PM seeks cooperation for reopening

PM seeks cooperation for reopening

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asks for public and business sector cooperation to help contain Covid-19 and support the country's reopening on Monday, after chairing a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration at Government House on Friday. (Screenshot)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asks for public and business sector cooperation to help contain Covid-19 and support the country's reopening on Monday, after chairing a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration at Government House on Friday. (Screenshot)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the public and businesses to strictly comply with disease controls, and protesters not to damage the national image, to ensure the country's reopening on Monday is a success.

Speaking after chairing a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration at Government House on Friday, Gen Prayut said he needed the cooperation of all parties for the reopening to visitors from 46 countries.

"The government has prepared many appropriate measures. Everyone must follow them to the fullest extent and avoid the risk of transmission of Covid-19," he said.

The prime minister said mandatory quarantine would be conditionally lifted for arrivals by air from the specified countries, but would remain for arrivals by land and water.

"Officials must be serious about regulating arrivals through the other means and keeping out illegal migrants. Neighbouring countries will be requested to cooperate," Gen Prayut said.

The government would gradually reopen checkpoints for border trade. Buyers and sellers would not meet in person, but deliver goods via no-contact areas.

He had instructed medical personnel to be ready to respond, including having field hospitals and quarantine areas ready, in the event of Covid-19 outbreaks after the country reopens.

The government had already placed an order for the anti-viral Covid treatment drug molnupiravir so that the country would have a supply for quick administration. The government was also buying favipiravir and had ordered the local development of herbal medicines for initial treatment of Covid-19 patients.

He assured the people that the government would prevent an excessive influx of foreign visitors. The "sandbox" reopening model introduced in Phuket in July proved to be effective and many other countries were adopting it, Gen Prayut said.

The prime minister said he had announced Thailand's reopening in advance so that it could be one of the first destinations of international travellers during the high season.

At the same time, he asked demonstrators to cooperate by protecting the national image and avoiding any action that would discourage visitors.

"The most important thing for the government is to let people resume their livelihoods and for supply chains of raw materials to function along with the country's reopening," Gen Prayut said.

Thailand was among the top countries in providing the best care for people during the Covid-19 crisis, behind only a few rich countries, he said.

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