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Thailand’s Security Council eyes extending state of emergency, easing some restrictions

Jack Burton

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Thailand’s Security Council eyes extending state of emergency, easing some restrictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA - Thai PBS World
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Next Monday, the day before the weekly Cabinet meeting, Thailand’s National Security Council will present a proposal to extend the national state of emergency to PM Prayut Chan-o- cha, recommending the relaxation of some current restrictions to allow some businesses and daily activities to resume amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The NSC met with other security agencies to evaluate the current state of emergency, which are set to expire on Thursday, April 30.

Bangkok Post reports that the NSC secretary-general Somsak Roongsita says the meeting agreed that enforcement of the Emergency Decree should be extended since the pandemic has not yet been fully brought under control.

The government will decide how long the extension will be, according to Somsak, and it will discuss the relaxation of some restrictions with the National Economic and Social Development Council. The PM has the right to extend the current Emergency Decree for up to 90 days under the Thai Constitution.

Somsak says Prayut will call a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on the same day to decide whether to extend the state of emergency. If the extension is agreed, as now appears likely, the proposal will go before the Cabinet on Tuesday for approval.

Details regarding the relaxation of restrictions will be known after Monday’s meeting, and the NSC will invite business leaders to give opinions on how they can help curb new infections if restrictions are relaxed.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, says there is concern that a second wave of Covid-19 transmissions will erupt once life starts returning to normal.

Taweesilp denied a report about the lifting of the curfew in 32 provinces in early May, saying any relaxation of the state of emergency must be approved by the Cabinet.

On his Facebook account, Yong Poovorawan, head of the Clinical Virology Department at Chulalongkorn University, explained the criteria which would is likely to be used to decide which areas should be designated as coronavirus-free.

He said an area must have gone at least 28 days without a new infection, or double the 14-day incubation period for Covid-19.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. 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. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus Thailand

Despite special tourist visa approval, hoteliers remain skeptical about reopening

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Despite special tourist visa approval, hoteliers remain skeptical about reopening | The Thaiger

As news comes of the cabinet approving a special long-term tourist visa scheme, hoteliers are remaining skeptical about reopening due to the lack of clarity in the recent announcement, which will reportedly take effect next month. The president of the Thai Hotels Association’s southern chapter says more hoteliers will consider reopening if the government gives further information about the plan in terms of prospective markets, arrival dates, origin countries, and flights.

Such details would allow hotels to prepare themselves ahead of time to offer services as alternative state quarantine premises as at least 60 hotels in Phuket are awaiting approval to operate as such a facility.

Around 90 percent of Phuket hotels reportedly remain closed and are revising their plans on a monthly basis to ensure any future income will not fall behind operation costs. In Chon Buri, the Tourism Council says only half of the 200 registered hotels have reopened, with up to 20 hotels applying for ASQ certification.

Another issue keeps hoteliers on standby as most international flights are currently only operating at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, giving foreigners entering Thailand limited options for undergoing a state quarantine. Apart from landing in the country’s capital, tourism-related agencies also have to find appropriate marketing campaigns that would target visitors willing to comply with the 14-day mandatory quarantine requirements upon arrival.

Areas outside of Bangkok will need special transportation allowances set up for those entering through Suvarnabhumi to be transferred to their end destinations without being exposed to large groups of people.

Otherwise, as seen in the North with only 30% of hotels having reopened-some with only a 10% occupancy rate, hoteliers await further details of the scheme which is reportedly set to run between October 2020 to November 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No new cases today- Covid-19 update (July 7)

The Thaiger & The Nation

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No new cases today- Covid-19 update (July 7) | The Thaiger

Today, there have been no new reported cases of Covid-19 in Thailand over the past 24 hours leaving the total amount of cases remaining at 3,195 with 58 deaths since the pandemic began. The number of recovered patients remains at 3,072, leaving 65 still hospitalized.

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration said that of the 3,195 accumulated cases, 2,444 contracted the disease locally, while 258 were diagnosed in state quarantine facilities. The Kingdom has had no new community transmissions over the past 43 days.

Globally, the number of cases rose by 182,490 over the past 24 hours to 11.74 million. The death toll also increased by 3,884 to 540,660.

The United States had the most cases at 3.04 million, increasing by 57,905 over the last 24 hours and the most deaths at 132,979, increasing by 410 since yesterday.

Brazil has seen the second-highest number of cases at 1.63 million, up by 21,486 over the last 24 hours, with 65,556 deaths. India has the third-highest number of cases with 720,346 cases and 20,174 deaths. Thailand currently ranks 99th in the world for the number of reported cases.

No new cases today- Covid-19 update (July 7) | News by The Thaiger

Screenshot from https://covid19.ddc.moph.go.th/en

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Over 73,000 Thai farmers to get relief aid after appeals approved

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Over 73,000 Thai farmers to get relief aid after appeals approved | The Thaiger

Over 73,000 Thai farmers are set to get much-needed aid after their appeals for financial help have been approved. The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) says it will transfer the aid tomorrow, in the amount of 5,000 baht, to help with the Covid-19 economic fallout.

BAAC secretary Anan Suwanrat says the ministry’s appeal panel has approved 73,975 appeals out of 190,000- bringing the total number of farmers eligible for Covid-19 cash handouts to 7,596,747. He says 10,284 appeal requests are still being reviewed.

Of those rejected, he says the applicants have either already received financial aid from other relief schemes, were state officials, or were insured by the Social Security Fund.

The aid was initially approved at the end of April in the amount of 150 billion baht to help over 10 million farmers affected by the pandemic. Of those who were already approved, they are receiving a cash handout of 5,000 baht for 3 months starting in April, with the last handout set to be disbursed between July 15-22.

Thailand’s government has set aside the money to help farmers as part of its 1 trillion baht emergency loan scheme. It has also enlisted the help of the Royal Thai Airforce to help transport produce for the farmers who became unable to disburse their goods due to the pandemic’s lockdown and travel restrictions.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post

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