The cabinet on Tuesday approved plans to postpone next month’s Songkran New Year holiday and to close schools to limit the spread of the coronavirus, a government spokeswoman said.
The approvals followed a series of plans announced on Monday to close schools, bars, movie theatres, cockfighting arenas and other entertainment centres as well as postpone the Thai New Year holiday, which falls between April 13 to 15.
“The cabinet approved that the Songkran holiday be postponed and schools closed,” Ratchada Thanadirek, the government’s deputy spokeswoman, told Reuters.
She added that closures of entertainment venues would be up to the discretion of each provincial governors, adding that more details would be available later.
Schools and universities will be closed for two weeks from Wednesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said in a briefing on Tuesday.
Thailand has recorded 33 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 147. Earlier on Sunday, the country had its biggest daily spike in cases from 32-114.
Songkran festival is the Thai new year. The national holiday is one of the only times that Thais working in the cities can return home to their families in the provinces to pay respect to their elders. It is feared COVID-19 could move from Bangkok to rural areas and pose danger to elders living in remote areas that my not have sufficient medical care to deal with possible COVID-19 outbreak.