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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Bangkok warned over flood tide; Chalerm has water on the brain; Nok Air has rough landing

Legacy Phuket Gazette




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

Bangkok residents warned over flood tide
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The first high-tide period of this month is imminent – and Bangkok residents in riverside communities who do not have flood barriers must be ready for possible flooding, say authorities.

“Please move your belongings to higher ground during the coming high tide,” Sunsern Rueangrit of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) Flood Control Centre said yesterday.

The first high-tide period this month starts today and will run until tomorrow.

The second period will run from October 16 to October 22.

Sunsern said the water level in the Chao Phraya River might rise to 2.8 metres above mean sea level in communities without flood barriers. As of press time, the water level was 1.72 metres above mean sea level.

Most communities along the Chao Phraya River’s stretch in Bangkok have the protection of flood barriers. Construction of such barriers, however, has not taken place in some areas in the face of opposition from residents. According to Sunsern, the water situation for Bangkok overall is not worrying.

“Weather forecasting suggests it may be raining in some parts of Bangkok this month, but the rainfall won’t be huge,” he said.

The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, meanwhile, announced that floods were now inundating 28 provinces such as Chiang Mai and Rayong.

During the past few weeks, inundation has already caused 34 deaths, ravaged farmland and reeked property damage.

Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong says that since September 17, his ministry has dispatched about 100 mobile medical teams to flood-hit areas to assist victims.

“They have treated 68,919 patients in those areas,” he said.

Most common symptoms were athlete’s foot, aches and pains, and headache.

Pradit said about 703 flood victims covered by mental-health assessments showed signs of stress.

“Of them, 230 needed close attention because they were very stressed and some had become depressed,” he said.

Sa Kaew’s Khao Chakan District Chief Sawanit Suriyakul Na Ayutthaya yesterday lamented that flooding in his area had reached a critical point.

“In hard-hit spots, floodwaters have already risen to the second floor of people’s houses,” he said.

Rough landing for Nok Air flight
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A Nok Air flight from Chiang Mai yesterday skidded off the runway on landing in Udon Thani – the second such incident for the airline in three months.

All 26 passengers and crew on the plane escaped unhurt.

Udon Thani vice governor Narong Ponlaiard was at the scene. He was briefed by a Nok Air officer who attributed the accident to a landing gear fault.

He said on touching down, the pilot was unable to turn right on the taxiway.

The front wheel collapsed and the pilot decided to hit the earthen wall on the side. The plane stopped about 600 metres from the passenger terminal.

Flight DD8610 left Chiang Mai at 7.25am and landed in Udon Thani at 8.45am.

On August 7, the airline also reported an accident in Trang. Its Bangkok-bound flight slid off the runway at Trang airport while preparing for takeoff in heavy rain. All 142 passengers on Flight DD 7411, many of them foreign tourists, and crew escaped injury.

Chalerm improving after surgery
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobumrung’s health has slightly improved following brain surgery and he will be ready for discharge from hospital this week, his doctors have said.

“He can now eat and respond to other people,” Ramathibodi Hospital Director Dr Surasak Leelaudomlipi said.

Chalerm was taken to the hospital on Friday after he complained of problems with his balance. He underwent surgery to drain excess fluid from his brain and has since been transferred to the inpatient ward recovery room.

Surasak said medical teams could not find the real cause of Chalerm’s illness but his condition was not critical.

Pol Captain Duang Yoobamrung, Chalerm’s youngest son, said his father could talk and walk and even eat food normally. However, doctors wanted him to take more rest and not to work hard.

“Doctors asked me to be careful with the risk of infection that might [hit] my father,” Duang said.

Chalerm’s younger brother, Nawarat Yoobamrung, said his brother had recovered and had a fresh face and could smile and laugh. He said Chalerm wanted to thank people who had called him and worried about him.

Office of the Narcotics Control Board’s Secretary-General Pongsapat Pongcharoen said he believed Chalerm would soon be able to work and continue his job overseeing the National Command Centre for Drugs.

Chalerm has designated the Labour Ministry’s former permanent secretary Somkiat Chayasriwong as an adviser to help him run the ministry.

Informant shot dead
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Police believe insurgents were behind the fatal shooting of a reported informant whose tip-off led to Saturday’s deadly gunfight between security officials and suspects.

The informant was gunned down in Narathiwat’s Rusoh district yesterday morning.

Police have identified him as Mohammad Rita-uden Tarazi, 35.

“He used to be a suspect but came forward and provided cooperation to authorities,” Rusoh Police Station’s superintendent Anothai Jindamanee said.

He said Mohammad had provided many tips-off to security officials, including one that led police and soldiers to a hiding place of suspected insurgents in the district on Saturday.

When security officials were spotted, the suspected insurgents opened fire. A fierce gunfight followed for about 15 minutes. Two policemen and four suspected in-surgents died during the clash. After the exchange of gunfire ended, security officials arrested seven other suspects.

Official records show arrest warrants had been issued for two of the dead suspects and four other suspects detained in the operation.

Anothai said some field-level leaders of the RKK insurgent group died in the clash.

“Their henchmen might have then targeted our informant,” he said.

According to an ongoing police investigation, Mohammad was shot after he left home to tap rubber latex. The victim sustained two gunshot wounds, one to his head and one to his abdomen. Two spent bullets of an assault rifle were found at the scene.

Meanwhile, in Yala yesterday morning three soldiers travelling on military trucks were injured when a bomb went off close to their vehicles. The blast caused a one-metre-wide and 50-cm-deep hole at the head of a bridge the vehicles were approaching.

Police believe the bombing was staged to fan unrest in the deep South.

The ongoing wave of violence has raged in Thailand’s southernmost region for about a decade. In a bid to end the unrest, Thai authorities are engaged in a peace dialogue with the BRN. Their next meeting is likely to take place next week.

Defence Ministry permanent-secretary General Nipat Thong

— Phuket Gazette Editors


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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Poll: Work from home popular, reduces Covid-19, helps gov’t

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Working from home is believed to help slow the spread of Covid-19 among other advantages. (via PxHere)

As far as strategies to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections goes, work from home policies may be the most popular, far more liked than masks and lockdowns. In a recent poll by Suan Dusit Rajabhat University, 1,533 people in Thailand were asked about their opinions on working from home. The majority of responses were well in favour of it.

The Suan Dusit poll was conducted online and found that when asked about various opinions and attitudes towards working from home, nearly 75% of respondents believed that staying home to work made them feel safer and could prevent Covid-19 from spreading more. Nearly half also felt like working from home was a good way to cooperate with government policies regarding Covid-19.

Nearly 43% of those polled were working from home. Only about 23% of people never worked from home, while just under 35% of people worked in some combination of home and at their office or place of business. Just over 40% of respondents said they lacked the equipment at home that would allow them to work from home.

While people generally like to work from home, those surveyed did believe that there were pros and cons to it. 44% felt working from home gave them more personal time for themselves and more time with their families. 88% believed it had a positive effect on the Covid-19 pandemic and 70% loved how working from home reduced travel and commute costs. Over 60% viewed it as a way to help the government in their struggle against Covid-19.

On the downside, about 66% of those surveyed complained that they saw an increase in their household bills as their usage of water, electricity and internet went up. 62% had trouble without their normal work equipment and 46% said slow communication was an issue.

Oddly though, when asked which they preferred, only 18% completely favoured working from home, while double the amount preferred the office and 37% liked both equally. Just under 9% gave no opinion. Overall though, work from home as a Covid-19 fighting policy had a success rating of 70% by those polled.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals

Tim Newton



The CCSA have announced 2,302 new infections and 24 Covid-related deaths over the past 24 hours. There’s now been a total of 101,447 infections and 589 deaths since the start of Thailand’s tally on January 18, 2020. More than 64,000 are registered as ‘recovered’. 35,055 people remain under treatment at public and field hospitals.

More news briefs on the Covid situation below.

Here are the provincial totals for Sunday as reported from the past 24 hours.

Covid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger• A new study highlights the often maligned effectiveness of the Sinovac and AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, showing they are both quite effective in boosting the immune system against the Coronavirus. The Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University conducted the study that found that one month after the first shot of AstraZeneca, over 97% of people had developed immune responses. Results were not yet in for the second injection.

Three weeks after the first injection of the Sinovac vaccine, just under 66% of people had developed immune responses, but four weeks after the second injection, that number jumped to an impressive 99.49%.

Full report HERE.

• Indonesia is temporarily halting distribution of a single batch of AstraZeneca vaccine to check for “sterility and toxicity” The temporary action follows reports of a few adverse effects after immunisations.

The batch consists of 448,480 vaccine doses that arrived in the southeast Asian nation last month, part of a delivery of more than 3.85 million doses. Some of the doses have been distributed in part of the capital, Jakarta, and the province of North Sulawesi.

• Starting Monday, restaurants in Bangkok, Nonthaburi (immediately north of Bangkok), Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan (south east of Bangkok) will be allowed to offer dine-in services at 25% of seating capacity until 9pm.

Restaurants in other 17 Red Zone provinces will be allowed to stay open until 11pm without seating limitations. Restaurants in the other Orange Zone provinces will be allowed to resume “normal operations”, though alcoholic beverages may not be served anywhere across the country. In the Red Zones, schools can open as normal with permission from local and provincial authorities. In the Orange Zone schools can open without permission but under the latest rules.

Covid UPDATE: 2,302 new infections and 24 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger• The Office of the PM has dismissed as false online rumours that Her Majesty the Queen was infected with Covid-19.

The office urged people to monitor Covid-19 news from a reliable channel, such as the Facebook page of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

• Chonburi and Chiang Mai are being removed rom the dark red zone, or maximum control area, due to an improvement in the Covid situation in those 2 areas.

“If this proposal is approved by the prime minister, there would only be 4 provinces designated as dark red zone, namely Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan.”

Chonburi, with only 33 new infections yesterday, will be moved to the orange zone, or medium control area, joining 16 other provinces… Kanchanaburi, Chachoengsao, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Ayutthaya, Phetchaburi, Yala, Ranong, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Samut Sakhon, Songkhla and Surat Thani.

Phuket was also downgraded into the Orange Zone category.



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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand’s colour zones change from Monday – some restrictions ease

Tim Newton




From tomorrow we’ll see the resumption of limited dine-in services in restaurants located in the remaining 4 Dark Red zones of Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani and Samut Prakan.

Restaurants in these 4 provinces will now be able to resume dining on premises, until 9pm. But they can only seat 25% of their full capacity. So, a table for 4 can only seat 1 person, while takeaways can still be provided until 11pm. The serving of alcohol in these areas is still prohibited.

Schools and other educational institutions in Dark Red zones also remain prohibited from holding in-person classes and activities in their buildings. Here’s a quick graphic from the Thai Public relations Department…

Thailand's colour zones change from Monday - some restrictions ease | News by ThaigerMeanwhile, Chiang Mai and Chon Buri were removed from the list of Dark Red zones. Currently, there are 17 provinces considered Red zones, where dine-in services are permitted until 11pm, without the serving of alcohol. Phuket was downgraded to an Orange Zone.

Thailand still had no provinces categorised as Green or even Yellow yet, but hopefully, the downward trend continues. The zone layout now is: 4 Dark Red zones, 17 Red zones, 56 Orange zones for 77 provinces total.

The updated province colour-coded zones are…

Bangkok Nonthaburi
Pathum Thani Samat Prakan
Ayutthaya Chonburi Chachoengsao Kanchanaburi Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Si Thammarat
Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Phetchaburi Ranong Rayong
Ratchaburi Samut Sakhon Songkhla Surat Thani Tak Yala
Amnat Charoen Ang Thong Bueng Kan Buriram Chai Nat Chaiyaphum Chanthaburi Chiang Mai Chiang Rai Chumphon Kalasin Kamphaeng Phet Khon Kaen Krabi Lampang Lamphun Loei Lopburi Mae Hong Son
Maha Sarakham Mukdahan Nakhon Nayok Nakhon Phanom Nakhon Ratchasima Nakhon Sawan Nan Nong Bua Lamphu Nong Kai Pattani Phang Nga Phatthalung Phayao Phetchabun Phichit Phitsanulok Phrae Phuket
Prachinburi Roi Et Sa Kaeo Sakon Nakhon Samut Songkram Saraburi Satun Sing Buri Sisaket Sukhothai Suphanburi Surin Trang Trat Ubon Ratchathani Udon Thani Uthai Thani Uttaradit Yasothon

There may still be some provincial-centric restrictions remaining. Keep up with your local media for the latest announcements.

SOURCE:PR Thai Government


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