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Phuket Governor warns face mask price gougers

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Phuket’s Governor is warning profiteers against face mask price-gouging after news of a second wave of Covid-19 has rattled Thais. There has been 1 new case of Covid-19 reported this week. Governor Narong Woonciew says violators could face a fine of up to 100,000 baht or up to 5 years imprisonment.

Narong issued the order just a week after news of a Covid outbreak in the province of Samut Sakhon, which borders Bangkok.

“At the same time, some distributors may take the opportunity during the current situation to raise prices or take opportunities with the product, causing an effect on the quantity of products available so for their own commercial benefit, which may aggravate the public.”

“Under the order it is illegal for distributors to sell the basic “medical style” masks produced in the country at a retail price, including VAT, higher than 2.50 baht per piece.”

The order also noted that medical masks imported from abroad or other masks imported from abroad or manufactured in Thailand, except for masks made from cloth which can be recycled, are to be sold at an “affordable price.”

Such an affordable price would be determined by the following method: for wholesalers, markup on imported or locally produced masks, after the wholesale purchase cost, administrative and transportation costs, shall not exceed 10% of the total costs.

For distributors, markup, after administrative and transportation expenses, sales returns and other expenses are included, shall not exceed 10% of the price paid to the wholesaler.

For retailers, markup, after distribution cost, return on sales and other expenses are added, shall not exceed 23% of the price paid to the distributor, not including VAT.

The order makes it clear that any vendor found violating the order stands to face charges that carry a maximum penalty of a fine of up to 100,000 baht, up to 5 years imprisonment, or both.

Anyone who believe a vendor is taking advantage of customers by overcharging or otherwise are urged to report the vendor to the Phuket Provincial Commerce Office at 076 219 586 or the Department of Internal Trade Hotline 1569.

Alternatively, people can file complaints with the Damrongdharma Centre in Phuket (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) by calling 076 213 203 or the hotline 1567.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Can’t imagine the good folks of phuket price gouging people for anything there anytime.non story this.

    • Avatar

      Rasputin

      Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Well you’re right in regards to Phuket, but it’s not an issue confined to Thailand. I recently noticed very “basic” disposable masks on sale in the UK at a well known (german) supermarket chain in packs of 5 for £5 (200 baht), considering how cheap these are to mass produce/purchase in bulk, (almost certainly considerably less than 15 baht a pack of 5 from China) the price is a classic example of rip-off price gouging, IMO

      • Avatar

        Kim

        Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 8:40 pm

        You can’t compare prices from different countries in this regard. A lot of individuals never learn in Phuket as greed is rife, not only in regard to face masks and not only confined to Thais but all nationalities which has a “business” in Phuket. The present situation with the Chinese virus unfortunately has not changed anything in this regard. Some people just never change.

  2. Avatar

    Mike

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    As if Phuket scammers and crooks take any notice if officials! They send some official packing a year ago who tried to deal with taxi mafia … It deserves to go down the plug

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Sunday, December 27, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Oh this Governor, big champion of justice an fairness.
    Did he object to ferangs being charged twice the price the Thais were paying to run a marathon recently?
    Not a word from him . . .
    Along with all the other rip offs that have been happening in Phuket for years!

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Hong Kong partially locks down, forcing thousands to undergo Covid screening

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Hong Kong partially locks down, forcing thousands to undergo Covid screening | The Thaiger

Hong Kong’s government is forcing a partial lockdown until 10,000 residents of an area in the Kowloon peninsula, complete a Covid-19 test. The 2 day lockdown in the city’s poorest neighbourhood of Jordan, comes after a new strain of the coronavirus was identified, making it the 1st lockdown that the city has seen.

The area, which features many deteriorating buildings and 150 stacked housing blocks, has confirmed 162 confirmed cases of Covid-19 this month, with the ratio of virus detected in sewage samples from buildings there was higher than that of other areas.

Over the last 2 months the city has been hit by a 4th wave of infections with authorities struggling to bring the daily numbers down. Such clusters have hit the low-income neighbourhoods the most, which are notorious for cramped conditions in districts such as Yau Tsim Mong.

In recent days, health officials began mandatory testing in some 70 buildings in the area but the government has now decided to test everyone much to the confusion of local residents. As rumours of a lockdown were leaked to the local media, the government didn’t officially announce the measure until this morning. The area is also home to many ethnic minorities, mainly South Asian Hong Kongers, a community that often faces discrimination and poverty.

Earlier in the week a senior health official was criticised when he suggested ethnic minority residents might be spreading the virus more readily because “they like to share food, smoke, drink alcohol and chat together.”

The health official’s comments also came as a video was released of predominantly white migrants dancing at a packed brunch on the more affluent Hong Kong Island. But those who agreed with the health official pointed to cramped conditions, not race or culture, as being the cause of the virus spreading more easily.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Phuket wants Bangkok arrivals to skip quarantine to help tourism revenue

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Phuket wants Bangkok arrivals to skip quarantine to help tourism revenue | The Thaiger

Phuket’s tourism representatives are calling for an end to the mandatory quarantine levied at tourists arriving to the province from Bangkok. The tourism delegation have also told Phuket’s provincial government to be prepared to start receiving international tourists starting in October.

According to The Phuket News, such a plan would include a requirement for all international travellers to Thailand to have the Covid-19 vaccine. By that time, it is expected that Phuket will have 70% of its population vaccinated, with the timeline possibly being sped up by the province planning to buy the vaccines with its own funds. Such a move would bypass the national government’s timeline with the hopes of innoculating registered residents quicker. Governor Narong says such quarantine measures in place currently are preventing the province from profitting off domestic tourism.

“Phuket has been hit hard by the 2nd epidemic. Thai tourists do not come because they do not want to quarantine and follow the difficult steps to enter the province, not to mention there are no foreign tourists at this time.”

In a meeting, the PTA President Bhummikitti, said the Covid-19 vaccine was “the last ticket and the last hope” for Phuket tourism, “because Phuket tourism has no way out at this time.”

“Thai people are unable to travel due to the second outbreak, and foreign tourists are not to be mentioned at all. Vaccines are the hope of the Phuket tourism sector.”

“The private sector wants to get clarity from the government whether we can follow this plan or not, because if it is left like this – open, close, lockdown and so on, as in the past – local businesses are all dead.”

Bhummikitti pointed out that the government had promised to work with local industry on all matters related to Covid-19 and keeping the local economy alive. He said that the move would “allow tourism and the Phuket economy to be able to walk once more from having fewer Thai tourists.”

Governor Narong said tracking systems will be in place when tourists do come back to the province.

“In order to ensure tourists that Phuket citizens as well as incoming tourists are safe from the Covid-19 virus, there will be a tracking system, and a fund established to be used as a remedy [sic] to help those affected if there is an infection from incoming tourists.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Eastern provinces growing impatient with safety measures as Covid cases decrease

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Eastern provinces growing impatient with safety measures as Covid cases decrease | The Thaiger

Thailand’s eastern provinces are growing impatient as local businesses and residents await a relaxation in Covid-19 safety measures after seeing a drop in cases. Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Trat and Rayong are under a “highly controlled” status set by the CCSA (Samut Sakhon, south west of Bangkok, also falls into the same category at this time). These provinces, along with Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakarn, are under the strictest control measures in the country.

The cause of such tough measures levied upon the provinces was due to a spike in Covid cases after illegal gambling operations in Rayong and Chonburi were found to feature participants with the Covid-19 virus. But now, those areas are reporting very few cases of the virus leaving residents frustrated as they are unable to make a living or travel.

There has been only 1 case in the past 2 days in all 4 of the Eastern provinces. That case was in Rayong, with all other cases being in the low single digits. On top of the low cases, any new cases have been promptly dealt with by requiring contact-tracing, tracking and quarantine. But any hopes of the measures relaxing has been pushed back to the end of the month, with many questioning such a delay.

Bangkok, which has seen more cases reported than all 4 eastern provinces combined, is now easing restrictions by allowing 13 types of businessesto reopen. The move has baffled the eastern provinces as such businesses are still ordered to shutter. The government has responded, somewhat, by offering a 3,500 baht handout for 2 months, but registration for the handout doesn’t start until the end of this month. When the money actually hits residents’ pockets is also unknown as it could take weeks.

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