Covid-19: 5 provinces around Bangkok impose tough measures
Bangkok’s five neighbouring provinces of Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon have imposed drastic measures to deal with the coronavirus pandemic by closing a range of retail business, effective as of today.
The measures, to take effect until April 12, are similar to those the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has imposed on the city also effective starting today. They include closing of shopping malls, sport gyms, and beauty salons. On-site dining is also banned though food shops and restaurants can open but only for take-out orders and home delivery.
Meanwhile, the government’s decision to postpone the extended Songkran holiday is not expected to stop people from leaving the city in large numbers. In anticipation of a mass exodus of migrant workers from Bangkok, the Disease Control Department has instructed all provincial governors to screen, track and arrange preventive measures in an attempt to limit possible further spread of COVID-19.
It’s understood that many of the would-be travellers are migrant workers affected by the shutdowns of many businesses.
Among the measures proposed by the department:
- Setting up of teams of volunteers, at district and village levels, to monitor the returnees.
- Preparation of profiles on those travelling from Bangkok and its suburbs, effective from today (Sunday).
- Informing returnees of the need to isolate themselves and to avoid close contact with other people, including their family members, and the need to monitor their health for 14 days after arrival.
- Strict compliance with the advice of health officials, such as frequent hand cleansing, the wearing of face masks and seeking medical advice if they develop a fever or difficulty breathing.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration today issued a clarification over the extent of the retail business closures. It stated that all restaurants and food outlets in shopping malls and hypermarkets, and street food outlets may continue to operate by offering delivery/takeaway food only, with the exception of food outlets in airports, which can offer in house dining. Commercial bank branches in shopping malls can continue to open.