Songkran in Thailand

Songkran festival is Thailand’s new year, a celebratory season where many Thais and foreigners participate in water fights – the long holiday period is also when most locals leave the city to visit their relatives outside of Bangkok. 

Thailand’s Prime Minister, Prayuth Chan-O-Cha hopes that Thais will be able to continue this tradition – he mentioned that there will be no lockdown this Songkran despite the cluster cases. Instead, the Government plans to set up field hospitals to combat potential rises in Covid-19 infections. 

Covid-19 updates

Bangkok’s response to Covid-19 

The past two days have shown unusually high levels of rising Covid-19 cases, with today presenting 405 cases. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) have ordered that entertainment venues, which is where the cluster were said to originate, to close for the next two weeks, reports NNT – National News Bureau Thailand.

Thai Govt To Set Up Field Hospital In BKK To Curb Post Songkran Covid-19 Surge
Image credit: NNT – National News Bureau Thailand

The Prime Minister has given instructions to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Ministry of Interior to designate spaces to build field hospitals in the capital in order to place less pressure on medical facilities in the event of a spike. 

He also encouraged other provinces to apply appropriate safety measures – other government bodies like the Ministry of Transport have even offered to refund trips booked via on public transport during the Songkran holidays.

Prime Minister Chan-O-Cha conveyed his assurance that Bangkok’s Covid-19 situation will continue to stabilise so long as citizens follow the virus safety guidelines like wearing a mask, social distancing. However, he also warned that ignoring these guidelines can lead to more stringent measures, reported The Thaiger.

Virologist urges people to stay put during Songkran

Chulalongkorn University’s virologist, Dr. Yong Poovorawan has encouraged Thais to avoid interprovincial travel unless absolutely necessary – for such cases, travellers should be extra careful. He further noted that without proper precautions, cases can rise by four figures each day, shared The Thaiger

Thai Govt To Set Up Field Hospital In BKK To Curb Post Songkran Covid-19 SurgeImage credit: Coalition Global For Hepatitis Elimination 

The virologist also insists to make haste with the vaccine rollouts, because of newly infected cases and the UK variant strain – if Thailand administered up to 300,000 vaccines each day, the country could achieve efficient herd immunity against the virus within one year, shared The Thaiger

Video calls for Songkran

Even though it’s tempting to visit our relatives in the country and enjoy water fights in Thai remote locations, it’s also important to prioritise public health and safety. Technology has now made it more than possible to enjoy conversations with your relatives and it’s much safer for everyone else.

Thai vaccine updates 

Cover images adapted from: @chalinee.thirasupa (Left), Bangkok Post (Right)

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