Thailand bans travel from India, imposes lockdown & fines for not wearing masks in Bangkok

A two-week lockdown has been imposed in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, and travel from India suspended in an effort to contain the rise in Covid-19 deaths.

Authorities ordered the closure of parks, gyms, beauty salons, theaters, libraries, and daycare centers from April 26 to May 9. Restaurants and malls are allowed to operate between 11am and 9pm if they follow social distancing and health protocols. A fine of 20,000 baht ($636) has been introduced for not wearing masks.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson, announced that travelers from India would be banned from entering the country from May 1, citing the rise of infections there. An exception was made for returning Thai nationals.

The move came after Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha urged the country’s regions on Saturday to “consider” imposing lockdowns and curfews in order to contain the pandemic.

The Nation newspaper cited Bangkok Metropolitan Administration spokesperson Pongsakorn Kwanmuang as saying that people were being infected with Covid-19 at work and at public gatherings because they were not abiding by social distancing rules.

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Thai media reported that the government had been facing increasing pressure from medical professionals and the general public to take more drastic measures against Covid-19. Officials registered 11 deaths on Sunday, including of a 32-year-old pregnant woman, which was a new daily record since Saturday, when eight fatalities were logged. Saturday and Sunday saw 2,839 and 2,438 new cases respectively. 

Overall, Thailand has recorded 55,460 Covid-19 cases and 140 deaths, according to the government.

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