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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

South Korea asks Thailand to remove it from list of “high risk” countries

Maya Taylor

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South Korea asks Thailand to remove it from list of “high risk” countries | The Thaiger
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South Korea is asking to be removed from Thailand’s list of “high-risk” countries. The list was drawn up in early March, when South Korea was second only to China for Covid-19 case numbers. It now ranks 40th, and is considered one of the countries most successful at managing the outbreak. To date, none of the 7,000 Thai citizens, who have returned from South Korea, have tested positive for Covid-19.

Thai PBS World reports that the South Korean embassy in Bangkok is appealing to the Thai government to be removed from the list of countries considered high risk. It adds that being left on the list amounts to unfair stigmatisation and does not recognise South Korea’s success at containing the virus.

The request comes after Thailand’s Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul proposed both China and South Korea be removed and it’s understood the PM has “provisionally” approved the suggestion.

Any Thai repatriates from South Korea or other “high risk” countries currently have to provide a doctor’s certificate and proof of health insurance, as well as entering mandatory state quarantine for 14 days.

The embassy says removing it from the high risk list does not introduce any new danger for Thailand. Under the emergency decree, restrictions remain in place on all inbound travellers and this will still include South Korean citizens whether it’s on the list or not.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Robots provide novel approach to virus prevention at Bangkok mall

Caitlin Ashworth

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Robots provide novel approach to virus prevention at Bangkok mall | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

A robot dog is helping protecting people from the coronavirus at a Bangkok shopping centre by dispensing hand sanitiser. It’s name is K9 and it runs off 5G internet from the mobile phone operator AIS (The Thaiger smells a PR stunt for the new AIS 5G network). K9 looks like he, or she, needs a head and a wagging tail.

A shopper who came across the robot at Central World mall called it “creepy”, but an AIS marketing officer says robots are to assist people “and many people think K9 is cute”. There’s also the robot ROC, who checks temperatures, and LISA, who helps with customer service. While the robots help with checking temperature and dispensing hand sanitiser, they also help with social distancing, reducing the risk of person to person contact. All the robots run off 5G, which is providing faster internet speed as its rolled out around the country. AIS plans to launch 5G network smartphones by the end of the year.

As shopping malls opened back up last month, preventative measures have been put in place, such as temperature checks before entering, signs throughout reminding people about social distancing and personal hygiene practices. There’s also been an app for check ins to assist with contact-tracing should there be a confirmed case within the shopping precincts.

Bangkok’s Seacon Square shopping centre, has a machine they call the “Face Bot” which takes temperatures and scans faces to make sure people are wearing a face mask. And Foot pedals were installed at the Srinakarin Department store at the mall bro e used instead of buttons on the elevator.

SOURCE: Agence France Presse

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Tourism

Prachuap Khiri Khan’s scenic Ao Manao beach reopens today

Jack Burton

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Prachuap Khiri Khan’s scenic Ao Manao beach reopens today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: tielandtoThailand

Chon Buri and Hua Hin aren’t the only places reopening their beaches. Today, Ao Manao, the scenic beach in the western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan will also be open to the public. The crescent shaped bay belongs to the Air Force Wing 5 miltary base. Like all Thai beaches, it’s been closed for two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since Monday, the beachfront Fa Chom Kluen hotel has been available for booking for overnight stays. The beach will also open for swimming.

The reopening of Ao Manao is in contrast to the beaches in neighbouring Phetchaburi province, where an official announcement from the provincial governor allows all beaches including the popular Cha-am beach to reopen, but no swimming or watersports. The governor instead allowed food vendors and other service providers, including those who provide horse riding and beach chairs, to resume business.

In Chon Buri, on the east coast of the Gulf, all beaches in the Pattaya area have been open since June 1. But group activities like beach volleyball, jetskiing and banana boat rides are still not allowed. Those who offer beach chairs for rent must follow social distancing rules by placing the seats at least 1 metre apart, otherwise the service will be suspended. A violation could result in up to a year in prison and/or a fine up to 100,000 baht.

In Phuket, residents can still just look, but not go on, their famed beaches. Hotels have been given permission to open again on the island but few are bothering with the costs and expense as there are few people available to fill rooms. Phuket’s airport remains closed although June 15 is being widely tipped, but not confirmed, as the date for re-opening to domestic flights.

Scheduled international flights are still banned until at least the end of June.

In a related development, interprovincial bus operator Nakhonchai Air resumed its services Monday. Travel restrictions under the Emergency Decree had previously banned all trips of more than 300 kilometres.

The company is implementing social distancing rules by allowing passengers to sit only in window seats. Passengers must wear masks all the time and must check in and out before and after boarding the bus by using the Thai Chana app.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Prachuap Khiri Khan's scenic Ao Manao beach reopens today | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Electricity discount has been switched off

Jack Burton

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Electricity discount has been switched off | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

Yesterday the Ministry of Energy announced that the national electricity discount from March to May, which differed based on the amount of electricity used and size and type of the venue, has ended and will not be renewed. But, at best, the discount was merely a perfunctory political gesture, not a useful saving for most Thai residences. The discount was 3% for most residents.

The discount was enacted to ease the financial burden of households and businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis. About 22 million homes are expected to be affected. The statement, from the energy minister himself, said the discount was not extended as the situation has stabilised and many people are able to return to work, and the country has been reporting daily virus cases in the single digits for weeks.

But Thailand has still not allowed all businesses to open and millions, based on government estimates, remain out of work, especially in the tourism, hospitality sectors, including bars, nightlife, sports and entertainment venues, due to forced closures and a ban on international arrivals. Moreover, schools are still closed, leaving millions of students stuck at home for extended periods.

The Energy Ministry also noted on their website that the hottest time of the year has passed, and gave tips for those still out of work or working from home on how to save money on electric bills.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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