World's largest weekend market deserted amid COVID-19 tourism downturn

There were deserted rows of stalls at the renowned Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Thailand, this morning (March 26) as the coronavirus pandemic decimates tourism.

The once-bustling weekend marketplace - the largest in the world - would normally be packed with thousands of holidaymakers buying souvenirs and wholesalers preparing goods to export.

But with a travel ban in effect since Sunday (March 22) and the government urging locals to stay indoors, the aisles are deserted and shutters have been pulled down.

Officials said today they did not know when the market would re-open or how many of the traders would still be in business.

Thailand has declared 1,045 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and four deaths since the outbreak began.

Measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic have been introduced including a travel ban on tourists and the closure of thousands of businesses.

The Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the country would be placed under a state of emergency from March 26 onwards as curfews and the ban on movements between provinces are considered.

Government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek has also warned that the virus is now also spreading in provinces outside the capital.