Thai people asked to stay home seven days hinh anh 1People buy necessities in a mall in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - People in Thailand are strongly urged to stay home and stop social activities for seven days, starting this weekend, as the government steps up efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), said Chief of Defence Forces of Thailand Gen Pornpipat Benyasri.
A 24-hour curfew may have to be imposed if the call for cooperation falls on deaf ears, said Gen Pornpipat. He said people have to change their behaviour and stay home before the number of cases jump and the situation spirals out of control.
Thailand is not yet under total lockdown, he stated, adding that if infections continue to rise, it may be inevitable.
Gen Pornpipat’s call followed a sharp rise in new infections in Thailand, which surpassed the 1,000 mark for the first time on March 26.
The country reported 91 new cases and one fatality on March 27, raising the total to 1,136, with five deaths.
If the situation is under control, the infections will stand at around 2,000 next week. Otherwise, it could climb to between 7,000 and 10,000 if no tough and swift action is taken now, Gen Pornpipat said.
Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha has declared a state of emergency from March 26 to April 30 and issued 16 first-level instructions in COVID-19 prevention and control.
Meanwhile, Indonesia needs a total of 4,000 more medical workers to treat COVID-19 patients amid the surge in cases across the country.
COVID-19 task force volunteer coordinator Andre Rahadian said that the country is in need of an additional 1,500 doctors, especially pulmonologists, anaesthetists and general physicians, and 2,500 nurses. 
In addition, he said that hospitals urgently need more laboratory and administrative staff, and ambulance drivers.
He urged students in their final year of medical schools to form the "second frontline" in COVID-19 fight by providing medical consultations through an online platform.
On March 26, Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim called on medical school students across the country to join the task force's volunteer programme.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Indonesia stood at 893, of which 78 people died and 35 others fully recovered./.