Thailand reports no new cases, prepares to end lockdown
by Weena Kowitwanij

No new cases have been reported in 50 provinces in the last 28 days. A curfew (10pm-4am) has been in place since 3 April with most activities locked down. A survey cited in the media indicates that 88 per cent of respondents want the lockdown extended with only 12 disagreeing. The authorities are appealing for blood donations. China has provided aid.

 


Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Thailand has reported no new COVID-19 cases today; the first time since 13 January, this according to Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). In all, no new cases have been reported in 50 of Thailand’s 77 provinces for the past 28 days.

Although many people would like to go back to a normal life, the CSSA spokesman has warned Thais to keep to security measures and not lower their guard. So far, 3,017 OCVID-19 cases have been reported in the country with 117 people hospitalised and 56 deaths.

The outbreak began in January when 80 spectators who attended a Thai boxing match at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok tested positive. About 40 of them came from the capital, whilst another 40 came from a number of southern provinces (Yala, Pukhet, Pattanee). Several of them have become coronavirus spreaders.

Since 3 April, the country has been under a tight curfew (10pm-4am) and most activities have been locked down. Clear health instructions have been issued: staying at home, hot meals, isolation, frequent hand washing, no large gatherings, wearing masks.

Since 3 May, some activities have been reopened under tight security measures. However, the lockdown has left many day labourers jobless and with no income, especially in tourism and among street vendors.

Now many are calling for activities to restart. But Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the decision is up to the Health Ministry and parliament.

For their part, Thai media have reported the results of a poll that indicates that 88 per cent of respondents are in favour of extending the lockdown whilst 12 per cent would like to see security measures eased.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that Thais must get used to a "new normal" as “The situation will be normal only when we have the vaccine for COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin has called for blood donations to help the sick, especially from people who have recovered from the illness, as the use of plasma from healed people hastens the recovery of COVID-19 patients.

China’s recent delivery of 30 million baht (US,000) worth of medical supplies to a Thai military airport to help in the fight against the pandemic has impressed many Thais, many whom are of ethnic Chinese origin.

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