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02 Apr 2020 | 01:48 AM UTC

Thailand: Bangkok closes parks and suspends rail train services April 1 /update 19

Local authorities close all parks in Bangkok from midnight (local time) and suspend train services on April 1 due to COVID-19; Further spread of the virus expected

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THA

Event

On Wednesday, April 1, local government officials announced that all parks in Bangkok will be closed from midnight (local time) as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In addition, convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants, and street food stalls will be closed from 00:01 to 05:00. The latest measures will remain in effect for the entire duration of Thailand's state of emergency until Thursday, April 30. Residents in the Nonthaburi district have been asked to stay indoors from 23:00 to 05:00 with immediate effect. The State Railway of Thailand has also suspended the services of 44 commercial trains to prevent further spread of the virus. Earlier on Friday, March 27, the Thai government announced the closure of several facilities in Bangkok including libraries, museums, playgrounds, sporting grounds, meeting halls, childcare centers, and beauty clinics. An entry ban on foreign non-resident nationals also remains in effect as of March 25.

Meanwhile, local authorities have locked down Phuket, Narathiwat, and Pattani province as a precautionary measure. All entry and exit points in these provinces have been closed.

As of Wednesday, April 1, there are at least 1771 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thailand, including 12 fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

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.