Will they, won’t they – it’s the question on everyone’s lips as Bangkok residents wait to hear if officials will lock down the capital in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. Natthapol Nakpanich from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not ruled it out, saying the CCSA is prepared to consider all options as new cases are expected to climb to 10,000 a day next week.
“People should have a correct understanding of the term ‘lockdown’. Measures, which included a curfew, taken by the government in April last year could be construed as a lockdown, but the restrictions imposed afterwards – such as the shuttering of businesses and a ban on movement of people – were not.”
The Bangkok Post reports that, according to Natthapol, a lockdown may have to be imposed before the CCSA’s next meeting on July 12, if new infections and deaths keep rising at the current rate. He says the focus of any lockdown would be on Bangkok and the surrounding provinces, in addition to 4 southern provinces. He also referred to a potential semi-lockdown for other areas of the country.
The government has been very reluctant to impose another lockdown, despite this being the worst wave to hit the Kingdom since the start of the pandemic. Natthapol says doing so will decimate livelihoods and businesses and be particularly harsh on those who are already on the breadline.
“According to the Ministry of Finance, nearly 300 billion baht was spent on remedial measures during the April 2020 lockdown. If we do it again, we would have find a lot of money to compensate people for their hardships.”
However, Apisamai Srirangson from the CCSA says concern is mounting over the highly contagious Delta variant, which is set to become the dominant strain in the country by the end of the month.
“Currently, we have seen the figures rise from 1,000 to 2,000 and 4,000. It is estimated the number may reach 10,000 per day next week.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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