Covid control measures likely to stay

Covid control measures likely to stay

A woman looks on at a quiet market in Bangkok where all shops are closed. A government spokesperson has dismissed the possibility of quick relaxation of disease control measures that are restricting people's everyday life. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
A woman looks on at a quiet market in Bangkok where all shops are closed. A government spokesperson has dismissed the possibility of quick relaxation of disease control measures that are restricting people's everyday life. (Photo: Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Disease control measures that restrict everyday life are unlikely to be relaxed, but it will depend on how well people cooperate, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Thursday that the most important criteria for relaxing the measures are public health, followed by economic and social factors.

"Decisions about any relaxation are difficult. There may first have to be a level of social distancing that people must observe," he said.

"For example, for the reopening of shopping centres, everyone must wear a face mask and there must be enough​ open space to prevent crowd congestion. If there is an excess of visitors, they may have to wait outside. For easing restrictions on barbers' shops, there must be discipline."

A working group at the Public Health Ministry, including specialists, was seriously studying loosening controls, Dr Taweesin said.

"I believe we will continue the current struggle for quite a while as no countries have dared to cancel all their control measures yet," he said.

Dr Taweesin also said 832 people were caught breaking curfew on Wednesday night, 13 fewer than the previous day, and 168 defied the gathering ban, up by 87. Most of them were involved in gambling, drinking and drug abuse.

Nonthaburi posted the largest gathering so far -- 101 people -- followed by a group of 49 in Bangkok. The most curfew violations happened in the Central Plains.

No new Covid-19 cases were recorded in 25 provinces over the past 14 days including Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi and Phrae provinces.

The number of daily new cases in greater Bangkok has increased in the past few days while those in other provinces declined.

"These data are important factors for decisions on measure relaxation in the future," Dr Taweesilp said.


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