Thailand’s Prime Minister has signed an order curbing mass gatherings and restricted movement in and out of disease-control areas. The order also restricts movement of migrant workers. The new rules will also be strictly enforced under the emergency decree, above all to curb the new outbreak of Covid-19.
The announcement published in the Royal Gazette on Friday. Its details a set of regulations under Section 9 of the decree, which was first imposed nationwide on March 26. The emergency decree has been extended several times since then. The latest extension is valid until Jan 15, 2021.
The announcement said that the government has regularly issued disease-control measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. As a new wave of infections has occurred in some areas, authorities have increased the effectiveness of measures to deal swiftly with the situation. The strict measures were implemented to prevent the pandemic from spiraling out of control.
The latest outbreak was first detected on Dec 18 among migrant workers at the central shrimp market in Samut Sakhon. Cases linked to the market have since been confirmed in 33 provinces, with dozens of Thais and hundreds of migrant workers infected.
Power under section 9 of the emergency decree
According to the Bangkok Post, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has decided to exercise his power under Section 9 of the emergency decree and Section 11 of the State Administration Regulation to issue the following regulations:
- no entry to areas deemed at risk of coronavirus infection;
- closure of areas at risk of infection;
- a ban on gatherings or illegal assembly in crowded areas or any activities that would incite unrest;
- strict screening of the movement of migrant workers by health authorities.
The public must strictly abide by any measures to prevent the spread of the disease enforced by health officials and other agencies, the announcement says.
Thailand’s Centre for the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will continue to be the main body responsible for coordinating and following up the work of all relevant agencies to prevent the spread of the disease.
All agencies must follow the same guidelines on disease control measures, while any related instructions issued by provincial authorities will also be enforced under the announcement.
Thailand’s government has faced criticism from rights groups in the past for continuing extend the decree. They say laws related to public health and other regulations should be sufficient to keep the pandemic under control. But the government disagreed. The government says that without a nationwide decree, covid-19 enforcement of rules province by province could be inconsistent and lead to problems.