Bangkok roads almost empty amid stepped up lockdown


TRAFFIC on most of Bangkok’s roads was greatly lighter than usual with some of them almost empty the morning (July 20) the first day of enhanced lockdown with 100 percent work from home in effect but some vendors were still visible as they said they had to trade in order to survive, said.

As the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s (CCSA’s) request for government agencies and state enterprises to work from home 100 percent and the private sector to do so to the maximum capacity from today,  the impact was visible at Pathumwan intersection, Rama 1 road, in front of MBK Shopping Centre this morning with there being far fewer vehicles on the roads and the traffic flowing smoothly despite small congestion at the traffic lights.

The sharp drop in the volume of traffic was also visible on other key city centre roads such as Ratchadamri Road, in front of the Central World Department Store. However there were many taxis, tuk-tuks and motorcycle taxis waiting for passengers while buses that were running on this route were not very crowded.

A BTS station cleaner told this news site’s reporters that although they could not work from home, the company had changed their working hours. 

She added that she knew full well that this career was risky even after receiving two Covid jabs but was trying to protect herself as best possible amid a worry that if she got infected there might not be a hospital bed available for her.

Some vendors and motorcycle taxi drivers voiced similar viewpoint that while the government had issued measures for people to work from home as they were not salaried employees, if they did not come out to trade and work they would not have income to support their families, particularly paying the rent and utility bills as well as sending their children to school.

However they all added that if the situation worsened they were ready to stay home but called for steps to help them survive as well.


Rare images of almost empty roads in Bangkok this morning. All photos:

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