Thailand decrees state of emergency to control coronavirus
People practice social distancing as they sit on chairs spread apart in a waiting area for take-away food orders at a shopping mall in hopes of preventing the spread of the coronavirus in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, March 24, 2020 5:27AM EDT
BANGKOK -- Thailand's prime minister says his government has agreed to declare a state of emergency to implement stricter measures to control the coronavirus outbreak.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said his Cabinet agreed Tuesday at its weekly meeting to put a one-month state of emergency into effect on Thursday. It will give the government enforcement powers not normally available to it.
Powers available to the government under the law governing public administration in emergency situations include implementing curfews, censoring the media, dispersing gatherings and allowing deployment of military forces for enforcement.
Prayuth in a brief televised address urged the public to remain calm and warned people against the improper use of social media and hoarding, saying there would now be stricter enforcement against violators.