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20 injured in Deep South bomb attacks

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Two more injured in further small blasts in Yala town
Phuket Gazette / The Nation


PHUKET: Bomb attacks continued to erupt in Yala’s Muang district yesterday, raising the number of injured over the past two days to 20.

Despite that, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan believes the blasts were staged to cause a disturbance and not serious casualties or damage.

“Most of them involved just small bombs,” he said.

The attacks started in Muang district at 7pm on Thursday and involved at least 20 separate blasts. Eighteen people were wounded.

Yesterday, there were five more explosions, with two people wounded. Gen Prawit said CCTV cameras at multiple locations showed the bombers quite clearly.

“The Internal Security Operations Command [Isoc] and the National Police Office are working on these cases. We expect to make arrests,” he said.

While most of the bombs were not powerful, the one at a Chinese cemetery uprooted three electricity poles.

A bomb disposal team found three more bombs at the spot and defused them.

Colonel Pramote Prom-in, spokesman of the Isoc Region 4’s Forward Command, said most of the bomb victims sustained minor injuries. “Only three remain in hospital,” he said.

In the wake of the attacks, the Fourth Army Area has ordered all local officials to step up security measures and set up more checkpoints.

“We won’t impose curfews. But we are asking for co-operation from locals in giving tip-offs,” Pramote said.

Fourth Army Region Chief Prakarn Chonlayut said the bombers might have decided to take advantage of security officials needing to focus attention on the ongoing Thai Red Cross fair being staged in Yala.

National police chief General Somyot Poompanmoung said it was unclear if the attacks were related to the recent car bomb at Central Festival mall on Surat Thani’s Koh Samui.

Yala is one of the southernmost provinces that have been struggling with unrest for about a decade.

In nearby Narathiwat, unknown gunmen ambushed rangers yesterday on a local road using M16 assault rifles.

The ambush resulted in a gunfight, which lasted about 10 minutes. After the attackers retreated, four rangers were left wounded. One was shot in the head.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

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Foreign tourists must use Covid-19 tracking app when travelling to Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Digital Government Development Agency

Foreign tourists travelling to Thailand will need to download the Covid-19 contact tracking mobile application “ThailandPlus” before arriving in Thailand and use it throughout their stay. The app will notify travellers if they have been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

Throughout their trip to Thailand, tourists will need to keep the app “on” and check in and out of various locations by scanning QR codes. The app requires access to the smartphone’s GPS , but the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the information collected will only be used for public health purposes and will not infringe on the tourists’ right to privacy.

Travellers will also need to upload a recent headshot as well as supply their Certificate of Entry number and reference ID from the Royal Thai Embassy.

The app is a spinoff to the “Thai Chana” and “Mor Chana” apps. All use GPS and Bluetooth as well as QR code scanning to detect the users’ locations. The apps sparked controversy and many Thais expressed concerns about their privacy, but the government has assured the public that information will be kept private.

The development of the app is a collaboration between the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Digital Government Development Agency.

Click HERE to download the ThailandPlus.

SOURCE: TAT

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Pollies in jail, Covid originated in Thailand? | Feb 25 | The Thaiger

Today on Thailand News Today, a number of government ministers have ended up in jail, the vaccines are about to roll out but experts say the injections are not the end of the pandemic, and A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national. We’ve also get a special report on the channel about accusations that surfaced this week that Covid 19 may not have started in Wuhan at all, but in Thailand. That’s all coming up now on Thursday’s Thailand News Today.

A number of government ministers have been jailed for their part in protests against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra that crippled Bangkok and ultimately led to the 2014 military coup. Yesterday, the Criminal Court handed prison sentences to 29 former members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, some of whom were serving as MPs in the current Chan-o-cha administration.

Police have shut down a network of online casinos in raids that took place across 7 provinces, with 19 suspects arrested, and cash and other goods seized. In total, 8 online casino networks in 7 provinces have been shut down, with police apprehending 19 out of a total 22 suspects.

A specialist in infectious diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says the arrival of vaccines does not mean it will automatically be safe to re-open to foreign visitors. Thira Woratanarat says opening the borders too soon will only put Thailand in more danger, pointing to a lack of data on the efficacy of vaccines against transmission.

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 unregulated wildlife trades may endanger public health.

A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is being accused of attacking a Chilean national, leaving his nose broken and face bloodied. The 24 year old Salvatore Chilean, filed a report to the Pattaya City Police at around 2am this morning after saying he had left a nightclub on Pattaya’s Walking Street after it had closed.

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers

Caitlin Ashworth

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Canadian Embassy to help Thailand recruit English teachers | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Thailand officials want more native speaking English teachers and plan to recruit more than 10,000 English teachers for 300 schools to improve English proficiency among Thai students. To help draw in potential teachers, the Education Ministry is teaming up with the Canadian Embassy in Thailand.

Teachers will be placed in schools once the pandemic has eased. Recruitment for the plan is expected to be completed by May, according to Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan. He says the Cabinet has approved an agreement between the ministry, embassy and the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce for the recruitment plan.

The ministry plans to focus on teaching language in early levels of education because young students are at a suitable age for building communication skills, Nataphol says. Teachers will be either native English speakers or Thai teachers who hold an English degree, according to Nataphol.

Along with 10,000 English teachers, the Cabinet also plans to recruit 10,000 Chinese teachers. Teachers will also receive training.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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