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Songkran substitute possible in July: CCSA

Songkran substitute possible in July: CCSA

THAILAND: The government is considering a long holiday in July to make up for the cancelled Songkran break if infection trends continue to decline, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said yesterday (June 1).

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 2 June 2020, 08:41AM

Revellers and water fights are absent from Silom Road, one of Bangkok’s top destinations for the Songkran festival, on April 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul.

Revellers and water fights are absent from Silom Road, one of Bangkok’s top destinations for the Songkran festival, on April 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said that a substitute holiday period is possible next month if the number of new novel coronavirus disease cases remains low throughout June.

“If things go well, we might not need the emergency decree in July and we may finally have a holiday for Songkran,” he said at the daily COVID-19 press briefing.

To prevent people from travelling en masse and spreading the virus amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government postponed this year’s Songkran, or Thai New Year celebrations, which were due to take place on April 13-15.

While the cabinet had just recently extended the state of emergency in Thailand until June 30, government experts are now trying to figure out which laws could be used to control a second wave of COVID-19 infections, if it occurs after the emergency has been lifted.

The CCSA yesterday reported one new COVID-19 case – a returnee in a state quarantine facility – and no new fatalities.

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According to Dr Taweesilp, the new case was a 43-year-old Thai woman who returned from Russia and entered a state quarantine facility in Chon Buri on May 20. She tested negative for the virus upon arrival, but a second test on May 31 showed a positive result.

The patient was asymptomatic and was admitted to hospital for treatment, he said.

Dr Taweesilp said even though new COVID-19 cases over the past seven consecutive days were found in state quarantine facilities only, the coast is not yet clear. Local infections should remain at zero over the next few weeks, he said.

“We are in the third phase of lockdown easing, but we are at the critical junction. There are still risks, so we must comply with basic hygiene measures,” he said.

He also defended the CCSA’s decision to suspend facial massage services at spa facilities but allow aesthetic clinics to resume operations, saying aesthetic clinics have stricter hygiene measures and protocols.

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maverick | 04 June 2020 - 11:36:15

Why is their an assumption that this will involve traditional Songkran activities - from what I read this is an attempt to boost the economy with a public holiday to replace the two days lost in April. Why the immediate negative response personally I think it is just what the local population need an opportunity to visit family or take time at the beach why has it 
always got to be us us us 

Kurt | 04 June 2020 - 06:52:11

Will it not be wise to skip that pseudo Songkran next month?  Thinking about social distance and water saving. Will it be a substitute holiday with alcohol sales ban? Hehehe. Many 'no can do' rules to set for the bureaucratic paper tigers. Great time for them.

Pascale | 03 June 2020 - 11:08:48

@Galong   Who says water splashing events would be allowed ?

Galong | 03 June 2020 - 07:24:21

What a horrible idea! There will be no social distancing and I'm not sure masks work when wet (if they will even be worn), not to mention the usual DRUNK DRIVING ISSUES associated with Songkran. Expect a spike it Covid 19 cases in addition to shocking road fatality numbers. 

Pascale | 02 June 2020 - 10:52:42

Brilliant idea.After months of lock-down all the people who lost their job need a holiday . And as the schools are set to reopen in July,teachers and kids need a break too.Btw,read that Pubs or Bars in Bangkok won't reopen till July.Guess we can expect the same for Phuket.Probably still no alcohol with a meal in a restaurant too.Crazy !


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