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Coronavirus Thailand

Thai money changers now asking for government help

Jack Burton

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Thai money changers now asking for government help | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 'No Commission' and no business
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In a shocking reversal of fortune, money changers in Thailand, crushed by the the twin impacts of Covid-19 and the nationwide inbound flight ban, are asking for government assistance.

The catastrophic drop in tourist numbers, (76.4% in March, and expected to be near 100% for April) has forced the The Thai Association of Foreign Exchange to ask the government for an assistance package, including soft loans and income compensation for operators.

The association has submitted a letter to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, asking the government for a lifeline as the money changing business is by nature dependent on tourism.

“The money changing business has no income due the absence of customers, but operators must shoulder expenses like wages and rent and take risks incurred from the foreign exchange market’s volatility. As the government has not directly ordered the money changing business to shut down, operators cannot get any aid.”

The association, comprising hundreds of members, proposes a series of relief measures…

• the Social Security Office giving income compensation to operators

• waiving special business taxes

• offering short-term loans with a discounted rate to operators

• providing access to working capital loans to boost liquidity.

The letter adds that policymakers should expedite licence applications to enable those who are qualified to offer money transfers and e-money service, and asks the government to speed up issuance of rules and regulations to provide an opportunity for money changers to get assistance.

The Thai Bankers’ Association estimates that Thailand stands to lose 1.3 trillion baht, representing 7.7% of Thai GDP.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and his works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world.

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Coronavirus Thailand

Bangkok hospitals use baby face shields, US health officials say it could be dangerous

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok hospitals use baby face shields, US health officials say it could be dangerous | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

While Bangkok hospitals say they are protecting newborn babies from the coronavirus with baby-sized face shields, health authorities in the US disagree with the move, and even claim it could be dangerous.

The US Centre of Disease Control says an infant face shield could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome as well as suffocation or strangulation.

Since infants and newborns often toss and turn in bed, the nose and mouth could become blocked by the face shield and suffocate, according to a CDC report on the matter.

“Parts of the shield can also get caught around the neck and cause them to suffocate.”

They say that there is no data supporting the use of infant face shields for protection against the coronavirus.

SOURCE: US Centre of Disease Control

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Pattaya

Pattaya’s beaches are still a ‘no go’ area this month

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya’s beaches are still a ‘no go’ area this month | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pattaya City Law Enforcement/pattayacity2535

Don’t go to Pattaya’s beaches unless you’re willing go to jail or pay a hefty fine. Starting tomorrow, the city’s beaches will be closed until the end of May in an effort to prevent socialising and to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Pattaya’s police posted photos on Facebook of the taped-off beaches and warning signs.

“Those who try to access the beach could face a year in jail or an up to 100,000 baht fine. People and tourists are prohibited from gathering in the areas between 9am and 9pm during the three-week period.”

However, people are still allowed to walk and exercise on the sidewalks adjacent to the beaches. The closed beach areas include… Pattaya beach, Jomtien beach, Phra Thamnak beach, Cosy beach, Wong Amat beach, Krathing Rai beach, Lan Phor Na Kluea public park and the Bali Hai pier area.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Pattaya's beaches are still a 'no go' area this month | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus Thailand

10 arrested in Chon Buri for house party in violation of Emergency Decree

Jack Burton

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10 arrested in Chon Buri for house party in violation of Emergency Decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Naew Na

Police in Chon Buri province’s Sattahip subdistrict, south of Pattaya, raided a party last night at a house with 10 people, most of them from out of town and described as domestic tourists. The gathering was a direct violation of the Emergency Decree enacted to stop the spread of Covid-19

Na Jomtien police were notified by a “concerned citizen” that there was a noisy party at a house in a housing estate at 9:30pm. They arrived at the house, knocked on the door and were greeted by 37 year old Paruehat Tampanon, who said he’s renting the house for several days, and that he and his friends were staying there for 2 days.

Na Jomtien police discovered 9 other people inside the house, 2 of whom tested positive for illegal drugs, police say, without naming the specific drugs. Many bottles of alcoholic and other beverages were found.

Paruehat claimed he did not know that Chon Buri still has strict social distancing measure in place and bans private parties. He also claimed all 10 people know each other and live with each other so there was be no threat of spreading the virus.

The owner of the house, 35 year old Piyanuch Ignatov, was charged with illegally operating a hotel and disobeying a Chon Buri order. (Rentals of fewer than 30 days are technically not allowed under Thai law.)

All those arrested face stiff Emergency Decree penalties, which means fines of up to 100,000 baht and/or up to 2 years in jail.

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | Naew Na

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