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Thailand malls implement foot-operated lifts

Image Credits: The Strait Times, News Article

A shopping mall in Thailand’s capital Bangkok has received praise from netizens for employing a series of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, including installing foot-operated control panels in its lifts.

The measures taken by Seacon Square shopping mall on Bangkok’s Srinakarin Road have been widely shared online.

The foot-operated control panels in the lifts at the mall allow users to select the floor and close/open the door by pressing the pedals to avoid touching anything, much unlike traditional elevators.

The other measures the mall has employed include installing hand gel dispensers in front of lifts and escalators, painting guidelines on the floor in possible crowded areas to force customers to maintain a safe distance between each other, and having thermo-scanning checkpoints as required by the Public Health Ministry.

The mall stated on its social media page that it hoped the measures would become the new normal for shopping malls nationwide as they can prevent not only the spread of Covid-19 but also other kinds of germs while promoting better hygiene and safety among the public.

Queues formed at Thailand malls after they were allowed to reopen on 17 May 2020 for the first time since March following the government’s loosening of its coronavirus lockdown restrictions as part of the second phase of measures.

Thailand has reported more than 3,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since January, with more than 50 deaths.

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OpenGov Asia recently reported that Thailand’s biggest shopping-centre developers reopened their malls amid expectations the country will further ease a lockdown.

Last week, the government signalled the next phase of its economic restart is near after coronavirus cases dwindled. Thailand faces the worst economic contraction in South-East Asia this year, adding pressure on officials to loosen restrictions with only about two weeks of a state of emergency remaining.

The Senior Executive Vice President of Operations at a major shopping-centre developer, in a statement, noted that they are now readily prepared for the reopening under the government-mandated guidelines.

The malls have maintained and strengthened their health and hygienic measures at maximum and strictest levels and we also encourage the public to practice and strictly adhere to preventive measures.

Thailand’s Health Minister inspected one of the company’s Bangkok malls on 14 May. The malls of one developer are deploying automatic temperature scanning robots, free face-mask dispensers and disinfecting drones.

Central Retail Corp previously said it plans disinfectant robots, smart temperature sensors and hand gel services. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha is chaired a meeting on 15 May, deciding that shopping centres and other retail operations were be allowed to open on 17 May.

According to another article, Thailand’s shopping malls also prepared to reopened, almost two months after authorities closed them down in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In one Bangkok mall shop assistants re-stocked shelves and burnished windows of upmarket stores, while cleaners in hazmat suits disinfected public walkways and doused an entrance concourse with water from a flying drone.

One mall pulled out all the stops; they are putting in place a raft of measures to ensure that when customers return, they don’t bring COVID-19 with them.

Thermal scanners at each entrance will check the temperature of everyone who enters, while about 300 handwash dispensers have been installed.

Everyone who enters must wear a mask and for those who turn up without one, there is a vending machine at hand to dispense them.

A robot will follow anyone who takes their mask off once inside and broadcast persistent messages asking them to put it back on.

Customers will also have to download an app and register themselves when they enter and leave the mall.

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