Health Ministry eyes night-venue shutdowns

Health Ministry eyes night-venue shutdowns

Temporarily closed entertainment venues in Ekamai-Thong Lor area. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Temporarily closed entertainment venues in Ekamai-Thong Lor area. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Ministry of Public Health is set to recommend the closure of night entertainment spots in high-risk areas of Bangkok.

The action is meant to deal with the fast-spreading UK variant of the coronavirus. The UK variant is believed to have played a significant role in spread of the latest cluster of infections detected at entertainment venues across the capital.

Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, chief of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), on Wednesday told a press conference that before the week's end, there will be an intra-ministerial committee meeting where the next steps for dealing with the latest outbreak, alongside existing Covid-19 preventive measures, will be discussed.

"If there are no proper measures to control the outbreak, the number of new infections could rise to as high as 10,000 cases per day, based on the ministry's calculations," he said.

"We need to have certain measures in place to control night entertainment spots in high-risk areas and one of those measures includes shutting them down.

"But the Public Health Ministry cannot issue this order; we need a formal state directive to back this up," he said.

The country, with a relatively low number of cases, is on full alert after it learned about the UK variant, which can spread 1.7 times faster than the usual strain.

The variant was found in 24 out of 291 patients tested. These patients are those who were infected after visiting bars in Bangkok, including in Thong Lor (Sukhumvit Soi 55) -- home to a number of popular night spots in the Sukhumvit area.


  • cluster: group of people, animals or things close together - กลุ่ม
  • deal with: to take action to solve a problem - จัดการปัญหา
  • directive: an official order - คำสั่ง
  • eye (verb): to consider carefully; to look at someone or something carefully - พิจารณา, มองดู
  • formal: official; following an agreed or official way of doing things - เป็นพิธี,ตามแบบ,ตามระเบียบ
  • intra: (adjective) within, inside, between - ภายใน
  • measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
  • significant: large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed - ซึ่งมีความหมาย
  • strain: a particular type of virus, animal, insect, or plant  - สายพันธุ์
  • variant: a thing that is a slightly different form or type of something else - สิ่งที่ผันแปร, สิ่งที่แตกต่างกัน
  • venues (noun): places where activities or events happen - สถานที่
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