Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last night addresses the nation on the recent outbreak of Covid infections that have sky-rocketed and is now spreading around major parts of the country.
He further explained the consequences that we might face and what safety measures the nation has to undertake in order to maintain the Covid situation even if it means closing down again the borders and prevent new breeds of virus from entering the country.
The following is the statement made by the PM during last night’s live telecast:
“This outbreak serves as an important reminder of how serious a threat the Covid-19 pandemic remains to our nation. At the same time, the global Covid situation has also taken a sudden and serious turn for the worse,” the prime minister said during a TV Pool broadcast on Tuesday.
He went on to say that December has seen the numbers of deaths each week surge into the hundreds and even thousands in many countries.
“The worsening global Covid-19 situation will have a serious impact on Thailand, and we must prepare ourselves.
“First, it means the world economy will take longer to recover which will impact our own economic recovery, too.
“Second, it means that we will have to be even more careful about relaxing rules to let people from other countries into Thailand.
“Since the situation is so bad outside of Thailand, the biggest risk is that people entering the country will bring the disease in with them, and this could spell disaster for our health system and have a catastrophic impact on the economy,” the prime minister said.
“That is why we must be especially careful at our airports, train entry points, bus and car entry points, sea entry points and all other places where people enter the country,” Gen Prayut said.
“I thank the many people involved in ensuring the security of these entry points for their diligence because it only takes a few infected people slipping past them to create great economic and health hardship for hundreds of thousands of others,” he said.
“And the third consequence of the worsening global situation will be the need for Thais to keep their guard up inside Thailand.
“As a result, I may need to introduce additional measures, especially relating to whether and how New Year celebrations should be conducted,” he said.
Gen Prayut said he will meet with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) this week before making any official announcement.
“It is a decision that requires careful thought. But what the world has seen now is that being relaxed about health precautions leads to great economic suffering for everyone in the country.”
In his statement, Gen Prayut took aim at human smuggling networks that are also to blame for the reemergence of Covid-19 in the kingdom.
“As for the networks that bring illegal immigrants into the country, they must be prosecuted without any leniency whatsoever, regardless of whether they are people with official positions. This latest flare-up is primarily due to such illegal immigrants,” the prime minister said.
“Even though the road to recovery is still a long one, I am confident that if we can still work together, we can continue to be among the least affected countries in the world,” Gen Prayut said.
Original writers: Wassana Nanuam and Apinya Wipatayotin
Source: Bangkok Post