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Opposition criticises Thai government over economic toll of Covid response

Maya Taylor

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Opposition criticises Thai government over economic toll of Covid response | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AFP

Opposition party Pheu Thai has condemned the government’s management of the Covid-19 crisis, saying total shutdown has had a devastating effect on the country’s economy. In a report in Nation Thailand, Paopoom Rojanasakul, vice secretary-general of the party says the hard-hitting restrictions imposed across the country have led to high unemployment, with the International Monetary Fund saying Thailand’s economy is the worst-affected in the region.

He adds that the IMF is predicting the economy here will shrink by 6.7%, saying Thailand has one of the world’s most negative GDP forecasts, despite appearing to have brought the virus under control quite quickly.

“The question that arises is, if Thailand has controlled the outbreak quicker than the other others, why is its economy worse hit than the others?”

Paopoom says the decision to essentially shut down the economy in the early stages of the outbreak is what caused the damage, not simply the fact that economic performance is dependent on the global economy as a whole. Pheu Thai says the government must act now to stop businesses from going under and to save jobs, saying the government got it wrong when it allowed employers to terminate their workers’ positions.

The party says employers should receive financial incentives to encourage them to keep their staff employed. Paopoom adds that what’s required is a policy of balanced measures that keep the economy running at the same time as the virus is being brought under control.

“The winner of this battle is a balanced state that can control the outbreak while also sustaining the economy until the world has a vaccine.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave

Caitlin Ashworth

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CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave | The Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล

54 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 515 active cases, a record low since the start of the new wave of Covid-19 infections. An enormous 1-day spike in cases was reported on December 20 with more than 500 cases among migrant workers at a Samut Sakhon fishing hub. The virus quickly spread to the majority of Thailand’s provinces.

The number of daily cases continues to be on a downward slope with Samut Sakhon now the only province classified as a “red zone” under maximum control.

Since the start of the pandemic, the CCSA has reported a total of 26,162 infections and 85 deaths. Out of the new cases reported today, 36 were exposed to the virus at areas considered to be at “high risk,” including 28 in Samut Sakhon, 2 in Bangkok, 1 in Nakhon Nayok, 1 in Pathum Thani and 1 in Chon Buri. Active case finding detected another 8 cases in Samut Sakhon. The other 10 cases were detected in quarantine for those entering Thailand from overseas.

A 63 year old Thai man in Bangkok died after testing positive for Covid-19. He had underlying conditions of diabetes and high blood pressure. On January 9, he developed symptoms of a cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing. He tested positive for Covid-19 that day. He was put on a ventilator on January 12. His symptoms worsened and he died on Sunday.

CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave | News by The Thaiger

CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave | News by The Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 3 March 2021, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand may offer free Covid vaccines for migrant workers covered by national social security program

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Thailand may offer free Covid vaccines for migrant workers covered by national social security program | The Thaiger

The Thai government is looking at offering free Covid‐19 vaccines to migrant workers who are covered under the nation’s social security program. The Thai Ministry of Labour is set to discuss the move with the Social Security Board. If approved, over 2.3 million migrant workers would be inoculated for free, costing around 3 billion baht. The Labour Minister says migrant manual labourers are vital to Thai industries and the economy, therefore, they should not be left out of the vaccination program.

Frontline medical personnel, people who have been working in close contact with the infected, elderly people, those suffering from congenital diseases and people in high-risk areas are to be the first recipients of the vaccines, which could be either from Sinovac or Astrazeneca. After the highrisk groups are inoculated, the general public will follow with some tourist heavy areas to see expat residents included in the vaccination programme.

The Labour Ministry also plans to set up a hospital exclusively for people covered by the social security programme, as well as a social security bank to help people under the social security programme.

The move to cover migrant workers comes after Thailand closed at least 7 natural borders with the neighouring country of Myanmar as thousands of Burmese people are expected to flee to Thailand following the military coup in Myanmar. The Thai immigration police chief says he estimates around 400,000 Burmese migrants are looking to enter Thailand. He says the bounty for human traffickers has increased due to the political situation in Myanmar.

Illegal migrants to Thailand have been accused of spreading the Covid virus as many allegedly snuck into the country undetected after bribing border patrol police officers. Those who illegally entered, skirted mandatory quarantines and testing. At least 33 police officers and other government officials were investigated for their roles in the illegal smuggling of migrant workers into Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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