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80 Bangkok roadblocks to curb Covid-19 spread before lockdown



PHOTO: Bangkok sets up roadblocks along its borders ahead of Monday's lockdown. (via Thai PBS World)

“The law of unintended consequences has come to be used as an adage or idiomatic warning that an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes. It is commonly used as a wry or humorous warning against the hubristic belief that humans can fully control the world around them.” – Wikipedia

The last time the government tried to curb Covid-19 outbreaks in Bangkok by creating a semi-lockdown resulted in national Covid-19 infections surge as people wanting to avoid the lockdown measures fled Bangkok to their hometowns across the country, bringing their suitcases and Covid-19 infections along with them.

This time the government is hoping to learn from the unintended consequences of their previous mistake and has already set up roadblocks on the avenues out of Bangkok ahead of the interprovincial travel restrictions going into effect Monday. Military and police have now put in place more than 80 of these checkpoints to inspect vehicles trying to leave the province.

Chalermpol Srisawat, Chief of Defence Forces of the Royal Thai Armed Forces, is asking the public nicely for their support, but bolstering up defences for those who disobey. He requested for the public to please cooperate and support the lockdown by refraining from interprovincial travel or any other activity that could spread Covid-19 and to follow the Ministry of Public Health’s safety measures.

At the same time though, he has initiated the use of additional military patrol units tasked with offering supplemental support and coverage for the roadblocks and checkpoints leaving Bangkok. They aim to prevent any attempts to circumvent security checkpoints and stop any actions from citizens trying to flee the city that might exacerbate the spread and outbreak of Covid-19 spilling out of Bangkok and into the rest of the country.

Police and military are under orders to check all vehicles attempting to leave Bangkok, in particular those that might transport groups of people like passenger vans or pickup trucks. They have been instructed to enforce all new travel restrictions at the Bangkok roadblocks and prosecute anyone found to be in violation of these orders.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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