SHOPPING MALLS AMONG VENUES IN BANGKOK TO CLOSE AS COVID-19 CASES SPIKE

LINDA KHOO HUI LI

BANGKOK, March 21 (Bernama)  -- Thailand today announced the closure of more venues, including shopping malls, in this capital city for 22 days from Sunday to April 12 in a bid to check the spread of COVID-19 as the number of positive cases surpassed the 400-mark Saturday.

The authorities have ordered the closure of what are considered as high-risk venues that attract crowds, such as non-food markets, spas, beauty salons, barber shops, arcades, golf courses and driving ranges, swimming pools, cockfighting pits, and conference and exhibition venues. 

Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang said supermarkets that sell food and daily goods as well as pharmacies will remain open.

“Restaurants will  be open and offer only takeaway services,” he said in a statement.

He said those violating the order may face a jail term of one year or a fine of up to 100,000 baht (about RM13,500), or both, under the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015).

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COVID-THAILAND (CLOSURE) 2 BANGKOK 

 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha announced that all educational institutions, including local and international schools, universities and tuition centres, in Thailand will be closed for two weeks, from March 18 to 31.

Also closed for the two weeks are all sports venues, including stadiums, boxing arenas and horse-racing venues; entertainment outlets, pubs, bars, cinemas and massage centres in and around Bangkok. 

However, following the announcement by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) Saturday, these venues will be closed till April 12.

Aswin urged the people to stay calm and stop panic buying following the announcement Saturday.

“I guarantee that you will have sufficient supply,” he said.

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Saturday, Thailand reported its biggest hike in COVID-19 infections, with 89 new cases that has taken the tally to 411 with one fatality. 

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that at present 80 per cent of the COVID-19 confirmed cases are in Bangkok.

“We need to focus on Bangkok first in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, then we can improve the overall situation in the country,” he said.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Thailand, closure, shopping malls, Bangkok