The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has ordered all entertainment venues in the capital to close until January 4, with the exception of bars and restaurants serving food and drinks. The establishments affected by the closure order include hostess bars, horseracing venues, cockfighting arenas, and massage parlours. Pubs and restaurants serving food and drinks only can remain open provided they observe strict hygiene measures and close by midnight.
The order comes amid a rise in cases and news that the Governor of the Covid-hit province of Samut Sakhon has also tested positive, meaning a number of officials who had close contact with him – including the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul – are currently self-isolating for 14 days. It’s understood Governor Verasak Vichitsangsiri has been admitted to hospital for observation, due to an underlying condition that may put him at increased risk from the virus.
Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control has urged the public to support the governor, a call echoed by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and Minister Anutin, who have praised him for his hard work in attempting to control the virus outbreak in his province.
Meanwhile, the eastern province of Rayong has confirmed that one of the patients in its recent cluster of infections has died. It’s understood the 45 year old man had underlying health conditions. He tested positive for the virus on Sunday and subsequently developed breathing difficulties. He stopped breathing while being transported to hospital.
In a stark warning to the country, Taweesilp Visanuyothin from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says cases could increase to thousands a day, or possibly even tens of thousands a day by the middle of January, if effective disease control measures are not implemented by provinces with high case numbers.
“If nothing is done, daily new cases could soar to 4 or 5 digits this month or by the middle of next month. The best solution is to refrain from socialising, and the curve will flatten.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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