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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Half …well to be honest I did not expect that much
    My wife and family did a big road trip to put water on the head of her grandparents
    Nothing to do with going to a festival and risking Virus
    I did object saying that travel alone is a Risk
    But talking to a Thai about break tradition is like talking to a wall
    Maybe others doing the same travel for family not festivals
    So hope the Virus spreading will be minimal

    Good Luck Thailand

  2. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    “But talking to a Thai about break tradition is like talking to a wall”

    Roger, in Thailand there are many educated people and not so educated people just like any other country in the world.

    As far as my experience goes most farangs marry uneducated Thais due to the fact many of them met Thai women ‘working’ in bars who are usually from Issan, hence poorly educated and so the farangs who marry them adopt a biased opinion of Thais in general.

    I know many Thais who are educated and do act in a sensible logical, educated way.

  3. Avatar

    BJoe

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:10 am

    EVER OPTIMISTIC is a government specialty in Thailand. Bottom line, 90% of this optimism never materializes but that never stops officials from misleading an already battered public. Enough of this posturing and get real. This pandemic can be minimized by a few simple but necessary procedures. Safe distancing in public, wash or sanitize hands frequently particularly while in public, discuss the seriousness of this pandemic with family members and their responsibility together members of the household, and wear a mask properly while in public. These simple precautions go a long way in preventing an acceleration of infection, and minimize its effect on our lives.

  4. Avatar

    Educated Farang

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 12:53 am

    He did not talk about being educated actually. Being educated and following traditions are two different things.

  5. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Educated Farang

    Only an uneducated person would decide to go on a trip which is dangerous if they have a choice.

    An educated person would see the danger far outstrips the need to follow a tradition.

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

196 Chaeng Wattana Road construction camp workers test positive for Covid-19

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Photo via Facebook/PhilstarWalterBollozos

A construction camp off Bangkok’s Chaeng Wattana Road, which also features the Immigration Office, is reporting that 196 out of 300 workers have tested positive for Covid-19. Palang Pracharat MP Sira Jenjaka made the announcement after an inspection of the camp ended in testing many for Covid. Tomorrow, another 500 workers at the camp are scheduled to take Covid tests. Then, on May 15, the Thai workers at the site will be tested. Siri says the construction camp is an at-risk area as the new infections need a more stringent approach, to keep the virus from spreading.

Meanwhile, a spike in daily new Covid-19 infections was reported in Thailand today with more than half of the 4,887 infections confirmed today linked to outbreaks at 2 Bangkok prisons. Thailand now has 32,661 active Covid-19 cases, a record high in Thailand since the start of the pandemic last year. There has been a total of 93,794 Covid-19 infections since last year, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

32 new Covid-related deaths were reported by the CCSA today, raising the pandemic’s death toll in Thailand to 518. A spokesperson for the CCSA says the patient fatalities continue to primarily be the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 vaccination hub opens at Central Plaza mall in Bangkok

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ ศาลาว่าการกรุงเทพมหานคร

A Covid-19 vaccination hub opened up at the Central Plaza Lardprao in Bangkok, making it the first immunisation centre outside a hospital. Yesterday, around 1,000 people were inoculated at the new centre after registering for a vaccine on the Mor Prom mobile application. Most of those vaccinated yesterday were government officers, volunteers or those who are at a high risk of infection.

Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Ramathibodi Hospital teamed up to open the centre at the Central Plaza shopping mall. The centre is open every day from 8:30am to 5pm.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha praised the private sector for backing the national Covid-19 immunisation campaign, adding the move may prompt more businesses to set up vaccination hubs. So far, more than a dozen vaccination centres, not including hospital sites, are planned to open up in Bangkok, Prayut says.

The Thai government set the ambitious goal of vaccinating 50 million people by the end of the year. The Thai government also plans to vaccinate 5 million people in Bangkok within the next 2 months in an effort to contain the outbreak in the capital. Vaccinations are now being sped up in high-risk areas such as Bangkok’s Khlong Toey slum. So far, the number of people registering for a vaccine has been lower than expected.

“We must eradicate fears of the Covid-19 vaccine. The government can confirm that all the imported Covid-19 vaccines are thoroughly inspected… Our inspection is probably more stringent than in other countries.”

Prayut says the Thai government has secured 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and they are working on securing another 50 million doses. He adds that the AstraZeneca vaccine made locally by Siam Bioscience will be ready at the end of the month.

Covid-19 vaccination hub opens at Central Plaza mall in Bangkok | News by Thaiger

Photo via Facebook/
ศาลาว่าการกรุงเทพมหานคร

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Walk-in vaccination centres planned to speed up rollout

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Walk-in vaccination centres are aiming to speed up mass rollout. (via Facebook)

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced plans for walk-in vaccination centres to accelerate Covid-19 vaccine distribution in Thailand. At a meeting of the National Committee on Vaccines, the decision was made to provide alternative channels to encourage more people to get the vaccine quickly. Also in the works is a plan to develop a new application to register for appointments.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha had mentioned the idea of a walk-in service during a cabinet meeting Tuesday, saying that Thailand was well below target for vaccine registrations. The Department of Disease Control has been tasked with creating a simplified format to encourage registration for vaccines, with the goal of no one being rejected for a jab. The head of the DDC said they will do everything in their power to accelerate vaccine roll out.

Yesterday saw the first vaccination centre outside of a hospital when Central Plaza Ladprao launched a vaccine station with PM Prayut in attendance. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Ramathibodi Hospital worked together to launch the centre. Open from 8:30 am to 5 pm daily, 1,000 people were vaccinated at the station through the Mor Prom Line app yesterday, mostly government officers and Covid-19 volunteers as well as people designated as high-risk.

But the Mor Prom line account has not received nearly the amount of registrations that they had hoped, so this new plan is aimed at boosting sign-ups. Only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people through the Line account, with only 2 provinces getting 6-figure signups. 16 million people were targeted to get priority appointments through Mor Prom, people at high risk because of chronic disease or being over the age of 60.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that, with the success of Central Ladprao’s vaccination centre, other businesses will open similar jab stations in the near future. Plans are in place for up to 25 private vaccination centres in Bangkok followed by stations opening across the country. Locations and the number of jabs at each vaccination centre will be left to provincial governments to determine within their own committees on communicable disease.

Thailand’s immediate goal is to get all frontline workers and healthcare professionals vaccinated by the end of the month, and also focus on areas with high infection rates. Next month elderly and high-risk people will be the main target of mass vaccination, followed by the general public. PM Prayut also requested that people like delivery staff and public transportation drivers who travel for work, and staff in restaurants, hospitality, and convenience stores who interact with many people be given priority for vaccinations.

The Prime Minister stressed to the public that Thailand’s inspection process is more stringent than other countries and reassured that the Covid-19 vaccines administered in Thailand are completely safe.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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