Police Probe Entertainment Venues Linked To New COVID-19 Cluster

Piya Tawichai

Police at Thong Lor and Klong Tan stations in Bangkok are investigating if night entertainment venues linked to a new COVID-19 cluster have complied with disease control measures.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), said he had instructed station chiefs to inspect four nightspots and ensure their employees be isolated as part of disease control measures.

He said police will also investigate if the business operators have followed City Hall’s regulations on the prevention of the novel coronavirus and if legal action should be taken if they fail to do so.

Pol Maj Gen Tawichai said he has also ordered police citywide to regularly inspect night entertainment venues and strictly enforce the communicable disease control law during the Songkran holiday on 10th-16th April.

The move follows reports from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) that 13 people confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 have visited nightspots in Thong Lor and Ekkamai recently.

The BMA has asked those who visited entertainment venues in the areas during 25th-30th March to evaluate their risk at http://bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th and take COVID-19 swab tests.

The Public Health Ministry earlier expressed concerns about the situation after the entertainment clusters emerged – 13 cases in Bangkok, 12 in Pathum Thani and 6 in Nakhon Pathom – in just one week.

Dr Chakkarat Pittayawong-anont, director of the epidemiology division at the Department of Disease Control (DDC), yesterday called on nightlife business operators to comply strictly with social distancing measures to help prevent an outbreak.

He said the transmission of COVID-19 linked to entertainment venues in Bangkok’s Bang Phlat district is under control and public health authorities need their cooperation to keep it that way.

“Now that people will soon start travelling for the Songkran holiday, social distancing measures and face-mask wearing remain a must-do. We don’t want to tighten the disease control measures,” he said.

According to the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the country yesterday logged 84 new COVID-19 cases and one death, raising the toll to 95 fatalities and 29,031 cases.

Of the new confirmed cases, 69 were local and 15 were imported. The fatality was a 29-year-old Thai woman.