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Government to declare emergency

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha gestures after announcing the government's plan to declare an emergency and measures to control Covid-19 at Government House in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

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The government will declare an emergency and introduce new measures to combat Covid-19 on Thursday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday.

Prayut said new requirements to control the disease would be enforced and a committee would be formed to work them out on a daily basis.

"Requirements will be announced the day after tomorrow. They will be issued on an ongoing basis to reduce the epidemic. Some will be requests for cooperation and others will be compulsory," the prime minister said.

"Do not return to your home provinces, or you will face penalties. There will be checkpoints along the way. Please do home quarantine (at your current location). Quarantine facilities will be opened locally and also by the government." Prayut said. Various places would be closed, he added.

 "Many people have been infected. There must be field hospitals and large-scale quarantine areas," the prime minister said.

"If the situation does not improve, there will be a total lockdown," Prayut said.

During the state of emergency, Prayut warned, people must be careful what they post on social media. Those who abuse social media would be arrested and prosecuted, he said.

Those who raise product prices unreasonably will also face penalties.

What does 'state of emergency' actually mean for people in Thailand?

During a state of emergency, the prime minister may:

  • prohibit anyone from leaving home for a certain period
  • ban assembly at any place
  • ban the reporting, selling, distributing or disseminating of any media that includes content that may frighten people or cause unrest, or that intentionally distorts news and information, in the area where the emergency has been declared or all over the country
  • prohibit the use of certain means or routes of transportation
  • prohibit the use of certain buildings or places, or evacuate people from certain areas

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Vocabulary:

abuse : the use of something in a bad, dishonest, or harmful way - การใช้ในทางที่ผิด

assembly : bringing together and forming a group - การนำมาร่วมกัน

checkpoint : a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries - ด่านตรวจ

committee : a group of people who are chosen, usually by a larger group, to make decisions or to deal with a particular subject - คณะกรรมการ

compulsory : if something is compulsory, you must do it because of a rule or law - ที่จำเป็นต้องทำ

declare : to announce officially - ประกาศ

disseminate : to spread or give out something, especially news, information, ideas, etc., to a lot of people - เผยแพร่

distort : to change something such as information so that it is not longer true or accurate - บิดเบือน

enforce  : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม

field hospital (noun): a temporary hospital, e.g. near a battlefield, a natural disaster, etc. -

means : methods; ways - วิธี, วิธีการ

ongoing : continuing - อย่างต่อเนื่อง

penalty : a punishment, or the usual punishment, for doing something that is against a law - โทษ

prohibit : to not allow; to ban - ห้าม

quarantine (noun): a situation in which a person or animal that might have a disease is kept separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease - การกักบริเวณ, การจำกัดบริเวณ

state of emergency : a dangerous situation in which the government takes on special powers and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ภาวะฉุกเฉิน   

total : complete - เต็มที่

unreasonably : not fair; expecting too much - เกินกว่าเหตุ, มากเกินไป, ไม่เหมาะสม

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