Bangkok extends closure order to May 17

Bangkok extends closure order to May 17

Schools, entertainment venues and parks among places covered by directive originally set to end on Sunday

Mass testing is conducted at Wat Klong Toey School on Wednesday after a new coronavirus cluster emerged in Klong Toey district. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Mass testing is conducted at Wat Klong Toey School on Wednesday after a new coronavirus cluster emerged in Klong Toey district. (Photo by Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has extended for another week a closure order that was set to end on Sunday in light of a continued high rate of coronavirus infections in the capital

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang on Friday signed a new order that will extend until May 17 the present directive that applies to several businesses and public places.

The extension was necessary because of the virus spike in the capital as City Hall was trying to stem the outbreak, according to the order.

Places affected by the order include schools, entertainment venues and public parks, while shopping malls can open until 9pm and convenience stores are allowed to shut their doors one hour later.

Bangkok has been one of the hot spots of the third outbreak of the pandemic, part of a dark red zone that includes Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri and Chiang Mai.

The capital has topped the national table with 16,917 infections since the new surge began to cripple the country in April, according to data from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Friday. New infections rose on Friday to 869 from 739 on Thursday.

Cases in Bangkok surged after new clusters were detected in crowded communities, including Klong Toey district. Other high-risk areas are the Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing in Bang Kae district.

(Reuters video)The once-bustling capital of Thailand seems strangely quiet after the government asks people to avoid non-essential travel in a move to contain the new Covid-19 outbreak.

People affected by the extended closure have aired their frustrations on the BMA Facebook account, with some complaining that they should have been informed earlier so that they could plan their businesses.

One of the most widely criticised measures has been the ban on dining in at restaurants in the six dark-red provinces including Bangkok. Only take-away and delivery service is allowed.

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