Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has ordered shopping malls to close from Sunday until April 12 due to the covid-19 Wuhan virus. Supermarkets, pharmacies and take-out restaurants and other essential services will be allowed to stay open.
The governor also ordered the closure of other venues considered high-risk areas because they attract large crowds of people. They include weekend markets and sports and entertainment venues, in addition to those ordered to close earlier.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) made its dramatic move as the Public Health Ministry reported 89 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, the Bangkok Post reports. Saturday the largest daily jump to date, bringing the nationwide total to 411. According to the Health Department two of the 89 cases were reported in Chiang Rai Province. They were the first cases reported since the initial outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Health Department Minister has also called on citizens not to panic and practice social distancing and hand sanitizing. He also recommended that people wear face masks if they have any cold or flu like symptoms. Furthermore people need to stay home and away from large groups to help contain the spread to the covid-19 Wuhan virus.
The closures of shopping malls and other venues is also being considered by various agencies, such as the Interior Ministry and provincial governors.
Based on Section 35 of the Communicable Disease Act. The venues to be closed include:
- restaurants (except takeout and restaurants serving food for hotel guests)
- shopping malls (except supermarket zones, drugstores or zones selling necessary items and food shops (takeout is permitted)
- markets and weekend markets (except sales of fresh and dried food and cooked meals for takeout, animal feed, drugstores and other necessary items)
- beauty salons, tattoo service shops
- skate and rollerblade venues and also other similar services
- amusement parks, bowling lanes, gaming and internet shops
- golf courses or golf driving ranges
- swimming pools or similar service venues
- fighting cock venues
- Buddha amulet sales stalls
- exhibition and convention centres
- educational institutions at all levels including tuition schools
- weight-control services and also cosmetic clinics
- health spas, animal spas, massage parlours, herbal treatment centres, cinemas, theatres
- entertainment places, boxing stadiums and boxing schools, sports stadiums and also horse race tracks.
Those who violate the closure order are liable to a jail term of up to one year and/or a fine of up to 100,000 baht.
The World Health Organization said on Friday that it suspects community transmission in Thailand is increasing. Also that social distancing is becoming increasingly important.. The covid-19 wuhan virus case rate has jumped to 305,213 Worldwide, 94,677 recovered and 12,989 deaths. Thailand to date has only reported 1 death from the covid-19 wuhan virus. – Click here to see cases by country