Coronavirus impact may last another 9 months: Prayut

Coronavirus impact may last another 9 months: Prayut

This handout from the Royal Thai Government taken on May 1, 2020 shows Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha talking to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi about the Covid-19 novel coronavirus situation during a phone call in Bangkok. (AFP PHOTO / ROYAL THAI GOVERNMENT)
This handout from the Royal Thai Government taken on May 1, 2020 shows Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha talking to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi about the Covid-19 novel coronavirus situation during a phone call in Bangkok. (AFP PHOTO / ROYAL THAI GOVERNMENT)

Thailand may see the economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic spread over another nine months, the prime minister said on Tuesday, as disruption from the global crisis drags on tourism and domestic activity.

The country could lose more than 1.3 trillion baht and up to 10 million jobs due to the outbreak, according to estimates from business groups.

"We expect the impact on the economy to last for quite awhile, not only three months, but possibly six or nine months," Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha told a news conference.

"We need to prepare measures to cope with that," he said.

Gen Prayut said he might ask more rich people for cooperation in addressing the economic fall-out from the outbreak, as he did with the country's 20 richest people last month.

The government has introduced economic measures worth billions of dollars to mitigate the impact from the virus, including its latest package worth 1.9 trillion baht that was approved in early April.

The Bank of Thailand has forecast the economy will shrink 5.3% this year, which would be the worst contraction since the Asian currency and debt crisis of 1998.

The country has reported a total of 2,988 infections and 54 deaths since the outbreak emerged in January. The government allowed some businesses to start reopening on Sunday.

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