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22 Mar 2020 | 12:15 AM UTC

Thailand: Authorities close malls in Bangkok March 22 to April 12 /update 13

All malls in Bangkok will close from March 22 until April 12 to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the country; follow government directives

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THA

Event

Authorities in Bangkok announced on Saturday, March 21, that all malls will be closed in the capital from Sunday, March 22, until April 12 to prevent further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. Only supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open and residents are being asked not to hoard goods. Restaurants will also be open for takeout orders. Boxing stadium, beauty salons, and arcades are also closed, along with schools and bars.

Strict entry requirements are also in place for foreign travelers. Individuals are required to provide a medical certificate signed by a medical professional confirmed no evidence of COVID-19 infection within the past 72-hours before checking in for a flight. Travelers must also provide evidence of medical insurance for no less than USD 100,000 which covers coronavirus. Passengers will not be allowed to board without the required documents.

As of March 21, 411 cases of COVID-19 and one associated fatality have been confirmed in the country. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.