News Alerts

31 Mar 2020 | 02:21 AM UTC

Thailand: Phuket in lockdown until April 30 due to COVID-19 March 30 /update 18

Thailand News Alert

Thai government officials place Phuket in lockdown due to COVID-19 from March 30 until April 30; further spread of the virus expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/31/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Thailand, Phuket

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Event

On Monday, March 30, local government officials ordered a lockdown in Phuket after authorities confirmed 53 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province. All entry and exit points, except for air travel, will be closed through Thursday, April 30, or until further notice depending on the situation. Traffic in and out of Phuket via the Tha Chat Chai checkpoint will be restricted except for ambulances, official vehicles, and trucks carrying essential supplies. Meanwhile, Narathiwat and Pattani province in southern Thailand are also in lockdown as of March 30 due to the spread of COVID-19 in these areas.

A state of emergency remains in place in Thailand as of Wednesday, March 25, which gives the government sweeping powers to respond to a public health crisis. An entry ban on foreign non-resident nationals also remains in effect as of March 25. On Friday, March 27, the Thai government announced the closure of facilities in Bangkok including libraries, museums, playgrounds, sporting grounds, meeting halls, childcare centers, and beauty clinics due to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). These closures and the previous closure of shopping malls, eat-in restaurants, and other businesses will remain in effect until April 30. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies will remain open in Bangkok.

As of Monday, March 30, there have been more than 1524 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Thailand, including nine fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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