Although Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam said yesterday a national lockdown in Thailand was not planned, as Covid-19 cases rise, that likelihood draws ever closer.
Late this afternoon, Chon Buri’s provincial disease control committee announced Pattaya is now in lockdown, along with the rest of Bang Lamung district.
This means restaurants, bars, entertainment facilities, shops and department stores in Pattaya will now stay closed until further notice.
According to governor Pakarathorn Thianchai, the decision to lockdown was taken after 22 cases of Covid-19 were discovered in Bang Lamung district.
This means, for Pattaya and all of Bang Lamung at present, the following rules apply:
- All stores, department stores, restaurants, bars and anywhere else selling food and drink are now banned from opening for usual service. If they serve food, they can do so for delivery, pick-up and take-away only.
- Supermarkets, drug stores and phone shops are allowed to remain open.
- Convenience stores can remain open at the moment, but must close between 10pm and 5am.
- All entertainment and sports facilities are closed — this means movie theaters, massage parlors, fitness centers, hairdressers, swimming pools, Internet shops and any other business that provides leisure activities must also remain closed.
- Schools, language schools and kindergartens must also close.
- The public must wear face masks outside at all times, as well as indoors.
- Any venue, both indoors and outdoors, that will attract the public must close.
Considering the Pattaya economy has already been severely damaged due to the Thai government shutting down all international borders in late March, thus banning international visitors, the lockdown in Pattaya could be devastating for the already damaged economy.
A lockdown due to 22 cases of Covid-19 (most people whom are likely symptom-free) — a virus with a 99.7% survival rate and one that, for the most part, is only dangerous to those who are elderly with pre-existing conditions.
Should lockdowns in Thailand increase in number, a Thai economy in freefall is a real possibility.
If that occurs, it could cause the deaths of many more than Covid-19, due to a substantial number of people’s inability to afford a place to live, to buy food or pay for basic medical care.
The suicide rate would also likely rise.
If a national lockdown occurs in Thailand, that threat becomes even bigger.
Meanwhile, as the lockdown in Pattaya begins, Thailand has had a total of 61 deaths due to Covid-19 in nine months.
Fewer people than die on Thai roads in a typical day.