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10 avr. 2020 | 14h55 UTC

Thailand: Government to impose lockdown in Phuket province April 13-26 /update 27

Thailand Alerte de sécurité

Government of Phuket province announces lockdown measures from April 13-26 to prevent spread of COVID-19; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/4/2020, 12h00 until 26/4/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Bangkok). COUNTRY/REGION Thailand, Phuket

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Event

On Thursday, April 9, the government of Phuket province announced lockdown measures that will come into effect from 00:01 (local time) on Monday, April 13, and last until 23:59 on Sunday, April 26, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the new measures, travel between districts and subdistricts will be prohibited, with exemptions for essential workers. The order from the government requests that residents stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave, for example to purchase food or other essentials. A government order introduced on Tuesday, April 9, requires everyone in Phuket to wear a face mask in public and imposed a curfew from 22:00 to 04:00 daily.

Pattaya municipality went into lockdown on April 9. Travel into the city is prohibited except for residents or those who work there amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Police checkpoints will be set up along major routes to enforce compliance, and mask-wearing in public will be mandatory. The lockdown is scheduled to last until Thursday, April 30.

The mayor of Koh Samui island also ordered a ban on all travel to the island from Monday, April 6, until April 30. During the entry ban, people will be prohibited from visiting Koh Samui with the exception of those with a health certificate issued by a public hospital in the previous 72 hours before entering the island, which confirms that they do not have the virus. Further exceptions to the ban will include individuals working in essential sectors, such as public health, energy, finance, consumer products, and postal services. Transport by ferry will be the only mode of transportation during the entry ban as the Koh Samui airport (USM) will be closed for the remainder of the month from Tuesday, April 7.

On Sunday, April 5, authorities in Songkhla province introduced a measure restricting travel to and from the province. The province's borders will remain closed until April 30. Exceptions to the travel ban will be made for people needing to travel for work in essential sectors. The shutdown of businesses, venues, and public spaces was extended on April 9 until April 30. Public parks and beaches have also been closed in a number of municipalities as part of the extension.

On Wednesday, April 8, authorities announced that all visas for foreigners who entered Thailand legally would be automatically extended until April 30 to avoid lines at government buildings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension is valid for all foreigners whose visas were due to expire between Thursday, March 26, and April 30. The government has also stated that if necessary, this measure will be extended on a month-by-month basis. Earlier, the government decreed migrant workers with expiring work permits would be permitted to stay in the country without having to apply for an extension until Thailand reopens its borders.

Additionally, Thai authorities announced the extension of school closures nationwide until Wednesday, July 1. Schools had previously been closed until Saturday, May 16. Previous measures remain in effect. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) announced on April 6, that it will be extending the ban of all international flights to Saturday, April 18. All state and military aircraft, emergency landings, humanitarian, medical, cargo, and repatriation flights will be exempt from the measure.

As of Friday, April 10, Thailand has confirmed 2473 cases of COVID-19, with 33 deaths and 1013 recoveries. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

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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