State of emergency extended until March 31
The government has extended the state of emergency until March 31. The 16th extension of the emergency declaration following the Covid-19 outbreak was published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday.
The emergency will be effective from February 1 to March 31.
The government had declared the health emergency situation, invoking the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations BE 2548 (2005) for the first time on March 26, 2010, and has extended it 15 times until January 31.
The announcement stated that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has mutated into Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible, spreading another wave of infections in the country.
The announcement said although most Thais have been vaccinated against the virus, the number of people who have received a booster dose is still low, and thus the situation can pose risk to the public health system and the health and life of Thai people if the pandemic worsens in the country.
Moreover, it has been found that more and more people from neighbouring countries were trying to flee violence and economic hardship in their countries to Thailand, which could worsen the pandemic situation in Thailand.
As a result, the government said it needs to continue emergency measures for controlling and preventing the pandemic so it had invoked Section 5 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations BE 2548 to extend the declaration of the health emergency situation.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha signed the announcement on January 24.