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Thai PM cautious on extending or lifting emergency decree

Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, says a meeting of cabinet ministers, did not discuss an extension of the emergency decree.

Concerning his open letter to Thailand’s top 20 billionaires, Gen. Prayut insists that he only wants to hear their ideas related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and there are no vested interests involved.

The Prime Minister said that the cabinet meeting did not consider extending the emergency decree, which is being enforced nationwide until April 30 this year. The government is collecting related information, and it will be presented to the cabinet meeting next week. The situation depends on public cooperation and compliance with precautionary measures.

Gen. Prayut said the government will have to be cautious when considering which measures can be eased. Although fewer infections are now being reported, the government cannot simply relax the measures as it could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases, and all the effort to date would go to waste.

He urged the public not to pressure the government and cause others to be misinformed about the government’s work. He insisted that his administration will continue to handle all issues as carefully as possible.

Speaking of his plan to contact the country’s top 20 wealthiest people, the Prime Minister said he wants to know how their organizations are helping their employees. He also wants to gather ideas and opinions from all involved, as they can be used to support the government’s measures.They will not be discussing loans or a mutual exchange of benefits. Gen. Prayut added that he won’t be meeting the 20 billionaires in person, and a distortion of these facts will not benefit anyone

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