Thailand celebrates Songkran limited by COVID-19 outbreak

 Thailand celebrates Songkran limited by COVID-19 outbreak

Siam Sqare, one of the busiest areas in Bangkok, is quiet during the COVID-19 outbreak. Photo: © ILO/Alin Sirisaksopit / flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.



Thailand celebrates this Tuesday the Buddhist New Year known as Songkran in the midst of the strongest outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, which has forced to limit the celebrations while the authorities set up temporary hospitals to accommodate the infected.

This day the country, which had so far kept the spread of the virus under control, recorded 965 new cases, one of the highest figures since the beginning of the pandemic.

Songkran festivities, as this date is known in Thailand until the 15th, have been restricted to religious rites and the authorities have asked citizens to avoid traditional water fights, as was the case last year.

Since the end of last week, bars and nightlife venues in most parts of the country, including Bangkok, have been closed by government order.

Although the authorities have not imposed bans on domestic travel during the most important holidays in the Thai calendar, some regional governors have established measures, such as quarantines or the need for a negative test, to enter their jurisdictions if coming from a high-risk area.

Authorities have also set up several temporary centers and field hospitals in the capital and other cities to accommodate people infected with COVID-19, which in the worst-case scenario, according to experts, could reach more than 20,000 a day.

Since the beginning of the pandemic and up to today, Thailand has registered a total of 34,575 cases, including 97 deaths.

-TN



TN

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