Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Thailand to declare state of emergency over COVID-19

Buddhist-majority Southeast Asian nation reports 4 deaths and 827 total confirmed cases of coronavirus

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 24.03.2020
Thailand to declare state of emergency over COVID-19 BANGKOK, THAILAND - MARCH 14: Empty shopping street is seen as precaution against coronavirus (Covid-19) are taken in Bangkok,Thailand on March 14, 2020. ( İch Thanomsak - Anadolu Agency )


Thailand will declare a state emergency as of Thursday for at least one month to stem the spread of coronavirus, the country's prime minister has said.

In a televised statement to the nation Tuesday, Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government will introduce new measures to combat the virus also known as COVID-19, the Bangkok Post daily reported.

Three more people died of the coronavirus in Thailand on Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to four, with 827 cases of the virus so far.

"Requirements will be announced the day after tomorrow. They will be issued on an ongoing basis to reduce the epidemic. Some will be requests for cooperation and others will be compulsory," he added.

"Do not return to your home provinces, or you will face penalties. There will be checkpoints along the way. Please do home quarantine [at your current location]. Quarantine facilities will be opened locally and also by the government," Prayut said.

Various places will be closed, he added.

The premier of the Buddhist-majority country added that if the situation "does not improve, there will be a total lockdown."

After first emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the virus has spread to at least 168 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

There are over 382,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide and the death toll now tops 16,500, while nearly 102,000 people have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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