44 Thai provinces could reopen in May, a health official said


A health official on Friday said he could see restrictions lifted in forty-four Thai provinces as soon as May 1 where no new cases have been confirmed in the past two weeks.

Without naming those provinces, deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department, Dr. Tanarak Plipat, said they could see restrictions lifted on travel and business operations as part of a staggered reopening of the kingdom based on perceived vulnerability.

“We have now more than 44 provinces that haven’t reported any cases in the last 14 days,” Tanarak told the BBC’s Jonathan Head in an interview streamed online by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand. “Those provinces may start to relax the rules a little bit first.”

He said provinces would be assessed low or high risk, with the latter likely to “be reopened later.” According to his department’s online tracking tool, provinces with no cases reported in the past two weeks include Chiang Rai, Kanchanaburi, Lopburi, Sukhothai and Buriram.

Tanarak noted that nine provinces have “not reported any single case yet.”

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Marcus Felipe