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Update March, 2020

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Chiang Mai News

Chiang Mai ‘ready’ for Covid-19 Stage 3

Gov. Charoenrit Sangonsat said Chiang Mai is prepared if the coronavirus outbreak there reaches “stage 3” uncontrolled status.

Nopniwat Krailerg

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

Pralong Dumrongthai, director-general of the Pollution Control Department and his team visit hotspots where smoke and wildfires remain a problem near downtown Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg 

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 fires.

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.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Mai ‘ready’ for Covid-19 Stage 3

Air pollution remains top Chiang Mai concern


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