meuang Plaza in Phra Nakhon district will be cancelled. These include an alms-giving ceremony and pouring water on the Buddha image and elders as blessings. Furthermore, activities scheduled to be held in other districts by the district office will also be cancelled. As for public and private organisations which cannot cancel their planned Songkran festivities, the BMA urges them to employ strict measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
Iconic massive public Songkran water fights in Bangkok and throughout Thailand, where thousands usually fill the streets and joyously spray each other with water to celebrate, are definitely out. But the new announcement curbs a lot of more traditional and calm activities from taking place in large public gathering areas. The deputy governor advises for traditional ceremonies to be performed at home, rather than at temples or public locations.
“During the Songkran festival, we advise people to perform the ceremony of pouring water on Buddha images and elders at home and avoid going out to crowded areas. If you have to travel, make sure to wear a face mask at all times, maintain at least a one-metre distance from others and wash your hands regularly with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser.”
SOURCE: The Nation Thailand
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