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Urgent Measures to Contain COVID-19

4 March 2020 (Readers 1106)

Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has issued urgent measures to tackle the problem of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to these measures, state officials have been instructed to suspend or postpone overseas official trips in countries where COVID-19 is spreading. Those who have just returned to Thailand from risk countries, or have transited these countries, will have to undergo home quarantine for 14 days.

State agencies must strictly comply with measures and guidelines on the disease issued by the Ministry of Public Health. They will coordinate with private companies to seek their cooperation in avoiding or postponing activities that will see a large gathering of many people, which might expose them to the risk of virus infection.

An information center will be set up to integrate information from relevant agencies and provide accurate information on COVID-19 to the public.

The Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Public Health, and the Ministry of Industry will work together on the demand for products needed for COVID-19 prevention, such as gels and hygienic masks, so that production of these products will be sufficient.

The Cabinet on 3 March 2020 approved a budget of 225 million baht for a project to buy materials for the production of face masks for 7,774 local administrative organizations. The Government has urged 11 face mask factories to increase their production capacity in response to the growing demand, as well.

A central fund of 1,233 million baht from the 2020 national budget was also approved by the Cabinet for the Ministry of Public Health to handle the COVID-19 situation.

In addition, the Cabinet approved a proposal for the setting up of a fund to help the Government tackle problems concerning COVID-19. In the initial stage, each minister will contribute his or her one-month salary, or offer their donations, to the fund.

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