Thailand imposes lockdown on Phuket island over COVID-19 fears

VNA
The administration of Phuket, an island province of Thailand, has banned people and vehicles from leaving and entering the popular tourist destination to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A health worker examines a person's body temperature at a checkpoint in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 26 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

A health worker examines a person's body temperature at a checkpoint in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 26 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

With the approval of the provincial communicable diseases committee, Phuket Governor Pakkapong Taweepat ordered the closure of all entry and exit points in the province, except for air travel, from midnight on March 30 until April 30 or further notice.
Under the order, people and all kinds of vehicles are banned from entering and leaving the province via the Tha Chat Chai checkpoint, except those transporting food and essential items, fuel, construction materials, medical equipment, rescue operations vehicles, ambulances, vehicles for state operations, and vehicles carrying publications.
The ban is also imposed on people and all kinds of ships from entering and leaving the province through its international ports, except cargo ships, and through inter-provincial waterways.
Those who are exempted must have medical certificates issued in the past three days, and must comply strictly with disease control measures.
Meanwhile, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Admiral Luechai Ruddit said on March 29 that the navy will set up field hospitals with a total of 1,200 beds to treat COVID-19 patients.
To ease the pandemic’s impacts, the Thai Government has approved several stimulus packages, including one worth THB 50 billion (US$1.53 billion) to provide monthly allowances of THB 5,000 for three months for seasonal and self-employed workers.
On March 30, Thailand reported 136 new COVID-19 infection cases, raising the total number of patients in the country to 1,524, including nine deaths.

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