While the coronavirus outbreak in Thailand has claimed at least one life and sickened at least 50 people, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration yesterday announced the latest casualty: all Songkran celebrations, citywide.
Activities scrapped in fear of coronavirus spread include a parade of the Phra Phuttha Sihing, a highly revered Buddha statue. The public sector is also asked to cooperate with canceling water-splashing activities as well, said city hall spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang (Good luck with that).
On Monday, the Khaosan Road Business Association announced that the popular backpacker destination would not host Songkran festivities this year.
Last week, Culture Minister Itthipol Khunpluem said his department was deliberating “week by week” whether the major celebrations it oversees for the Thai New Year’s festival – a holiday which generates over THB100 billion in revenues – should be canceled nationwide.
While people await a final verdict on this year’s major wet-and-touchy Songkran festivities, some parts of the country – such as Chonburi’s Bang Saen and Phetchabun province – have already announced limited activities in light of the coronavirus outbreak.