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CCSA fears infections surge over long weekend

CCSA fears infections surge over long weekend

BANGKOK: The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) is concerned that a mass exodus of Thais expected to travel to their provincial homes during the long holiday on July 4-7 could lead to a new surge in COVID-19 infections, spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin said.

By Bangkok Post

Friday 3 July 2020, 09:42AM

Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin.

Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin.

After the fifth phase of easing of COVID-19 restrictions started on Wednesday, authorities at the centre anticipate that Thais will return in large numbers to their home provinces during the Asarnha Bucha and the Buddhist Lent Day period after the government earlier put on hold three Songkran holidays this year at the height of the outbreak to prevent people from travelling and spreading the disease.

However, the Cabinet on Tuesday approved July 27 as a substitute Songkran holiday, though it has yet to assign the remaining two Songkran holidays.

"When they return home, they will gather with friends for drinking. It is their way of life," Dr Taweesin said.

He said it has been fortunate that disease monitoring and tracing in local areas is efficient with village health volunteers working to prevent the spread of the disease from returnees to elderly members of their families.

However, evidence had emerged that illegal migrant workers have continued to sneak across borders and mingle with local residents, Dr Taweesin said.

"So we cannot feel 100% at ease. It was reported last month that more than 2,900 illegal workers crossed the border and stayed with us," he said.

He said that after the fifth-stage relaxation, Thais must continue to comply with health safety measures to protect themselves from the disease by maintaining physical distancing and wearing face masks.

"Thailand has survived the past six months because of cooperation from everyone," Dr Taweesin said.

"From the start, we might have felt uncomfortable. But now we believe Thais maintain a sense of responsibility."

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, chairman of the CCSA, said on Thursday (July 2) that all went well on the first day of the relaxation on Wednesday, without any local transmissions reported.

However, he said he has instructed officials to step up inspections of premises which were allowed to reopen in the latest stage of loosening of restrictions, and prepare measures to prevent any further transmission.

Among premises allowed to reopen from Wednesday were pubs and bars, karaoke bars, and bath-sauna-massage establishments.

Asked by reporters about the long holiday, Gen Prayut said revellers should avoid crowds as part of disease control measures.

However, the prime minister said people are expected to travel more after the fifth-stage easing of the lockdown, which will give a much-needed boost to the local economy.

Udom Kachintorn, a former deputy education minister, said the public should continue to wear face masks and observe social-distancing measures.

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Kurt | 05 July 2020 - 10:07:04

----not forever.

Kurt | 05 July 2020 - 10:05:39

Anyway, 2 alcohol ban days, Thai did stock and sitting 2 holidays at home with friends and drink. "That is their life", Dr Taweesin said.
That alcohol ban is now such a 2020 cosmetic thing, most thai people laugh about it. There are more real important things to care about. Self satisfaction of Officialdom is not on that list any longer. Change of times you can resist a short time, not ...

Kurt | 05 July 2020 - 08:58:54

A 14 days only seen as enough framing asymptomatic potential Covid people is not carved in stone. It can be longer. And asymptomatic people all the time are virus carrier and contagious.

Kurt | 04 July 2020 - 13:56:52

 'No new cases' is just propaganda. They hardly test local people. Among all tested returning Thai oversees workers is a high percentage infected. Wonder about other passengers on these flights One can be sure that a percentage of them slip asymptomatic through the return testing nets. There must be more Covid infected around than 'known'.On can remain longer asymptomatic than just...

Kurt | 04 July 2020 - 10:51:18

Well, with Thailand in a actually in a insular  'lock down' to the outside world. ( beside business- ,medical visitors) Let's see what becomes the Thai winner, Covid-19 or road casualties over the month July.

Galong | 03 July 2020 - 20:07:38

I'm sure any surge will be somehow blamed on foreigners. 

ThorFinger | 03 July 2020 - 19:11:22

Soooo, what will happen if there is no mass infections this month? Will the Government finally recognise that they don't have a grip on even the basics of this spamdemic?

LALALA | 03 July 2020 - 13:36:32

What  a complete BS this guy is talking about. If there are Zero cases in LOS how can somebody get infected ? From Who ?.... sorry, from the illegal immigrant workers as he wrote... nothing else than keeping the citizens under control and spreading fear..CP holding to sell some more masks though.

Kurt | 03 July 2020 - 10:22:13

It is to early to have long weekends ( 2 this month!). To much Covid-19 causing travel risk by millions on the move, and gather with friends for drinking. "It is their way of life", Dr Taweesin said.


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