Yala province goes into lockdown

Yala province goes into lockdown

YALA: The kingdom's southernmost province has announced a lockdown to restrict people's movements and a ban on dining in restaurants starting tomorrow after a surge in new Covid-19 cases, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The province recorded 22 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing its total to 507 cases. Yala has recorded a total of five Covid-19 deaths.

According to the CCSA in Yala, movement in and out of the province is restricted from tomorrow until July 7. People who must visit the province out of necessity must utilise the "Yala Safe Alert" QR code and inform disease control officials before travelling, it said.

All restaurants will only be permitted to offer takeaway services until 10pm, and they are required to place hand sanitising gels, it said. Customers are required to wear a face mask and keep a distance of two metres from each other, it said.

Friday prayers at all mosques are suspended, and there is a ban on religious gatherings until the end of the month, it said. Students will continue to study online until the end of the month, it said.

Dr Songkran Maichum, a provincial public health official, yesterday said face-to-face interactions in communities resulted in a spike in new cases. Some Muslim worshippers were seen washing their body parts at mosques during Friday prayers despite an order to do so at home, he said.

"We must be ready to contain the virus as next month will [see] three huge activities, including the reopening of the new school term, the opening of a major fruit market and the Muslim festival Hari Raya Haji [Eid al-Adha]," Dr Songkran said. "If we don't deal with the current clusters, there could be another [new cluster]."

Yala has been battling clusters found at the Regional Juvenile Vocational Training Centre 9 and communities in Than To district.

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