'Overall Covid situation' delays reopening of Bangkok

'Overall Covid situation' delays reopening of Bangkok

A lone man walks along a deserted street in normally bustling Khao San Bangkok on Sunday. The third wave of Covid-19 has led to strict controls that have brought tourism in the area to a halt. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)
A lone man walks along a deserted street in normally bustling Khao San Bangkok on Sunday. The third wave of Covid-19 has led to strict controls that have brought tourism in the area to a halt. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's plan to allow five types of business to reopen on Tuesday was put off for two weeks because the prime minister was still concerned about the overall Covid-19 situation, National Security Council chief Gen Natthapol Nakpanich said.

Gen Natthapol chairs the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration's operations centre. He said the decision was made by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha as director of the CCSA. 

City Hall initially announced on Monday that it would allow five types of business, including spas and beauty clinics, to re-open on June 1.  However, on Monday afternoon the CCSA overrode the decision, delaying the re-opening for 14 days.

Gen Natthapol said on Tuesday that Gen Prayut had taken into consideration the fact the number of Covid-19 infections was still high and the pandemic continued unabated.

The prime minister was concerned about the overall situation, and wanted the city's reopening delayed.

Although City Hall had announced the planned reopening, it had not issued an order putting it into effect, he said.

Gen Natthapol said the prime minister well understood the wishes of City Hall and business operators.

On May 31, Gen Prayut had ordered him to consult with the Ministry of Public Health to expedite an allocation of vaccines for workers in the businesses which City Hall said should be allowed to re-open.

Asked about the provincial administration organisation of Pathum Thani's plan to buy an alternative vaccine, if it gets CCSA permission, Gen Natthapol said he would consult Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, chairman of the committee on alternative vaccines, and forward a recommendation to Gen Prayut for a final decision.

The Nakhon Patchasima provincial administration organisatiom also plans to buy an alternative vaccine for use in the province. 

Both PAOs referred the Sinopharm vaccine the Chulabhorn Royal Academy plans to import from China.

The government is distributing only vaccines by Sinovac, from China, and AstraZeneca. 

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