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Nationwide Songkran holiday road toll rises

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Road toll exceeds last year’s figures
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Songkran holiday period saw 364 deaths and 3,559 injuries from 3,373 accidents – higher than last year’s figures, the Road Safety Center said yesterday.

This year saw 42 more deaths, 334 more injuries and 381 more accidents.

On Wednesday alone, there were 458 accidents that claimed 58 lives and injured 489.

With drunk driving continuing to be the major cause of accidents, the Public Health Ministry yesterday admitted that alcohol-control measures during the holiday period had not been as successful as expected. The ministry blamed, in part, a lack of cooperation from business operators.

On behalf of the Road Safety Centre, which closed its doors yesterday, Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon announced that drunk driving (39.31 per cent) and speeding (24.35 per cent) remained the two major contributors to most road accidents.

Motorcycles were involved in the majority of accidents (81.34 per cent), while 62.89 per cent of accidents took place on straight stretches of road.

Phitsanulok reported the highest number of accidents (141), while Surin had the highest number casualties (16 deaths and 152 injuries).

The five provinces that did not report any deaths were Phuket, Mae Hong Son, Yala, Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon.

The centre’s work would be used in an attempt to improve holiday road safety, Suthee said.

The deputy minister said that the rise in road accidents this year was due to the higher number of cars and tourists, while summer storms posed more risks to motorists, especially motorcyclists.

Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin praised those who manned the 206 community checkpoints in 10 provinces for helping boost road safety, especially checkpoints in Surin’s Prasat district where former street-racing youths manned them 24 hours a day and brought many drunk motorists home safely.

The ministry planned to expand the checkpoints to all villages for the 2016 New Year holiday, he added.

Disease Control Department chief Sopon Mekthon reported that the ministry’s alcohol-control measures over the past two week had resulted in 602 arrests.

Most of those arrested (208) were for promoting alcohol products, while 152 were related to drinking alcohol in prohibited areas, 79 to the sale of alcohol during a prohibited time and 62 to the sale of alcohol without a licence.

Sopon said officials would continue this operation for seven days after Songkran as some areas still hosted celebrations.

He said people drank more during festivals so officials had to be stricter and business operators should cooperate more with them by being aware of the social security issues linked to drinking.

Meanwhile, national police deputy chief General Pongsapat Pongcharoen said the project in which Songkran holidaymakers left their homes under police care covered 4,634 homes – 206 more than last Songkran and 959 more than the 2014 New Year period.

Meanwhile, 400-strong city operation to clean Silom area during the festival resulted in 30 tonnes of garbage being collected on average per day compared to 100 tonnes per day last year.

Meanwhile, the number of people injured in fights and treated at the Silom first-aid centre peaked at 12 on Monday compared to between 30-40 injuries per day last year.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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Thailand

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic

Maya Taylor

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Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Stockholm office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has conducted a survey in which 62% of respondents say they want to spend winter in Thailand provided restrictions are lifted. The top destinations are Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok, and Hua Hin.

68% say they would cancel bookings if the 14-day quarantine remains in place. 26% say they would still go ahead, and 13% said they’d be in favour of quarantine being cut to 10 days. 99% of participants say they would be worried about testing positive for Covid-19 after travel plans have been made.

Meanwhile, the TAT’s London office has also been busy, carrying out a survey in conjunction with market research firm, YouGov. The idea behind the survey was to get an idea of the future of tourism once the pandemic is over.

4,127 people took part, with 75% of them saying they’re prepared to be vaccinated if it’s required for travel. 41% are against mandatory quarantine, although 52% would accept a 5-day quarantine. 62% of those planning holidays are over the age of 50 and interested in countries with low infection rates.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot from the TAT says the findings of the survey indicate that up to 6 million people are interested in travelling to Thailand at some point this year.

Meanwhile, a number of online travel agency platforms in France have also carried out a survey. The poll, conducted by companies such as Go Voy, Opodo, and eDreams, showed that the number of hits to tourism-related websites rose by 15% once the success of Covid-19 vaccines was announced. The top destinations searched for were Dubai at 49%, Marrakesh at 27%, and Bangkok at 25%.

Another travel survey in the Americas found that most holidaymakers have chosen to postpone their trips by 7 months to a year, rather than cancelling completely. Siripakorn says that booking flexibility is a priority for Americans.

“Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility, and no deposit.”

Meanwhile, a report issued by Skift Research shows that travel will not recover until 2023 and will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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