Thai sex workers struggle to pay rent as nightlife closes down amid spike in Coronavirus cases

The night-life lockdown has helped reduce the number of cases but has severely effected several workers

Thailand's public health ministry on Sunday, April 5, said that there have been an additional 102 new cases along with three more deaths in the country. The new cases have increased the total cases to more than 2,000 in the Southeast Asian country. So far, 23 people have died in the country because of coronavirus.

In a move to hopefully reduce the spread of the coronavirus the government had put a hold on the nightlife in the country by restricting any movement internally after 10 PM till 4 AM starting from last week. In a televised address the Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, announced the curfew and the exemptions to the lockdown.

The Deputy PM, Wissanu Krea-ngam, said on Friday, April 3, that the lockdown after 10 might be extended even if it shows signs of reducing the number of spread in the country. Wissanu said that the primary motive behind the lockdown is to encourage social distancing and combat the spread.

One of the hard-hit is the night workers

Protest in Bangkok
Protest in Bangkok, Thailand Pixabay

The Thai sex-workers have been walking the streets after the government imposed the lockdown on the country. The workers need the money to pay their rent and other expenses to survive during the lockdown. As the nightlife closed down the redlight districts from Bangkok to Pattaya has become e eerily quite. The country's major income comes from tourism and that has been affected because of the lockdown as no tourists will be allowed to enter the country.

According to estimates by the AFP, around 300,000 sex workers won,t be able to work due to the pandemic situation in the country. The workers in Bangkok majorly worked within the safety of the bars but the curfew has pushed the workers out into the streets. Most of them have returned home to wait out the crisis while some had to turn to the streets for money.

The high risk of sex workers has increased because of the virus. There are fears that the situation pertaining to the pandemic could last for months which could mean that the informal workers would be the worst affected.

But, critics of the curfew has continued to say that the limited curfew will not stop the virus from spreading. A nationwide lockdown was mentioned by the Prime Minister but the Deputy PM has said that it is not feasible at this point in time. Under Section 18 of the Emergency Decree, the violation of the present curfew can lead to a fine of 40,000 baht and up to two years in prison.

Related topics : Coronavirus