Thai Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha delivered a statement on April 2, 2020 to update on the implementation progress of Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), gist of which is as follows:
-The Prime Minister reiterated the importance of social distancing and called on everyone to “Stay Home, Stop Spreading Disease for the Nation”. He will also put utmost effort in ensuring adequacy of the medical equipment and supplies to be provided to hospitals in all areas.
-The Prime Minister affirmed that there are enough beds and medicine for all COVID-19 infected patients. The Government also plans to import additional medicines in case that the situation gets worsened. COVID-19 infected patients are considered “emergency patients”, so their medical fees will be subsidized by the national health security fund, social security fund, and civil servant welfare fund for medical treatment.
-The Government adheres to the “health comes before freedom” principle in its preventive and assisting measures with an aim to minimize commuting, people transportation, and mass gatherings. In light of this, the Prime Minister has made an announcement for a nationwide “curfew” during 2200-0400hrs. Exception is made for medical and banking personnel, as well as logistic workers handling consumer products, farm goods, pharmaceutical products, medical supplies and equipment, newspapers, petrol, postal parcels, or products to be imported or exported, as well as people working normal night shifts or those heading to or from airports with necessary documents stating the purposes. The curfew will be taken into effect from April 3, 2020 onward.
-The Prime Minister also ordered an establishment of an operation center for public distribution of mask and medical supplies, and a center for goods control to prevent hoarding and profiteering of medical supplies and goods. Those who commit hoarding of goods will be subject to imprisonment of not exceeding 7 years or fine (not over 140,000 Baht).
-Economic stimulus measures that have already been implemented include the 5,000-Baht subsidy for 3 months for over 9 million daily workers/freelancers/informal workers, refund of deposit for electricity and water use, reduction of electricity and water fees for 3 months, debt moratorium for house and car mortgage payment, extension of pawn ticket payment, reduction of credit card minimum payment, reduction of employee social security contribution rate to 1% for 3 months, and a number of tax measures to alleviate the plight of entrepreneurs.
-CCSA also set up an operation center to manage traveling in and out of the country and care of overseas Thais. Those who wish to enter Thailand are urged to delay their travel for now until April 15. If there is an urgent need, they may immediately seek advice from a Thai embassy or a consulate.
-CCSA has set a ‘single voice’ system to ensure communication clarity and prevent public confusion during the crisis. A nationwide live telecast will be conducted by CCSA Spokesperson or an authorized person via all channels on a daily basis after CCSA meeting in the morning. The media of all forms are urged to exercise discretion and caution in their communication, and to disseminate only the information and data released by CCSA. (thaigov.go.th)