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27 Mar 2020 | 09:58 AM UTC

Thailand: Government implements additional domestic restrictions March 27 /update 17

Thailand implements additional domestic restrictions March 27 due to COVID-19 pandemic; further spread of the virus expected over the near term

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THA

Event

On Friday, March 27, the Thai government announced the closure of facilities in Bangkok including libraries, museums, playgrounds, sporting grounds, meeting halls, childcare centers, and beauty clinics due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These closures and the previous closure of shopping malls, eat-in restaurants, and other businesses will remain in effect until April 30. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies will remain open in Bangkok.

Local government officials ordered a lockdown of Narathiwat province on Friday after a COVID-19-related death was recorded there earlier in the day. Traffic in and out of the province will be restricted except for ambulances, official vehicles, and trucks carrying essential supplies.

To date, there have been more than 1100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thailand, including five COVID-19-related 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.