Chiang Mai ‘ready’ for Covid-19 Stage 3
Charoenrit Sangonsat said Chiang Mai is prepared if the coronavirus outbreak
there reaches “stage 3” uncontrolled status.
Chiang Mai officials said the province is prepared if
the coronavirus outbreak there reaches “stage 3” uncontrolled status.
Gov. Charoenrit Sangonsat on March 19 ordered 200 pubs,
bars and entertainment venues closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, even
though there is only 1 confirmed case there. Six cases are waiting for test
results while another 374 people are under observation.
The 14-day shutdown is needed to prevent large
gatherings where the virus can spread quickly, public health officials said.
But the government acknowledged the hardship caused for business owners.
He asked the Chiangmai Chamber of Commerce to survey
business owners to determine what measures they would like taken to soften
the economic blow.
Meanwhile, a task force has been formed and charged
with collecting information, planning for management of hospitals and
medical equipment should the province move into “Stage 3” of the outbreak,
which is defined loosely as uncontrolled local transmission of the virus
without being able to trace the origins of infection.
The task force is headed by Dr. Surasing Wisarutrattana,
former deputy Chiang Mai public health director.
Air pollution remains top Chiang Mai concern
Dumrongthai, director-general of the Pollution Control Department and
his team visit hotspots where smoke and wildfires remain a problem near
downtown Chiang Mai.
Despite the worry over the burgeoning coronavirus
crisis, the North’s air-pollution crisis remains a stronger and
more-immediate threat to public health.
Showing they haven’t stopped trying to snuff out
the fires causing what has been rated as the worst air quality in the
world, officials from three provinces met via video conference March 19
at the Command Center for PM2.5 Prevention and Problem-Solving.
Pralong Dumrongthai, director-general of the
Pollution Control Department, said smoke and wildfires in across Chiang
Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son remain a problem with fire hotspots
still reported near downtown Chiang Mai.
Deputy Gov. Komsan Suwanaumpa said arrests and
prosecutions continue, while Thai officials continue to plead with their
counterparts in Myanmar and Laos to do their part to extinguish farmland
He said the province also has written to the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ secretary’s office to request
their help in getting those countries to take stronger steps.
A March 20 video conference with the minister of
natural resources and environment, provincial governors and the army
were expected to push forward even more control measures.