Faced with a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, the Thai capital on Sunday announced a ban on indoor food and gatherings of more than 20 people, as well as the closure of construction sites and the closure of working-class neighborhoods. Bangkok and nine other provinces.
Measurements will be maintained for 30 days.
Thailand reported 3,995 confirmed cases and 42 deaths in the last 24 hours. The figures have recently doubled and health officials blame the lack of cooperation of migrant workers used in construction and factories.
“The camps were closed, but workers sneaked out into markets and communities and spread the disease,” Apisamai Srirangson, a spokesman for the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said on Friday. He said “bubble and seal” disease control measures had been successful within 28 days in cluster manipulation in Samut Sakhon province, south of Bangkok, but not in the capital.
The situation has become critical as the number of hospital beds in Bangkok for seriously ill COVID-19 patients is shortening despite the creation of several field hospitals. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Friday that a proposal for a seven-day curfew for all of Bangkok has so far been rejected.
Under the new restrictions, construction workers all viral outbreaks will be isolated in the fields of Bangkok and five neighboring provinces, and in the four southernmost provinces of the country.
Bangkok’s department stores and malls can remain open until 9pm, but only food and drink are allowed in the takeaway restaurants. Seminars, meetings and parties are canceled. If more clusters are discovered, the governor can seal these communities.
Travelers from the ten provinces, including Bangkok, will be isolated and quarantined.
Authorities, meanwhile, plan to move forward with a plan to allow fully vaccinated foreign tourists to visit the tourist island of Phuket in the south without undergoing a 14-day quarantine which is otherwise mandatory. Thailand is eager to begin the recovery of its lucrative tourism industry, which has been devastated by the pandemic and the consequent travel restrictions.
Thailand has administered about 8.66 million doses of vaccine, and about 9% of its 69 million people receive at least one shot. Critics accuse the Prayuth government of failing to supply vaccines in a timely and appropriate manner. He says Thailand now has agreements that will ensure enough vaccine for about 70% of its population by the end of the year.
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