In the past two decades, at the end of the year, mahouts often take elephants to visit schools in Ayutthaya and give gifts such as candy and toys. However, this year’s Christmas becomes different when the elephants use their trunks to distribute masks and disinfectants in baskets to everyone.

“These four elephants want to encourage people to wear masks, wash their hands on behalf of Thailand’s Santas and follow the government’s instructions,” said Itthi Pankhawlamai, manager of a local elephant park.

“I received a balloon, mask and disinfectant from the elephants. I’m extremely excited because an event like this only happens once a year,” said primary school student Beyapha Mhonsuwan.

Thai authorities are urging people to be more cautious, as the first cluster of Omicron strains in the community has just been recorded in the northeastern province of Kalasin. “From the Kalasin epidemic cluster, there are 21 new infections,” said Apisamai Srirangsan, a spokesman for Thailand’s Covid-19 task force.

The capital Bangkok also canceled a New Year’s celebration sponsored by the government. The total number of infections and deaths from Covid-19 in Thailand is currently 2.2 million and 21,528 respectively. About 62% of the population of 72 million have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

According to