State of emergency extended until May 31
The government has extended the state of emergency until May 31. The 17th extension of the emergency declaration following the Covid-19 outbreak was published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday.
The emergency will be effective from April 1 to May 31.
The government had cited 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 16 times until March 31.
The announcement stated that the Sars-CoV-2 virus had mutated into the Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible, leading to another wave of infections in the country.
The announcement said that although most Thais have been vaccinated against the virus, the number of people who have received a booster dose is still low, and therefore the situation can pose a risk to the public health system and the health and life of Thais if the pandemic worsens.
Moreover, there are several public holidays in April and May, including the Songkran Festival, when most people leave the capital and travel upcountry to visit their families, which could cause the virus to spread fast across provinces and worsen the situation.
As a result, the government said it needed 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 March 23.