The weekend is finally here! Maybe a day off work, time to relax… but if your plans included a trip to the weekend market, you’re in for some bad news. Bangkok’s world-famous Chatuchak weekend market has been closed from July 16 to 29 in an effort to avoid Covid-19 infection spread.
The popular weekend market has been determined to present an increased risk of infection for several reasons according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. As a result, Chatuchak market will be closed this weekend and next weekend, though it is scheduled to reopen for the last weekend of July.
Bangkok has been under strict Covid-19 lockdown measures since the beginning of this week, with shopping centres and non-essential businesses closed. In a briefing yesterday the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration complained that restrictions were being flaunted and not working, so tighter regulation was being considered. But venues like walking streets, convenience stores and markets have been mostly exempted, aside from an 8 pm closing time in order to comply with Bangkok’s 9 pm curfew.
But Chatuchak weekend market is an unusually large and popular market and as such presents a higher risk for the transmission of Covid-19. The larger crowds it attracts of course increases the chances of Covid-19 outbreaks, especially among those with asymptomatic infections who may not have been tested and could attend the market unaware that they are spreading the virus.
But also, due to its size and popularity, Chatuchak market brings vendors from many surrounding provinces who travel each weekend to Bangkok in order to sell their food and products in stalls at the market. This creates a greater risk that any infection that occurs in the market won’t stay in a cluster, but will spread out to surrounding provinces as well.
Authorities at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have decided the risk is too great and have decided to close Chatuchak market for 2 weeks to avoid Covid-19 outbreaks. Bangkok is seeing a swell in new infections again with 2,195 new cases reported yesterday and 33 deaths, half of Thailand’s national total.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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