Thailand imposes nationwide curfew between 10pm-4am from today

An educational visual on the prevention of the new coronavirus prevention is shown on a giant screen in a nearly-deserted intersection in Bangkok, Thailand, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo)

BANGKOK: Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha announced a nationwide curfew from 10 pm to 4 am starting Friday in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the kingdom, with the number of cases having soared to nearly 2,000.

In intensifying the fight against the pandemic, Prayuth said the daily curfew, is exempted for workers in essential services, including healthcare, transportation and banking, as well as travellers heading to and from airports.

He said those who violate the order would face a jail term of two years or fine up to 40,000 baht or both.

“The restriction will be effective on April 3 until further notice.

“This restriction might be inconvenient but we must endure to overcome the COVID-19. Please be assured that I’m doing everything to contain the outbreak as soon as possible,” he said in a televised address to the nation.

He said the government would continue to monitor the situation and stringent measures would be imposed if the need arose.

Thailand reported 104 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths Thursday, bringing the nationwide tally to 1,875 cases and 15 fatalities.

Thailand declared a nationwide state of emergency from March 26 to April 30 to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Under the emergency decree, all shopping malls, entertainment outlets and sports venues that attract crowds are ordered to close, while supermarkets that sell food and daily necessities, pharmacies and convenience stores will remain open.

Restaurant and cafes are also open, but they offer only takeaway and delivery services.

The government barred entry for all non-resident foreigners. However, Thai nationals, members of diplomatic corps, foreigners with work permits and those working in goods transportation sector will be allowed entry.

Meanwhile, Prayuth said the government never neglected Thais abroad and all related agencies have been doing the best to ensure their well-being.

He also said that stern action will be taken against those who spread fake news on COVID-19.