The new plans will see the inner Pattaya area which is home to many foreigners, become the focus of checkpoints and lockdown measures for at least three weeks. The move follows chaos on Thursday when lockdown measures backfired on provincial travellers in Chonburi transiting through Pattaya to other areas of the seaboard province.
Officials in Pattaya announced on Friday that they are reorienting checkpoints and control measures to lock down the city by focusing on the inner city area associated with foreigners who are linked with 87% of the city’s infections to date.
Pattaya’s lockdown is to be adjusted and focused from Tuesday on the centre of the city which is home to over 2,800 foreigners.
This was the line being given out by the officials and the city’s Mayor Sonthaya Khunpluem on Friday after a meeting on Thursday night and intensive discussions following a day of chaos and frustration.
Thursday’s lockdown plan caused chaos
Initial efforts to set up checkpoints on main roads and streets to Pattaya are believed to have impacted large numbers of travellers moving within Chonburi province and not heading for Pattaya at all.
Mayor of Pattaya accepted the need to change and this has led to a new plan for Tuesday
On Friday, this was acknowledged by ex Tourism Minister and Mayor of the resort city, Sonthaya Khunpluem.
He conceded that that overwhelmed checkpoints on five approaches to the city set up on Thursday at various locations including Soi Chaiyapornvithee, Motorway Route 2, Soi Pornprapanimit, Soi Chayaporn and Sukhumvit Road had caused unintended disruption to local Chonburi people who fully cooperated with authorities.
Then, calls came on Thursday night from many quarters to change the arrangements and configuration of the lockdown to curb the virus.
This included representations from the district chief of Banglamung, Amnart Charoensri.
It led to a meeting of the communicable disease control committee for the city.
New plans from Tuesday will target the city’s area popular with foreign residents which is a priority
The new arrangement will come into play on Tuesday and will see checkpoints at Dolphin Circle, the entrance to North Pattaya and also Central Pattaya, South Pattaya and on Jomtien Sai 2 Road.
The checkpoints will be manned by officials and police and will remain in place for a three week period which, it is hoped, will coincide with the subsidence of the virus emergency in the city.
Pattaya has been a centre of infection for the disease with 30 cases out of 72 in total in the province of Chonburi being found in the city.
Of these, 26 or nearly 87% are foreigners, staying in the popular tourist town now shut down because of the coronavirus.
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See Thai virus data here courtesy of the Thai Ministry of Public Health