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Government to Announce a State of Emergency to Control COVID-19

24 March 2020 (Readers 1491)

The Government plans to announce a state of emergency in accordance with the 2005 Executive Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations on Thursday, 26 March 2020, in an effort to effectively control the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha stated that, after the announcement of the national state of emergency, the COVID-19 Management Center would be upgraded to the COVID-19 Emergency Operation Center.

A working committee will be formed and it will hold a meeting at 09.30 hr every day. Permanent secretaries of various ministries will be assigned to follow up on the progress of measures to deal with the COVID-19 situation, improve them in accordance with the emerging situation, and propose new measures to the committee.

The Prime Minister said that requirements might be announced at all times to minimize the spread of the virus in various areas of the country. Some measures call for cooperation from the public, while others will be compulsory.

He said that various measures imposed by the Government were necessary for the sake of public health. People have been urged not to return to their hometowns now. If they need to return, they are required to go into home quarantine and to act in accordance with guidelines set by health authorities.

Since the number of infected persons in Thailand has increased, the Government is preparing more places in hospitals, as well as field hospitals, to accommodate COVID-19 patients. Large quarantine areas and more pharmaceuticals will also be acquired.

The Prime Minister urged the people not to panic but to follow up on news and information from the Government. During the enforcement of the state of emergency in accordance with the 2005 Executive Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations, the public must be careful about what they post on social media channels. They must not disseminate fake news and information. Anyone abusing social media will be punished.

The Ministry of Public Health on 24 March 2020 reported 106 new COVID-19 cases in Thailand, raising the number of confirmed cases to 827. Out of the number of confirmed cases, 57 have been cured; 766 are still hospitalized; and four have died. COVID-19 cases have also been reported in 192 countries, with 366,866 infected persons globally, and 16,098 have died.

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