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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

Maya Taylor

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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy | The Thaiger
Shuttered businesses along Bangla Road in Patong yesterday
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The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was addressing a Public Health Association forum, where he highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, shutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money flowing into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years, including accommodation, tours, tour boats, tours buses and passenger vans, international shows, new roads, restaurants and rentals – all aimed at the many levels of traveller budgets.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that will attract more visitors to the province.

“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province while today’s seminar is bringing in 10,000 attendees and followers and will relieve some of the hardship.”

Meanwhile, PHA president Prapat Thamwongsa, says the forum gives those attending the opportunity to share knowledge and advice on tackling the spread of disease, with presentations and competitions addressing all public health activities.

Phuket usually receives around 14 million visitors every year, with around 10-11 million arriving from outside Thailand. The airport usually welcomes up to 300 international flights a day but is now only receiving around 80 flights a day, since the ban on foreign flights started in April. Narong says an estimated 40,000 of the island’s workers are now unemployed, while those still employed have taken hefty pay cuts of anything from 20% to a hefty 90%. Less than 30% of the province’s hotels are currently open.

“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in ICU. So, it is necessary for all stakeholders to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible.”

The Cabinet recently approved a long-stay visa (the Special Tourist Visa) for tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom, although critics say the strict requirements, coupled with the extortionate cost of the mandatory 14 day quarantine, make it unworkable. The new visa is also insisting that travellers will have to arrive on restricted charter or private jet flights, adding further cost and restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    September 22, 2020 at 11:58 am

    And yet you are making it very difficult for the tourists you have here to stay.

  2. Avatar

    Gary

    September 22, 2020 at 11:59 am

    Many expat retirees from Phuket stuck overseas at the moment, getting back home will be a start to helping.

  3. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    September 22, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    THE REMEDY IS CLEAR.
    Let foreign tourists in with no restrictions. Die of the virus, not much chance, or die of starvation.
    Stupid people.

  4. Avatar

    Richard king

    September 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    This new tourist 90 day visa is only viable to a very small numbers of people who can afford the time and costs. Is only limited band aid solutions until such times normal travel can happen and when that is Maybe next year if lucky, So many more months of pain to come.

  5. Avatar

    Anti Madness

    September 22, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    In the meantime all the quarantined private yachts stuck in south east Asia could easily start coming in with no risk at all. But that is a little obvious and easy. There is no way for us to even meet the new long stay visa requirements, although we already exceed them with actual real quarantine on a boat before arrival. I guess my Thai partner will have to wait another 8 months to come home.

    • Avatar

      Svcoquette

      September 22, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      The Thai government and particulary Phuket are ignoring yachts. Yesterday immigration would not accept our yacht (our only home) as a local address. We had to rent a hotel room. Yachts are not appreciated here. We’ve been coming to Phuket for several years, usually spending more than 1 million baht to have boat work done and buy needed supplies.
      Yachties have an efficient grapevine and word is already spreading “do not come here, you are not welcome”.

  6. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    September 22, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Why would the general tourist want to spend tons of money to visit a ghost town?

    • Avatar

      Peter

      September 22, 2020 at 7:57 pm

      Very good point!

  7. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    September 22, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    P•One Bar my favorite on Bangla Rd.! Too many families now walking up and down that road at night just looking and the parents should have kid(s) in the room sleep.

  8. Avatar

    Buklao

    September 22, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    This is much bigger than just Thailand opening up for international travel, they will not open, that’s why they make it difficult and changing plans all the time. Just look what’s happening everywhere In the world, all this is intentionally and orginized. The fourth industrial revolution, agenda 2030, the great reset. Listen what the worldleaders talk about, they all plan together. It’s over

    • Avatar

      Jordan

      September 23, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Can you elaborate more on this?

  9. Avatar

    Buklao

    September 22, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    The great reset

  10. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    September 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    The Thai government and particulary Phuket are ignoring yachts. Yesterday immigration would not accept our yacht (our only home) as a local address. We had to rent a hotel room. Yachts are not appreciated here. We’ve been coming to Phuket for several years, usually spending more than 1 million baht to have boat work done and buy needed supplies.
    Yachties have an efficient grapevine and word is already spreading “do not come here, you are not welcome”.

  11. Avatar

    James

    September 22, 2020 at 2:55 pm

    Just admit the facts.

    Most countries are having second higher numbers of infected people and are closing down even further. Eg the UK

    Thailand just has to admit it can do nothing special until a drug is available to stop the virus.

    Stop pretending you have special ideas in order to get around the fact more tourists will bring more cases of the virus.

    International travel to all countries in the world will be severely limited until a cure is found.

    Facts are facts, magic does not exist.

    • Avatar

      Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

      September 24, 2020 at 12:56 am

      ‘2552 killed themselves since the pandemic start’ IS ALSO A FACT

      Do you have any cure to stop this?

  12. Avatar

    MARTIN BERRY

    September 22, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    If you wait for a cure then the Thai tourism is finished. Presently the “officialdom” required for any visitors is too prohibitive compared with easier destinations for travelers, they will look at the requirements and not bother.
    Countries need to talk to one another and agree a testing prior to individuals departure and additionally travelers insurance would need to cover repatriation.
    I real have a lot of sympathy for ordinary working Thai people whose survival depends on tourism they have no welfare state to fall back on like many other people living in other countries. Also the foreigner with business whether it be a hotel or bar owner must be going through a nightmare. We need backbone and sensible policies but scaremongering is the prophecy of doom.

    • Avatar

      Peter

      September 22, 2020 at 5:56 pm

      You are missing the reason why quarantine is essential, a test only means (assuming it’s accurate false positives and false negatives are far from being unheard of) the person tested did not have a “detectable virus load” at the time of the test. The Covid virus can take upto 14 days or more to be detected, although most scientists think it’s detectable within 5/6 days but I don’t think the Thai government is going to take a chance with their citizens lives. A reliable vaccine AND a negative test result is about the only thing that will get the quarantine requirement dropped

      • Avatar

        Per Fect

        September 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

        Then I Guess Thailand Will be out of tourists. Because tourists Will not come. I would even consider, really really Hard, if a test prior or after flights makes it worth it, never mind quarantine. They have already started to scare of the rich ones, the ones they are targeting to help the Economy.

        • Avatar

          Whiro

          September 23, 2020 at 10:51 am

          Wrong target.
          This is Thailand we are talking about, not Maldives:)

  13. Avatar

    Ken

    September 23, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    The government should increase the number of STV visa from 1,200 STV visa a month to 12,000 STV visa a month and provide more ASQ quarantine
    1,200 STV a month might be too slow and too little to help the tourism sector in Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection

Caitlin Ashworth

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9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection | The Thaiger

9 new Covid-19 cases were detected in Thai quarantine facilities, including a patient who may have been infected with the virus a second time, or never fully recovered, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Most of the cases were army engineers travelling from South Sudan.

Thailand’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is now at 3,700 with 3,491 recoveries and 59 deaths. 150 people are still receiving medical treatment.

  • 6 army engineers, ages 25 to 49, travelling from South Sudan tested positive for Covid-19. They arrived on October 12 and they tested positive 3 days later while in quarantine in Chon Buri. They were admitted to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok.
  • 2 people travelling from the United Arab Emirates tested positive for Covid-19. They both arrived in Thailand on October 9 and tested positive 7 days later. A 25 year old masseuse was first diagnosed with Covid-19 on September 1. After arriving in Thailand, she reported symptoms of a cough and headache. She was quarantined in Bangkok and admitted to the Central Chest Institute in the Nonthaburi province, just outside Bangkok, for treatment. A 22 year old student tested positive while quarantined in Bangkok. He was also admitted to the Central Chest Institute.
  • A 26 year old woman travelling from Oman tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on October 14 and tested positive for the virus 4 days later. She was quarantined in Chon Buri and then admitted to a hospital in Samut Prakan.

9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection | News by The Thaiger

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Thailand

9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection | News by The Thaiger

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of October 19, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

50% of Thailand’s population to get Covid-19 vaccine when available – Health Minister

Caitlin Ashworth

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50% of Thailand’s population to get Covid-19 vaccine when available – Health Minister | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Half the population in Thailand will be injected with the Covid-19 vaccine once it’s released and available to the public, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says. Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are conducting trails of the new vaccine. Thailand is planned to be the Southeast Asia production site for the new vaccine.

The health minister says the vaccine will be first used on Thai nationals who are in their mid-60s and then the ministry will work to make sure at least 50% of the population is injected with the vaccine.

The Public Health Ministry is also going through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility to make sure there is a sufficient supply of a vaccine. The ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Supakit Sirilak says about 65 million doses will be needed for Thailand, adding that 40% will be reserved with COVAX, 40% will go to AstraZeneca and 20% will go to other sources.

Siam Bioscience will be producing the vaccine in Thailand. Director of the National Vaccine Institute Nakorn Premsri says they have the potential to produce up to 200 million doses. Production is expected to start in mid-2021.

“Once the technology transfer agreement is signed, the Thai side will have to be trained on production processes. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to pass Phase 3 testing and production should start in December. After that it needs to register with the FDA in the UK and Thailand, before we can start producing the vaccine mid next year.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid19 – US infections “balloon”, world case total surpasses 40 million

The Thaiger

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Covid19 – US infections “balloon”, world case total surpasses 40 million | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ipsos

“We were really hoping to crater the cases in preparation for a bad winter. We’ve done basically the opposite.”

New Covid-19 cases are again surging in many countries. Globally, the number of infected people exceeded 40 million as of last night with new infections starting to accelerate again. Today the total number of confirmed cases around the world is 40,323,461. The number of total deaths remains at 1,118,826 and recovered patients at 30,135,040 (as of 4pm Thai time).

Covid19 - US infections

Notably, the death rate from Covid-19 is not rising as treatment for complicated cases continues to rapidly improve. The US, India, Russia, Brazil, the rest of South America, and parts of Europe and the UK, are the current ‘hot spots’ (below).

Regionally, the surge of cases in Myanmar is causing headaches for Thai border officials in the north west of the country. The Governor of Tak decided to close the border checkpoints this morning. But the 2,000 kilometre long land border between Thailand and Myanmar has many unofficial “Natural” crossing points.

In the US, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says following public health measures is the way out of the crisis that has hobbled the economy, claimed thousands of lives and sickened millions.

“The predicted fall surge is here, and rising cases across the US appear to bear that out.”

The US is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, and 10 states reported their highest single-day cases counts last Friday. As of this morning, US time, there were more than 8.5 million cases and 219,674 coronavirus deaths, according to Worldometers.info

“The Covid-19 crisis would have to be ‘really, really bad’ to implement a national lockdown. Despite the climbing totals, a nationwide lockdown is not the way forward unless the pandemic gets “really, really bad.”

Tara Smith, a professor of epidemiology at Kent State University says the worst fears of rising cases, leading into winter, are being realised.

“We were really hoping to crater the cases in preparation for a bad winter. We’ve done basically the opposite.”

After hitting an all-time high in July, cases did drop significantly, but the US never reached a level where the public health system could truly get a handle on the outbreak or describe it as ‘contained’.

Now infections are on the rise again, driven by ballooning outbreaks across the country’s interior, especially in the Midwest, the Great Plains and the West.

Contributing to the rise is the return of students to schools and campuses across the country, puzzling resistance to social distancing and mask wearing recommendations, and more people spending time in restaurants and other indoor settings as the weather starts to cool down.

SOURCE: worldometers.info | nor.org

Covid19 - US infections

TABLE: worldometers.com

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