Thailand’s Prime Minister announced a nationwide curfew to curtail the outbreak of coronavirus in the country in a televised address on Thursday.
The government will impose a curfew starting Friday from 10 pm – 4 am except for medical personnel and people working in essential positions.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha added that he was taking measures to ensure that goods and services would remain available to all Thais and merchants or stores caught profiteering would face penalties. Hoarders will also face penalties.
Prayut said that correct information was also in the public interest. The government has set up an information center to give the government a single voice with public broadcasts and televised address.
“Those caught spreading fake news will be punished by law,” said Prayut. “Right now it is health over liberty.”
The prime minister also appealed to Thais living overseas to contact their embassies should they wish to return home so that the government can coordinate their repatriation.
The prime minister said that Thais that are infected by Covid-19 would have their expenses paid for by the government. Prayut also added that reports of shortages experienced by medical workers would be addressed by him personally.
“[The healthcare workers] are all soldiers on the front line in a battle against an invisible enemy,” he said. “As the commander in chief, I will not let them fight without the supplies necessary.”
Prayut ended the broadcast with his now familiar catchphrase.
“Thailand must win!”
(Reporting by James Wilson, Pear Maneechote, Cod Satrusayang and Erich Parpart)