[Update-1] Thailand confirms 51 new coronavirus cases; airspace closed until 18th of April

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health confirmed on Monday 51 new coronavirus cases as the government considers shutting down the country to halt the spread of the disease.

The 51 new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases to 2,220.

There were 3 more casualties bringing the death toll up to 26.

119 more people have recovered from the disease bringing the total number of recovered to 793 patients.

The majority of cases were still concentrated in Bangkok but the drop in new cases means that Thai people were cooperating with government measures and we want to thank them, said government spokesman Dr Thaweesin Visanuyothin.

Dr Thaweesin also revealed that of the 51 new cases, 13 were healthcare practitioners on the frontlines of the fight against the coronavirus. He said that this was one of the most at-risk groups.

Thailand extends flight ban

Thailand said on Monday that it would continue to close the country’s airspace until 11:59 pm on the 18th of April. All commercial flights flying into the country will be banned to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Exempt from the ban will be emergency landings, state or military aircraft, or humanitarian flights.

It is unclear how this will affect dozens of Thais stranded in overseas airports due to the original airspace closure which started on Thursday, April 2.

Dr Thaweesin said on Monday morning that Thais stranded overseas must contact the local embassy and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was coordinating shelter and response.

Government shutdown

It is understood by Thai Enquirer that the government is currently considering various lockdown measures as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread throughout the country.

Among the suggested measures being deliberated by the cabinet is a total shut down of all provinces as well as a 24-hour curfew for a fortnight. In such a scenario, provincial governments will be responsible for supplying citizens with basic necessities, sources inside the ruling party said.

Prayut has since denied those rumours on Monday by saying that there were no current plans for a 24-hour curfew.

“The government must discuss all possibilities and be prepared for all eventualities,” he said.

The Prayut administration imposed a nationwide curfew starting last Friday from 10 pm – 4 am.

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