Tomorrow, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will discuss a proposal to extend the blanket invocation of the emergency decree to maintain containment of the outbreak and oversee the forthcoming inoculation programme.
As it stands, the emergency decree will expire next Sunday.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said that the emergence of the new cluster of COVID-19 infections in two fresh markets in Pathum Thani is one of the key reasons cited to support the emergency decree extension proposal.
The proposal was submitted by a CCSA subcommittee that reasoned certain areas of the country still need the special law to ensure the efficiency of their COVID-19 containment and surveillance strategies, he said.
The decree, however, cannot be invoked selectively as it authorises all provincial governors to independently manage COVID-19 control measures in their provinces while the Disease Control Act doesn’t grant this authority, according to Mr Krea-ngam.
“The announcement to extend the emergency decree will accompany further news of the plan to offer shots of the COVID-19 vaccine that will arrive in Thailand in the coming week,” he said.
The vaccination plan requires effective measures to prevent possible new COVID-19 infections during the time between the first shot and the second shot of the vaccine, he said.
As the first shot won’t render total immunity against infection, control measures will still need to be implemented, he said.
At the same time, the CCSA will also consider a proposal to further relax control measures as the overall number of new infections appears to be falling, he said.
The CCSA yesterday recorded 82 new confirmed cases, 71 of which were local transmissions.
In Samut Sakhon, seen as the epicentre of the current outbreak, 35 new infections were recorded as of midnight on Friday, bringing the cumulative number of cases in this province alone to 16,020, including 7 deaths.
Twenty-five new confirmed cases linked with the Pathum Thani cluster were recorded yesterday, bringing the total number to 484.
One was a 10-year-old boy from Khon Kaen who had returned from a Chinese New Year trip to Pathum Thani and whose father was confirmed to have had COVID-19 previously while in the province, said local health authorities.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, provincial governor Wichian Chantharanothai, said yesterday that 3 more cases of new COVID-19 infections linked with the Pathum Thani cluster were confirmed in Soeng Sang district.
The detection of these three cases has led to the lockdown of the two concerned villages, said the governor who insisted, however, that the outbreak situation in the province is still firmly under control.