Thai authorities say they are taking steps to wield emergency legal powers to control the spread of the new virus and limit its economic and social impact.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Monday the National Committee on Communicable Disease has endorsed adding COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, to a list of 13 other dangerous communicable diseases.
The endorsement is expected to be quickly implemented. Thailand has 35 confirmed cases of the virus, about half of whom have recovered.
The measure would authorize disease control officials to issue orders to quarantine and detain infected people or those suspected of carrying the virus.
In emergencies, it would authorize governors, with consent from the committee, to temporarily shut down markets, entertainment facilities, business places, factories, community areas and educational institutions and order a halt to activities judged dangerous.
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