Bangkok Post

Lack of social distancing causing spread, govt says

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>>The government warned yesterday that people are not practising social distancing which is resulting in a steady spread of Covid-19, which by yesterday amounted to a total of 1,245 infections and six deaths.

Despite invocation of the emergency decree, people have not complied with measures to control the spread of the virus as the number of new infections continues to soar, Covid-19 Administra­tion Centre spokesman Taweesin Visanuyoth­in said.

Dr Taweesin made the remarks yesterday after a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

He said it was agreed the efficiency of disease control is assessed by a reduction in new infections.

“But the rising figures show that people still are not cooperatin­g enough, and they have to do more to help with control measures,” Dr Taweesin said.

Citing figures, he said that if only 70% of the people cooperate, new infection cases will continue to surge. With 80% cooperatin­g, figures will go down gradually, and if 90% of people cooperate, a marked decrease will follow.

He also said it was agreed that state procuremen­t regulation­s will be relaxed to allow three agencies — the Food and Drugs Administra­tion, the Government Pharmaceut­ical Organisati­on, and the Comptrolle­r-General Department — to fast-track the purchase and import of medical equipment and personal protective gear for medical personnel.

Meanwhile, the Public Health Ministry yesterday reported 109 new coronaviru­s cases and one death, bringing the total to 1,245 cases and six fatalities in 57 provinces. Dr Taweesin said 1,032 patients were Thais.

The death of a 55-year-old diabetic woman was reported yesterday.

With 515 cases, Bangkok led the infections, followed by Nonthaburi (58) and Phuket (47).

Dr Taweesin stressed the need for people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus and said authoritie­s are still keeping up their guard.

In Phuket, the Patong beach zone has become a hotbed for coronaviru­s infections as most new cases were found in the area in recent days.

The provincial communicab­le disease committee yesterday reported six confirmed patients, one of them a man from Uzbekistan, bringing the total to 47 since Jan 5. The island has reported no deaths.

Four of the new infections were found in the Patong area, two of them linked to Soi Bang La, and one each in Kata and Karon beaches.

“The new confirmed Covid-19 patients in Phuket province include those in connection with entertainm­ent venues in the Soi Bang La area,” it said.

Bang La is dubbed by some travel websites as Phuket’s version of Patpong due to its bustling nightlife.

 ??  ?? JUST TO BE SURE: A member of the Emergency Services Unit of Thailand sprays disinfecta­nt at stretchers used by rescuers and ambulance staff to protect them against exposure to Covid-19 while transporti­ng patients.
JUST TO BE SURE: A member of the Emergency Services Unit of Thailand sprays disinfecta­nt at stretchers used by rescuers and ambulance staff to protect them against exposure to Covid-19 while transporti­ng patients.

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