23 May 2024

Thailand’s National Security Council is to recommend, to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), an extension of the state of emergency until the end of June, as Thailand records three new coronavirus infections today. To justify the extension, NSC secretary-general General Somsak Rungsita said today that the global COVID-19 situation is still a matter of serious concern.

Although Thailand has made progress in containing the spread of the virus, and has eased lockdown measures, he stressed the need for the public to remain vigilant. The NSC chief noted that the emergency decree, due to expire on May 31st, is an important tool in containing the spread of the virus, adding that the NSC will propose the extension to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as head of the CCSA.

At a news briefing before noon today (Thursday), CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said that one of today’s three new infections is a 72-year old diabetic man with lung cancer, who visited a barber in the Prachachuen area of Ban Sue district and, on May 18th, fell ill and went to a private hospital, before being transferred to a state hospital yesterday after testing positive for coronavirus.

The second is a German expatriate who went to visit relatives in the northeastern province of Chaiyaphum from April 30th to May 16th.  On his return to Bangkok, he went to a private hospital for a medical check on May 18th and tested positive for the virus.

The third case is a 25-year old Thai woman, who arrived in Thailand from the Philippines on May 13th and entered state quarantine.  On May 19th, she tested positive for the virus, but did not exhibit any symptoms.

Cumulative infections in Thailand are now 3,037, with 2,897 having recovered and 84 others still in hospital.  No new deaths are reported today, so the death toll remains at 56.

Dr. Taweesin also provided a limited update on the international COVID-19 situation, including:

  • In the United States, the University of Georgia revealed results of a study showing coronavirus can survive on any surface for 2-3 days, but will die within 20 minutes if exposed to a temperature of 54oC, like on a car parked in direct sunlight.
  • In Spain, the government as mandated the wearing of face masks while outdoors and in enclosed public spaces, where two-metre physical distancing is not possible. Children under six and people with health problems are exempted.
  • The Indian government is maintaining its lockdown until end of this month, although some states have eased the restrictions for some businesses and public transport, including taxies, but the number of passengers is limited to two. All schools, malls and cinemas remain closed.