Bangkok shutdown mulled after Songkran break

The Thai government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are considering a lockdown of the capital and surrounding provinces to stem the tide of the current wave of the pandemic, officials said on Wednesday.

With the number of new cases hovering around 1,000 cases per day, the public health ministry has said that the third wave of the pandemic could be the most severe yet.

Field hospitals have been built in the Bangkok and some have already been filled to near capacity after the outbreak started in entertainment venues in the capital earlier this month.

General Natthapon Nakpanich, who heads the Covid-19 operations center, told government television channel MCOT on Wednesday that all options were being considered including a lockdown of the capital after the holiday period ends.

The government had previously said that it was not considering a lockdown of Bangkok prior to the Songkran break but with numbers seemingly skyrocket, that option has been put back onto the table.

“What they should have done was postpone the Songkran holiday and lockdown immediately,” said a senior doctor at Siriraj Hospital.

“What you’re going to see now is clusters all over the country because people have been traveling,” the doctor told Thai Enquirer on the condition of anonymity.

Travel between provinces is still allowed under current rules and regulations although some provinces have mandated a quarantine for those traveling from Bangkok.

It is unclear what shape or form a post-Songkran lockdown will take and whether it will be a partial lockdown or a complete one like in April 2020.

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