Bangkok’s famous weekend market was closed today (July 19) as ministers ponder brutal communist China-style lockdown rules.
Surging Covid-19 cases in recent weeks have lead to a nighttime curfew, mass closures of business, mandatory mask laws and vaccine roll-outs – all without reducing infections.
Officials have now closed the Chatuchak weekend market in the north of the capital – home to tens of thousands of wholesale stalls and one of most popular tourist markets in Asia.
Ministers have also banned all domestic flights and bus services from Wednesday (July 21) to prevent the movement of people between regions but giving them enough time for an exodus.
The scenes came after prime minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha met with the country’s coronavirus committee, who reportedly urged him to enforce stay-at-home orders and put troops on the streets to prevent people from going outside – similar ‘doors welded shut’ tactics used by neighboring China.
Dr. Opart Karnkawinpong, Director-General of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), said more intense measures may be imposed in Thailand the next two months.
He added: ‘If the new infection rate is still high in the next two months, there is a possibility that we might have to impose a lockdown, like in Wuhan, China, to control the spread of the virus, where people have to stay at home and are not allowed to travel, to a point where food and water will be delivered to homes.’
Thailand’s cabinet are set to meet again tomorrow to decide on stricter measures of containing the outbreak, which saw 11,784 new cases and 80 deaths declared on Monday. There have been a total of 415,170 cases and 3,422 deaths.