The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

CCSA shake-up looms

BANGKOK: The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will continue its role in leading the country’s fight to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, although it may later be transformed into a new body under a new disease control law that will replace the state of emergency, the government said yesterday (Sept 8).

By Bangkok Post

Thursday 9 September 2021, 08:43AM

A COVID-19 situation update is seen on a screen during a press briefing by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration at Government House. Photo: Bangkok Post file

A COVID-19 situation update is seen on a screen during a press briefing by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration at Government House. Photo: Bangkok Post file

According to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, because the CCSA was established under the Emergency Decree, when the state of emergency is lifted, then the CCSA will technically no longer exist.

“However, in practice, the CCSA will continue to function while the government deliberates the new disease control law, although it may have to be transformed into something else after the state of emergency is lifted,” he said.

Mr Wissanu was responding to questions about the possibility of dissolving the CCSA when the government revokes the state of emergency, which it is said would usher in the next steps of containing the coronavirus outbreak.

The government is waiting for a new law that will allow it to declare a state of public health emergency without having to invoke the Emergency Decree, which generally covers all other emergencies, including terrorism and mass unrest, he said.

“As the general state of emergency has been used for some time now, [the government] has found that it doesn’t exactly fit the public health emergency the country is dealing with now. As such a specific law is required to replace the general state of emergency,” he said.

Public health emergencies require specialised measures that other types of emergencies may not need, he said, before admitting that since 2005, the Emergency Decree has been used as if it was a one-size-fits-all solution.

“When the new law is in place, a body even larger than the CCSA may be established if needed, so it doesn’t really matter if the CCSA is dissolved or not,” he said.

Asked if the CCSA will discuss changes to the state of emergency when it meets tomorrow, Mr Wissanu said only the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions are on the agenda.

However, a source said earlier that the lifting of the state of emergency will be on the agenda for the meeting when the CCSA is due to evaluate the effect of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Political protesters have accused the government of using the decree for political purposes, as the prohibition on public gatherings meant they couldn’t hold protests without breaking the law.

EPL predictions

The current state of emergency empowers Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to directly act on a situation without having to go through the required checks and balances in the name of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, it allows him to ban entry to certain areas deemed a high risk for virus transmission and outlaw public gatherings.

When asked whether the Communicable Disease Bill will be passed in time before the current parliamentary session ends on Sept 19, Mr Wissanu simply said a new session will begin on Nov 1.

Nopadhol Pereererks, spokesman for the Council of State, said the council is reviewing some additional points the government had added to the bill after the council had already finished examining it.

Dr Rewat Wisutwet, a list MP of Thai Liberal Party, meanwhile, said he agrees with calls for the lifting of the state of emergency and using the current Communicable Disease Act to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

More importantly, he said, the Ministry of Public Health should be allowed to lead the enforcement of the law and work independently from any political interference.

In another development, Udom Kachintorn, an adviser to the CCSA, said the still-high number of new daily COVID-19 infections results from two main factors: the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and a continuing transmission chain from people who are not aware of their infection.

The actual number of people infected with COVID-19 is estimated to be five to six times higher than the recorded number of confirmed cases, he said.

The actual number of cases in Bangkok, for instance, could be between 6 and 7 million, given the city’s 1.2mn cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19, he said.

Considering the current situation, the CCSA now has to shift its goal from lowering the number of new daily cases to zero as soon as possible, which appears unlikely to happen by the end of this year, given the current push to revive the economy.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Be the first to comment.


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Army sets up food kitchen for Rawai sea gypsies under lockdown

Hope the Rawai gypsies are allowed from their restricted grounds to be able to go straight out by bo...(Read More)

Communicable Disease Act to be amended

Where is the Phuket Governor now to defend his official statement of 6-8 weeks ago that within 2 wee...(Read More)

New Phuket anti-COVID campaign in full swing

Skip is right. Deaths have gone up since the vaccine rollout in Phuket, and this is just the start. ...(Read More)

Costs of forced repeated tests threaten Canadian Sandbox holiday

Dubai TAT Office warns Thai Government that the complicated COE application process as well the cos...(Read More)

Communicable Disease Act to be amended

In readable language: After Sept. CCSA and perhaps some other parties are not carry responsibility f...(Read More)

Phuket marks 254 new COVID cases, two more deaths

Well, with bit of luck numbers of daily Thai Covid infected reach the 300 by end September. The arri...(Read More)

Personal details of 106mn visitors to Thailand exposed online for 10 years

I miss to read that this concerns Thai Immigration. Infamous for not 'smart' operating her c...(Read More)

New Phuket anti-COVID campaign in full swing

the mass testing will produce more positives. the vexxine is causing the positives and the transmiss...(Read More)

Tempers flare over long vaccination queue

By contrast when I was there 2 weeks ago for my 2nd jab I was perplexed to find it absolutely desert...(Read More)

Personal details of 106mn visitors to Thailand exposed online for 10 years

great news, security is always First in this More)