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Taxi and transport drivers calling for help from the Thai government

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Taxi and transport drivers calling for help from the Thai government | The Thaiger
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Unions of Thai Taxi workers and Thai automobile drivers have handed over an official request to a government labour committee to file a request to the government seeking financial support.

Thai Taxi workers passed over their requests to Suthep Yoo-on, the chairman of the Labour Committee officially seeking industry support.

Just about all sectors of the country’s transport infrastructure have suffered a fallout from the lockdowns and border closures. Certainly they’ve missed the cream that came from the 40 or so million tourists that arrived back in 2019 (seems a distant memory now).

All sectors of the country’s transport infrastructure have suffered… from the trains, buses, aviation…. to the local taxis, motorcycle taxis and tuk tuks. Even the canal boats around Bangkok’s khlongs, the BTS and MRT, have seen drops in patronage due to the lack of customers and people simply wanting to stay away from crowds of people as the government keeps promoting social distancing as part of its public health offensive against the coronavirus.

Of course these workers are not alone in seeing a big drop off in business but they maintain they are a vital part of the network that connects people and businesses. But one sector of the transport business has actually had a boom during the last 12 months – the food delivery business. Grab Bike and Food Panda, and others, have become a regular part of the road landscape around Thailand as people are staying in more and getting their food, and a lot of other things, delivered.

The Taxi workers, battling to pay their local instalments for their vehicles asked the committee to discuss debt moratoriums to ease the burden whilst Thailand waits for the tourism sector to reboot, or at least until the situation improves.

Automobile workers were also asking for 3,500 baht support for at least 5 months.

According to the labour committee, they’ve already sent the requests to the CCSA and parliamentary committees. But the government is yet to respond or define any concrete measures. The drivers are part of a longer queue of transportation industry sectors seeking relief from the government whilst the country battles along without tourists. Thailand’s aviation sector has been critically hit by the second wave of Covid 19 and the restrictions imposed since it kicked off in Samut Sakhon on December 20 and since spread to almost all corners of the country.

Around Bangkok drivers have been reporting a big drop in passenger traffic and many of the city’s bottlenecks are visibly quieter than in the pre-Covid era. Around the main tourist traps the drop off in passengers has been up to 90%, according to some of the drivers.

In Phuket and Chiang Mai the ‘red’ tuk tuks and songtaews, the bane of tourists who are charged extortionate prices for even the shortest trips, have all but vanished off the roads with their local taxi networks shattered by the lockdowns and lack of tourists.

Thailand’s Labour Committee is currently following up on the requests and hopeful that the government will soon have a contingency plan for every worker in the transport sector.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Saturday, January 30, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    Well the remedy is clear. Sell their vehicles and go back to pedal cyclos.
    They can charge cheaper prices because they will have cheaper costs, and by the looks of some of these taxi drivers they need the exercise.
    It will be tragic having to give up sitting in air con in the cab looking at the smart phone, until the next ferang mug arrives to be scammed, but the good times are over.
    Pedal or starve!

  2. Avatar

    Strider

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Great! The Mob asking the government for hangouts.

  3. Avatar

    Bill Fischer

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    One of the few good things about the pandemic is that it has put the obnoxious tuk tuk mafia out of business. Prior to Covid, most of them wasted substantial amounts of money (ripped away from tourists’ wallets) and bought fancy auto stereos with childish lighting. I love seeing them suffer. Get a real job!

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Day trip to Bangkok’s closest island – Koh Si Chang | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Ko Si Chang (or Koh Sichang) is a district of Chon Buri Province, Thailand. It consists of the island of Ko Si Chang and its adjoining islands. Ko Si Chang is in the Gulf of Thailand, 12 kilometres off the shore of the Si Racha District coastline. It’s the closest island to Bangkok and a popular weekend away for Bangkokians. Pangrum takes us on a quick visit to the island with today’s latest Thaiger Vlog.

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Thailand acknowledges wildlife markets could be dangerous to humans

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Thailand acknowledges wildlife markets could be dangerous to humans | The Thaiger

The Thai Ministry of Public Health is being praised after seemingly doing an about face over whether Bangkok’s Chatuchak Weekend Market could be the source of Covid‐19. After health officials denied that the World Health Organisation was investigating the market, a recent Facebook live press conference saw the Ministry acknowledging that wildlife trades may endanger public health.

The recent investigation by the WHO of Wuhan, the province in China where Covid19 is thought to have originated, has concluded that the virus most likely did not come from a laboratory, and instead, came from animals supplied by Chinese wildlife breeding farms, or from infected animals traded somewhere in Southeast Asia. As Chatuchak Market is arguably the region’s largest illegal wildlife trade market, a Danish virologist on the WHO investigation team pointed towards the Bangkok market as a potential source of the Covid19 virus.

Now, the Thai Ministry of Public Health is going to collaborate with the Ministry of Environment and its Department of National Parks to closely inspect Chatuchak market, and roll out a joint plan to increase wildlife protection and stop the wild animal trade in markets.

Southeast Asia has historically supplied most of China’s wildlife trade, which the virologist sees as worrisome. As commercially traded animals can carry pathogens that could compromise a human’s immune system. For example, in 2019, zebras that were legally imported into Thailand, carried a small fly species that jumped to local horses, causing African Horse Sickness. The mortality rate was over 90%, causing over 600 horse deaths.

Some animals are especially susceptible to viruses hosted by bats, such as the SARS virus. That virus jumped from a civet cat that was infected by a bat. Other viruses that are thought to have jumped from bats to other animals include rabies and Ebola. Minks and Pangolins have also been discovered to carry a coronavirus and are still being commercially traded in Southeast Asia today.

In a spotcheck carried out by Freeland, a global nonprofit organisation, Chatuchak Market is still selling ferrets, coati, civets, polecats, mongoose, raccoons, meerkats, scarlet macaws, capybara, african gray parrots, cougars, multiple species of turtles, snakes, rodents and lizards from Latin America, Africa and Australia.

SOURCE: Freeland

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Health officials deny WHO investigation into Bangkok’s Chatuchak market as potential origin of Covid

Maya Taylor

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Health officials deny WHO investigation into Bangkok’s Chatuchak market as potential origin of Covid | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Aljazeera America

Health officials in Thailand are denying reports that the World Health Organisation is investigating Chatuchak market in Bangkok in ongoing efforts to establish the origin of Covid-19. The reports have surfaced in Danish media, following a WHO visit to Wuhan last month, with doubt hanging over the theory that the pandemic started in the central Chinese city.

Nation Thailand reports that the Department of Disease Control has held a press briefing in which it refutes suggestions the virus could have come from wildlife traded at Chatuchak market. The market has previously come under fire from animal welfare and wildlife protection organisations. In 2016, research by wildlife protection group Traffic pointed to the market’s ongoing illegal trade in protected bird species, while an earlier report highlighted the market’s role in the illegal trade of freshwater turtles and tortoises.

Despite several conservation experts pointing to the risks associated with the wildlife trade, Chawetsan Namwat from the DDC denies the suggestion the WHO is investigating the market for potential links to Covid-19. He says the media reports are based on evidence that the Thai horseshow bat carries another SARS virus that shares over 91% of its genetic code with the Covid-19 virus. He adds that this virus cannot be transmitted to humans, saying the DDC’s advice continues to be that humans should not consume wild animals.

“This is just an academic assumption, not absolute truth. We are constantly monitoring the animal-trading zone in Chatuchak weekend market. Even if there is no clear evidence on the origin of this virus, we still need to be vigilant and maintain strong disease-prevention measures.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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