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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