Thailand eyes nightlife curbs to arrest third coronavirus wave | Inquirer News
Close  

Thailand eyes nightlife curbs to arrest third coronavirus wave

/ 05:37 PM April 08, 2021
Thailand eyes nightlife curbs to arrest third coronavirus wave

Healthcare workers take nasal swab samples from local residents for a COVID-19 test after hundreds of residents of Watthana district and the trendy Thonglor neighborhood tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, April 8, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK — Thailand is considering closing entertainment venues in Bangkok and 40 provinces, its COVID-19 taskforce said on Thursday, as authorities rushed to tackle a new wave of coronavirus cases and the arrival of a highly contagious variant.

The taskforce urged the public and private sector to let employees work from home and to avoid non-essential travel, while 405 new infections were reported on Thursday in a new outbreak connected to Bangkok’s infamous nightlife.

ADVERTISEMENT

The spike in infections comes at a tricky time for Thailand, ahead of next week’s annual Songkran festival, known for big social gatherings and notoriously crowded water fights that authorities have banned.

Adding to concerns, Thailand on Wednesday for the first time confirmed the presence locally of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 first identified in Britain.

FEATURED STORIES

The SARS-CoV-2 variant known as B.1.1.7 has been found in more than 100 countries and has been blamed for fueling new waves of infections in record numbers. (https://tmsnrt.rs/3dFjSo6)

Thailand plans to start its mass immunization campaign in June but has been immunizing health workers or people deemed vulnerable, with more than 300,000 recipients so far.

Thai experts are puzzled at how it evaded the country’s strict border controls and quarantine system, which has helped keep overall cases to a relatively low 30,310 and deaths at 95.

The taskforce said a change in the quarantine period introduced this month, which reduces it to seven or 10 days, instead of the mandatory 14 days, may be reconsidered.

The health ministry is seeking approval from the taskforce to close entertainment venues, including pubs and karaoke bars, for two weeks, a task force spokesman said, in 40 provinces and Bangkok. New cases have been reported in 20 provinces.

Earlier on Thursday, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said entertainment spots with coronavirus cases had already been ordered closed and more categories of venues could be affected if the outbreak spreads.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, Thailand
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.