Disease law set for change

Disease law set for change

Teenagers are vaccinated against Covid-19 at Vachira Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Teenagers are vaccinated against Covid-19 at Vachira Hospital in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The cabinet has approved a draft amendment to the 2015 Communicable Disease Act.

Such legislation is considered a step towards replacing the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), a temporary organisation established as part of an emergency decree set forth by the government to contain the virus.

The CCSA technically will no longer exist if the current state of emergency isn't renewed at the end of this month.

However, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam had said previously that in practice the CCSA will continue to function, although it may have to be transformed into something else after the state of emergency is lifted.

Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek, however, speaking after Tuesday's cabinet meeting, insisted the cabinet had yet to discuss the possibility of renewing the state of the emergency expiring on Sept 30.

"When the new law is in place, a body even larger than the CCSA may be established if needed, so it doesn't really matter if the CCSA is dissolved or not," Mr Wissanu said in the same interview.

According to a cabinet source, the government is unlikely to begin enforcing the amended Communicable Disease Act by the end of this month as expected since the government still needs to seek parliamentary approval first.

Ms Rachada also insisted that the approved draft amendment to the disease control law doesn't grant amnesty to policymakers as feared by some observers.

"It is only aimed at better protecting healthcare workers and other parties who are assigned to work under the amended law and work honestly.

"These parties -- including health volunteers, rescue workers and other workers handling Covid-19 patients -- will be freed from liability if it is proved they work honestly," she said.

Vocabulary

  • amendment: a small change that is made to a law -
  • body: a group of people who work or act together, often for an official purpose, or who are connected in some other way - กลุ่มคน, นิติบุคคล
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • communicable disease: a disease that can spread from one person or animal to another - โรคที่สามารถติดต่อได้
  • draft: something, e.g., a written proposal for changes to the constitution, a law, etc. that may be changed before it is finished - ร่างกฎหมาย
  • enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
  • expire: to come to an end or stop being in use - หมดอายุ
  • in practice (adjective): the way things are really done - การปฏิบัติ
  • insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
  • liability: (legal) responsibility for something or someone - ความรับผิดชอบ
  • renew: to add to the time something can be done or used - ต่ออายุ
  • technically: according to an exact understanding of rules, facts, etc. -
  • transform: to change from one form into another - เปลี่ยนไปสู่อีกสิ่งหนึ่ง
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