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Four more Skytrain stations slated to open in June

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Bangkok.com

Bangkok’s BTS Skytrain is as ubiquitous in Bangkok as good street food and fake Viagra, and it’s about to add four new stops to extend its reach. A spokeman says test runs to 4 new stations beyond Kasetsart University station (N13) began on April 8.

The system currently comprises 43 stations along two lines: the Sukhumvit Line running northwards and eastwards, ending at Mo Chit and Kheha respectively, and the Silom Line which serves Silom and Sathorn Roads, the central business district of Bangkok, terminating at National Stadium and Bang Wa.

The four new stations are: the Royal Forest Department (N14), Bang Bua (N15), 11th Infantry Regiment (N16) and Wat Phra Sri Mahathat (N17).

“We are in the process of dynamic tests, in which we run one or two empty trains a day to test the efficiency of the track management system. Passengers will be able to board trains during test runs in May and the extended route will officially open in June.”

“Test runs in the past week showed satisfactory results with all systems running optimally. Almost 100% of necessary equipment has already been installed at the four stations. We also make sure that the new stations are in compliance with the government’s social distancing policies to prevent the spreading of Covid-19 by using signs, checkpoints and barriers to minimise crowdedness in the station and platform areas. We also offer temperature checking service and hand gel disperser to all commuters.”

The extended Sukhumvit Line will terminate at Ku Kot station (N24), which is slated to open by the end of 2020.

SOURCE: The Nation

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Business

Thai Airways’ creditors to vote on rehab plan today

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Pixabay

Today is D-Day for Thai Airways, with 13,000 creditors voting on whether or not to accept the struggling airline’s rehabilitation plan. According to a Bangkok Post report, a source at the airline has warned that should creditors reject the plan, the carrier will be declared bankrupt and they would only receive 12.9% of what they’re owed.

In the event of a bankruptcy declaration, the airline’s assets will be appraised to decide how much of its debts can be repaid. The estimate of 12.9% is based on the value of assets currently held by the carrier.

The Bangkok Post reports that the rehabilitation plan which was submitted in March covers debts of around 410 billion baht. It’s understood major shareholders own around 180 billion baht of that debt between them. Should the rehab plan be accepted today, it’s likely Thai Airways will be given a certain timeframe in which to turn itself around.

The plan calls for the repayment period of debts arising from unsecured bonds worth 70 billion baht to be extended to 10 years, with a debt moratorium in the early stages of repayment. The airline is also introducing tough cost-cutting measures, including job reductions via early retirement for thousands of its 20,000 workers.

It’s understood the plan does not call for the Ministry of Finance to provide a loan but says anyone can obtain the loan and the ministry can help with cash injection negotiations. The State Enterprise Policy Office has already stated that the government will not re-capitalise the airline.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health officials race to vaccinate 70% of Khlong Toey slum residents

Thaiger

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Photo via Facebook/กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์

Health officials are racing to vaccinate 70% of residents in Bangkok’s Khlong Toey neighbourhood, the largest slum in the city where hundreds have tested positive for Covid-19 since April. With people living in crowded conditions and many unable to take off work to self-isolate, Thai authorities have been rolling out proactive Covid-19 testing and a mass vaccination campaign in an effort to contain the virus.

A third vaccination unit has been set up in the district at the Port Authority Stadium, adding to the units at Tesco Lotus Rama IV and Wat Khlong Toey School. Around 50,000 of the 80,000 residents in the Khlong Toey slum need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to reach herd immunity, according to Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang.

As of Sunday, 11,211 people had been vaccinated at the mobile units and each vaccination unit has been handing out 1,000 queue cards each day. With the third vaccination unit, city officials plan to inoculate 2,500 to 3,000 people per day until May 19.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration launched a proactive testing campaign on April 27 in the Khlong Toey district. Since then, 19,983 people have been tested with 654 people positive for Covid-19. 5,700 people are waiting for the results to come back and the others are negative.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monday Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths

Tim Newton

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Monday’s totals have been announced for Covid-19 infections and new deaths over the past 24 hours. The Thai public health ministry reports 22 deaths and 1,630 infections.

• The only 5 imported Covid-19 cases yesterday were from neighbouring countries, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. Authorities say that patrols will have to be stepped up at this time to control the illegal border crossings.

All 5 people caught were Thais who were were trying to cross back into Thailand without going through the border checkpoints. They’ve all been admitted to state hospitals.

• 100+ African gemstone traders have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 4 days in Chanthaburi, east of Bangkok. Authorities have confirmed that none were detected with the African or Indian variants of Covid-19.

The 109 traders tested positive between May 6 – 9.

• 63 new cases of Covid-19 have been announced in Chon Buri today (including Pattaya), a drop from totals reported over the past week. There’s also been 1 additional death reported. 1,507 people remain in medical care for the virus in the province.

• Meanwhile all public service and government offices, including Thai immigration, are closed for Monday. But it’s not a public holiday. Today is the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which is a traditional ceremony to forecast the season’s rice and wet season crops. His Majesty the King usually presides over the annual event at the royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang.

 

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