The Chinese New Year period starts today (30 Jan) amid ongoing COVID-19 transmissions and outbreaks. This year, Thais of Chinese descent will be able to observe Lunar New Year rites and visit shrines as usual, but these activities must comply with COVID-19 prevention measures.
Officials from the Department of Health have visited the Yaowarat area in Bangkok’s Samphanthawong district to meet with business operators and local residents to inform them of COVID safety guidelines for the Chinese New Year.
Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Department of Health, suggested that food safety conduct be observed during the day of spending, day of worship and day of rest during the Chinese New Year period. Buyers should also ensure that ducks and chicken are fresh and that the red color of pork is actually natural.
To minimize the creation of PM2.5 airborne dust particles, revelers are advised to use shorter incense sticks and snuff them out earlier than usual as they observe Lunar New Year rites. Silver and gold joss paper of high quality should be used and the amount burned reduced. Used incense sticks and paper ash should also be disposed of separately from general waste. Additionally, face masks should be worn at all times during rites and Universal Prevention protocols for COVID safety properly observed. Dr Suwannachai also suggested that restaurants, food shops and shrine canteens take precautions against food and waterborne diseases such as diarrhea, on top of adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures.
Samphanthawong District Office Director Athittaya Chokkitmanatchai said officials from her office have been providing advice on preventing coronavirus transmission to local sellers of Chinese New Year items. She also noted that shops have been complying with disease control measures, with sellers all wearing masks and placing alcohol gel bottles in their shops for visitors to use. Officials have determined that food items at Leng Buai Ia market – popular among shoppers in the district – remain fresh and clean, while screening points, as well as alcohol gel dispensers, have been set up at the market.
Information and Source
Reporter : Natthaphon Sangpolsit
Rewriter : Paul Rujopakarn
National News Bureau : http://thainews.prd.go.th