CCSA to decide next month whether to lift emergency decree
Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will meet in September to consider whether the state of emergency, put in place to control the spread of the disease in March 2020, will be lifted, newly-appointed Government Spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said today (Monday).
He said that the CCSA did not discuss the issue at its meeting last Friday, because there is still enough time before the end of September, when the current extension of the decree is due to expire, adding that the measure is currently still necessary to contain the spread of the disease.
He said that the CCSA did discuss a framework of guidelines and the timeline for Thailand’s transition to a post-pandemic era, on the principle that people will be able to co-exist and pursue their normal lives safely in the presence of COVID-19.
COVID-19, said Anucha, will become like influenza and people can become infected throughout the year, but most of cases will not be serious, except in those over 60, those with underlying diseases and pregnant women.
He said that the CCSA had assessed the COVID-19 situation, risks and preventive measures for the transition period, has acknowledged that the majority of the Thai population have been inoculated and that the third booster dose can prevent serious symptoms up to 90%.
The spokesman stressed that the CCSA wants to make sure that mechanisms are in place to deal with any potential emergency after October 1st, when COVID-19 will be reclassified as an “infectious disease under watch”.
The continuous extension of the Emergency Decree has led to protests by rights organisations and political activists over the years, who claim that the law is meant to curb protests and freedom of expression rather than the spread of the disease. Some observers predict that the law will remain in place until at least November this year, when Thailand hosts the APEC 2022 meetings.