A sudden revocation of BMA’s announcement of a Bangkok partial reopening by the CCSA has prompted a public outcry in Bangkok since yesterday night, May 31st.
Yesterday afternoon, the communicable disease committee of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) resolved that five types of businesses in the capital could resume with disease control measures on June 1st. This includes city parks and green spaces which many residents had been clamouring to reopen for weeks.
However, the CCSA (Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration) in the evening had dismissed the order and announced their closure to be extended for 14 days, effective until June 14th.
The issue has sparked public criticism, asking why the two departments did not thoroughly discuss prior to the official announcement as this had significantly caused confusion among people and related entrepreneurs working in certain businesses. Many also view the issue as a failure in communication between government agencies as well as to society.
Dr. Arnond Sakworawich, Assistant Professor from the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), posted a statement online that communication in crisis is a crucial test between internal government. Yesterday’s incident has proved that both departments did not have proper internal communication as a government should have been, according to his opinion.
The statement read: “Bangkok authorities said that the situation should be relaxed, but the CCSA didn’t think so and overruled the BMA announcement. People now got confused for sure. When something serious that affects the life of people was being discussed, both parties should sit down and give each other some signal whether to say yes or no to the issue. They didn’t go together this time.”
“They have badly failed internal communication during the crisis, especially when the time people need confidence and stability from the government the most. Communication in crisis must be precise and concord, going in the same direction.” Arnond concluded.
The reaction on social media was swift and harsh to the decision, especially around keeping parks closed for at least another two weeks. However, there were some statements of support as well on social media from people who felt it was too early to lift any restrictions.
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