The national committee on communicable diseases has agreed to list Covid-19 (coronavirus) as a dangerous communicable disease, a move that will allow health authorities to respond more quickly to contain the outbreak in the event of local transmission, Bangkok Post reported.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who chaired the committee meeting, said on Monday the announcement will allow public health officials and authorities to enforce tougher rules to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.
The announcement will take effect one day after it is published in the Royal Gazette.
By designating the novel coronavirus as such, health officials can take more precautionary measures.
They can now prohibit public gatherings, shut down borders, impose travel bans, order suspected sufferers an carriers into quarantine at hospitals and allow the import of drugs which are yet to be registered in the country, but have shown the potential to fight the illness.
Those who fail to comply could be subject to a maximum fine of 20,000 baht.
The punishment is harsher for anyone who deliberately defies outbreak control regulations — one year in prison and a 100,000-baht fine.
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