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Commission supports social distance measures to counter COVID-19

Graphic: COV-19 graphic

The Commission also said the government should test and isolate people in high risk groups and trace for the source of infection.

On 27 March 2020, Mr. What Tingsamitr, the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT) gave an interview to the Chulalongkorn University Broadcasting Station after the NHRCT issued a statement on the outbreak of COVID-19 on 23 March 2020.

Mr Tingsamitr said in the statement that the NHRCT expressed its concerns and proposed four recommendations:

  • The Prime Minister should have full power and integrate related agencies to solve the problems, and also manage crisis communication in a systematic manner and disseminate information by the same source;
  • The temporary closure of places by provincial and Bangkok governors should be done cautiously and without discrimination, in addition fair remedial measures should be provided for those directly affected, and the measure must not cause effects contrary to what to be expected;
  • If the government will implement lockdown policy in the specific areas and duration, the measure should be carried out with caution of the effects as a result of such policy and should carefully plan the necessary services; and
  • The public should show social responsibility by following orders, suggestions or measures of the government, medical teams and state agencies in order to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19 such as social distancing.

On 25 March 2020, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Prime Minister of Thailand, upon the approval of the Cabinet declared the state of emergency for all areas of the Kingdom of Thailand in accordance with Section 5 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations B.E 2548 (2005) with its effects from 26 March 2020 to 30 April 2020.

The declaration has temporarily transferred a number of Ministerial legal powers under certain laws to the Prime Minister, and also appointed a special unit with powers to carry out duties and to issue regulations in accordance with section 9 of the Emergency Decree (No. 1).

Mr. What Tingsamitr said that his recommendations for the next 2-3 months are:

  • The government should test and isolate people in the risk groups and trace for the source of infection. Certain existing drugs such as Favipiravir should be used for treatment while waiting for the new treatment which may take a year.
  • People should strictly keep their social distance, not to join gatherings of large groups of people. In case of necessity to go out buying food, groceries or medicine, people should leave a distance of no less than one metre away from others and wear a hygienic mask or cloth mask.
  • People should strengthen their own physical health, exercise, consume healthy food and have enough rest for both their body and mind.

"May the people in Thailand and in all countries around the world overcome this crisis together", the Chairperson of the NHRCT finally said.

Date: 28 March 2020

Source: National Human Rights Commission of Thailand


Image credits

  1. COV-19 graphic - Martin Sanchez Tzoe on Unsplash