Government needs alternatives if state of emergency is lifted – DPM Wissanu

An alternative legal mechanism must be put in place, in parallel with the Communicable Disease Act, if the current state of emergency is to be lifted, otherwise there will be no legal instrument available to cope with a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngarm said today that he has been assigned, by the Prime Minister, to work with General Somsak Rungsita, the secretary-general of National Security Council, to develop a formal mechanism to be used to address any secondary virus outbreak, after the state of emergency is lifted.

He explained that the Emergency Decree itself cannot be revoked, although state of emergency itself can be lifted. Section 5 of the Emergency Decree, however, empowers the Prime Minister to issue mandates to deal with an emergency situation, which must be endorsed by the Cabinet within 3 days of promulgation.

Dr. Wissanu said that, if the state of emergency is lifted, and if there is an emergency, the Government needs an alternative mechanism to cope with the situation, without the need to re-impose a state of emergency.

He added that he and General Somsak will consult medical professionals about suitable alternatives.

Asked about when the state of emergency will be lifted, he replied that he does not wish to fuel speculation, adding that the CCSA will have to assess the situation in June, with health security being the key factor in determining whether and/or when the state of emergency will be lifted.


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