| 21 May 2024, Tuesday |

Thai authorities propose tighter curbs as COVID-19 deaths climb

Thailand’s Health Ministry announced on Thursday that it had suggested new travel restrictions and harsher limitations in high-risk areas to combat COVID-19 outbreaks, as the country reported 75 deaths per day.

In a meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is expected to discuss the additional limits.

“First and foremost, the health ministry will propose measures to limit travel and ensure that people do not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary,” Kiatiphum Wongrajit, the ministry’s permanent secretary, told reporters, adding that a halt to inter-provincial travel was also being considered.

Other measures being proposed include closing down non-essential venues and areas that attract crowds, Kiatiphum said.

The rules would be in place for 14 days and would cover the Bangkok metropolitan area and “buffer zones”, Kiatiphum said, without elaborating.

“This is on par with April 2020,” he said, referring to last year’s lockdown measures, which included a statewide curfew.

Thailand has put in place measures to close malls early and prevent dining in restaurants in “high-risk zones,” such as Bangkok and adjacent provinces, but they haven’t been able to stop an increase in illnesses in the last month.

Thailand’s COVID-19 task force reported 7,058 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 308,230. Since the pandemic began last year, the country has seen 2,462 deaths.

  • Reuters