Only collective action will prevent a lockdown — Anutin
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul today called for collective efforts by all Thais to fight the coronavirus pandemic which continues to ravage more than half of the countries in the world.
Speaking in an interview with ThaiPBS World, Anutin said Thailand might not need to go into lockdown like several other countries if members of the public and all agencies concerned work in concert to stem the spread of the deadly virus.
“I have to apologize to people who might be affected by the government’s measures, but ultimately we will have a clean country and healthy people. That’s why we need to adopt preventive measures, rather than play the catch me if you can game,” he said of a series of measures introduced by the government to minimize chances of coronavirus transmission.
The measures include closing of entertainment places, sport venues and schools and requirement for those arriving from overseas to have medical certificates and health insurance.
As Anutin spoke, the Public Health Ministry reported 50 new cases of coronavirus infection today, including a 6-month-old baby, bringing the total of infection cases to 322.
Asked to react to suggestions that Thailand should go into lockdown like several other countries, Anutin said the government is doing everything it can to avoid having to resort to such drastic measure.
“If we receive full cooperation from people and concerned parties, we might not have to go to that extent,” he said.
While commending the Thai public for its cooperation to fight the virus, Anutin called for more active compliance with measures and directives issued by the authorities, especially those concerning social distancing and avoidance of crowded places.
The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to carrying out all necessary measures to assure that Thai people are safe from the disease.
“That means we will be very strict in implementing all the necessary measures so that soon we will be rid of the problem and life will go back to normal,” he said.
When asked to estimate how long the crisis will last, he said: “It all depends on the cooperation of the people. If we work as one and behave according to what is suggested or recommended by the Ministry of Public Health, it will be sooner than you think. We will soon walk away nicely from this crisis”.