Thailand announces overnight curfew to tackle spike in COVID | Voice of america


Thai government officials on Friday announced a seven-hour curfew in the capital, Bangkok and at least six surrounding provinces, as COVID-19 rises in the country.

The announcement came after a lengthy meeting of the Thai Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). In a televised statement, CCSA spokesman Natapanu Nopakun said the curfew would apply from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Monday, July 12.

The curfew includes the closure of the public transport network and all businesses except supermarkets, restaurants, banks, pharmacies and electronics stores, which are considered essential.

People have been encouraged to work from home and leave their homes only for essential purposes, and public gatherings of more than five people are prohibited. Unnecessary travel was also banned.

Thailand reported 9,276 new daily cases and 72 deaths on Friday as it battles a severe third wave of infections.

These new restrictions come when Vietnam imposed a two-week ban on movement in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday to combat its own growing COVID-19 outbreak. Hanoi also announced plans to vaccinate 50 percent of its adult population by the end of the year, with a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of its population by March next.

The country of 100 million people had registered fewer than 3,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, by April. Vietnam had 24,810 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 104 deaths as of Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

France fights Delta variant

Meanwhile, France’s health minister said Friday he expected the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus that is causing COVID-19 to become the dominant strain in the country by Saturday.

In an interview with French radio, Health Minister Health Minister Olivier Veran said that the Delta variant originally identified in India already accounted for almost 50 percent of the new COVID-19 cases in France on Thursday. The variant was found to be up to 60 percent more contagious than the original virus.

Veran also said he expects France to hit a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections later this month. He said senior government ministers would meet on Monday to discuss the threat, including considering the possibility of making vaccinations mandatory for health and nursing staff.

White House sends vaccines to Moldova

Also on Friday, White House officials told VOA that the United States is sending 500,000 doses of the unique Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Moldova. Officials said the shipment marks the first of the US commitment to send 60 million doses of vaccine to Europe.

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