The southern province of Songkhla was locked down today, for the first day, until the end of this month in a bid to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Land and water transport in and out of Songkhla was banned except the movement of permitted vehicles such as ambulances and cargo trucks.
Checkpoints were set up on all road access to the southern province including roads linking to Phatthalung, Satun and Nakhon Si Thammarat provinces as well as southern border provinces.
Train service between Bangkok and Hat Yai district of Songkhla was stopped today. The service suspension was indefinite.
Two bus terminals in Hat Yai were closed as the operation of passenger buses and vans on 14 routes in southern provinces was halted. The downtown Hat Yai area was deserted.
Meanwhile, Kachornsak Nuanpromsakul, acting governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand, quoted the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as stating that Malaysia would reopen its border checkpoint in Perlis State on April 7 instead of April 6. The checkpoint is adjacent to Padang Besar sub-district of Songkhla’s Sadao district.
The border reopening would facilitate train services and should be beneficial to Thai rubber exports to Malaysia and subsequently traders’ rubber orders from local growers, he said.