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No splashing at Songkran, traditional activities must follow disease control measures – CCSA

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No splashing at Songkran, traditional activities must follow disease control measures – CCSA | Thaiger
Photo by Arisa Chattasa for Unsplash

No splashing or water gun fights will be allowed during next month’s Songkran festivities celebrating the Thai New Year. In the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration meeting today chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, officials decided to prohibit water splashing and foam parties as well as other close contact activities like the powdering of faces with chalk. They say the restriction’s on Thailand’s most popular holiday is an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Traditional activities will still be allowed, as long as people abide by strict disease control measures, according to deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA daily update in English. He says specific details on the restrictions will be announced at a later date.

“Instead, Songkran activities this year will focus on the traditional aspects of the festival such as merit making, such as sprinkling water on Buddha statues, pouring water on the palms, on the hands of the elderly… and asking for their blessings.”

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bill

    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Covid!!! The least deadly pandemic in history.

  2. Avatar

    J West

    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    I’ll bet the guys who own multiple properties on Khao San and Walking Streets , the Southern Island Taxi Mafia big-wigs etc aren’t celebrating the news. Thailand is slowly eliminating farang influence, and bad habits, from border runs, long stay visas, to water splashing, and why not, it’s their country.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    So just an extended 9 day holiday for Thais to go home to see their families after a year of sporadic and self-imposed travel restrictions.

    All things considered, probably a wise move.

  4. Avatar

    Craig

    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    And I agree with JWest. Farang seem to be angry, retired white males who really haven’t or refuse to adapt to the culture here. I find them embarrassing and have probably been placed in that category by Thais here. I’ve made many poor judgements in life but still retired here at the age of 50. My fault for thinking angry, old, white men would also come here. Worse if they’re selling the gospel.

  5. Avatar

    Ian

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Thailand is dieing Mr west and Craig without the farang if that’s what you want enjoy the spoils we will enjoy Vietnam philipines Cambodia, Thailand are playing a game now with farangs and the stakes are massive if it wasn’t for the girls Thailand would be dead already they are the pull for many farangs not all but many ,kill the golden goose kill Thailand as a holiday hotspot for millions and it’s hello and good morning Vietnam

  6. Avatar

    Manu

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 9:58 am

    J West: “Thailand is slowly eliminating farang influence…”

    What on earth are you talking about?? The coronavirus sars-cov-2 is responsible of the current situation and decisions, nothing else although it is obvious that it is what you would like to happen, not “Thailand” … as if ALL Thais had the same united opinion on that subject anyway and since you live in Thailand, surely you know that.

    Also I find it amazing that you (and a few others) are constantly putting ALL farangs in the same bag: there is no such thing as “Farangland”, we all come from different countries of different continents with each our own values, culture and differences.

    J West, “farang” influence are not “border runs, long stay visas or water splash” – if you should worry about any “farang” influence, perhaps you should worry that Thai people do their shopping every 5 meters in a 7/11, that Thai people eating more and more at McDonalds and KFC (with the “farang” size that eventually goes with it), drinking their coffee at Starbucks, spending hours every day on facebook, the youth of Thailand wearing the same stupid Nike baseball cap and sneakers, etc… etc… If Thailand should “eliminate (any) farang influence” as you say, this should be it!!

  7. Avatar

    Craig

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Thanks. Those are all beautiful places.

  8. Avatar

    J West

    Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Manu, I mostly agree with you. However, the newly affluent Thai have a slightly different vision for the future. Thai often vent over the forced intrusion of western influences displacing tradition .

    They like the social and financial benefits of going shopping abroad, brought by western business and educations, and…. being able to have a B1500 a month illiterate Issan maid to kick around at home….all on a salary that wouldn’t fund a weekend spa getaway in Virginia. Farang are a great source of frustration for some who must compare and come up short. Expect more scapegoating with frustrations increasing.

  9. Avatar

    Manu

    Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 1:43 am

    Who are “thry”? We are not on the same page…

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India sees record Covid-19 infections, oxygen shortages

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India sees record Covid-19 infections, oxygen shortages | Thaiger
PHOTO: India's Covid-19 infections spread while oxygen supplies dwindle.

India is experiencing record infections and deaths due to Covid-19 and is now running dangerously low on oxygen supplies. The countries second wave of the virus includes a dangerous virus variant that is spreading quickly and has infected 3.5 million people just this month. In the last 24 hours, 295,000 new infections occurred with just over 2,000 deaths. Prime minister Narendra Modi said that India was in for a big fight and that the second wave of Covid-19 came like a storm.

India had done relatively well during the first wave of the coronavirus for a country dense with 1.3 billion inhabitants. In the last few weeks though people have let their guard down with millions attending religious festivals cricket matches huge weddings, and political rallies around the country. This coinciding with delays and even stopping of production for Covid-19 vaccines and medication along with a lack of oxygen being generated in India is leading to new levels of crisis.

With oxygen supplies dwindling throughout India, relatives of Covid-19 patients are buying black-market oxygen supplies for hyper-inflated prices. Some hospitals are said to be down to their last few hours of oxygen supplies. The health minister of New Delhi is pleading with the government to focus on the oxygen supply chain in India before it devolves into a serious crisis.

Mumbai is the centre of this most recent surge and oxygen shortages there are no better. One doctor said in the event of an oxygen shortage they would usually just relocate patients to another hospital, but now no hospital has the needed surplus. The prime minister said that the government, federal and local, along with private enterprise are working to increase oxygen supplies in India.

New Delhi is in the middle of a week-long lockdown and several other Indian States are facing shut down this weekend. Several countries are cancelling flights or moving India to advisory lists, urging their citizens not to travel there. The United Kingdom and the United States have both flagged India as unsafe to travel, while New Zealand and Hong Kong have completely banned flights.

Vaccination has been hit or miss in India, with early criticism for exporting jobs produced there while so few had been administered locally. Now India has stopped exporting AstraZeneca vaccines, and more than 130 million jabs have been given though supplies have still been limited. Data is expected in the next few weeks about the effect of the Indian Covid-19 variant. As of now, India is second to only the US in total cases with 15.6 million infections and over 180,000 deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test

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Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Checkpoints in Phuket will only allow Covid-19 tested or vaccinated travellers in.

To help wrangle the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in Phuket, strict controls for everyone entering the island go into effect today until the end of April. The provincial communicable disease committee approved the measures in an effort to stop the proliferation of Covid-19 in the province. The new regulations state that only people who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or have tested to be Coronavirus-free within 3 days of arrival, will be allowed to enter Phuket. Proper certification or documentation must be presented to verify this information – either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or the results of a recent negative Covid-19 test.

Anyone attempting to enter Phuket without two jabs of the vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours will be charged 300 baht for a rapid antigen test at their port of entry. These tests generate results in about 15 minutes and then negative-tested visitors will be allowed to proceed. If a person receives the test and is diagnosed positive for Covid-19 they will be sent to medical facilities immediately for treatment.

All entrants to Phuket are also required to use the Mor Chana Covid-19 contact tracing app to check in and record their travel timelines. That mobile app is available at gophuget.com.

The new restrictions apply to local and foreign travellers except for people making deliveries that are not staying overnight. Those people will get a special certification from their companies to present at the checkpoint entrance to the island.

Phuket is now classified as a Red Zone province, one of 19 provinces throughout Thailand where infections are on the rise. 208 current Covid-19 infections were registered at the start of this week in Phuket.

In response to the increasing Covid-19 infections in Phuket, Surat Thani has made special restrictions for anyone travelling from Phuket to Surat Thani. Those people will be required to scan and register their trip through the “Save Surat” website before being quarantined for 14 days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand to purchase additional 35 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine

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Thailand to purchase additional 35 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ PM Prayut Chan-o-cha

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the Thai government will purchase another 35 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in addition to the 65 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The prime minister made a post on his Facebook page today announcing that Thailand will produce the additional doses from 2 or possibly 3 companies.

Out of the 35 million additional doses, 10 million to 15 million will be purchased by the private sector, led by the Board of Trade of Thailand. A government committee tasked with Covid-19 vaccine procurement made the decision to acquire 35 million more doses, according to Prayut.

Prayut also recently announced that the government plans to purchase 5 to 10 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech. The prime minister told reporters that the government is “still waiting for quotations and terms and conditions,” but they expect the vaccines to be delivered within the second half of the year.

So far, 572,000 people in Thailand have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Reuters. The government plans to vaccinate half the population, or 35 million people, by the end of the year.

The Thai government has been criticized for heavily relying on AstraZeneca as the primary vaccine against the coronavirus. The vaccine will be locally produced by Siam Bioscience and the first 6 million doses are expected to be available by June.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Reuters

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