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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Transport Company resumes service, bans foreigners

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Love and Road

The wheels on the bus go round and round. But not for foreigners living in Thailand.

The Transport Company, the state operator of intercity bus services, announced today that foreigners are banned from its services due to the Emergency Decree. Although services have resumed on most of their routes across the country, foreign travellers are not allowed to board because they do not have Thai national ID cards. Well that’s the official excuse according to a service agent. Asked whether passports can be used instead, the agent said “no”.

“They don’t hold Thai ID cards, so they can’t board our buses. We need them for identification purposes.”

“It’s the company policy, sorry for any inconvenience.”

The company also announced on its website that it reserves the right to book tickets for Thai nationals only, citing an unspecified clause of the Emergency Decree.

Other interprovincial bus providers have no such rule. Private operators Nakhonchai Air and Sombat Tour say foreigners are welcome on board, but are encouraged to check local quarantine requirements since some provinces still enforce 14 day quarantine for foreigners.

But Thaiger has had four messages in the past week saying they were unable to buy tickets or board Sombat Tour buses. This message from a New Zealand expat who tried to board a Sombat Tour bus.

“I wanted to go and visit my friend in Bangkok and she went ahead and booked a ticket on สมบัติทัวร์ มิตรแท้เพื่อนเดินทาง (Sombat Tour Bus Company) from Chiangmai to Bangkok.

The next morning I got a call from the company saying foreigners are not allowed on the bus. I am deeply offended by this discrimination. I have been in Thailand well before Covid arrived. Does this mean I can’t travel on planes also?”

The State Railway of Thailand says foreigners are also allowed to board long distance trains.

Domestic travel restrictions, in place since April, were mostly lifted after the government shortened the curfew by an hour on May 29 due to lower numbers of Covid-19 cases reported nationwide. (No new cases were reported today, according to the assistant spokeswoman for the government’s Covid-19 crisis centre.)

The country’s cumulative cases of infection now stand at 3,125. 80 patients are being treated in hospital, while 2,987 have recovered, putting the recovery rate well over 95%. There have been 58 deaths.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

 

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    sam thompson

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Well that seems entirely reasonable and not at all discriminatory or xenophobic.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Good, the railway is cheaper, and often quicker because they are not slow going through cities as the buses are.
    One more reason for foreigners not to return to Thailand.

    • Avatar

      John cameron

      Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      I have thai ID card .can i tavel on coaches .

    • Avatar

      Jim shelley

      Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Imagine if we tried to do this to Thai nationals in the UK, , it would be illegal. I live in Bangkok but if this is how they want to be maybe it’s time to move on. Let’s see how Thailand copes without tourists and foreign nationald who live here & spend money here.

  3. Avatar

    Kelvin Bamfield

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    white lives matter WLM

  4. Avatar

    Jesters_cry

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    How are all the fake unqualified foreign ‘teachers’ going to get to work ? Maybe segregation might be the way to do it. Keep the whites at the back of the bus.(That is sarcasm. I am not a Thai national.)
    Using foreigners as part of a corrupt scheme to defraud students of qualified foreign teachers is fine,but allowing them to sit next to Thais on a bus is an issue. Keep those foreigners in their place. In schools without valid work permits as visa slaves. (That part may sound like sarcasm,but it isn’t.)

  5. Avatar

    tourist

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    What a lovely way to let farangs know that they are not welcomed and should stay home. The once famous Thai hospitality is obviously a thing of the past.

  6. Avatar

    Robert Cole

    Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Are you fuc^%$ kidding me? Ha ha! That’s a new low. So those on retirement or work or spousal visas, who haven’t been out of the country for at least 3 months, can’t get on a frigging bus? After so many years, one would think that they couldn’t be surprised by the total lack of logic that is (often?) displayed in this amazing country. But then again, just by writing the previous sentence, it shows that I haven’t been here long enough, or just haven’t quite “got it” yet. And nope, we most likely never quite will ; )

  7. Avatar

    Anutin

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Incredibly rasicst even for this government. Contact your embassy and ask them if they endorse state sponsored segregation.

  8. Avatar

    JKU

    Friday, June 12, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Add temles refusing entry to foreigners. Why would anyone visit Thailand?

  9. Avatar

    james

    Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I am not surprised as falangs here have always been seen as second class but as long as you buy your way of life here you are welcome.

    Oh and don’t forget to pay falang prices at Zoos, shops etc.

    It is a nice place to visit but not to live unless you don’t mind swallowing your pride.

  10. Avatar

    Jerrod

    Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:10 am

    White falangs living in Thailand a getting just a minuscule taste of the type of discrimation that BIPOC experience in western countries. LMFAO

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive. The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Thailand

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has reported a total of 81,274 Covid-19 infections and 382 coronavirus-related deaths.

Thailand now has 29,473 active Covid-19 cases. Most patients with Covid-19 are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. More than 1,000 Covid-19 patients are in critical condition including 380 people on ventilators.

Out of the 2,419 new cases, more than 1,000 cases were detected in Bangkok. Most cases were local transmissions or detected through active case finding.

Of the 19 new coronavirus-related deaths, most were in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. The majority of deaths were the elderly and many of them contracted the virus from infected family members or friends.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Klong Toey slum, Ban Khing and Bang Kae districts. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders. CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says active case finding in Bangkok clusters have been “beefed up.”

With cases in Bangkok still on the rise, the current disease control measures imposed in the capital will be extended until May 17. Schools and entertainment venues must remain closed.

Provincial totals, thanks to the NBT…

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSaturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerDistricts in Bangkok with the highest number of confirmed cases…

District New cases
Khlong Toey 37
Ratchathewi 26
Pathumwan 24
Bang Kapi 13
Chatuchak 11
Don Mueang 9
Lat Phrao 9
Dusit 8
Yan Nawa 7
Wang Thonglang 7

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections and 19 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 7 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Like Songkran, Sri Lanka New Year’s brings Covid-19 wave

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Sri Lanka is now being hard hit by Covid-19. (via Wikimedia)

Sri Lanka has seen a huge wave of new Covid-19 infections in part due to large New Year’s celebrations in mid-April at the same time as Thailand’s Songkran Festival. From the beginning of April until now, the island nation has experienced a fivefold increase in daily cases, with 1,895 infections reported yesterday. February had previously been the worst month in Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 history, but figures are much worse now.

On April 13 and 14, large gatherings crowded the street to celebrate Sri Lanka’s New Year’s holiday. The day before, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa address the nation with hope, saying that after cancelling festivities the previous year, everyone working together to reduce Covid-19 had allowed New Year’s activities to take place this year. Authorities felt that Covid-19 was contained in Sri Lanka and, while they did stress health and safety guidelines, the president encouraged the celebration of the holiday.

“It is my hope and expectation that all citizens without any discrimination will join the Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations with fresh hopes, determination, and righteous thoughts.”

But the celebration was too soon, and by April 27, Sri Lanka was recording 1,000 Covid-19 infections per day, the first time this milestone had been reached since the Covid-19 first appeared. Lockdowns in more than 100 areas began, with private functions banned and school shuttered, but it was too little too late. 13 of the 25 administrative regions of Sri Lanka are now in lockdown, as the nation fights to rein in this Covid-19 wave.

As of now, the deadly Indian variant has not been found just across the water in Sri Lanka, but the B.1.1.7 variant has been prevalent in the recent quick spread of infections. Now Sri Lanka looks towards mass Covid-19 vaccination as the only solution, but jabs are in short supply. An order of 600,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from India’s Serum Institute did not arrive and only 1 million out of 21 million Sri Lankans have been fully vaccinated. 5 jabs have been given per 100 people, less than half that of India, which has inoculated 12 out of every 100 people.

Sri Lanka has now isolated itself from neighbouring India, sealing its border. The Navy is patrolling the waters to keep Indian fishing boats away from their shores. All flights from India have been cancelled and banned as well. Sri Lanka has followed in the footsteps of Nepal and Bangladesh before them in closing itself off from their Covid-19 infested neighbour in hopes of limiting the spread and not reaching the levels of catastrophe that India has.

Read about the current Covid-19 situation in countries around South and Southeast Asia: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, The Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

SOURCE: CNN

 

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