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Beware overcrowding and virus transmission – PM

Maya Taylor

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Watchara Takum/Facebook

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says packed crowds in public spaces are a concern when it comes to the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. The Bangkok Posts reports that Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the PM wants to see more measures put in place to reduce overcrowding.

Just a few days ago, a delay on the BTS network led to crowds of Bangkok commuters standing at stations, with no possibility of physical distancing. The posts went viral.

Speaking to the Bangkok Post, BTS executive director Surapong Laoha-Unya says rush hour poses a challenge when stations are busy, and platforms are crowded. He says BTS employees worked with officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority yesterday to make sure there was adequate distance between passengers.

Mr Surapong says one option that could be looked at is staggered work hours, with some commuters travelling to work earlier than others. It would require companies to have different start and finish times for different employees. He also suggests having different days off for different groups.

Mr Surapong also added that the BTS train stations and carriages are cleaned regularly to help reduce the spread of the virus. There are currently 98 trains with 4 carriages in each servicing commuters.

Meanwhile, the director general of the Department of Rail Transport, Sorapong Paitoonphong, says passengers’ behaviour is being monitored on public transport and social distancing measures are being implemented to reduce the number of passengers in a carriage at any given time.

The Marine Department is also set to introduce additional safety measures, including running more boats at peak times for canal and river commuters.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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