(CTN News) – Songkran will return to Pattaya after a four-year hiatus because of pandemic restrictions.
On April 19, Wan Lai, or the “Big Day,” the event renowned for being Pattaya’s largest and wettest celebration, will end.
Health experts worry that, as in recent years, even with subdued festivities, the unrestrained partying may result in a new rise in Covid-19 infections.
The Thai New Year water festival, known as Songkran, is celebrated in Pattaya from April 13 to April 15. Instead of trying to out-celebrate other national holidays, they do this to draw more tourists.
A significant Songkran Day celebration will occur in Central Pattaya, with notable musical acts and events promised.
In addition, Cardi B, Chris Brown, and Travis Scott will be some of the well-known performers in town from April 13 through 15.
Songkran World Largest Water Festival
They perform at Rolling Loud, the world’s largest hip-hop and rap festival, touring during Songkran.
Due to the extended gap since the last complete festival in 2019, according to tourism analysts, this year’s Songkran festival may draw the largest crowds ever.
Yet, as hundreds of thousands of domestic and foreign tourists descended on the city, it became a divisive event for many foreigners.
Many long-time foreign residents may leave Pattaya during the so-called “Silly Season.” Tourists and revelers will besiege the town, so those not fans of the festival are encouraged to look for a short getaway elsewhere.
While the festival’s comeback is a major relief for the tourism sector, it is raising concerns for health officials since the number of Covid cases in the nation is rising.
A spike in Covid infections over Songkran in April and the start of the school year in June had been predicted, and hospitals and community health centers have been instructed to be ready.
Opas Karnkawinpong, the permanent secretary for public health, has suggested wearing face masks in public and when engaging with at-risk groups.
It’s also advised to practice good hygiene and wash your hands frequently. Those who have gone a long time without vaccination are also urged to get booster doses.
Individuals with Covid symptoms ought to get checked out. Opas have instructed hospitals and clinics to step up monitoring and disease control efforts over Songkran and the start of the school year.
The avian flu outbreak in Cambodia is being closely monitored, and border crossing health screenings are being tightened according to instructions given to health authorities in border counties.
The H5N1 outbreak is still at a low level, according to the World Health Organization, despite the recent death of an 11-year-old girl in Cambodia from bird flu.
Poultry farmers have been told to notify the authorities when their birds suddenly die in large numbers. Also, it is advised that they refrain from consuming undercooked animal meat.
Hospitals and community health centers in Pattaya are preparing for the biggest and wettest celebration yet, while simultaneously planning for a potential rise in Covid infections.
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