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A few more flight cancellations and K-Pop curtailed

The Thaiger

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A few more flight cancellations and K-Pop curtailed | The Thaiger
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Airlines around the world are battling to re-assess and refine their flight schedules in response to the dive in passenger bookings following the outbreak and impact of the covid-19 coronavirus at the start of the year. In recent weeks the restrictions on travel, to many parts of the world, have started to bite.

Thai AirAsia announced today that it will halt flights out of KL to and from Kunming, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macao, from March 11 until March 31.

The Thai Ministry of Public Health announcement in the Royal Gazette at the start of March that declared “China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, Italy and Iran as high-risk countries for Covid-19 infection”.

Air Asia says that passengers who already have tickets will have the following options…

• Change the flight without any additional fee

• Keep the amount in their credit with the airline for use in their next travel

• Apply for a full refund.

The airline added that it will immediately contact affected passengers via the given telephone number or email.

Meanwhile, Thai Airways has temporarily cancelled flights on its two routes to Italy as the country has implemented a lockdown of all regions.

Roundtrip flights on the Bangkok-Rome route will be cancelled from March 15 – March 29.Roundtrip flights on the Bangkok-Milan route will be cancelled from March 13 – March 30. Passengers may make changes to airline tickets and/or the route before the flight date specified on the ticket, within the ticket validity date, or extend the departure date at any Thai Airways Sales Office until December 15, for which the ticket change fee will be waived.

For more information about the Thai Airways flight schedules or flight cancellations, visit thaiairways.com, or contact the Thai Airways Contact Centre at 02 356 1111, 24 hours a day.

And the cancellations are impacting just about every sector of the Asian economy. Japan’s travel restrictions on South Koreans over the coronavirus epidemic have now caused cancellations of a string of K-pop concerts which were scheduled in Japan, which will severely curtail the Korean entertainment industry in its most lucrative export.

Starting last Monday, people arriving from South Korea will be quarantined for two weeks. Tokyo also suspended visa waivers and the validity of existing visas for Koreans, followed by a similar move by South Korea, rekindling a diplomatic feud between the neighbours. That includes some of their massively popular K-Pop acts.

South Korean band Super Junior called off its tours scheduled to take place on March 25 and 26 in Japan, citing the Japanese government’s measures to “curb immigration”.

South Korea’s entertainment firm CJ ENM followed suit, postponing its annual K-pop festival KCON in Japan. KCON in Japan last year drew more than 88,000 fans, according to CJ ENM.

Japan’s travel restrictions are a fresh blow to the entertainment industry in the wake of a fast-spreading virus. K-pop events have also been cancelled or postponed elsewhere in the world because of the epidemic.

Back at home, band BTS, the world’s most popular music act at the moment, cancelled its scheduled April concert in Seoul, amid growing concerns of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Japan alone accounted for more than 60% of South Korea’s music exports, marking US$320.6 million (10.1 billion baht) worth of exports in 2017 followed by China and Southeast Asian countries, according to Statistics Korea.

A few more flight cancellations and K-Pop curtailed | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

With coronavirus cases rising, a Bangkok hospital puts out the call for more masks

Greeley Pulitzer

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With coronavirus cases rising, a Bangkok hospital puts out the call for more masks | The Thaiger
PHOTO: WFXR

Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok is running out of N95 facemasks for it personnel, and the director Suttipong Wacharasindhud has made a public plea for more. At a time when Covid-19 coronavirus cases are rising daily, he says the hospital has enough masks to last only another two weeks.

“Due to the shortage of masks over the past three months, the hospital has been trying to find them from all possible sources, but it still doesn’t have enough.”

All wards and units have been told to strictly comply with the hospital’s instructions on mask use. The news comes after recent reports that some people are hoarding the masks, and even allegedly shipping large consignments overseas.

Police have arrested an alleged fraudster for scamming people into placing orders for masks and sanitising gel that were never delivered. 27 year old Thirawuth Suksawat was arrested in Ratchaburi’s Ban Pong district on Friday for selling masks online, then not delivering. He was already wanted on an arrest warrant from last year in connection with other fraud cases.

Police received complaints that the suspect sold the products via Facebook Marketplace and used other people’s photos to hide his identity. Buyers transferred money into his account but the masks were never delivered.

Police say the suspect swindled people out of more than 200,000 baht and has been handed over to Thung Song police.

Source: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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Hundreds of Thai hotels seek aid to protect employees

Anukul

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Hundreds of Thai hotels seek aid to protect employees | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: thaiquote.org

Will the Thai Social Security Office compensate hundreds of hotels pursuing emergency assistance? Hotels are doing it hard as tourism has come to a virtual halt inside Thailand and hotels are either closing or scaling back their operations substantially.

Yesterday, The Thai Hotel Associations sent a letter to the Thai Chamber of Commerce notifying them that hundreds of hotels are seeking emergency assistance from the government, to protect employees during the temporary closure of Thai hotels due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

However, according to ‘Section 75′ of the Labour Protection Act, hotels operators must cover 75% of employees’ salaries when shutting down their businesses. But at times like this, when occupation rates have tanked, most hotel operators are running out of cash and can’t make those payments to employees. Hence the THA is requesting for more measures to support employees and hotel operators

Chairman of the chamber Kalin Sarasin, says…

“The THA asked the government to open a registry for hotels that have to temporarily stop operations because of the ‘force Majeure’ under Section 79-1 of the Social Security Act. If the government authorises this measure, the office can pay 50% of salaries to employees for 180 days.”

“This is an urgent issue for the chamber. We’ll submit the request to the centre for the resolution of emergencies, aiming to settle it soon, because as up to a hundred hotels have suspended their businesses.”

“Operators in some provinces will not have this problem, as there is a clear official order to close hotels in the area, meaning employees automatically have protection under Section 79-1.”

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says that, “he asked the THA to submit the letter to both the Tourism and Sports and Labour Ministries directly on Monday for further discussion.”

Hundreds of hotels around Thailand have already closed their doors.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok City Hall closes more venues, but 3 types allowed to reopen

Greeley Pulitzer

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Bangkok City Hall closes more venues, but 3 types allowed to reopen | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Flower shops in markets will be allowed to re-open - Culture Trip

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA or City Hall as it’s more commonly known), is closing down more public venues around the capital, effective midnight tonight (Friday) until April 30, as it steps up measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Sites to remain closed are all sport arenas of both humans and animals (boxing arenas, cockfighting and fish fighting venues, horse tracks), public playgrounds, public theatres and recreational shows, museums, libraries, meeting and banquet rooms in hotels, snooker clubs, aesthetic clinics, and public and private nurseries..

But BMA spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang says three other types of venue will be allowed to re-open after being shuttered last weekend.

“Hospital cafeterias (provided social distancing is practised), flower shops in markets, and branch offices of government agencies and state enterprises in department stores, such as post offices and immigration offices.”

On March 21, City Hall ordered the temporary closure of many places it considered high risk locations for virus infection in the capital through to April 12, including restaurants, department stores, schools, universities and markets (except for fresh food vendors and food stalls).

SOURCE: The Nation

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