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Stay 5 metres away and bow before and after a photo of the PM – new media guidelines

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The Thai PM has issued new guidelines as how and when to photograph him. At the same time the PM’s spokesperson has set new ‘ethical’ guidelines for media pressers with the PM.

New formalities issued by the 3rd division of the Special Branch police were distributed to members of the press at yesterday’s Impact Exhibition Centre event where the PM was presiding over the opening of Thailand Social Expo 2018.

The new formalities include a dress code and a code of conduct that photographers must observe when taking pictures of the PM – photographers must be at least five metres from the prime minister; must not take pictures of the prime minister while he is ascending or descending stairs; must not take pictures of the prime minister while he is eating; must not take pictures directly in front of the prime minister as he is in the reception room; must bow the prime minister before and after taking his pictures and must behave ‘properly;.

Thai PBS reports that photographers were surprised after arriving at the Impact Exhibition Centre that they were required to fill a form with their names, their office locations, office phone numbers and their ID card numbers before they were allowed into the exhibition hall.

Government spokesman Lt-Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd later explained that the formalities were issued three years ago and he didnโ€™t understand why they were distributed now, triggering criticism among media media members.

He said the PM thought the Special Branch police had the best of intentions to upgrade the performance of the media to an ‘international standard’ and they also wanted to provide the best security protection to the prime minister.

He added that the prime minister had instructed the Special Branch police to reconsider deleting the requirement for photographers to bow at him, noting that it was the right of each individual to show respect to anybody.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

1,000 to 6,000-patient field hospital opened at IMPACT complex

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: IMPACT exhibition centre has opened a huge field hospital.

IMPACT Muang Thong Thani exhibition centre in Nonthaburi has just opened as a massive field hospital that will be supervised by the Public Health Ministry. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, and Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda were all in attendance for the launch yesterday.

Situated in the northern suburb of Bangkok, the huge commercial complex has ample space in a variety of buildings. IMPACT Muang Thong Thani houses on its grounds multiple exhibition halls, a convention centre, and an arena.

Operating under the name Bussarakham Hospital, the huge venues of IMPACT can currently hold 1,092 patients in its initial opening, but if needed there is room to expand to a max capacity of 4000 to 6,000 people. The public and private health sector collaborated to build and maintain the Covid-19 emergency overflow facility.

So-called yellow-coded Covid-19 patients, those who have slight to severe symptoms, will be the primary patients treated at the IMPACT field hospital. Emergency medical equipment like respirators are on hand in the event of a patient’s condition worsening suddenly though. The hospital will employ a total medical staff of 780 people. 260 medical staff members will be on duty at any given time, working 3 shifts divided between the staff.

The IMPACT field hospital was set up in just one week with the help of all the involved partners. The Public Health Minister touted the success of the project, saying that it is set up to care for patients physical and mental needs with comfort.

“Apart from the treatment zone, the hospital also provides a relaxing zone where patients can stay watching movies and exercise under good ventilation all around the area while staying socially distanced.โ€

Anutin also made a point to reassure area residents that converting IMPACT into a field hospital will not interrupt or negatively affect the local community.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Crime

Man charged with rape of 36 women in Bangkok area

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Denphum Wattanachotipinyo has been charges with rape with more than 36 victims.

A serial rapist with complaints from 36 female victims from the end of 2020 until the beginning of this month has officially been charged with rape. Mr Denphum Wattanachotipinyo committed rape, theft, fraud, and deception in the Bangkok area and was arrested Wednesday in Sai Mai. He is 39 years old and is believed to be from Nontha Buri.

Thonburi Court issued a warrant for his arrest on May 4, and he was arrested on May 11 with coordination by the Commander of the Crime Suppression Division of the Royal Thai Police after escaping capture for several days. After appearing in court in Bangkok, he is now in Thonburi Prison for the rape charges. An extension was granted for police to hold him in until May 24 as evidence is gathered and charges are formalized.

Police requested that bail be denied as they worry Denphum may interfere with witnesses and is a flight risk considering the seriousness and the violent nature of his charges. During his imprisonment, police will review five other testimonies and take statements from any more witnesses. They will also examine medical reports for the first woman who reported a rape to the Bang Khun Thian Police Station in Bangkok on May 2 that launched the probe that brought down Denphum.

Two women have testified with similar details, alleging that they were victims of violent rape in his luxury condo in the Sathorn area of Bangkok, one on February 8 and one on May 1. Both say they were held at knifepoint with their lives threatened after being forced to take crystal meth. They came to his room under the promise of paid work. Many of the victims stated that they were robbed or forced to give Denphum money in addition to the brutal rape.

He’s being charged for the rape cases in Bangkok with multiple violations under Sections 276 and 309 of the Criminal Code. Section 276 involves sex with women against their will when they cannot resist. Section 309 involves creating fear of bodily harm or death in women. Each count of the latter can be punishable by up to 5 years in jail, while the rape convictions would carry sentences of between 4 and 20 years.

SOURCE: Thai Examiner

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

506 Covid-19 infections found in Klong Prem Central Prison

Neill Fronde

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Yet another Bangkok prison has reported a Coronavirus outbreak, as Klong Prem Central Prison now confirmed 506 Covid-19 infections. The Corrections Department deputy director-general Dr Weerakit Harnpariphan confirmed that this outbreak was discovered through active screening, and a lot more testing still needs to be done.

The prison houses a total population of at least 20,000 inmates amongst the many facilities within its compound. Of note, the Central Womenโ€™s Correctional Institution is also on the premise and has recently reported 1,039 Covid-19 infections. The Central Correctional Hospital, Bangkok Special Prison, and the Central Correction Institution for Drug Addicts are also all housed inside, as well as every female prisoner on death row in Thailand.

The Covid-19 cluster was found in zone 4 of the maximum security prison in Chatuchak District, Bangkok. That zone is used for vocational training. The other zones of the prison have yet to be screened, creating fears that there may be a much higher Covid-19 infected population than currently known.

The deputy director-general of the department did confirm that all inmates who tested positive for Covid-19 have been isolated from the general prison population. They are being held in groupings by their condition and the severity of their symptoms.

Officials advised that relatives of prisoners can contact Klong Prem Central Prison to inquire about the condition of an inmate. The prison will only be notifying family members if the infected inmate requests them to make contact.

This prison cluster is one of several making headlines after the Bangkok Remand Prison identified nearly 1,800 covid-19 infections in its prison population. The current outbreak is attracting criticism from humanitarian groups that are calling for sentence commutations and the release of low-risk prisoners to thin the prison populations in Thailand that are already 160,000 inmates over maximum capacity in hopes of controlling the Covid-19 outbreak.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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