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The city governor of Bangkok, Aswin Kwanmuang, announced on Monday that entertainment venues in three Bangkok districts have been ordered closed from April 6 to 19, to contain the spread of Covid-19.
On Monday evening, the Bangkok communicable disease committee decided to temporarily close the venues in Klong Toey, Watthana, and Bang Khae.
If the disease spreads to other districts, the affected establishments will also be shut. "We're monitoring the situation," the governor said.
The closure affects 196 entertainment establishments in the three districts, he added.
After new clusters of infections were detected in night-entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, the Public Health Ministry plans to impose stricter restrictions on other eateries and entertainment venues in Bangkok and surrounding provinces ahead of the Songkran holiday next week.
Closing hours will be pushed forward from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m., with the sales of alcohol banned.
The number of Covid-19 infections is expected to rise, according to DDC director-general Opas Karnkawinpong, after new clusters of infections were detected in a Narathiwat prison and Bangkok bars.
As a result, the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) agreed on Monday to designate Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, and Nakhon Pathom as red zones under strict control.
Eateries in the provinces of the red zone would be allowed to stay open until 9 p.m. Customers will be able to dine in, but alcoholic beverages will not be allowed.
Venues of entertainment can stay open until 9 p.m. Customers will be able to eat in the restaurant, but no alcohol will be served.
Under health and safety protocols, department stores and shopping malls can continue to operate as normal. Schools and educational institutions will be open as usual.
Covid-19 infections made a comeback in the capital on Sunday, according to the DDC, after fewer cases were reported. Health authorities said cases linked to the entertainment cluster had risen to 71.
According to the DDC, the 71 cases are spread around Bangkok (45), Pathum Thani (11), Nonthaburi (8), and Nakhon Pathom (7).
"Employees served as conduits, contracting the disease from customers and spreading it to others. Most patrons also go to more than one place, and musicians and entertainment places tend to work multiple jobs, accelerating the spread," Dr Opas said.
If an infection is detected on the premises, the entertainment venue will be closed for two weeks. Dr Apisamai said that if infections spread through a large area of entertainment venues and cannot be contained, provincial authorities will have the authority to close the zone or closed down the entire province.
Even though no infection clusters are found in eateries, patrons from entertainment venues visited and ate with their relatives. As a consequence, operators of these institutions have been urged to strictly adhere to disease control measures, particularly during Songkran, according to Dr Apisamai.
The CCSA's chief of the Covid-19 operations centre, Gen Natthapon Nakpanich, denied reports that a curfew would be imposed to control the new Bangkok cluster.
Instead of taking systematic steps that will also affect people living outside of those areas, he stated that selective containment measures will be used to deal with each area affected by infections.
According to the study, the prison, like the cluster at the Immigration Bureau's detention facility, was a crowded, enclosed space with a low risk of the virus spreading to the wider populace.
The CCSA recorded 194 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 29,321 since the outbreak began.
Strong case-finding was liable for 95 of the new infections, while hospitals reported 87 of these. Immigrants from a lot of nations were included in 12 of the cases.