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State of emergency set to stay

The area near the Defence Ministry is quiet two hours after the curfew began at 10pm on April 22, 2020. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

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The emergency decree looks set to continue for another month as security authorities are still "not confident" about the Covid-19 situation following the easing of the lockdown since early this month, a military source says.

Their stance was revealed as Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday met military top brass to address the Covid-19 outbreak that was "wreaking havoc on people from all walks of life", the source said.

The source said military chiefs are ready to follow the government's wishes if it decides to extend the decree. Staunch enforcement will continue until the pandemic eases off, the source said.

The National Security Council, the National Intelligence Agency and military agencies have been keeping a close watch on the easing of business shutdowns since May 17, a day which saw large numbers of people flocking to shopping malls.

According to the source, security agencies are worried over the impact on public health if the state of emergency does not continue when the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) allows more businesses and activities to reopen in June.

In this "phase 2 easing period", the government needs to wait for at least 14 days to assess whether new lockdown easing will lead to further Covid-19 outbreaks.

National Security Council secretary-general Somsak Roongsita said he will call a meeting today on the executive decree, which is due to end on May 31, between security officers and representatives from health and business sectors.

Whether to further enforce the law will depend largely on the "actual Covid-19 situation", he said. The mostly one-digit infection rates a day which are being reported at the moment are the result of strict measures under the decree last month, he said.

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all walks of life : all parts of society , e.g., rich, poor, educated , uneducated, rural, city -

executive decree : an official order made by a leader or a government - พระราชกำหนด

flock : to go somewhere in large numbers; to gather together in large numbers - แห่กันไป

measures (noun): actions taken to solve a particular problem - มาตรการ

stance : an attitude or view about an issue that you state clearly; position - จุดยืน

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  (declare a state of emergency ประกาศภาวะฉุกเฉิน)

strict : demanding that rules are obeyed; very careful and exact - เข้มงวด

wish (noun): something that you want to have in the future - ความปรารถนา, ความประสงค์, ความต้องการ, ความอยาก

wreaking havoc : causing something bad to happen in a violent and often uncontrolled way - ทำให้เกิด ความเสียหายอย่างรุนแรง, ทำให้เกิดความหายนะ


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