The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has extended a closure order that was set to end on Sunday for another week in light of a continued high rate of COVID-19 infections in the capital.
On Friday, Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang signed a new order that will extend the present directive that applies to several businesses and public places until 17th May.
The extension was necessary because of the virus spike in the capital as City Hall was trying to stem the outbreak, according to the order.
Places affected by the order include schools, entertainment venues, and public parks, while shopping malls can open until 9pm and convenience stores are allowed to shut their doors one hour later.
Bangkok has been one of the hot spots of the third outbreak of the pandemic, part of a dark red zone that includes Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Chon Buri, and Chiang Mai.
The capital has topped the national table with 16,917 infections since the new surge began to cripple the country in April, according to data from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration on Friday. New infections rose on Friday to 869 from 739 on Thursday.
Cases in Bangkok surged after new clusters were detected in crowded communities, including Klong Toey district. Other high-risk areas are the Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing in Bang Kae district.
People affected by the extended closure have aired their frustrations on the BMA Facebook account, with some complaining that they should have been informed earlier so that they could plan their businesses.
One of the most widely criticised measures has been the ban on dining in at restaurants in the six dark-red provinces including Bangkok. Only take-away and delivery service is allowed.
The closure order and current restrictions in Chiang Mai will continue until further notice.