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No one in Guangzhou applied for the Special Tourist Visa, Foreign Ministry

Caitlin Ashworth

Published 

 on 

PHOTO: Samui Times

Not a single person from Guangzhou, China, actually applied for the new Special Tourist Visa. That’s the sad and bizarre truth, according to Thai media outlet Siamrath. Around 120 to 150 tourists had “planned” to arrive in Phuket on October 8 from Guangzhou, China, but “administrative issues” claimed to be the reason for the delayed flight.

Those problems with administration now appear to be problems with coming up with an excuse.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand apparently released a list of Chinese tourists which “caused the confusion”. The prospective tourists had just signed up indicating their “interest” in the new visa scheme, but never actually went through the process of applying for the visa or were ever actually coming to Phuket, Siamrath reports.

Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natthaphanu Noppakhun told Thai reporters that no one in Guangzhou had actually applied for the special tourist visa.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said in an earlier report that the flight delay was due to issues in the process for applying and issuing the Special Tourists Visas, clearly a massive mis-speaking of the actual situation.

Plans to bring the Chinese tourists to Phuket have been “sketchy”, to say the least, up until the day they were supposed to arrive with some sources saying they would arrive, and some saying they wouldn’t. Both the Phuket governor and the National Security Council secretary general even claimed the postponement was done to help ease Covid-19 fears for Thai tourists planning on travelling to Phuket for the annual Vegetarian Festival later this month.

If the Foreign Ministry spokesperson and the SiamRath reporting is accurate, then senior Thai officials have been complicit in passing on misleading and false information.

A number of luxury resorts in Phuket have become alternative state quarantine facilities and Covid-19 mobile testing trucks were sent out to the Phuket International Airport, intended to test the foreign tourists when they arrive. The Phuket Tourism Association president told Reuters in an earlier report that “Phuket is ready, but we need clarity. Where are they from? How many? And where will they stay?”

SOURCE: Thai Visa | SiamRath

 

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66 Comments

66 Comments

  1. Avatar

    patty

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    What a low and pathetic act by the government. But its to be expected I guess from a bunch of useless pricks

    • Avatar

      GENEVIEVE A HAWKINS

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:04 pm

      Hey but Chinese tourists have big money.

  2. Avatar

    Tim Houston

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Amazing Thailand !!!

    • Avatar

      Ricky Cleats

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:28 pm

      I have yet to hear exactly who sells the required medical insurance with 3,000,000 baht in coverage for the Chinese Wuhan virus, and what it costs.

      • Avatar

        Seattle2k

        Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:35 am

        Ricky, you have to do some research. There are many travel insurance companies that offer the coverage.

        Dhipaya Insurance, Bangkok Insurance, Chubb Samaggi Insurance, Navakij Insurance, Thaivivat Insurance, Pacific Cross Health Insurance, The Falcon Insurance, Mittare Insurance, Muang Thai Insurance, Viriyah Insurance, Syn Mun Kong Insurance, Southeast Insurance, Asia Insurance 1950, Bangkok Life Assurance, Muang Thai Life Assurance, and Ocean Life Insurance.

        Thai consulate and embassy websites don’t say anything about needing to purchase the insurance from a Thai company. You just need to be able to prove that you have coverage for the entire term of your stay.

  3. Avatar

    Geoff

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I said it would prove to be a fiction, and so it is.

    Have they reached rock bottom? TIT

    • Avatar

      James

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      Geoff

      Yes, I said the same during the previous articles, I said there will be no help to the local Thai economy of Phuket as the tourists do not exist.

      First, there will be a delay as there was, then another and eventually, we would see there are no tourists mad enough to spend the large amount to go and sit in a hotel jail for a few weeks.

  4. Avatar

    RR

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Bwuahahahahahahahahahahahahah

    • Avatar

      Man Kok

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

      Slave North Korea is the Northern Buffer against west for Communist China.
      Slave Thailand is the Southern Buffer against west for Communist China.
      -Chairman Xi

  5. Avatar

    Fabian

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    If that’s true it’s criminal… but I guess they will get away with it.

    Meanwhile, people completely lose faith. Well done.

  6. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I had expected this outcome. I had predicted it in my previous comments on “The Thaiger”.There are no surprises here. But I think it will take a lot more than this, to wake up the TAT and other Thai Government instrumentalities. Listen to the surveys…listen to the foreign tourists who comment on publications like this one. You will not waste further funds on schemes that are doomed to fail. Any scheme that doesn’t involve the cooperation of the foreign representatives of other countries that have low covid numbers is doomed to fail.

  7. Avatar

    Ray

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Hope the government takes this as clue to make the quarantine much cheaper and arrange transfer flights from Europe. For example, just three full body planes will bring approximately 1000 travelers looking for a 9 month stay in LOS. Each will spent between 10k – 15k USD in that period which amounts to 9 – 13.5 million USD. I am not talking about retirees but what an average traveler on a sabbatical or digital nomads would likely spent. These people should be the governments target.

    • Avatar

      Patrick Wahle

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      These are not the people coming to Thailand because most countries have issued travel advisories and as long as these travel advisories are enforced no insurance shall cover you, period. Which means you are on your own with no assistance what so ever.
      You cannot trust the Thai government. Nobody wants to be trapped for months as it happens last spring and early summer.
      You may get a bunch of backpackers who’ll take the risk but they don’t spend $10K to $15k and won’t stay 9 months. With the actual unemployment people want to stay close to home in case of a similar situation as in last spring.

  8. Avatar

    Vincent Vermeulen

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    What an arrogant basters are running this country. Maybe after this fiasco they start to appreciate the few “dirty cheap” farang that are still in Thailand and contribute to cociety every day ! I still keep the bar open so around 25 people are being able to make a small living and own several condo’s.I spend money every day and what does the Thai government offer me …… Absolutely nothing. NADA.

  9. Avatar

    Thomas

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    You can’t make up this shit. How can they look in to the mirror each morning? Loosing face and f$$$$ing up people’s life at the same time. Amazing Thailand once more. And others want to come and not permitted. Why are they so obsessed with the Chinese?

    • Avatar

      Noneya Bidnizz

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:26 am

      They are obsessed with the chinese because the chinese OWN them , Most ARE Sino-Thai anyway !

      And I think they also dont want western Farang around to witness what they plan to do to the Students

      And when They look in the mirror , I am quite sure all they See is a God who has done Nothing wrong and Everything Right .

      “ All Shall Kneel and Give Praise ( and brown envelopes)To Lord Pinocchio and His Muppet Show“

  10. Avatar

    Sojourner

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    Lame!! And a massive loss of face, I’m sure. If they had told the truth in the first place they’d have been much better off. I wonder how they’ll spin this one.

    • Avatar

      Richard

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 5:11 am

      So where are all these rich frangs it is a pie in the sky idea, And can they survive until next year because this coming high season is done.

  11. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Well… there you go ??

  12. Avatar

    Remo

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Most of the long term expats are Farangs , so these flights should come from London, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Milano ,New York , Zürich and Sydney.

    • Avatar

      Man in Canada

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 8:38 am

      and Toronto !!

      • Avatar

        Patrick Wahle

        Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm

        Canada has a travel advisory against any travel outside of Canada which means that no but absolutely no insurance shall valid if you step outside of Canada. Until these travel advisories are cancelled no overseas travel insurance are issued and no assistance from consular services.

  13. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    I guess the report last week from Channel Asia News wasn’t so unreliable after all. Having personally worked with tour agencies before, it’s normal for large out of the area companies to work with smaller local ones when booking long distance travel. For there to have been no reported contact with local agencies just didn’t make sense to me. For the locals to not even have heard about a group leaving was even more unbelievable. Certainly not in China where the government controls everything including who can leave the country. If this report is true, there is no way to spin it to save face. It’s been one giant lie to make it look like the government had a legitimate plan to help the tourist industry. Fact is the STV is so costly , so bureaucratic, and so restrictive as to never truly work. Thailand has no workable plan to save the high season. The economic calamity that will result is going to make the last 6 months look like a cake walk.

    • Avatar

      B.T.

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 12:02 am

      I can only say:you are right.

  14. Avatar

    Mike Frenchie

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    If anyone wonders what loosing face is… that’s a five stars example! lol

  15. Avatar

    Xaxim

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Just open the damn borders allready !

  16. Avatar

    TS

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Hey you STV organisers and ministers of ministries- don’t loose hope, keep the fiction going. Remember, you still have all those big spending Scandanavian special tourists you spoke of lined up to come (whenever you give them the order) after the massive crowds clear out from phuket vegetarian festival.

    • Avatar

      J

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 11:30 am

      555

  17. Avatar

    Pole

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    Fake smiles, fake hospitality, fake news.

  18. Avatar

    Al

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Jeez, the amount of bare faced lies and deception nowadays is practically breathtaking!

    Unbelievable times as if ever before were any better, but it is now rock bottom and just drips from the tell-lie-vision and the snooze papers! 😉

  19. Avatar

    Diego

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    55555555555555

  20. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Lesson learned. Do not believe TIT.
    Liars, and bar stewards!
    As Patty wrote, a pathetic act.

  21. Avatar

    Don R

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    Covid-19 could be a huge economic boom for the first SE Asian country to come to their senses and open their borders to tourists. But apparently these people want to stay poor. Somebody should explain to them that austerity will dramatically shorten their lives. It’s not inconceivable that most young people today won’t live to the age of your average Covid victim (70-80 years old)

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Equally, it would be a disaster if they opened too early, suffered the effects, and had to close …

      … a very short term “economic boom” followed by a medium and long term disaster.

      The winner will be the country that can support its economy in the interim, not the first to lose their nerve.

  22. Avatar

    Mel Burn

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    Meets expectations. Why come to Thailand for a long stay if we want to be able to travel around Asia. Which is not possible now. And Thailand just kicked us out on September 26 – with all our money.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Equally, it would be a disaster if they opened too early, suffered the effects, and had to close …

      … a very short term “economic boom” followed by a medium and long term disaster.

      The winner will be the country that can support its economy in the interim, not the first to lose their nerve.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      While that was a major stuff-up, NO THEY DIDN’T.

  23. Avatar

    Mk chan

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    I am Chinese from HongKong, i can tell Thai Gov, Chinese from mainland is not that love Thai than you thinking. For rich peoples, they can go some sort of nice place within China, for general peoples , they won’t have 14 days for jail in hotel and 7 days for real traveling in phuket. Becuase they only have no more then 12 to 14 days public holiday, Thai gov may face the reality, STV is not work for tourist, but work for retired peoples, any plan include 14 days jail is not work.

    • Avatar

      Mk chan

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 11:51 pm

      And more information, China, HongKong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea have to also quarantine 14 days when any local people back from other country, so that it is at least 28 days for quarantine on both side, who will go than?

  24. Avatar

    willem

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Thailand: forget about fantasy programs such as the STV or a Phuket program. Start with allowing all longstay visa holders come back. Including all who have a NON O retirement visa yearly extension. This is far better for all involved. The visaholders know Thailand and are far better integrated in Thailand then a newly visitor in this crazy covid situation. They will spend their money, meet again with their loves and friends they have been missing so long. Thailand; please stop with all these extra hoops to jump through. We are all willing to prevent covid coming to Thailand and keep Thailand safe while we are there. But keep the conditions for returning to Thailand simple and realistic.

    Then we will all benefit.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      Agreed. Keep it simple. Anyone willing to quarantine as regulated for 14 days should be allowed to do so, on a regular flight.

      Why not?

  25. Avatar

    John

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 2:39 am

    Actually I was looking forward to see how the first new batch of tourists made out with the new requirements. It would clear a pathway to others who would like to vist the kingdom. You have to give a lot of credit to the Thai government that they are actually trying to get tourism back into the country. I don’t see any other countries attempting to develop a plan whatsoever! Consider this point before making such negative comments. I hope none of this disrespect came from the USA!

    • Avatar

      E.M. Watson

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:20 pm

      M::John agree it’s good to be positive, but helpful to research the facts, such as which countries will guarantee health insurance abroad. Also, as noted many have no time or money for quarantine here, then again on return (many countries). Researching the facts is different from doing a huge PR job to sell Thai tourism. Clearly failing abysmally.in the latter

  26. Avatar

    Stephen

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 2:52 am

    Feel really bad for the hotel operators they must have spent a lot of cash to prepare for reopening because of what the government promised. Now they have to face more losses since no one is really coming.

    • Avatar

      E.M. Watson

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      Yes this is true. Hotels believed it and, accordingly,hired workers from the North told to start in October. Then, come October they were told come back December. That’s layers of people being misled – maybe cancelled other plans etc.

  27. Avatar

    Man in Canada

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:31 am

    I emailed the Thailand Long Stay Company expressing interest in applying for an STV. No response after one week! ???

  28. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:51 am

    What will happened to all the Tsingtao the 7-Elevens and bars stocked up on?

  29. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 4:03 am

    Abandoning the long-trusted customer/friend and banking on the new drive-by guys.

  30. Avatar

    devrim öger

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 5:16 am

    I can’t believe what kind of fiasco is this? How will they look at the face of Phuket people who are now waiting for tourists with hope? What will they say to them? If this news is true, I think the game is over. No more choice but to open borders

  31. Avatar

    Chokdee

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 5:44 am

    How many farangs have contributed to Covid 19? More people die on Thailand’s highways. Don’t penalize the faithful farang who come every year for long stay and contribute to the economy and help the local Thai people..
    let the local hotels open and get rid of the high price quarantine. Wearing masks and common sense goes a long way. It’s a joke to think that people are going to come and sit in a hotel room for 14 days. Think positive not negative.

  32. Avatar

    Manu

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 6:26 am

    There was an article recently, I think it was on TheTaiger (??), saying that Thailand has spent hundreds of millions BTH for the “future” vaccin, and that authorities were planning to vaccin half the population of Thailand… 33 millions of people. It will cost 740 BTH for one shot, and 2 shots were needed (some seem already to know about that very improbable vaccin!!??). I leave you to do the maths. Covid-19 is and will not be a financial loss for everyone. And between 120 chineses tourists or 0 chinese tourists, I am not sure which one is the most risible…

    • Avatar

      Tony Grace

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      Simple lesson learned.
      Dad I sold that old tractor. Did they pay you.No,Well you haven’t sold it then,

  33. Avatar

    Nipral

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 6:57 am

    as this brainless government lies people starve !

  34. Avatar

    Fabian

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Last night I got the news that a Thai guy I sometimes worked with had killed himself last week after losing his job in Phuket because of Covid.

    And the government just worries about losing face?

  35. Avatar

    Michael

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Very bad from Thailand to say like that! Also China will test all people in one city due to a second outbreak and Thailand letting Chinese tourists enter – are they for real?!?
    It seems this is not though trough at all…

  36. Avatar

    Man Kok

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 11:17 am

    Slave North Korea is the Northern Buffer against west for Communist China.
    Slave Thailand is the Southern Buffer against west for Communist China.
    -Chairman Xi

  37. Avatar

    Craig

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    It’s a different culture here that most of us Westerners will never understand. Some days, I’m boggled by it all but then accept it for what it is.

  38. Avatar

    ted wilks

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Mmmm I remember when they said we would all have to leave on 26th September, Thai culture has an element of lying in it, which when covered up is called saving face. If this article is true and i had to re google it to even find it on the thaiger homepage, so maybe it isn’t. I guess it does make sense.

    People even rich Chinese tourists come to Thailand because its cheaper than China, they love that 5o baht streetfood Thailand is famous for and they love the cheap hotels and rent. I can’t see even the beckhams paying $7000 to spend two weeks in isolation, let alone some Chinese tourists.

    Personally I think the government is in a bind, all the tourist businesses want tourists in and the ones surveyed all the time, are sort of undecided. The Thai government need to reserve this narrative they have set up …. and begin letting people in.

    • Avatar

      bruce lee

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      if you want my opinion they are waiting for someone else to do it first. My moneys on vietnam. They daren’t blink while the rest of asia is on lockdown. Not to mention Myamar and all those illegal migrants that keep flooding in. At least you can test tourists. People coming over via an illegal land border are more difficult.

  39. Avatar

    Wilfred Zaha

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    hahahahaha this is hilarious!
    The entire world hated being in quarantine!!!
    Why would the super wealthy visit your country to go back into quarantine?!
    This shows how little you know about wealthy tourists and how they want to be treated! They expect their vacations to be perfect and want everything right now.
    Stick to your loyal fan base Thailand. You’re getting too greedy.

    • Avatar

      E.M. watson

      Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:50 pm

      Well said Wilfred. Seems Thai govt (especially this one) has little or no grasp of the socio-economic composition of Western visitors. Taking a historic overview may be helpful in this. E.g. the ‘rich’ farangs who came 30 odd years ago aren’t here today. Instead, it’s a mix of digital nomads, short stay.holidaymakers with jobs back home and longer term travellers (in Asia) who have no motive to spend in foolhardy tourist traps

  40. Avatar

    Strider

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Think of it like this…Thailand just dodged a CORONAVIRUS bullet.

  41. Avatar

    pascal

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 10:21 am

    well ….. should not be a surprise, who want pay 2 weeks in quarantine hotel? and of course 2 weeks of annual leave just t stay in a room to an other country? this protocole does not make any sense. international travel will start again with an efficient vaccin that s all. all traveller will have to get their yellow book attached to their passport this will be the new normal.

  42. Avatar

    Up2U STV Tourist

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    STV Tourist Visa anyone?
    Up2U
    I was planning to go to Phuket Airport to greet them and sell bags of popcorn for 3,000 baht each per serving.

    Because I knew if anyone would go through all the quarantine hoops, tracking devices and willing to be a lab rat and spend tons of money then they would be fighing each other to buy my popcorn.

  43. Avatar

    Where is "Isaan John"?

    Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    No comment from that genius Isaan John? He was so full of praise for this scheme. And full of understanding for ‘postponment’. Anyway, it is probably an old, sad and lonely European aunt or grandmother hiding under this idiotic pseudonim….

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Phuket

British citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal ‘party’ in Phuket

Tim Newton

Published

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An unedited video circulating, showing Phuket police raiding an illegal gathering in Cherngtalay, ended up with 2 UK citizens, working in Phuket, being fined 6,000 baht each. The Cherngtalay police are also calling on another 4 foreigners attending the party to present themselves to the police station to be charged as well.

Cherngtalay Police descended on the property around 5pm on Sunday following a tip-off from residents in the same street.

The video shows the police at the front gate of the property demanding entry… “Open, open, open the door… now!” The people inside the gate shouted back “no party”. The policeman leading the raid was Capt Prasan Ketsaro. Despite a number of other foreigners, and Thais, at the gathering, only the 2 British people attending the event were fined after being taken to the station.

British citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by ThaigerThey were officially charged with “acting against the Communicable Diseases Act, BE 2558 and the Phuket Provincial Order #2284/2564 Section 5,” according to the police report.

At the end of April the Phuket governor made an announcement, tightening restrictions for the island province.

“For social activities, all people must refrain gathering for celebration, such as birthday parties, welcome or farewell parties, or others, except traditional events, such as funerals, weddings, or ordination.”

At the time the vice governor of Phuket said that foreigners breaking the rule could also be subject to being deported. Foreign consular officials were also invited to the provincial offices with Governor asking them to ensure the citizens they represented would abide by the current rules and restrictions.

The video of what appears to be an afternoon soirée, complete with alcoholic drinks and a barbecue, was deemed by the attending police to be in clear contravention of the current restrictions, a point that the lead police officer, doing all the talking, kept making as he beckoned everyone inside the house to come out.

“Everybody, outside. Come one, come on, outside!”

None of the foreigners were wearing face masks in the early phases of the video although the Thai people inside the property either were, or were quick to put them on as the cameras were rolling.

The police kept berating and accusing the people inside the property… “you come for party”. They pointed to a pile of iced drinks on the verandah of the property (which contained wine, beer and other beverages)… “what is this, what is this?”

Any conversation was a bit one-sided with the Captain doing most of the talking whilst the owners of the property, and their guests, were at least trying to explain their situation.

The accusations were flying thick and fast “Why party?! You party!”

The foreigners insisted it wasn’t a party and were trying to reason with the police about the intentions of the afternoon’s gathering but the police had already made up their mind.

The lead police told the accused that they could take photos of the ‘raid’. The Thaiger has decided not to air the video but have shared some edited screenshots.

British citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by ThaigerBritish citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by ThaigerBritish citizens fined 6,000 baht each for illegal 'party' in Phuket | News by Thaiger

A lot of the social media commentary about the incident has focussed on whether the gathering was a “party” or not and accusations that the attending police were just after some tea money.

“The high crimes and misdemeanours of having drinks and a BBQ in your garden “

“What party? Even the mosque in Bang Tao is packed everyday, local Thai restaurants are packed – this it outrageous.”

“Pretty strange…. a good way to make money.”

“What a country this place is turning into.”

“The video is on all the Thai news site… and it not look like a party at all.”

The names of the people involved in the raid have been published in other media.

 

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Thailand

Americans in Thailand urge US to provide Covid-19 vaccines to citizens overseas

Thaiger

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

Thai officials say expats living in Thailand will be included in the government’s mass Covid-19 vaccination plan, but exactly when that will be is still up in the air. With foreign embassies in Thailand clearly stating that they will not assist with providing citizens living overseas with vaccines, expats are relying on the Thai government.

A number of Americans are now urging the US government to provide Covid-19 vaccines to citizens living in Thailand. And with the recent outbreak linked to the more contagious variant of the virus, getting a vaccine in Thailand has become more pressing.

A “Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force” of Democrats Abroad Thailand members, as well as those from American organisations based in Thailand, is calling on the US government to deliver vaccines to citizens living in Thailand, chairperson of Democrats Abroad Thailand and a United Nations consultant, Paul Risley, told VOA.

“Americans who live abroad need to be vaccinated for the same reasons that Americans who live in the United States need to be vaccinated… Because it’s the only way to stop Covid-19.”

If an American were to travel back to the US for a vaccine, they would still need to stay in a hotel or certified facility for a 14-day quarantine at their own expense when re-entering Thailand. Along with getting together the required paperwork, they would need to go through numerous Covid-19 tests including before the flight, upon arrival and before being released from quarantine. The flights to and from the US can end up being more than 20 hours per trip and add up to thousands of dollars in travel costs.

For the vast majority of Americans in Thailand, flying back to the US is the only way to get vaccinated at the moment. The US Embassy in Bangkok says vaccines will not be provided for US citizens living overseas.

The Department of State does not provide direct medical care, including vaccinations, to private U.S. citizens abroad. We are committed to providing all possible consular assistance to U.S. citizens in need overseas, including by providing information on local medical resources when appropriate. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

At a recent Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration meeting, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said “all people who reside in Thailand, regardless of their nationality, are eligible to receive the vaccine under the government’s plan.”

Mass vaccination campaigns are being rolled out in high-risk areas, such as Bangkok’s Khlong Toey slum where a cluster of infections was reported, as well as Phuket and Koh Samui, tourist islands that are said to be of “economic significance.” Health officials are trying to hit herd immunity on the 2 islands to reopen to foreign tourists.

Expats in Phuket who have a valid work permit can now register for a state Covid-19 vaccine. The registration must be under the company name and expats are told to have the company’s human resources staff assist with the registration process.

While no official announcement has been made regarding expats in Koh Samui, some foreigners who work as English teachers on the island say they have received both doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine. Schools apparently helped with the registration process, but some teachers say they told to keep quiet about getting the vaccine. Some did not receive a vaccine certificate or any other documentation confirming that they are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

SOURCE: VOA

 

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Phuket

ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Phuket are close to a “critical” low

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Covid-19 patients in severe condition may have to been transferred from a government hospital in Phuket to a private hospital as the number of available hospital beds at public intensive care units in Phuket is close to a “critical” low, according to Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Chalermpong Sukontapol.

There are 9 ICU rooms at the Vachira Phuket Hospital. 5 are being used for Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms while the other 4 rooms are for those with mild symptoms and are under observation before being moved to another bed.

“If the 9 rooms are full of severe symptom cases, that will be a big critical stage. We may need to transfer our patients to other provinces or private hospitals, which may involve additional costs.”

He says 50% of the Covid-19 patients in Phuket are asymptomatic while 30% have mild symptoms and 10% have severe symptoms. For most of those with severe symptoms, the virus has moved to their lungs and they are in need of special equipment, like ventilators, to help them breathe and Charlempong says those patients need to be under close observation.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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