11 July 2024

It’s a Sunday like no other Sundays for Bangkok, usually one of the busiest cities in the world.

As the new series of measures designed to combat the ravaging coronavirus began to take effect today, its residents’ normal life has come to a halt.

The streets were deserted and the normally vibrant shopping centres were lifeless as most outlets were shuttered.  Food-shops and restaurants were mostly void of customers as on-site dining is banned. “Take-outs only” signs were seen hanging in front of most road-side eatries.

 

Weekend and Sunday markets which are usually bustling with activities were quiet as most shops closed their doors.

The drastic measures announced by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and to be effective March 22-April 12, are basically designed to minimize outdoor activities of Bangkokians.  And it appeared that most city-dwellers were willing to comply with the stay-at- home directive.

And after a day of panic buying following the announcement of the stringent measures, even supermarkets and grocery stores also saw much fewer customers today.

 

Some of people Thai PBS World talked to at a supermarket admitted that since they were still uncertain of what would happen next, they still found it necessary to stockpile essential goods.  And their biggest concern was that no one could tell them how long the situation would last.

The tough measures introduced by BMA followed the exponential rise in the number of infection cases.   Similar measures were also adopted by five other provinces surrounding Bangkok today.

The only place that was teeming with activity today was the Morchit bus terminal where thousands of mostly migrant workers began a journey home.  Most are understood to be workers affected by business shutdowns as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Related story: COVID-19: How Bangkok’s new stringent measures will affect you