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Private hospitals overcharging: 30-300 percent

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Private hospitals overcharging: 30-300 percent | Thaiger

More than half the private hospitals operating in Thailand are overcharging for medical services and prescription drugs. Of the private hospitals alleged to be overcharging, the rates have been calculated to be 30% up to 300% over the actual production cost.

The Director General of the Internal Trade Department claims that 295 of the 353 private hospitals have submitted their production costs, and charges for medicines and services to a working group two days ago. 58 hospitals are yet to submit their information to the panel. They were required to do so by April 4 under the 1999 Prices of Goods and Services Act.

The DG says the panel studied the production costs of 10,146 items covering medicines, medical supplies and medical services and compares them with appropriate cost structures available from a variety of sources, including importers, wholesalers, big drugstores, manufacturers, the Office of Insurance Commission, the Thai Life Assurance Association, the Thai General Insurance Association and the Comptroller-General’s department.

The report, once completed, will be submitted to the Central Committee on Prices of Goods and Services, chaired by the commerce ministry, to approve the measures recommended in the report.

Hospitals accused of over-pricing will be asked to lower their charges. Otherwise the department will request patients or affected parties to file complaints about the overcharging with the department so that legal action can be taken.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,547 new infections, restrictions start after midnight tonight

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: 1,547 new infections, restrictions start after midnight tonight | Thaiger

Today the CCSA has announced that there are 1,547 new infections around Thailand, a slight drop from yesterdays’ 1,585 reported new cases. Today’s additional infections takes the total number in Thailand to 40,585 since the start of the pandemic. We will add to this story when more figures and provincial totals become available.

All but 3 of today’s newly reported infections were local – 1,544.

Bangkok – 279

Chiang Mai – 140

Chon Buri – 99 (155 cases were reported by Chon Buri officials this morning which will go into tomorrow’s national totals)

Prachuap Khiri Khan – 58

Samut Prakan – 27

All other provinces listed here…

Covid UPDATE: 1,547 new infections, restrictions start after midnight tonight | News by ThaigerTe CCSA reports that 11,916 people are still under care and supervision in Thai hospitals or field hospital facilities. 99 people have died, a local death rate of 0.24%.

Covid UPDATE: 1,547 new infections, restrictions start after midnight tonight | News by ThaigerAt midnight tonight new restrictions come into force for red and orange zone provinces. Here’s a list of the red zone provinces.

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

FULL LIST OF PRECAUTIONS (starting at 1 minute past midnight Sunday, April 18)

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours

(except for international schools running exams)

• No events can have more than 50 people

Provincial red zones (listed below)…

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

(Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9pm)

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace. These workplace and travel ‘advisories’ will certainly be ramped up if the number of daily cases continue to rise.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No Covid-19 national curfew or lockdown yet for Thailand

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No Covid-19 national curfew or lockdown yet for Thailand | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: The empty streets of last year's lockdown will not return just yet.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that there will be no national curfew or lockdown in Thailand as of yet, despite a growing third wave of Covid-19. More than 10,000 people have been infected this month as clusters that started in Bangkok nightlife venues rapidly spread throughout the entire country.

PM Prayut yesterday called for calm from the public while saying that people need to remain vigilant in taking safety precautions against the virus. He worries that people will not follow social distancing protocols and avoid gatherings. On the bright side, mask-wearing is said to be around 90% compliance.

PM Prayut said that during the initial Covid-19 outbreak, extreme measures and lockdown were necessary, and pointed to global praise for the curbing of Covid-19’s first wave in Thailand. Acknowledging the pandemic safety restrictions damaged the economy and will affect low-income workers again now, PM Prayut said he was hurt to have to impost restrictions, but that Thai people should be proud of how well the country did originally and work again to comply with safety measures to bring the current outbreak under control.

While the current vaccine rollout plan includes 61 million jabs over the course of 2021, the government is still looking for ways to expand and accelerate vaccinations, perhaps by importing the Russian Sputnik-V or US Pfizer vaccine in the near future. In the meantime, while full lockdown was not ordered for Covid-19, new restrictions were enacted for the whole country and the provinces listed as red zones.

  • Across all provinces…
    • Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlour (except for international schools running exams)
    • No events can have more than 50 people
    • Dining-in allowed until 11 pm
    • Serving of alcohol banned
    • Shopping centres to be closed by 9 pm
  • Provincial red zones…
    • Dining-in allowed until 9 pm (but can do takeaway until 11 pm)
    • Serving of alcohol banned
    • Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9 pm (Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9 pm)
    • Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11 pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from travelling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise the risk of infection at the workplace.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Covid-19 brings surge in gold and cryptocurrency investment

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Covid-19 brings surge in gold and cryptocurrency investment | Thaiger
PHOTO: Gold and cryptocurrency are booming in pandemic times

In the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic, investors are leaning towards safe investments like gold and also the emerging cryptocurrency market. Gold prices hit a 7 week high at over 55,000 baht on Thursday and around April 15 online gold transactions in Thailand doubled. One reason for the rise in gold price is uncertainty, with tensions growing between the US and Russia. Speculators believe gold may reach up to US $1800 during 2021 due mostly to more international tension between the US and China, and the US bond yields on the decline.

Online trading has seen a huge increase, as investors are closely monitoring gold prices, perhaps because they’re stuck at home and on the internet much more during the Covid-19 pandemic. New online accounts are growing as is the trading volume for online gold purchases.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency has surged in investors and trading to an all-time high, again partially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bitcoin reached a record price of over 2 million baht per coin this week. And many altcoins are gaining in popularity. The online trading platforms and exchanges for most crypto were not restricted by Covid-19 so the industry is swelling. Coinbase, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States went public on the NASDAQ stock market on April 14th. Last year’s total revenue for the popular exchange was US $1.2 billion, but the public offering reported earnings of $1.8 billion in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

While gold and cryptocurrency has become a popular way to make money during the pandemic, not all cryptos are created equal and most fail. Watchers have seen a 1 to 2% success rate out of the over 9,000 altcoins that have been created in the crypto boom. Advisors suggest cautious trading and investing in only the top few hundred altcoins.

With online gold trading and cryptocurrency surging ahead, the contrast is stark to brick and mortar industries decimated by Covid-19. Retail, tourism, and traditional banking have all taken massive hits. Kasikorn Bank dropped nearly 3% in the stock market. Only global oil, petrochemical, and electronics success have helped to bolster the Stock Exchange Thailand Index, with PTT Exploration and Production stock climbing over 4%. Covid-19 related industries such as rubber glove suppliers are flourishing with investors speculating on further growth if the third wave continues to spread. Overall though, the stock market rose half a per cent with the announcement that there will not be a Covid-19 lockdown just yet.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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