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Thailand Locks Down
Under Emergency Decree

On March 26th Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha announced Thailand was officially on lockdown under Emergency Decree.


It was just a usual, warm, bustling night on the neon lit street of Soi Cowboy, when along with all the other bars, nightclubs and several other crowded venues in Bangkok was ordered  by the government to shut for two weeks, starting from Wednesday March 18, which to date, three months later, may very well of marked the end  of an era.



On March 26th Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha announced Thailand was officially under emergency decree until the end of April to deal with Covid-19.

Prior to the announcement of the Emetgency Decree, bars that had been ordered to close temporarily were now shut until further notice.

The decree gave the PM the executive power to declare further measures to contain coronavirus, including giving extra authority to officials and creating checkpoints to reduce people’s movements.

Prayut said some requirements would be mandatory while others would be “requests.” 

He urged people not to return to their home provinces and said there will be checkpoints and quarantine measures taken along the way for those who did. 

The emergency decree gave various powers to the PM, including the potential restriction of domestic travel, censoring media, curfews, commandeering or closing buildings, among others.


The Thai PM at this point said that the rumours of a curfew taking place were false.

The PM also said that social media would be “very closely monitored” during the emergency decree period. Those sharing fake news or making claims of cover-ups or conspiracies, quote;  “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Thailand health officials at this point had reported 106 new Covid-19 coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 827 in the Kingdom. The number of new cases was lower than the 122 recorded the previous day before. 

The Ministry of Public Health had also reported 3 additional deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 4.

A Public Health Ministry spokesman said the 3 deaths were patients who had previous health complications, including a 70 year old man with tuberculosis, a 45 year old man with diabetes and a 79 year old man with unspecified health problems. Meanwhile local media were reporting 9 new cases in Phuket, including an unnamed medical official.

March 26th marked the beginning of difficult times for restaurants too, as the government rolled out lockdowns across the country. Restaurants and food chains had to change from sit-in facilities to home delivery as the spread of Covid-19 became more serious in Thailand. Many smaller restaurants have long since gone under.


Bars all over the country that were initially told to close for 14 days, like smaller restaurants have since gone out of business. Meanwhile those that have managed to hang on, still wait patiently for news as to when or even if they can reopen.


Some of Thailand’s closed border checkpoints were reopened temporarily, to allow thousands of migrant workers, made unemployed due to the coronavirus outbreak, flee Thailand for their homes in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Their numbers and their desperation had sparked fears of rioting. Sadly thousands of unemplyed migrant workers missed this opportunity and have been left stranded all over Thailand relying on food parcels organized and distributed by various independently organized fundraisers.


A shutdown to contain Covid-19 killed Thailand’s party scene, entertainment venues such as Soi Cowboy, Nana Plaza etc and massage parlours from Bangkok to Pattaya, have closed and forced an estimated 300,000 sex workers out of a job, pressing many onto the streets.



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