BANGKOK — Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Tuesday the Emergency Decree may or may not be extended beyond the end of May, depending on the coronavirus situations.
His remarks came a day after a member of his coronavirus response team suggested the emergency law could be repealed as early as the end of this month.
Prayut said he will consider the severity of the pandemic as well as the public’s cooperation in social distancing measures before making a decision.
The Prime Minister also said that Thailand cannot rest on its laurel even if there is zero new infection on some days.
Calls for the Emergency Decree and business shutdown orders are growing after officials reported a decrease in new infections in recent days.
National Security Council sec-gen Gen. Somsak Roongsita also told the media on Monday that it is “highly likely” that Thailand’s State of Emergency will end on May 31, citing surveys by two intelligence agencies.
“Both agencies were quite satisfied with the overall public health and safety situations,” Somsak said. “[They] believed that the general Thais have good understandings of the need for social distance at the time of the pandemic outbreak.”
“It is highly likely that the emergency decree will not be extended after May 31,” he added.
The decree authorizes Prayut to enact a variety of policies to fight the virus, with the supreme commander of the armed forces, ministers of public health, interior, commerce and foreign affairs to assist him.
Thailand’s new COVID-19 cases are on a downward trend. On Monday, the Ministry of Public Health reported six new COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 3,015.
Additional writing by Xinhua News Agency.