Thailand extends emergency decree until end of July

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand on Tuesday extended an emergency decree until the end of July in a bid to avoid the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus, an official said, as the country was poised to reopen bars and allow some foreigners into the country.

The cabinet approved the extension of the emergency decree because the global pandemic was still ongoing, Narumon Pinyosinwat, a spokeswoman for the Thai government told a briefing.

With the government set to ease more restrictions on Wednesday, it was necessary for the government to continue using the decree to control travel and reduce the risk of a second wave, she said.

The emergency decree gives the government a range of additional powers including to deploy officials to investigate venues, bring in curfews, restrict gatherings and control travel.

The coronavirus has killed 58 people in Thailand among its 3,171 infections. Of those, 3,056 patients have recovered and the country has not recorded a case of local transmission for 36 days.

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by Martin Petty and Ed Davies)