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Thai tourism ministry proposes 5 billion baht in tourist stimulus packages

The Thaiger

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Thai tourism ministry proposes 5 billion baht in tourist stimulus packages | The Thaiger
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Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says he will propose new domestic travel stimulus packages valued at 5 billion baht this Friday. The Minister says the aim is to cushion the impact of the coronavirus for the tourism service sector across the country. The Minister says that domestic tourism is “the priority during this difficult time. The government should implement the plan to accelerate domestic travel activities, giving local travellers more purchasing power.”

He says the aim is to stimulate expenditure of 25 billion baht in the Thai economy.

In the proposals, the government will offer 1,000 baht each to 5 million local travellers via the Pao Tang mobile app from Krungthai Bank to buy tour packages to areas outside their home province, conditional that they stay at least one night away from their home province.

“Each province will receive a different quota amount based on population. Tourists have to start their trips at their hometowns.”

The package mirrors a successful stimulus package when the Phase One packages rolled out in late September last year.

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand and tourism associations nationwide will come up with the tour packages, generating income for buses, hotels, restaurants, shops and tourism destinations.”

The ministry estimates the coronavirus pandemic will taper off after Songkran (3rd week of April)… “and hopefully be under complete control from June”.

There has also been talks with the Education Ministry to delay the new school semester from May “to create a flow of tourists, particularly families that may benefit from a longer school break”.

Meanwhile the TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says domestic travellers are still hesitant, “so the TAT has to find solutions to refresh their sentiment”.

On Tuesday night the Public Health Ministry issued an announcement for China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Taiwan, and the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, listing them as “high-risk zones” for the virus. The edict, announcing travel restrictions for people coming from, or passing through, these destinations, was removed from the Public Health minister’s Facebook page a few hours later (indeed the minister’s entire Facebook page has been taken down). But the botched announcement has caused a lot of confusion.

But the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, Vichit Prakobgosol, says that the announced policy may help stop the Covid-19 spread within Thailand, but “the lack of concrete control measures has created a panic among international tourists”.

Mr Vichit said the government has to signpost notices early for operators to prepare their businesses and inform their customers in advance to avoid any confusion, according to Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Over half returning from Indonesia tested positive with Covid-19

Sean Kelly

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Over half returning from Indonesia tested positive with Covid-19 | The Thaiger

42 of the 76 Thais who returned from Indonesia on Monday have now ended up as Covid-19 patients.

Members of the Thai Islamic community travelling to Indonesia to preform “Dawah ” an Islamic missionary tradition, amidst a rise of Covid-19 cases in Indonesiahave returned with over half testing positive.

After health care workers examined the returnees, 22 have been sent to quarantine at Southern Lak Muang Stadium in the southern Songkhla province, including 11 who are under observation, 10 who are confirmed positive for Covid-19, and one who tested negative.

7 were sent to Seangtham Vittaya School in Narathiwat province in the Deep South where 5 are under observation and 2 others have tested positive.

In the southern province of Pattani, 13 returnees have been quarantined in government facilities. 8 are under observation and 7 tested positive to the virus. 

The other 26 returnees have been quarantined at Songkhla Rajabhat University Satun campus where 16 tested positive. 

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 7

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today – Tuesday, April 7 | The Thaiger

New coronavirus cases in Thailand fall to 38, 1 more death

In another dramatic drop in new case numbers, Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration reported only 38 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours, and one additional death.

The cumulative death toll for Thailand now stands at 27.

The 38 new infections appears to show a declining trend from the 51 cases reported yesterday and and the 102 logged on Sunday, but officials warn there is no way to know the actual number of cases and how quickly the virus is spreading because, as is the case worldwide, very few people in Thailand have been tested.

Of the new 38 cases, 17 people were in close contact with previous patients. 11 of them were in Bangkok and contracted the disease from family members, colleagues and friends. 7 new patients worked in crowded areas or closely with foreigners: 

Other new cases included 3 health workers, 3 visitors to crowded places and 3 Thais who returned from overseas. 5 cases are still under investigation.

Surat Thani village headman kills monk and his assistant

Avillage headman in Surat Thani has been arrested after allegedly killing a monk and his assistant near the entrance to Khao Phela monastery. 

Police arrived at the scene at 2am where they found a pickup loaded with torches, fuel and coconut husks. A 48 year old man was lying dead on the back of the vehicle with a gunshot wound to his neck.

10 metres away was the dead body of a 49 year old monk lying on the ground. He had two gunshot wounds, one in the back of his head and the other in his chest.

A .32 handgun was found near his body.

55 year old Manop Kopin, the headman of a village in tambon Samor Thong, was waiting for authorities and surrendered himself. Police are continuing the investigation.

Indonesian cases spike, 24 doctors have now died

The Indonesian archipelago has announced its highest daily increase in Covid-19 coronavirus cases. There has also been a concerning rise in the deaths of doctors and health workers at the frontline of the national fight against the disease. Statistics have doubled in the last week.

The 209 confirmed deaths is the highest death rate and number of fatalities in Asia, outside of China. 

A spokesman for the Indonesian Doctors Association, also confirmed that 24 Indonesian doctors have now died from Covid-19 causing regional medical authorities to fear that the real rate of Covid-19 infections in Indonesia is much higher than reported.

CAUTION: Sterilising machines unsafe for humans

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration deputy secretary-general says that The World Health Oraganisation is encouraging people not to use any Covid-19 “sterilising machine services”, including UV and spray tunnels.

He says they are harmful to the skin and exposure to the radiation or chemicals may even cause cancer.

“Most of the antiseptic used in the spray tunnels are those allowed for sterilising surfaces of various materials, but not for human skin. 

Don Mueang Airport uses hiatus to upgrade

Bangkok’s Don Mueang international airport is turning the Covid-19 crisis into an opportunity to do a make-over whilst there is virtually no one in the terminal.

The coronavirus outbreak has forced the suspension of domestic and international flights, grinding air traffic into and out of Don Mueang airport to a complete halt.

So the airport is pushing ahead with a refurb costing 126 million baht.

There are three projects – a 99 million baht improvement of the air-conditioning system, a re-carpeting of most of the terminal priced at 18 million baht, and a nine million baht switch to LED lights to save energy.

Don Mueang is the country’s second busiest airport, after Suvarnabhumi. A plan is also afoot to expand Don Mueang largely served by budget carriers.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All Nakhon Ratchasima hotels ordered closed

Anukul

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All Nakhon Ratchasima hotels ordered closed | The Thaiger
PHOTO: komchadluek.net

Today the governor of the northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province Vichian Channothai, also chairman of the provincial communicable diseases committee, signed an order to shut down all hotels to fight the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The order is effective immediately and until further notice.

All hotels with current guests are required to inform district health officials of their total numbers, their names and their expected departure dates. Any guests who show any symptoms or are suspected to be infected with the virus must be reported to health officials for investigation.

Earlier the governor issued several orders closing down high risk places such as entertainment venues, department stores, service outlets and most natural and tourist attractions. A village in tambon Tha Ang of Chok Chai district was also ordered locked down.

The Nakhon Ratchasima Covid-19 Response Centre reported today that the number of confirmed infections in the province stands steady at 16.

Nakhon Ratchasima, also called Korat, was the site of a February massacre by a disgruntled soldier that shook the nation, leaving 30 people dead including the shooter, and wounding 58 others.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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