Covid-19: Thailand extends state of emergency to June 30

A girl wearing a protective face mask walks after she received free food at a slum area following the Covid-19 outbreak, in Bangkok, Thailand April 25, 2020. — Reuters pic
A girl wearing a protective face mask walks after she received free food at a slum area following the Covid-19 outbreak, in Bangkok, Thailand April 25, 2020. — Reuters pic

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BANGKOK, May 26 — Thailand has extended the state of emergency for a second time until June 30 as the government prepares to further ease restrictions and reopen more businesses in the third phase of relaxation on Sunday.

Government spokeswoman, Narumon Pinyosinwat said the cabinet today agreed to extend the state of emergency to ensure public health and safety in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.  

“Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha reiterated there is no political agenda behind the extension of the state of emergency.

“The Communicable Disease Act will not be the only tool to curb the outbreak,” she said at a press conference at Government House today.

Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will hold a meeting to discuss and consider lifting restrictions and reopening more businesses and venues on Friday (May 29).

Local media reported the opposition has called for the extension of state of emergency to be scrapped as Thailand continues to record low number of new Covid-19 cases. They claimed the government has a hidden agenda to restrict political activities in the kingdom.

As the state of emergency includes a ban of gathering, the opposition is claiming that it is a move to prevent protest in the kingdom.

Thailand first declared a state of emergency from March 26 to April 30 and extended it to May 31 to combat Covid-19.

Thailand began its first phase of relaxation on May 3, in which six types of businesses and venues were reopened while the second phase started on May 17.

Meanwhile, Thailand has reported three new Covid-19 cases and no fatalities over the last 24 hours, bringing its tally to 3,045 with the death toll remaining at  57 fatalities.

CCSA spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said all three new cases were Thais who returned from abroad and they are undergoing the 14-day quarantine at a state facility. — Bernama