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Thailand extends state of emergency until end of June

Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has endorsed the proposal of the National Security Council to extend the country’s current state of emergency until the end of June, as the country recorded no new infections or fatalities today.

CCSA spokesman Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin said at the daily news briefing that the CCSA meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, agreed with the extension of the emergency decree on the grounds of health security, citing the need for the special law to ensure the unified and speedy operations of all agencies concerned in the collective fight against the deadly virus.

He explained that the Communicable Disease Control Act, although empowering officials to adopt measures to curb the spread of infectious diseases, is not enough to cover all necessary preventive aspects.

Another reason for the extension of the emergency decree, said Dr. Taweesin, is that, as Thailand is approaching the third and fourth phases of the relaxation of lockdown restrictions, on business activities which are regarded as being at a higher risk of disease transmission, it is necessary to ensure a balance between vigilance and the easing restrictions in a way which will not lead to a second wave of infections.

Dr. Taweesin said the third reason cited by the CCSA for the extension is that Thailand is still at risk from the contagion, because it is still spreading in many other countries, and a workable vaccine is still at least a year away.

“We are not out of danger yet.  We are in the second phase of lockdown relaxation.  If we do not have the emergency decree, what will happen?” he asked, as he insisted that the special law is just one of the tools invoked to curb the spread of the virus.

He hinted, however, that the next CCSA meeting will discuss the 11 pm-4 am curfew, which may be further relaxed to provide greater freedom of movement for working people.

According to the CCSA, accumulated infections in Thailand are 3,037, with 2,910 recoveries, 56 fatalities and 71 still in hospital.

Dr. Taweesin did, however, say that there are two suspected cases awaiting test results. They are returnees from Egypt and India who are currently in state quarantine.

Between May 8th and May 21st, there were 15 infections among those in state quarantine after returning from abroad.

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