With families across Thailand likely to get together to celebrate the Chinese New Year coming long weekend, health officials are concerned the gatherings could potentially spread Covid-19.
In Bangkok, Friday’s festivities celebrating the year of the ox in Yaowarat, known as Chinatown, have been cancelled by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration due to Covid-19 concerns.
The usually colorful street parade in Hua Hin has also been cancelled this year.
Health officials are urging the public to practice disease prevention measures like social distancing when reuniting with family and friends.
The director of the emergency disease and health hazards control division under the Department of Disease Control, Chawetsan Namwat, says strict social distancing is important at family get-togethers and suggested reuniting virtually instead, using video calls to make sure there is no risk of infection, especially with elderly family members who are the most at risk.
The government declared Chinese New Year’s day, which falls on Friday February 12th, a special public holiday and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is encouraging Thai people, not just those of Chinese descent, to spend during the long weekend, as a boost for the economy, said Ms. Traisulee Traisoranakul, deputy government spokesperson, on Sunday.