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All eyes on Thai Cabinet as Covid-19 restrictions set to be reviewed tomorrow

Maya Taylor

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All eyes on Thai Cabinet as Covid-19 restrictions set to be reviewed tomorrow | Thaiger
AFP Forum via NurPhoto/Anusak Laowilas

“PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he won’t be pressured into easing restrictions sooner than it is safe to do so, saying it is vital to avoid a second wave of infections.”

Thailand’s state of emergency, in force since March 26, is set to be reviewed tomorrow when the Thai Cabinet meets. With the decree due to expire this Thursday, April 30, it’s expected that members will discuss the possibility of an easing of some of the restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The National Security Council is recommending that the emergency decree be extended as “the fight against the virus has not yet been won”, despite some tough limitations on movement imposed around the country.

The current restrictions include a ban on inter-provincial travel and international travel, the closure of non-essential businesses and a national nightly curfew from 10pm to 4am. On the island of Phuket, the airport is closed, as is Sarasin bridge, the single road link from the island to the mainland, and travel between sub-districts is banned. The beaches have also been closed and an alcohol ban is in place “indefinitely”. In other provinces, similarly tough restrictions remain in place at this stage although some are announcing a progressive lifting of some restrictions, post April 30.

There was a spike in the number of new cases reported over the weekend, primarily as a result of Thai residents returning from abroad and being quarantined and tested. Overall however, the number of new, non-imported cases continues to fall, indicating that the restrictions are having the desired effect.

The main downside to the “lockdown” is the financial burden it is placing on Thai residents and working expats, with millions now out of work. A report today in The Pattaya News says that over 27 million people have now applied to the government for financial assistance. The government had initially anticipated that 3 million people would apply, but there have been many who say their application has been turned down, creating some ugly scenes outside Bangkok’s finance ministry.

Good Samaritans have come to the rescue around the country, donating food and essential supplies at food banks, temples, migrant labour camps and elsewhere. Meanwhile, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he won’t be pressured into easing restrictions sooner than it is safe to do so, saying it is vital to avoid a second wave of infections.

Despite this, many hope that some of the tighter restrictions, such as the closure of beaches and the banning of travel between sub-districts in places like Phuket, may be lifted. The holiday island has had the highest reported infection rate, per capita, in the country. As the island’s economy revolves mainly around tourism, its economy has been shattered whilst the bans and restrictions stay in place.

With the government having colour-coded each of the Thai provinces based on the number of Covid-19 cases identified, those in provinces with no cases, as well as those with only a small number of cases, are hoping this will be taken into account when the Cabinet meets tomorrow.

For now, we wait.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Chon Buri

Chon Buri adds 99 new Covid-19 infections today

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Chon Buri adds 99 new Covid-19 infections today | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Covid-19 cases continue to be identified from entertainment venues across Thailand.

The Chon Buri Covid-19 cluster is spreading with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office confirming 99 new cases today. The province, which contains Pattaya, seems to be following a growing infection trend. The Pattaya area saw 47 new cases, and Mueang Chon Buri had 41 cases, with other districts having less than 5 each. 2 people infected with Covid-19 were brought from outside Chon Buri for treatment locally. The new cases bring the total number of Covid-19 infections in the province up to 710 people.

While infections are on the rise, officials advise that the numbers are not showing a severe or exponential increase and are in line with daily averages. They say the growing numbers are more likely due to “diligent testing throughout the community”, especially in nightlife venues and popular entertainment districts. 984 cautionary tests were administered today along with 342 people suspected to have been in close contact with Covid-19 infected people.

Within the new infections, 41 people are still being investigated to find the source of the virus, while 29 people were family members or close contacts of other infected people.

The sources of new infections are…

  • PATTAYA
    • 3 infections at The Box 69 Pattaya
    • 3 infections at Cetus Pattaya
    • 3 infections at Garden 168
    • 1 infection at Bone Pattaya
    • 1 infection at Insomnia Pattaya
  • OTHER AREAS IN CHON BURI
    • 5 infections at Flintstone’s Pub in Meung Chon Buri, the source of 137 cases total.
    • 4 infections at Infinity Siracha
    • 3 infections at 2.7 Replay Bang Saen
  • FROM OUTSIDE CHON BURI
    • 4 infections at Entertainment venues in Bangkok

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Northern Thai provinces starting Covid restrictions as 3rd wave spreads

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Northern Thai provinces starting Covid restrictions as 3rd wave spreads | Thaiger
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Thailand’s northern provinces are starting to impose more self-quarantines or travel restrictions to combat the recent Covid-19 outbreak that has spread quickly throughout northern Thailand. Phichit and Lampang provinces are the latest in northern Thailand to impose a variety of covid-19 restrictions on people entering.

A Thailand Interior Ministry told Chiang Rai Times that the longer list emphasises the seriousness of the 3rd wave of the coronavirus. The new wave originated in nightlife venues in Bangkok and has spread to 74 out of Thailand’s 77 provinces, as of yesterday. Health inspectors believe the new and more contagious UK strain of Covid-19, named B117, arrived in Thailand from Cambodia through migrants.

But as the CCSA has largely placed restrictions in the hands of each provincial government, many are confused about what guidelines they must follow upon entering certain provinces. Northern Thailand’s Lampang province, for example, orders visitors from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom and Chiang Mai to report immediately to local health authorities or officials, but it does not require them to undergo quarantine for 2 weeks if test results are negative.

Visitors are advised to check updated information at moicovid.com as the rules are different in each province. So far, 42 provinces have imposed self-quarantine. Phichit, Lampang and Ubon Ratchathani were the latest to join 39 other provinces imposing a variety of restrictions on people entering their provinces.

Visitors to the website posted multiple questions, mostly on whether they needed to be quarantined.

Provinces that impose self-quarantine or other requirements on travellers:

NORTH

  • Chiang Mai
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Lampang
  • Lamphun
  • Nan
  • Phayao
  • Phetchabun
  • Phichit
  • Phitsanulok
  • Phrae
  • Tak
  • Uttaradit

NORTHEAST

  • Amnat Charoen
  • Bung Kan
  • Buri Ram
  • Chaiyaphum
  • Khon Kaen
  • Maha Sarakham
  • Mukdahan
  • Nakhon Phanom
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nong Bua Lam Phu
  • Nong Khai
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
  • Yasothon

CENTAL AND EAST

  • Chai Nat
  • Lop Buri
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Sa Kaeo
  • Saraburi
  • Sing Buri
  • Uthai Thani

SOUTH

  • Chumphon
  • Narathiwat
  • Pattani
  • Phangnga
  • Ranong
  • Satun
  • Songkhla
  • Trang

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: Wednesday’s new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in “serious condition”

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Covid UPDATE: Wednesday’s new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in “serious condition” | Thaiger

Thailand’s CCSA has announced 1,335 new infections today, after a slight dip in the 10 day surge yesterday. 1,326 of those new infections are local, not imported, and mostly from Bangkok. Today’s tally takes the national total to 35,910 since January 2020 when the first case outside China was detected in Thailand on January 13.

The new infections have mostly emerged in Bangkok with 351 cases. Surrounding provinces report an additional 115 infections today. In other provinces, 877 people.

It’s also been reported today that 36 people are currently in a serious condition and 9 people are on ventilators. Here’s the number of cases reported each day since the start of April…

April 1 – 26 infections

April 2 – 58 infections

April 3 – 84 infections

April 4 – 96 infections

April 5 – 194 infections

April 6 – 250 infections

April 7 – 334 infections

April 8 – 405 infections

April 9 – 559 infections

April 10 – 789 infections

April 11 – 967 infections

April 12 – 985 infections

April 13 – 965 infections

April 14 – 1,335 infections

Meanwhile, Prachuap Khiri Khan officials have ordered the closure of “high risk venues” such as pubs, bars, water parks, children’s playgrounds, gyms, cinemas, game shops. The Governor says restaurants can open “but no alcohol can be served”. This includes the seaside town of Hua Hin.

In Krabi there is now a total of 11 infections, 6 new ones yesterday.

In Chon Buri, which includes Pattaya, there were 99 new confirmed infections of Covid today … a similar number to the past few days.

Total number of infections being treated in provinces…

• Bangkok: 1,689
• Chiang Mai: 880
• Chonburi: 594
• Samut Prakan: 416
• Narathiwat: 304
• Prachuap Khiri Khan: 265
• Samut Sakhon: 166
• Pathum Thani: 124
• Sa Kaeo 105
Covid UPDATE: Wednesday's new infections rise to 1,335 people, 36 people in 

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