Songkran 2022 likely to go ahead but with increased preventative measures

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Thailand’s COVID-19 task force is set to consider a proposal for tougher preventative measures over Songkran at a meeting due to be held on Friday (Feb 11).

Gen Suphot Malaniyom, secretary-general of the National Security Council and head of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA) operations centre said on Thursday that the proposal for tougher restrictions over Songkran comes amid increasing concern about the spike in daily COVID-19 cases, which has been more than 10,000 per day since February 5.

Meanwhile, Dr. Chakrarat Pittayawong-anon, Director of the Division of Epidemiology, at the Department of Disease Control said that the rise in cases is due to people engaging in more social activities.

Dr. Chakrarat said that with many of the previous restrictions having been relaxed, people are now living a more ‘normal’ life.

He said that only bars, pubs and karaoke venues are not permitted to open, while some bars are now trading as restaurants.

Dr. Chakrarat said that people should not be concerned by the current rise in cases as the number of people who are seriously ill still remains low.

“Between now and the beginning of next month we will reach the peak of the epidemic”, Dr. Chakrarat said.

“It is predicted there will be up to 30,000 cases per day if no action is taken. And how long we stay in that number is determined by the efforts we take to regulate the current situation. It will not be long if people work together to stop it,” Dr. Chakrarat said.

Dr. Chakrarat said that the spike in cases could force the cancellation of Songkran.

But this would only happen if both the number of infections and the number of severe cases and/or deaths also increases.

COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of the Songkran festival for the last two years.