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Thai Government Extends State of Emergency for Another Month

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Thai Government Covid-19 Coronavirus Lockdown

The Thai Government of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has decided to extend the State of Emergency in Thailand for another month. Believing its the state’s most powerful weapon against the Covid-19 Coronavirus.

However some businesses will slowly be allowed to re-open, including shopping malls and hair salons.

Drastic measures implemented under the decree, including the six-hour curfew from 10pm to 4am and strict travel restrictions, will remain.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha adopted what he calls a “public health-led economy” by giving more weight to health safety rather than the pulse of businesses. The premier stressed a need for precautions, but the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration CCSA resolution sparked some concerns among health experts.

Prasit Watanapa, dean of Siriraj Hospital’s faculty of medicine, warned the gradual lifting of the country’s lockdown could cause the daily number of new Covid-19 patients to increase.

Draconian Thai Government Law to Curb Infections

The draconian law, which was enforced in March, followed a sharp increase in new infections. The measures served to flatten the coronavirus curve, reducing the rate of new daily infections. The number of new cases dropped to nine on Monday. The first single-digit number in more than a month.

The executive decree enforcement is set to end this Thursday. However four measures under the law will continue unabated, Dr Taweesilp said.

They are the curfew from 10pm to 4am; the prohibition on mass gatherings; restrictions on inter-provincial travel and strict controls on travel into Thailand; including a ban on all incoming flights for another month.

The premier has agreed with the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council that some businesses should be allowed to reopen. Under certain conditions to prevent spreading of Covid-19.

Businesses and places that will reopen from May 4 must be necessary to people’s daily lives. Furthermore they must  have a low risk of disease transmission. Boxing stadiums; entertainment venues; and activities involving large crowds gathered in small spaces will still be deemed to be high risk.

Meanwhile, on Monday the Bangkok Post reported that Government and health officials spent the whole afternoon drafting to-do lists for businessmen and place care-takers if they are given permission to reopen.

A careful approach to lifting the lockdown is needed, Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin a spokesperson for the Health Department said.