Bangkok will ban alcohol sales, starting on Friday until April 20, to curb the spread of the coronavirus during a national holiday, a spokesman said.
Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, the spokesman for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, told newsmen on Thursday that the ban is aimed at discouraging revelry during the Songkran holiday.
Songkran, the biggest holiday in the Thai calendar, officially scheduled from April 13 to April 15, is typically celebrated by nationwide water fights and parties.
“What’s dangerous during Songkran is people will gather and celebrate, and especially buy alcohol,’’ Pongsakorn said.
The holiday has already been officially cancelled by the government to prevent millions of people travelling out of Bangkok.
However, many Thais have already left the capital as malls and many other businesses have closed.
About 10 other Thai provinces have already issued bans on alcohol sales.
Thailand has reported a total of 2,423 cases of the novel coronavirus, with 32 deaths, according to the Public Health Ministry’s figures on Thursday.
The country has been under a state of emergency since March 26, which will last until April 30.
A nationwide daily curfew between 10.00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m. (1500-2100 GMT) started on Friday.
Thailand has reported a lower number of daily new cases over the past few days compared to previous weeks.
The Health Ministry reported 54 new cases and two new deaths.
Recently, it reported over 100 daily new cases on average.
“Our situation is improving every day and we don’t want to see a super-spreader during Songkran, which will reverse our progress,’’ Pongsakorn said.