PM urges Thai people not to panic in wake of new wave of COVID-19 infections

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today called on the Thai people not to be panic over what he described as a new wave of COVID-19 infections and to keep themselves informed with updates from the CCSA and state agencies about the virus situation.

In his Facebook post today, the prime minister urged people not to lower their guard and to wear face masks at all times while outdoors, to maintain social distancing, wash their handsfrequently and, importantly, scan the Thai Chana application every time they enter and exit a public venue.

Stressing the need to contain the latest outbreak as quickly as possible, the prime minister said that Thailand has experience in coping with the pandemic, has a strong public health infrastructure and good cooperation from the people.

He said that health officials have expanded their search for people infected or suspected to be infected in all provinces withbusiness connections to the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province.

He emphasized the need for cooperation from the public, public awareness and the importance of not panicking as the most important defenses against the contagion.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), meanwhile, has announced the cancellation of year end countdown events and chanting of prayers on New Year’s Eve organized by the administration, BMA spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang said today.

For other events, such as the one planned at Ratchaprasong intersection, he said the City Hall will seek the organizer’s cooperation in cancelling the events but, if they want to go ahead, he said they must submit their safety plans to City Hall for consideration in advance.

The spokesman said that restrictions have also been tightened up at entertainment venues, boxing rings and fresh markets.

For pubs and bars, each table must be 1.5 metres apart and no dancing is allowed.  For boxing rings, a limit on the number offans will be imposed and all must wear face masks in the stadium at all times and keep socially distanced.

Pongsakarn said city officials will check all 472 fresh markets in Bangkok, looking for migrant workers, to assess the risk of infection.  All shoppers must scan the Thai Chana application when entering the markets and all migrant workers must wear face masks.

All BMA-run schools in Bang Bon, Bang Khun Thian and Nong Khaem districts, which are not far from Samut Sakhon, have been ordered to close until January 4th.

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, in charge of security affairs, has ordered a crackdown on the human trafficking gangs responsible for smuggling people from Myanmar into Thailand, who are being blamed for the second outbreak of infections.

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