BANGKOK: Currently over 52% of infections are outside Bangkok. One of the hotspot provinces is Nonthaburi. The local governor on Tuesday revealed that there are 700,000 foreigners living in the province which is intertwined with Bangkok. He made the remarks as provincial authorities begin to close all convenience stores from 10 pm.

Thailand’s Covid 19 Administration Centre indicated on Tuesday that a lockdown, which was feared last week, may be off the cards for now if the current level of infections and limited spread of the outbreak can be maintained.

The spokesman for the Covid 19 Administration Centre in Bangkok, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, on Tuesday indicated that there may not be a need for further measures in Bangkok as the current level of infections and spread of the disease appears to be acceptable for now. However, the Governor of Nonthaburi province, Sujin Chaichumsak, announced restrictions on alcohol sales after 6 pm and the closure of all convenience stores after 10 pm. The province is adjacent to Bangkok and currently accounts for 3.6% of nationals infections.

Today, nonetheless, saw 1 additional death and 127 new infections. A spokesman for the Covid 19 centre described the situation right now as acceptable while urging the Thai public towards increased vigilance.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin suggested that there may not be any further measures taken in Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, to restrict personal freedoms or movement to defeat the virus at this point.

Experts and Thailand’s security chief during the Covid 19 emergency, General Pornpipat Benyasri, warned last week that the kingdom could have been facing up to 8,000 cases in the coming week and that this would have triggered a lockdown. 

Public urged to curtail journeys further

However, Dr Taweesin still requested the public’s cooperation in reducing travel activities to help defeat the Covid 19 virus.

He also warned that the administration centre was concerned about April 1st pranks and jokes linked to the virus which may stir people to panic at this sensitive and stressful time for many Thais locked indoors.

23 people in intensive care with 1,651 infections

The latest figures to March 31st show 127 new infections with one more death from the killer disease. There are now 23 intensive care cases.

These people are struggling to survive the virus in its most extreme form.

The number of new cases in the last week to ten days has been growing outside Thailand’s capital but it is still the area of the country with the highest number of infections although nearly 52% are now in the provinces.

The total number of cases in the kingdom On Tuesday stood at 1,651 infections with 10 deaths since the first case was detected in January.

Nonthaburi has 3.6% of infections as Governor shuts convenience stores from 10 pm on Tuesday

One of the hardest-hit provinces is Nonthaburi which is adjacent to the Thai capital. The province has 59 infections or 3.6% of cases. The Governor of Nonthaburi, Sujin Chaichumsak, on Tuesday announced tighter restrictions on the opening hours for convenience stores and the sale of alcohol.

Stores will be closed from 10 pm until 5 am while alcohol cannot be sold after 6 pm.

The governor said it is impossible to shut down the strategically located province due to interconnectedness with Bangkok and the fact that it has 700,000 foreigners living within its borders.

Chonburi and Pattaya also tighten restrictions

On Tuesday, Chonburi including Pattaya announced that all bars and restaurants wherever they are located are to shut at once with only take away services remaining open.

That province has already closed convenience stores in the last 48 hours from 10 pm also.

Provinces introduce entry requirements and quarantine orders to fight the virus spread

Similar orders are being issued at provincial level throughout the country with southern provinces moving to halt inward bound traffic from other parts of Thailand.

This was the case in the last 24 hours in Trat province where the governor is being urged to introduce a medical cert requirement as in other provinces and a mandatory 14 day quarantine for visitors.

This followed the arrival of 10,000 visitors over a few days including people returning from other provinces and tourists seeking a getaway during the health emergency.

Further reading:

Monday’s figures include 2 more virus deaths as emergency Covid team calls for fewer commuters

Still a chance to avoid a curfew or lockdown if the public stays at home over the coming 7 days to quell virus

24-hour curfew in the works as the government puts curbs on national travel with checkpoints on roads

Emergency centre led by the Prime Minister takes power on Thursday to fight the virus in Thailand

Minor Group boss calls on Prayuth to take decisive action to lock down Thailand and protect people’s lives