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Nearly 20 million try to register, crashing Thai government’s payout website

Jack Burton

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Four major Thai banks closed their branches this weekend, partly in anticipation of a surge of applicants for the governments recently announce 5000 baht handout scheme for “informal” workers affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. According to Krungthai Bank, nearly 20 million people tried to log in and register on the government’s payout website, which opened last night, significantly higher than the previously expected number of around 3.5 million. The number briefly crashed the website.

The site was created for Thais who are deemed informal workers – those in the entertainment sector, freelance worker and the self-employed, to provide them with 5000 baht a month cash during the current crisis where many nonessential businesses are now closed to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Government officials have stressed there is no time limit on registration and there is “no need to rush”, but it’s quite clear many people are desperate for cash as the numbers of unemployed informal workers appears to be far beyond previous estimates.

The president Krung Thai Bank revealed that, even before opening the website at 6pm last evening, there were nearly two million people already “queueing” at the website, waiting and refreshing. Shortly after opening, that number reached nearly twenty million people (Thailand’s total population is 66 million).

The website crashed, but was brought back online later with improvements. However many social media users complained of not being able to register or errors, many spending hours in their attempts.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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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.

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