Government Spokesman, Anucha Burapachasri, said that the cabinet meeting had approved the emergency decree extension proposal, as its enforcement is still necessary to integrate the work of various agencies, carry out disease-control measures more effectively, reduce the risk of death from COVID-19 and address the shortage of public health resources. The decree will alleviate people’s hardships and help the country get back to normal, he added.
Additionally, the cabinet approved a budget of B311,650,300 for COVID-19 prevention in Thai prisons and correctional facilities. Of the total, B80mn will be used to acquire 100,000 rapid antigen tests, or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT- PCR) tests.
A budget of B51,967,200 will fund the construction of two field hospitals in greater Bangkok to accommodate critically ill patients.
A budget of B92.68mn will fund the construction of 10 field hospitals in district-level prisons and correctional facilities.
A budget of B49,835,500 will be spent on constructing and renovating quarantine rooms in 65 prisons and facilities, and another B37,167,600 will be used to purchase materials and equipment for protection against COVID-19 in these facilities. The Department of Corrections has been instructed to request favipiravir, an antiviral drug, directly from the Ministry of Public Health, to treat COVID-19 patients.
With COVID-19 infections being reported in a number of prisons and correctional facilities, the condition of these facilities has to be improved and resources must be sufficient to help limit its spread.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, approved a proposal to allocate funds from the expenditure budget and the central budget to address these issues, and help those affected by the COVID-19 situation. The Department of Corrections is to come up with an action plan and an expenditure plan accordingly.