Checkpoints spring up across Thailand to control inter-provincial travel
Road checkpoints, manned by police and military personnel, were set up across Thailand before dawn on Thursday to control inter-provincial travel, in a stringent measure authorized under the recently declared national state of emergency, in an attempt to retard the spread of COVID-19.
In Bangkok, seven checkpoints were erected on Bangkok’s main trans-provincial routes. Military personnel and police manning the checkpoints will screen all people in all vehicles to find anyone who may be infected with the virus, as well as those breaking the law.
At some checkpoints, face masks are being distributed and drivers are each given a few drops of sanitizer gel.
Supreme Commander General Pornpipat Benyasri, who is in charge of security affairs, was present at the checkpoint in front of Big C hypermarket, on Chaengwattana Road this morning, to observe officials at work.
The General sought cooperation from the public and asked them to comply strictly with the preventive measures required to stem the spread of coronavirus.
Other checkpoints in Bangkok are located underneath the Maha Nakorn expressway on Suvinthawong Road bordering Chachoengsao province, the road running parallel to Kanchanapisek Soi 39 bordering Samut Prakan province, BTS Baring station on Sukhumvit Road bordering Samut Prakan, in front of a car showroom on Ratchapruek Road bordering Nonthaburi province, underneath Bhumibol Bridge bordering Samut Prakan and on Soi 92 of Rama II Road bordering Samut Prakan.
The new travel restrictions will delay travellers, but he assured that officials will try to cause as little inconvenience to the public as possible.
In other provinces, about 350 checkpoints have been set up on the order of interior permanent secretary Mr. Chatchai Promlert.
The travel by road restrictions will last until April 30th, unless the state of emergency is extended.
Meanwhile, a COVID-19 patient was arrested at a bus terminal in the southern province of Krabi yesterday, after he fled from Krabi Hospital, where he had been an in-patient since March 21st.
The escapee, a man about 25 years old from Phi Phi Island, had been in quarantine on the mainland after he developed a fever, tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted for treatment.
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