Thailand will impose a nationwide curfew as a containment measure to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus with effect from April 3, the government said in a statement as per media reports. The deputy government spokesperson, Ratchada Thanadirek, told a news agency that the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, will make an official announcement on the national television about the curfew at 6pm.
According to reports, the curfew will exempt the transportation of the medical supplies, movement of individuals for quarantine, the patients rushed to the hospitals, movement of medic personnel, among other essential movements exception. The enforcement of the sweeping measures is aimed at mitigating the community spread of the COVID-19 disease. A spokesperson for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration in Thailand, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, said at a press conference that over 1,875 people have tested positive, and at least 15 deaths have been recorded, including the 3 new deaths in the past 24 hours.
Earlier this month, the Thailand government imposed stricter guidelines on international arrivals at the airport that required the travellers to validate health certificates to the authorities stating they fit and showed no symptoms for the novel coronavirus. A medical insurance cover had to be produced as well, according to media reports. Thailand’s tourism industry accounted for 12 per cent of the economy, as per the government’s official figures, and the country had been reluctant to endanger the revenue.
A government spokesperson, Narumon Pinyosinwat, had mentioned in a news briefing earlier that such immediate measures, however, might be implemented. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand was in the process of designing those guidelines, she was quoted as saying. "Today we are trying to block those who bring the disease into Thailand, so that's why I tell you that everyone who is about to enter Thailand should have a health certificate," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said at a press conference. "That was an extension from four “disease infected zones” — South Korea, China, Macao, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran, but today we need it from every country as we attempt to control the outbreak in the country and lower the number of infected people as much as we can," he added.