Thailand to declare state of emergency on March 26 hinh anh 1A restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, was closed on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand will declare a state of emergency and introduce new countermeasures against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on March 26, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on March 24.

In his live televised announcement, the leader said the enactment of the 2005 Royal Decree of Emergency Situations is necessary to stem the pandemic which claimed four lives in Thailand as of the latest count.

Under the decree, the Prime Minister will have the sole authority in implementing policies designed to combat the pandemic through the Centre for Resolution of Emergency Situation, Prayut said.

The centre will meet daily at 9:30am to monitor the epidemic and take necessary actions.

He said specific measures concerning the public will be detailed at a later date, though the emergency decree empowers authorities to impose curfews, ban travels, and close down buildings without warrants.

Security officers will also have the power to censor and shut down media if deemed necessary.

The emergency situation will be in place through April 30, according to the Prime Minister.

Besides, Thailand's cabinet on March 24 approved additional stimulus package worth 107 billion THB (3.25 billion USD) in a bid to ease the blow of the coronavirus outbreak.

On the same day, the Southeast Asian country reported another 106 confirmed cases with three new deaths, bringing the total infections in the nation to 827.

A total of 57 coronavirus patients in Thailand have fully recovered while 766 cases have remained in hospitals for treatment./.