SATURDAY, February 24, 2024

Nationwide lockdown ‘not necessary’: Anupong

Nationwide lockdown ‘not necessary’: Anupong

There is no need for a nationwide lockdown to tackle the latest outbreak of Covid-19, Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda said on Thursday.

He also urged people planning to travel back to their hometowns during Songkran to follow Covid-19 preventive measures and stay safe on the road.

“Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has allowed governors and communicable disease committees in each province to use measures depending on the situation in their areas, which I personally think is the most suitable approach,” Anupong said.

“The outbreak situation may vary from province to province, so each governor should be able to issue measures suitable for their community while creating minimal impact to the people and the local economy.”

Announced earlier on Thursday, PM Prayut’s latest order grants provincial governors the power to issue 14-day shutdown orders for entertainment venues or restaurants where Covid-19 infection is found.

“If every citizen continues to properly protect themselves, the outbreak will soon be contained and a nationwide lockdown or strict measures that could hurt the economy will not be necessary,” added Anupong.

He also addressed the impact of the new Bangkok outbreak on the government’s plan to reopen Phuket to foreign tourists on July 1. Anupong said the Cabinet and Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) would soon discuss the issue based on the current situation.

The Phuket sandbox scheme would allow foreign tourists who have proof of inoculation and test negative for Covid-19 to visit the holiday island without undergoing quarantine. Similar schemes are planned for destinations such as Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phang Nga and Surat Thani.