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Phuket Gazette Thailand News: Insurgent suspect testifies; 5 hurt as Army helicopter ditches; Bangkok dengue; Supercar duo called to surrender

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

Suspect names leaders behind bombings, murders and van heist in South: official
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A suspected insurgent now in custody, Sakariya Tohtayong, has implicated alleged masterminds of the movement behind unrest in the deep South, a senior official said yesterday.

Sakariya gave useful testimony that may allow the authorities to solve many security cases.

They include bombings at the CS Pattani Hotel and the Diana shopping complex, the robbery of a security van carrying cash for a bank, and an attack on a grocery shop in which six people, including a baby, were killed.

Over Bt5.8 million was stolen from the security van.

“His answers during the interrogation have allowed us to know who are the masterminds and who are members of the movement,” Colonel Komkrit Rattanachaya said, in his capacity as head of the 47th Paramilitary Regimental Taskforce.

Sakariya was arrested in Muang district in Pattani early on Saturday in an operation that saw security officials shoot Ameen Dareng dead during a 15-minute gunfight. Both Sakariya and Ameen, 31, were wanted for alleged roles in many incidents.

Komkrit said Sakariya told interrogators Ameen had ordered attacks on the grocery shop and the robbery of the security van. “We are in the process of solving major cases in the deep South,” he said.

Five injured as Army helicopter ditches in pond
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A military helicopter made an emergency landing in Nakhon Nayok yesterday morning due to a broken sling in its rudder.

Five of the eight soldiers on board were injured in the incident.

After taking off from Lop Buri on a trip to Sa Kaeo, the helicopter became unresponsive over Nakhon Nayok and the pilot decided to ditch the aircraft in a pond.

Army Deputy Spokesman Winthai Suwaree said yesterday that the helicopter belonged to the Army’s fleet of rotary-wing aircraft.

The Army Aviation Centre, the 2nd Infantry Division the Royal Guards, and the aviation safety committee have also examined the helicopter in a bid to determine the cause of the broken sling.

The five inured in the accident – Master Sergeant Sornravit Intor, Captain Tumrongkeat Chattoranong, Sergeant Tawatchai Siriwong, Major Tosapon Nutsaryu and Captain Kachen Sai-ting – are being treated at Royal Chulachomklao Military Academy Hospital.

More than 4,300 dengue cases in Bangkok in past six months
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Dengue fever has hit 4,374 Bangkok residents and claimed one life in the capital during the past six months.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has implemented a variety of measures in a bid to control the disease.

“We will spray chemicals to kill mosquitoes, the carrier of the disease. The next round of spraying will run from [Thursday] until June 30,” Bangkok Governor MR Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday.

He was speaking at the Mahanak Mosque in the capital’s Pom Prab district. Of all the communities in the district, the Mahanak community has the second highest incidence of dengue.

According to Sukhumbhand, monthly surveys are now conducted to identify mosquito-breeding grounds, which will be eliminated.

“We will also pay special attention to risky places like schools, religious sites and medical facilities. Such places need strict measures to ensure the eradication of mosquito breeding grounds,” he added.

Thai diplomat accused of assault acted in self-defence: Foreign Ministry
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: A female Thai diplomat who allegedly assaulted an Egyptian woman at a Cairo hotel had acted in self-defence, Thai Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Jakkrit Srivali said on Monday.

He quoted Kakanang Amaranand, first secretary of the Thai Embassy in Egypt, as dismissing news reports in Egyptian media that she attacked and injured Rana Ashraf.

Ashraf’s husband was quoted as saying that Kakanang had “pushed [Ashraf] on the couch, kicked her more than five times in the face and head with her heels, pulled her hair out, bit her until she bled, and through all of this my wife was not grabbing or attacking her.

“Whenever we tried to pull her off, she would bite or pull harder. It was a completely one-sided fight.”

He also alleged that Kakanang was drunk at the time.

Jakkrit reported that Thai Ambassador to Egypt Chalit Manittayakul had defended Kakanang’s character, saying he had never seen her drunk to the point of losing self-control. The embassy has said it will investigate the incident.

Meanwhile, it still remains unclear as to whether Ashraf has filed a complaint with police.

Duo linked to luxury-car scam urged to surrender
The Nation / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: The Department of Special Investigation called yesterday for two businessmen allegedly involved in the transport of six luxury cars that caught fire and revealed a tax avoidance scheme to turn themselves in before warrants are taken out for their arrest.

Director-general Tarit Pengdith said the identity of the two men was known among law-enforcement officials and they still had time to surrender to the DSI.

He said there was proof verifying transactions overseas involving tens of millions of baht by the pair, and that the six vehicles with suspect registration – four of which were gutted by fire – may have been smuggled into Thailand from Malaysia.

The two men were known to be key figures in the importing of luxury cars, he said, adding that the DSI had obtained security camera footage showing links between the pair and a suspect called Nathee Rewthong, who is on the run.

Nathee has been accused of |hiring a truck company to transport the six vehicles, which were on a |trailer that mysteriously caught fire last month while being driven through Nakhon Ratchasima.

An ad-hoc centre opened by the DSI to verify ownership and registration documents of 548 luxury cars, which had market prices of up to Bt5 million, began operating yesterday.

People owning or possessing the vehicles are required to authenticate all documents.

Those with vehicles installed with LPG or CNG fuel systems need to have the cars inspected next Monday.

Meanwhile, a deputy chief of the Customs Department, Rakhop Srisuppha-at, denied that customs officials had helped make illegally imported luxury cars appear legitimate so they could benefit from being auctioned legally at higher prices. “I admit that the ‘car-laundering’ scheme does exist but it is conducted at a lower level,” he said, without explaining.

Rakhop said a Rolls Royce owned by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung was legally imported, after former senator Ruangkrai Leekitwattana publicly called for an inspection to determine whether it was smuggled, or underwent the tax avoidance process.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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

Neill Fronde

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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

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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 Thaigerβ€’ 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.

β€’ 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.

β€’ 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.

β€’ 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.

β€’ 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.

β€œIf 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

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PHOTO: CCSA

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.

Meanwhile, 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…

DARK RED ZONE
Bangkok Nonthaburi
Pathum Thani Samat Prakan
RED ZONE
Ayutthaya Chonburi Chachoengsao Kanchanaburi Nakhon Pathom Nakhon Si Thammarat
Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Phetchaburi Ranong Rayong
Ratchaburi Samut Sakhon Songkhla Surat Thani Tak Yala
ORANGE ZONE
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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