Patpong Market saw very few customers after the surrounding bars were ordered closed recently. Photo by Gary Boyle
People nationwide are strongly urged to stay home and stop socialising for seven days, starting this weekend, as the government steps up efforts to stem the coronavirus, Gen Pornpipat Benyasri, chief of Defence Forces, says.
A 24-hour curfew may have to be imposed if people don't stay home, said Gen Pornpipat, who is in charge of security affairs under the emergency decree that gave Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha full control of anti-virus measures.
His call followed a sharp rise in new infections, which numbered more than 1,000 for the first time yesterday after the country reported 111 new cases.
Gen Pornpipat said the emergency decree was invoked to control the spike in Covid-19 cases.
The country is not yet under total lockdown, Gen Pornpipat added, but if infections continue to rise, it may be inevitable.
He said people have to change their behaviour and stay home before case numbers jump and the situation spirals out of control.
If the situation is under control, the infection figure will stand at around 2,000 next week.
Otherwise, it has been estimated that the number of cases could climb to between 7,000 and 10,000 if no tough action is taken now.
"We need your cooperation this coming Saturday and Sunday not to leave home and to cancel all activities," he said. "Stay home and stop the spread of the virus for the sake of the nation, and continue doing this for a week," Gen Pornpipat said.
Businesses should have time beforehand to adjust their working schedules, he added.
Gen Pornpipat warned that if the number of new cases continues to rise, a curfew is inevitable and it could include daylight hours.
"If a curfew is to be imposed, it will not just be for the night time because the disease is always active by day and night," Gen Pornpipat said.
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affairs : events affecting a government, military, organisation, etc. - กรณียกิจ, กิจธุระ
call (noun): a request, an order or a demand for somebody to do something or to go somewhere - ข้อเรียกร้อง
cooperation : working together to achieve a result that will benefit all sides - ความร่วมมือ, การทำงานร่วมกัน
curfew : a law that does not allow people to go outside between a particular time in the evening and a particular time in the morning - กฎอัยการศึก คือห้ามออกนอกบ้านในยามวิกาล
emergency decree (noun): a situation where the government takes on special powers in a dangerous situation and the rights of the people are often limited in some way - ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน
impose : to introduce something and force people to accept it - กำหนด,บังคับใช้
inevitable : unavoidable - ซึ่งหลีกเลี่ยงไม่ได้
invoke : to use a rule or law as a reason or basis for doing something - ประกาศใช้ (กฎหมาย), อ้าง (กฎหมาย)
spike : a sudden increase - การพุ่งพรวดขึ้น