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Bangkok office rents drop for the first time in 10 years

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Unsplash: Ragnar Vorel

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on Thailand, and the region’s, economy, Bangkok office rents and occupancy rates are expected to drop after consistent growth over the past 10 years, according to Colliers International Thailand.

It will be the first contraction in that sector since 2010, according to the property consultancy’s associate director of research and communication, Phattarachai Taweewong. He adds that it is one of the “roughest years because of political unrest.” Since July, pro-democracy protesters have been calling on an end to the military-run government and a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution.

The ‘political unrest’ is not a new topic in Thailand and Bangkok life, but the affects of the Covid-19 lockdowns and border closures since April have put the Thai economy into recession and forcing smaller and larger businesses to reassess their businesses and trim their costs, including Bangkok’s high rents.

Bangkok office rents and occupancy rates grew around 3 – 5% each year from 2011 to 2019, but after this year’s 3 month lockdown and business restrictions, rents and occupancy rates have fallen, and are forecast to continue to fall. The new office demand following the lockdown was mostly relocations to buildings with lower rent option with landlords prepared to deal. Colliers predicts that trend will continue until at least the end of the year.

“Many tenants are struggling with the business downturn. Some returned rental spaces to landlords. Others asked for a decrease in rental rates to save on costs… Landlords cut rents slightly to help tenants. Some offered a lower rent to retain existing tenants.”

HERE’s a perspective of the situation back in May this year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

196 Chaeng Wattana Road construction camp workers test positive for Covid-19

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Photo via Facebook/PhilstarWalterBollozos

A construction camp off Bangkok’s Chaeng Wattana Road, which also features the Immigration Office, is reporting that 196 out of 300 workers have tested positive for Covid-19. Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjaka made the announcement after an inspection of the camp ended in testing many for Covid. Tomorrow, another 500 workers at the camp are scheduled to take Covid tests. Then, on May 15, the Thai workers at the site will be tested. Siri says the construction camp is an at-risk area as the new infections need a more stringent approach, to keep the virus from spreading.

Meanwhile, a spike in daily new Covid-19 infections was reported in Thailand today with more than half of the 4,887 infections confirmed today linked to outbreaks at 2 Bangkok prisons. Thailand now has 32,661 active Covid-19 cases, a record high in Thailand since the start of the pandemic last year. There has been a total of 93,794 Covid-19 infections since last year, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

32 new Covid-related deaths were reported by the CCSA today, raising the pandemic’s death toll in Thailand to 518. A spokesperson for the CCSA says the patient fatalities continue to primarily be the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 vaccination hub opens at Central Plaza mall in Bangkok

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ ศาลาว่าการกรุงเทพมหานคร

A Covid-19 vaccination hub opened up at the Central Plaza Lardprao in Bangkok, making it the first immunisation centre outside a hospital. Yesterday, around 1,000 people were inoculated at the new centre after registering for a vaccine on the Mor Prom mobile application. Most of those vaccinated yesterday were government officers, volunteers or those who are at a high risk of infection.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Ramathibodi Hospital teamed up to open the centre at the Central Plaza shopping mall. The centre is open every day from 8:30am to 5pm.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha praised the private sector for backing the national Covid-19 immunisation campaign, adding the move may prompt more businesses to set up vaccination hubs. So far, more than a dozen vaccination centres, not including hospital sites, are planned to open up in Bangkok, Prayut says.

The Thai government set the ambitious goal of vaccinating 50 million people by the end of the year. The Thai government also plans to vaccinate 5 million people in Bangkok within the next 2 months in an effort to contain the outbreak in the capital. Vaccinations are now being sped up in high-risk areas such as Bangkok’s Khlong Toey slum. So far, the number of people registering for a vaccine has been lower than expected.

“We must eradicate fears of the Covid-19 vaccine. The government can confirm that all the imported Covid-19 vaccines are thoroughly inspected… Our inspection is probably more stringent than in other countries.”

Prayut says the Thai government has secured 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and they are working on securing another 50 million doses. He adds that the AstraZeneca vaccine made locally by Siam Bioscience will be ready at the end of the month.

Covid-19 vaccination hub opens at Central Plaza mall in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Facebook/
ศาลาว่าการกรุงเทพมหานคร

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Walk-in vaccination centres planned to speed up rollout

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Walk-in vaccination centres are aiming to speed up mass rollout. (via Facebook)

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced plans for walk-in vaccination centres to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Thailand. At a meeting of the National Committee on Vaccines, the decision was made to provide alternative channels to encourage more people to get the vaccine quickly. Also in the works is a plan to develop a new application to register for appointments.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha had mentioned the idea of a walk-in service during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, saying that Thailand was well below target for vaccine registrations. The Department of Disease Control has been tasked with creating a simplified format to encourage registration for vaccines, with the goal of no one being rejected for a jab. The head of the DDC said they will do everything in their power to accelerate vaccine roll out.

Yesterday saw the first vaccination centre outside of a hospital when Central Plaza Ladprao launched a vaccine station with PM Prayut in attendance. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Ramathibodi Hospital worked together to launch the centre. Open from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily, 1,000 people were vaccinated at the station through the Mor Prom Line app yesterday, mostly government officers and Covid-19 volunteers as well as people designated as high-risk.

But the Mor Prom line account has not received nearly the amount of registrations that they had hoped, so this new plan is aimed at boosting sign-ups. Only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people through the Line account, with only 2 provinces getting 6-figure signups. 16 million people were targeted to get priority appointments through Mor Prom, people at high risk because of chronic disease or being over the age of 60.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that, with the success of Central Ladprao’s vaccination centre, other businesses will open similar jab stations in the near future. Plans are in place for up to 25 private vaccination centres in Bangkok followed by stations opening across the country. Locations and the number of jabs at each vaccination centre will be left to provincial governments to determine within their own committees on communicable disease.

Thailand’s immediate goal is to get all frontline workers and healthcare professionals vaccinated by the end of the month, and also focus on areas with high infection rates. Next month elderly and high-risk people will be the main target of mass vaccination, followed by the general public. PM Prayut also requested that people like delivery staff and public transportation drivers who travel for work, and staff in restaurants, hospitality, and convenience stores who interact with many people be given priority for vaccinations.

The Prime Minister stressed to the public that Thailand’s inspection process is more stringent than other countries and reassured that the Covid-19 vaccines administered in Thailand are completely safe.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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