Coronavirus News Asia

Prayut declares a Covid-19 emergency in Thailand

BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha announced today (March 24) that Thailand will be placed under emergency rule to curb the spread of Covid-19, a draconian measure that could have significant implications for the kingdom’s recently restored democracy.

Prayut, a former army commander and military coup-maker, will from March 26 assume sole authority to implement future coronavirus containment policies, which under the relevant 2005 royal decree allows for authorities to ban travel, shutter and censor media and impose curfews.  

It was not immediately clear how much emergency authority Prayut may seize from Cabinet ministers and what role Parliament will play in devising policies and regulations under the decree. Prayut last placed Thailand under emergency rule in May 2014 upon staging a democracy-suspending coup.

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