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CCSA recommend an extension to the emergency decree in Thailand

The Thaiger

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CCSA recommend an extension to the emergency decree in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: mainichi.jp
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It has been decided to extend the emergency decree beyond the end of July 31. The National Security Council and the CCSA (Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration) have jointly agreed to extend the situation and will present the proposal to the Thai PM tomorrow. Opponents of the decree say the emergency decree is unnecessary now that Thailand has had 55 days without a single case of local transmission of Covid-19. As in the past, they’ve maintained that there are other acts and laws that can be used to handle repatriation of Thai Nationals and quarantining of visitors into the Kingdom.

It’s understood that the Thai PM is highly likely to support the proposal.

The emergency decree provides the government and the PM with sweeping powers, all covered in the Constitution but were previously limited to a maximum of 90 days. The Government claims that the decree allows them to manage the disruptive situation more efficiently and swifter, rather than having to go through a full parliamentary procedure.

The CCSA say they continue to be concerned that the pandemic is still “raging around the world” and a controlled re-opening, including border controls and strict quarantine will be necessary in the coming months. They maintain that existing rules prevent them from properly addressing the situation and prefer to bring all the decisions under the one controlling body (the CCSA), rather than having to work through a number of departments, ministries and provincial governors.

Somsak Roongsita, speaking for the CCSA, re-iterated that the extension has nothing to do with the 2 recent cases of foreigners slipping through state quarantine provisions and were later found to be infected with Covid19 – a 43 year old Egyptian soldier who visited a shopping centre on July 11 in Rayong province, and a 9 year old Sudanese girl who arrived with her diplomat father and was found to test positive for Covid-19. The family were staying at a condo in Sukhumvit area in Bangkok.

The decree contains a ban on large public gatherings and potentially draconian penalties for violations. The protests in Bangkok on Saturday were specifically in contravention of the current emergency decree, as pointed out by Bangkok police.

The proposal to extend the decree is not official at this time until it has been signed off by the PM. He is scheduled to review the proposal tomorrow. The current decree runs until July 31.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Richard barker

    July 21, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Think i’ll just stay in Australia for a while. Trouble in Paradise brewing again

  2. Avatar

    Thomas Easton

    July 21, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Welcome to Thailand 2.0 Decree runs until virus is found and tourism is long dead, was really hoping to see Thailand in early December for 2 months, guess I’ll maybe have to look for somewhere else…

    • Avatar

      rinky stingpiece

      July 21, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      In the long run, they ain’t gonna get to 4.0 without the tourism industry being displaced by something more technical skills-based.

  3. Avatar

    Glenn

    July 21, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    oh shoot, just decree a law that puts Uncle P in a permanent prime minister position for life and under ’emergency conditions’. doesn’t matter if there’s an emergency or not, if they say there is… ah, just make it a dynasty.

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 22, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Just an unjustified and corrupt way to continue a dictatorship.
    Thailand’s only hope is mass rioting to remove the despots from power.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A Burmese teenager who lives near the Thai-Myanmar border tested positive for Covid-19. Now, Thai border patrol officers are tightening security even more to make sure Myanmar’s outbreak doesn’t cross the border and cause a second wave in Thailand.

The 17 year old Burmese boy tested positive for Covid-19 last week. Reports say the teen was in Myanmar’s Payatongsu district, about 5 kilometres from the Three Pagodas Pass checkpoint bordering Kanchanaburi. The teen started having symptoms on September 11 and tested positive on September 17.

Only around 13 people were reportedly in close contact with the teen and they are now in quarantine at a district school. Health officials suspect the teen was exposed to the virus from his uncle who had travelled to Moulmein, a large city near Yangon which had a spike in coronavirus cases. The uncle has been tested and is in quarantine, but his test results are still pending.

In another case, a 2 year old Burmese child tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand. A report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department says the child most likely contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar around September 4 to September 10. The family travelled to Mae Sot and entered Myanmar through natural passageways. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Since Myanmar reported a surge in cases, starting mostly in the country’s Rakhine state on the western coast, Thailand has been increasing border patrol to make sure people are not entering Thailand illegally and potentially spreading the virus. Now that there are cases in some Myanmar border towns, Thailand checkpoints are on high alert.

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. The country reported a total of 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

In some border districts, police have placed barbed wire along the border to prevent people from entering illegally. Security has increased and dozens of migrants have been arrested in the past month for allegedly entering Thailand illegally. Even volunteers have stepped up to patrol the borders. No migrants arrested for allegedly crossing the border have tested positive for the virus.

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Myanmar

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | News by The Thaiger

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. As of September 22, the country reported 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Maya Taylor

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Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT News

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’. Nation Thailand reports that the GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. Chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa says the proposal will shortly be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted. The effect is being keenly felt by all the airlines in Thailand, with the Kingdom’s borders closed to nearly all international traffic since March.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month. Patchara, who also serves as director-general of the Excise Department, says the tax may end up being abolished completely. In normal times, taxation on aviation fuel generates around 1 billion baht a year.

Air Asia has also cut some of its ground costs by using airport buses to ferry passengers from a cheaper aircraft parking area, back to the terminals, foregoing the costs of the airport airbridges. Flights from Phuket to Don Mueang, for example, are now a full ‘bus’ service, sometimes adding an additional 15 minutes at either end for the loading up of the buses and the trip to the planes or the terminal.

It’s understood the excise tax collected since October 2019 totals 503 billion baht, down more than 6.5% on last year’s figure. Most of the income comes from oil or oil products, cars, alcohol, and cigarettes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

Maya Taylor

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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy | The Thaiger
Shuttered businesses along Bangla Road in Patong yesterday

The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was addressing a Public Health Association forum, where he highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, shutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money flowing into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years, including accommodation, tours, tour boats, tours buses and passenger vans, international shows, new roads, restaurants and rentals – all aimed at the many levels of traveller budgets.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that will attract more visitors to the province.

“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province while today’s seminar is bringing in 10,000 attendees and followers and will relieve some of the hardship.”

Meanwhile, PHA president Prapat Thamwongsa, says the forum gives those attending the opportunity to share knowledge and advice on tackling the spread of disease, with presentations and competitions addressing all public health activities.

Phuket usually receives around 14 million visitors every year, with around 10-11 million arriving from outside Thailand. The airport usually welcomes up to 300 international flights a day but is now only receiving around 80 flights a day, since the ban on foreign flights started in April. Narong says an estimated 40,000 of the island’s workers are now unemployed, while those still employed have taken hefty pay cuts of anything from 20% to a hefty 90%. Less than 30% of the province’s hotels are currently open.

“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in ICU. So, it is necessary for all stakeholders to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible.”

The Cabinet recently approved a long-stay visa (the Special Tourist Visa) for tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom, although critics say the strict requirements, coupled with the extortionate cost of the mandatory 14 day quarantine, make it unworkable. The new visa is also insisting that travellers will have to arrive on restricted charter or private jet flights, adding further cost and restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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