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Fewer travellers at Bangkok bus and rail stations as Covid worries take hold

Maya Taylor

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Fewer travellers at Bangkok bus and rail stations as Covid worries take hold | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News
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It’s a lot quieter at Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong train station and the Chatuchak bus terminal as Covid-19 restrictions take hold in the capital, leading some passengers to cancel their travel plans. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has already urged people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

Public transport stations in Bangkok have implemented strict hygiene measures, including socially-distanced seating and the mandatory wearing of face masks for both staff and passengers. Thailand finds itself in the grip of a second wave of the virus, after seemingly going several months without any community transmission. Yesterday, there were 155 new cases reported, only 10 of which are in arrivals from overseas.

Tough restrictions have been imposed in the worst-affected provinces, which include Bangkok, the central province of Samut Sakhon, where the outbreak began, and the eastern province of Rayong. In Bangkok, all entertainment venues have been closed until January 4. Bars and restaurants serving food and drinks are permitted to operate, provided they implement strict hygiene measures and close by midnight. Hostess bars, horseracing tracks, and cockfighting arenas are some of the establishments that have been hit with the temporary closure order.

The Health Ministry has predicted an inevitable rise in cases across the country as a result of inter-provincial New Year travel. As yet, the government has neither confirmed nor denied plans for a nationwide lockdown once the holiday period is over. The PM has said it will depend on the situation at the time, adding that he doesn’t believe things will get so bad as to require a second national lockdown.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Thank God some people are being sensible, but there are still plenty of people on the road from other provinces and I doubt anyone’s taking any notice at all of any “urging” by the authorities given the plethora of confusing messages they’ve been making.

  2. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    True look what happened in London when they said it will lockdown in 6 hrs a stampede to get out for the holidays and spread the virus which is what is happening in Thailand many provinces now have covid and many more will follow I do ask myself did covid ever go away the stream turned to a river and is soon to be a lagoon

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11:16 pm

      I’m not in any position to comment on what’s happening in Bkk, but maybe you misunderstood me. When I said “plenty”” I didn’t mean “a flood”, certainly not to here.

      “Plenty” home to see family for the New Year, but nothing like as many as normal and maybe a quarter of the tourists, if that.

  3. Avatar

    Jason

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Ian…I think it’s going to be a flood rather than a lagoon. The first wave is small compared to the second wave. Take it from someone who has lived through the second wave. Better hope for a widespread vaccine distribution before a third wave…. Otherwise no one will be coming to Thailand for a decade1

  4. Avatar

    Ian

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Jason I was in thailand Feb until July in pataya and khun han i lived it my friend and to be truthful it was ok and lots better than living in UK at that time according to friends and family

  5. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 1:53 am

    Or it may be a second and third wave, combined.

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Election

Education minister’s wife plans to run for governor of Bangkok

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Education minister’s wife plans to run for governor of Bangkok | The Thaiger

The education minister of Thailand’s wife is planning to run for the governor of Bangkok when the city poll is called, in a move that puts her in direct competition with others for the backing of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.

Nataphol Teepsuwan confirmed on Friday that his wife Taya Teepsuwan, a former core member of the now-defunct Peoples’ Democratic Reform Committee, would contest the unscheduled gubernatorial election.

Natapol met briefly with PM Prayut, with some speculating that the Government House meeting was centred around his wife’s future political career. But Natapol denied that was the focus of the meeting.

Her decision to run could be problematic as Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang or former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda are expected to run under the Palang Pracharath banner. Both of those candidates were close to the party back when PM Prayut was the junta leader.

Chakthip has given signs of his intentions to run as he set up a Facebook page this month, while Aswin has not officially made up his mind whether to run or stand aside for the former national police chief.

But Natapol says his wife, who is a former deputy Bangkok governor, plans to a run as an independent if she is passed over by Palang Pracharath. The education minister said he had informed party leader Prawit Wongsuwon of his wife’s intention.

Taya is the youngest child and only daughter of the late business tycoon Chalermbhand and Khunying Sasima Srivikorn. Along with her husband, she co-founded the Rugby International School in Chonburi.

Taya was also the managing director of Srivikorn School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration at Chulalongkorn University. She also has a Master’s in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from The London School of Economics & Political Science.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

CCSA Update: 309 new Covid-19 infections in Thailand

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CCSA Update: 309 new Covid-19 infections in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

The CCSA’s daily briefing today started with an update about a NBT news presenter who has attended the daily briefings at the CCSA studio and testing positive for Covid-19. The CCSA spokesman then announced that all people working in the CCSA studio, including himself, are defined as a “low risk” group for infections.

The CCSA spokesman says he, together with all those involved with any risk, will take a swab test this afternoon and will report the test results to the public later on. The infected NBT newscaster has been sent to the hospital already.

Today, 309 new Covid-19 cases were announced from the last 24 hours. The majority of the infections were detected from active case testing, accounting for 217 cases. Most of them were migrant workers. 80 were local transmission, while 12 cases were detected in state quarantine.

According to the CCSA spokesman, key measures to be rolled out next week will be the acceleration on proactive testing in Samut Sakhon and the outer western areas of Bangkok where the infection rate is still high. Numbers and reports from the active findings are expected to be complete by the end of next week will serve as key factors for a review of the current restrictions in place.

CCSA Update: 309 new Covid-19 infections in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: CCSA Daily Briefing

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Bangkok

Smog across Bangkok can be blamed on a ‘Dust Dome’ of pollutants

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Smog across Bangkok can be blamed on a ‘Dust Dome’ of pollutants | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

Poor air quality across Bangkok in the past week are not just caused by the PM2.5 dust. We can blame a ‘dust dome’ that is formed with low atmospheric pressure, dust and pollutants from the farmland waste burning, and greenhouse gases.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa says that the pollutants come from “the improper disposal” of farming waste around Bangkok’s northern outskirts. He also asked provincial governors to ask farmers to avoid burring farm waste. If they refuse to cooperate, there might be an order to ban all outdoor burning activities in the future, while suggesting that farmers should sell their agricultural waste instead of burning it.

The mentioning of the agricultural sector being major contributors to Bangkok’s smog problems is a rare official recognition of the pollution ‘elephant in the room’.

People in Bangkok are also being encouraged to avoid outdoor activities and wear their masks when going outside to prevent both the pollutants and Covid-19. While “unhealthy level” of PM2.5 has been reported in many areas over the past week, the Department of Pollution Control is considering both short-term and long-term measures to tackle the air pollution problems.

Measures that have been rolled out include an extension of the work-from-home policy, lowering the price of low sulphur fuel in the capital and its vicinity, extensive monitoring of waste burning on farms, as well as offering higher prices for sugarcane products which were made in a sustainable manner.

For a long-term plan, the department is considering setting a new standard of air quality by lowering the “safe” threshold for PM2.5 exposure below the current level, but this is likely to happen in the next 5 years. Also, the government aims to apply the Euro-5 standard for vehicle emissions by 2024.

He also says that the pollution situation in Thailand has seen improvement after the measures were implemented. And, the number of days where [air quality] exceeded safe standards was less than 20% of the year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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