Some Pattaya monks believe reduction in Covid-19 cases in area due to major group prayer earlier this month

Pattaya, Chonburi-

Earlier this month, over a hundred Buddhist monks came together at a socially distance prayer activity in Pattaya at Wat Chai in South Pattaya that was given permission by relevant officials to proceed and took place under numerous Covid-19 precautions.

The prayer activity, which we covered here, was designed to “pray away” the Covid-19 virus in the area and motivate believers.

According to Chao Khun Phra Panya Rattanaporn, who led the prayer activity, the ritual had brought “good luck” and karma to the city and province of Chonburi, which has seen a significant reduction in Covid-19 cases recently overall and was recently downgraded from the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions to a lower level, allowing dine-in to fully open at local restaurants and letting many people return to work.

Chonburi Public Health officials, however, have stated the reduction in cases is attributed to residents of the province continuing to socially distance, work from home if possible, and as a whole cooperate with restrictions and measures such as avoiding crowds and social gatherings. This is paired with an average of several thousand targeted mass Covid-19 tests daily, mostly aimed at “high-risk” venues and places such as industrial estates and people who work with the public, such as those at supermarkets or taxi drivers.

Meanwhile, Pattaya City Law Enforcement has attributed the reduction to strictly policing and stopping people from having parties, hanging out on local beaches, and enforcing the closure of entertainment venues and similar establishments where people normally gather and socialize. Pattaya City Police have been strict in enforcing gatherings of as small as two people in regards to drinking alcohol in public or throwing small “parties” on local beaches, with multiple reports of arrests over the past several weeks and almost daily reminders from law enforcement that this is not the time to be having social gatherings.

Pattaya is set to start its own mass vaccination program later this week, aiming for the ambitious goal of having 70% of local residents fully vaccinated within a few short months in preparation for a planned re-opening to vaccinated foreign tourists by October.

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Adam Judd
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