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Israel travel ban rankles Thailand

Greeley Pulitzer

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Israel travel ban rankles Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: A total of 137 people walk out of the quarantine facility at the Sattahip Naval Base in Chon Buri yesterday - Wichan Charoenkiatpakul, Bangkok Post
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Thailand wants Israel to reconsider its decision, announced Tuesday, to ban Thais from entering the country in a bid to control the spread of deadly coronavirus (Covid-19). Israel banned all non-Israelis who have been in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau in the previous 14 days. Previously, Israel’s health ministry had imposed only a 14-day house quarantine on visitors from the four areas.

As a result of the ban, the Labour Ministry will be forced to postpone sending Thai workers to Israel under an employment cooperation project between the two countries. Pannabha Chandraramya, the Thai ambassador in Tel Aviv, met Gilad Cohen, deputy director-general for Asia and the Pacific at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to explain Thailand’s measures to prevent and control coronarivus and clarify the outbreak situation in Thailand. Thailand hopes Israel will review the ban after learning about the measures, given the good relations between the countries.

The vast majority of virus cases are in China; only 35 cases have been confirmed in Thailand, 17 of whom have made full recoveries and been discharged from hospital. Thailand has had no fatalities related to the virus.

Israel travel ban rankles Thailand | News by The Thaiger

SCREENSHOT: Johns Hopkins CSSE

“Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs listened and understood. It will contact other agencies, particularly Israel’s Ministry of Public Health.”

Meir Shlomo, Israel’s ambassador to Thailand, told reporters yesterday that the Israeli Ministry of Health’s decision was aimed at preventing the spread of the Covid-19 to Israel. He says Israeli ministries are following developments closely and re-assessing the situation in Thailand and other countries and territories daily.

“No one knows at this stage how long the current situation will last.”

However, Schlomo says the two countries will “continue to share information and preserve a spirit of mutual confidence, as they have done in so many fields for so many years”

“Several thousand Thai tourists, businesspeople and workers in agriculture travel to Israel every year. We do hope they will all be able to reschedule their flights and travel to Israel in the very near future.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand’s airlines line up for 16 billion baht lifeline

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s airlines line up for 16 billion baht lifeline | The Thaiger

Thai airlines are mostly grounded, basically due to lack of traffic from government restrictions to stop people from travelling. But they still have staff and regulations that require them to be paid.

So 7 Thai airlines are seeking a 16 billion baht lifeline from the Thai Finance Ministry so they can keep employees whist their planes remain on the ground. Thailand’s aviation industry has been suspending most of their international and domestic services for a week.

The airlines include Thai Smile (he budget offshoot of Thai Airways), Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, Bangkok Airways, Thai Vietjet Air and Thai AirAsia X (their international carrier from Thai ports).

The executive chairman of Asia Aviation (the largest shareholder of Thai AirAsia), Tassapon Bijleveld, told Bangkok Post that the 7 airlines had reached an agreement to request the financial aid in the wake of the virus outbreak which all but obliterated air traffic in, around and out of Thailand.

The airlines hope to secure the financial package when they meet with the Finance Minister on Monday when they’ll discuss long-term loans, an increase in their liquidity, and subsidies on payroll. Last week Airports of Thailand offered a 50% cut in parking charges for the grounded fleets.

Yesterday, Thai AirAsia announced cancellations for all domestic flights starting from April 1 for a month. The decision follows all international flights being suspended a week before.

Only 10 of the 63 Air Asia planes have been in use in recent weeks. In April, the entire fleet will be grounded because of global travel restrictions.

The losses in the airline business will be massive and will likely take years to recover, if ever, and many airlines won’t re-appear at all.

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109 new coronavirus cases for Thailand (Saturday)

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109 new coronavirus cases for Thailand (Saturday) | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Benar News

The Thai Public Health Ministry has reported 109 new coronavirus cases and 2 new death today. This brings the total to 1,245 cases and 6 deaths in the Kingdom.

The latest figures brought the total cases to 1,245 across 57 provinces – 1,032 of the patients are Thais. Bangkok has a total of 515 cases, followed by Nonthaburi with 58 and Phuket with 47.

The death of a 55 year old woman brings the total fatalities in Thailand to 6. The woman was reported to also have complications related to diabetes.

The Public Health Ministry stresses the need for people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

“People should stay at their places and stop social activities for a week. A 24 hour curfew may have to be imposed if people continue to ignore our warnings.”

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Phuket residents told to stay home from 8pm – 3am ‘until further notice’

The Thaiger

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Phuket residents told to stay home from 8pm – 3am ‘until further notice’ | The Thaiger

A virtual curfew has been announced for the island of Phuket which will restrict residents to their accommodation or homes from 8pm – 3am until further notice. The only exceptions would be URGENT errands. The announcement takes effect from today until further notice, according to the notice signed by the Phuket Governor.

The notice “seeks the collaboration of local residents and visitors” to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus around the southern island.

The announcement has been signed by the Governor Phuket with the authority of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee.

Earlier today, the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee announced 6 new Covid-19 cases in Phuket, bringing the total number of official cases to 47. 4 of the 6 new cases were from Patong, the other 2 from Kata and Karon.

Phuket residents told to stay home from 8pm - 3am 'until further notice' | News by The Thaiger

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