Emergency Decree to control Covid-19 likely to be extended for another month says top Thai official

Bangkok-

A top Thai Government official, speaking to the press in Bangkok this morning, stated that the emergency decree to control the Covid-19 Coronavirus is likely to be extended another month.

Gen. Natthaphon Nakaphanich, Deputy Commander of the Army and a prominent member of the Thai Government’s committee that handles restrictions and regulations around control of the Covid19 Coronavirus, spoke to reporters at 7:30 AM this morning at the Royal Thai Army headquarters.

Amongst other topics he was asked about the status of the Emergency Decree to control the Covid-19 coronavirus which currently is set to expire at the end of this month.

General Natthaphon stated that the committee would start meeting in the near future to explore the extension of the decree. He stated that it was needed if there was another outbreak of Covid-19 and that certain measures, such as quarantine procedures, could not be easily managed without the decree powers.

However, General Natthaphon also stated that extending the decree had no effect on the average citizen and their daily life. He also said that a ban on mass assembly would remain out of the decree and that the decree was not political in any way. He stated people were encouraged to express their opinion and mass gatherings would not be banned, although other laws would need to be followed.

The emergency decree has been in effect since April of this year and gives the Thai Government, with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha at the head, sweeping powers to handle an emergency. It also offers draconian penalities for violations, however has not been used in this manner much since the majority of lockdowns and restrictions used to control the virus have ended.

Thailand is approaching nearly 90 days without a single confirmed and recorded locally spread case of Covid-19.

It is worth noting that an official announcement on the decree and any extension would need multiple levels of approval and would not likely be official until late in the month pending final approval by the Thai Cabinet, the National Security Council and the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The decree does affect Pattaya directly. Pattaya City has a special administrative status that in normal times gives the Mayor and leaders the ability to make decisions and exceptions, such as later closing times for bars. However, the emergency decree essentially takes priority over this status.

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