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Thailand’s State of Emergency extended, Covid-19 is still a pandemic – PM Prayut

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha (November 2021) | Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

Two years into the pandemic, Thailand’s State of Emergency is still in effect and has been extended for another two months, giving the government sweeping powers to tackle the outbreak through its establishment of a Covid-19 task force. The decree was extended from April 1 to May 31.

In a press conference today, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said Covid-19 is still a pandemic and there needs to be careful consideration and evaluation before transitioning to an endemic phase.

The Emergency Decree was first invoked by the prime minister in March 2020. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration was formed under the emergency orders and has been responsible for setting measures, including health regulations, travel restrictions and entry schemes, to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Thailand.

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The Emergency Decree has been extended numerous times. In past discussions, the government has considered ending the decree, but ending the decree would dissolve the CCSA. Officials have been considering more permanent measures to essentially replace the emergency decree as well as form a government body to handle the Covid-19 situation and other public health emergencies in the future.

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    Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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