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Thailand declares state of emergency after 3 more people die of Covid-19 on Tuesday

Thailand declares state of emergency after 3 more people die of Covid-19 on Tuesday
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in a live televised announcement that the country will go into emergency mode for one month starting on March 26, as the government tries to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, Thailand’s Public Health Ministry reported three more deaths and 106 new coronavirus cases. The country has now had 827 cases and four fatalities since the outbreak began.

"The goal is to reduce the spread of the virus,” Prayut said. “The government prioritizes the health of its citizens. Please do not panic, and listen to the government."

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The emergency decree will give the Thai prime minister the authority to implement new policies in order to fight the pandemic.

He didn't specify the new measures, saying the public will be informed at a later date, though the emergency decree empowers authorities to impose curfews, censor media, ban travel, and disperse gatherings. It also allows for the deployment of military troops to enforce these measures.

"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)," Prime Minister Prayut added. "If the situation does not improve, there will be a total lockdown."

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The coronavirus pandemic is also spreading among Thailand's closest neighbors. Cambodia currently has 87 confirmed cases of Covid-19, while Vietnam has 123 cases, and Laos and Myanmar both announced on Tuesday the first two coronavirus cases in their countries.

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