Thailand’s new government says it’s closing three airports in the country’s first major air traffic control shutdown in a decade, amid a deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The shutdowns came on Friday, the same day the country was hit by a new wave of deadly air pollution, including a spike in coronaviruses that has killed nearly 10,000 people.
Thailand has been one of the hardest-hit countries in Southeast Asia by the coronaviral pandemic, with more than 4,000 deaths.
The country is the last in the region to have closed all its airports.
It is the second largest carrier in the world and one of Asia’s largest economies.
Air traffic has been restricted in many countries across Southeast Asia since last week, with the government blaming the outbreak on poor ventilation.
The government says its focus is on the safety of travelers, and the airline industry has responded with its own shutdowns.
Thai Airways, the countrys largest carrier, said it was suspending all scheduled flights for the rest of the month.
AirAsia, the nations largest airline, said its staff had been asked to “be vigilant during the crisis and stay away from crowded areas.”
The shutdown of Bangkok International Airport is one of several recent ones.
A total of four airlines have been hit by disruptions, including Singapore Airlines, which has suspended flights from the airport to Malaysia and China.
Thais have been forced to travel on smaller routes, or through alternative routes.
The government has also banned the use of the country as a transit hub for foreign travel.
The Thai government says the shutdowns will help control the virus outbreak, but has also said the new measures will not be effective.
The airlines say they are still operating, and no flights have been cancelled.
The airline industry says it is working to make up for the disruption.
Airline workers in Bangkok are taking a day off to help with the crisis.
The Ministry of Health says there are more than 3,500 cases of coronavivirus in Thailand.