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24 Mar 2020 | 10:08 PM UTC

Thailand: Thai Lion Air and Bangkok Airways suspends all flights March 25 /update 15

Thai Lion Air and Bangkok Airways suspends all flights amid lower travel demand due to COVID-19; confirm travel itineraries

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THA

Event

Thai Lion Air announced that the airline will be suspending domestic and international flights from Wednesday, March 25, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The airline plans to resume all services from Friday, May 1. Passengers who have booked flights between Wednesday and Monday, April 30, may choose to reschedule, keep the credits for later travel, or a full refund.

Bangkok Airways has also suspended all international flights since Sunday, March 22, until further notice due to lower travel demand. The airline had previously halted its services within Thailand, and the suspensions are now being extended to overseas destinations including Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has announced that an emergency decree will be implemented beginning Thursday, March 26, providing extra authority to declare further restrictive measures to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As of Tuesday, all border crossings with Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Malaysia have been temporarily closed, with exemptions laid out exclusively for trucks carrying goods. All malls continue to remain closed in Bangkok as of Sunday, March 22, until Sunday, April 12. 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 stadiums, beauty salons, and arcades are also closed, along with schools and bars.

As of Tuesday, March 24, Thailand's Ministry of Health has confirmed 827 COVID-19 cases nationwide, including four fatalities. Further International spread of the virus is to be expected in 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.