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PM urges return to 'normality' after scare

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, accompanied by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul and his deputy Sathit Pitutecha, chats with vendors at the Star Market in downtown Rayong. (Government House photo)

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Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told residents in Rayong to resume their normal lives while the Health Ministry confirmed no local transmissions in the province after an infected Egyptian soldier stayed there without being quarantined.

The premier on Wednesday travelled to Rayong from Bangkok by helicopter.

Prayut and his entourage, including Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul visited D Varee Diva Central Rayong and Passione Shopping Destination mall -- the places where the infected soldier spent time while staying in Rayong. 

The prime minister apologised to the people of Rayong and promised them this kind of event "would not happen again", referring to the infected soldier who was not in quarantine while staying in the province.

He called on people to remain confident in the public health system and doctors, asserting there would be no more VIPs going astray and that everyone must be tested for the virus.

Prayut said he would take responsibility for the incident and urged everyone to treat the Rayong event as a lesson. The premier called on the media to avoid running news reports that stir up nationwide panic and suggested they focus on reporting the fact that there have been no new local transmissions in the country.

Meanwhile, business people and members of the general public in Rayong on Wednesday went to Government House to submit a petition to the prime minister, asking for the cancellation of 14-day quarantine exemptions for foreign visitors.

"The people of Rayong have lived without much income for the past four to five months but we accepted the situation and complied with every measure," one businesswoman said.

"We do not want an apology. We want the government to respond to what happened and treat everyone equally."

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Vocabulary:

apologise : to say you are sorry for doing something wrong or for causing a problem - ขอโทษ

apology : an act of saying sorry - คำขอโทษ

astray (adv): to go in the wrong direction or to have the wrong result - หลงทาง

comply (verb): to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. or do what someone asks you to do - ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, ข้อตกลง etc.)

confident : certain; having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ

entourage : a group of people who travel with an important person - คณะผู้ติดตามของบุคคลสำคัญ

exemption : permission to not have to do something, such as making a payment, following a rule, etc. - ข้อยกเว้น

income : money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้

infected : having a disease transmitted from someone else - ซึ่งติดเชื้อ

panic : a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly - ความตื่นตกใจ

petition : a request of someone in authority to do something - คำร้อง

premier (noun): prime minister - นายกรัฐมนตรี

quarantine (verb): to keep a person or animal that might have a disease separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease - กักบริเวณ จำกัดบริเวณ

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

responsibility : deserving to be blamed for something that has happened - ความรับผิดชอบ

treat : to behave in a particular way towards somebody/something - ปฏิบัติ(ต่อ)

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