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Govt shelves harsh action

Shops shut overnight for the next 2 weeks

The government on Friday strengthened Covid-19 control measures with a special focus on 18 "highest risk" provinces -- but decided against drastic measures like lockdowns and curfews.

All shops, including 24-hour convenience stores, will have to close between 11pm and 4am every day for the next two weeks. During that time the outcome of the latest measures will be evaluated, with the likelihood of even stronger ones being adopted if the number of Covid-19 cases does not decline.

"My heart aches every time we need to roll out these measures," said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. "I feel a heavy heart and uncomfortable because I know that these measures will affect someone to some extent, particularly low-income earners."