A LONG queue of around a thousand people stretched in front of the Norwegian Church Pattaya from 1 a.m. onward as the needy folk waited patiently for weekly food giveaway starting 9 a.m. today (May 28) without any fear of breaking the curfew with the emergency decree imposed to halt the spread of the coronavirus having hit this tourist destination hard, Sanook.com reported.
In the long queue that stretched 500 metres some people were standing, others sitting at various points and some had even brought their mats along to spread out on the footpath and sleep without bothering about social distancing required under Covid-19 preventive measures.
These people said they wanted to be among the first to get a bag each of the handout, consisting of rice, dried food and eggs, out of a total of 2,000 bags this church distributes every Thursday. They added that they are more worried about starving to death than being caught for breaking the curfew.
Pattaya police did show up and ordered the people to go home because curfew is on. However they were unsuccessful at breaking up the assembly, with some people making moves to go home while others hid in nearby houses and as soon as the police went away got back to form the queue again.
In the end the police told them they could remain where they were but to leave proper social distance.
However this incident disturbed residents living in Soi 5 off Thappraya Road where the church is located with many becoming afraid of possibly getting Covid-19 through this gathering for giveaways. They urged the authorities to ensure that the people come at the appointed time and to take decisive steps to ensure emergency measures are upheld.
Meanwhile at 11.30 a.m. today Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), announced at the Government House that there were 11 more coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours but no deaths. All the new cases are returnees from overseas who have been placed in state quarantine with five being masseurs, Bangkok Post reported.
This took the total number of cases to 3,065 with the death toll so far being 57. Fourteen more patients had recovered and returned home, taking the total of those having done so to 2,945, with 63 still being treated for this infection at various hospitals.
The long queue of people who broke the curfew to wait for handouts in front of the Norwegian Church Pattaya from 1 .a.m. onward. Thai headline says, “Not scared even though police showed up.” Photos: Sanook.com