“Cases could reach 10,000 a day again”. Thai Public Health Minister.

Thailand’s party-pooper-in-chief, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, has made another spurious claim to Thailand’s media. He’s predicted that Thailand’s Covid infections could soar to 10,000, a day, now that Thailand’s nightlife has ‘officially’ reopened.

He said that the numbers of new coronavirus cases could “soar” within 3-5 days after the country’s entertainment venues were given the official nod on June 1.

Speaking to Associated Press, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Public Health said venues were at a high risk as “they were loud and people needed to speak louder”.

“Some may remove their masks and get close to one another to speak which could cause an increase in infections.”

Fears were also raised over people dancing and sharing glasses whilst exploring the night venues.

To be clear, many of Thailand’s nightlife venues, certainly smaller bars and pubs, at least in the most popular tourist locations, have already been open for months under a loop hole in the CCSA guidelines, allowing them to re-open as “restaurants”.

By registering as a restaurant the bars were able to reopen and restart their businesses and serve alcohol until midnight (as of May 1). The phenomenon was less obvious in Thai nightlife and outer provinces, but everyone can concur that, although partly subdued, no one is any doubt that people have been drinking alcohol and socialising for long before June 1.

Except the Public Health Minister.

Hundreds of YouTube and other social media postings show the return of Thailand’s nightlife over the past 4 months, almost completely unchallenged by authorities.

And since April 1, the cases of Covid-19 in Thailand have been falling rapidly from over 28,000 reported daily infections to less than 3,000 over recent days.

The Minister went further.

“Customers should complete a third and fourth Covid-19 vaccination before going to bars, regardless of whether the user was young and healthy.”

He even warned the unvaccinated not to go to “such venues”.

“We will be looking at strict enforcement for venues making sure all customers are vaccinated and boosted.”

Venues are now applying to re-open, officially, although many acknowledge they have been operating for months. Some 300 nightlife venues in Bangkok have applied for registration since June 1.

More ominously, the Minister warned that, if more than 10,000 daily infections were reported there could be a reversal of the reopening plans for Thailand’s nightlife.

The June 1 reopening of Thailand’s nightlife, including sports venues, karaoke bars and massage venues, refers to venues in Green and Blue zones or provinces.

Green Zones (14 provinces): Chai Nat, Trat, Nakhom Phanom, Nan, Buriram, Pichit, Ang Thong, Mahasakam, Yasathon, Lampang, Surat Thani, Surin, Udon Thani and Amnat Charoen.

Blue zones (17 provinces): Krabi, Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nonthaburi, Narathiwat, Pathum Thani, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phang Nga, Phetchaburi, Phuket, Rayong, Songkhla.

Yellow zone provinces are unable, officially, to join in the resumption of nightlife activities.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News | AP

Thailand News

Tim Newton

Tim joined The Thaiger as one of its first employees in 2018 as an English news writer/editor and then began to present The Thaiger's Daily news show in 2020, Thailand News Today (or TNT for short). He has lived in Thailand since 2011, having relocated from Australia.

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