State of emergency likely to be extended for another month

State of emergency likely to be extended for another month
Photo: The Straits Times

The state of emergency in Thailand looks set to continue for another month until at least the end of June with officials deciding later today whether the decree should be extended.

Security authorities say they are “not confident” about the current covid-19 situation despite new cases remaining in single digits for many consecutive days now.

Top military officials met with Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday to discuss the coronavirus situation with the military chiefs prepared to act in line with the government’s wishes regarding the emergency decree.

Government and military agencies have been carefully watching the introduction of the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions including reopening the shopping malls that saw vast numbers of people head to shopping centers around the country.

They are concerned that if the state of emergency doesn’t continue while reopenings are happening, there is a danger of the covid-19 virus coming back in a second wave.

Should the emergency decree end, the government’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration would be dissolved and the government would lose the legal power to implement lockdowns and curfews if necessary as a quick reaction to contain the spread of the virus.

The meeting later today will feature security officials and representatives from business and health sectors who will all have input when deciding whether or not to extend the state of emergency.

However, the final decision lies with the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration who will consider the outcome of today’s meeting before sending its recommendation to the Thai cabinet next Tuesday.

With the government’s desire to continue having the power to control safety measures, it is highly likely that the emergency decree will continue beyond its current May 31st expiry date.

Source: Bangkok Post

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