Connect with us

Thailand

Songkran holiday eerily quiet after Covid mutes celebrations

Avatar

Published 

 on 

Stock photo via Flickr

Thailand rang in another Lunar New Year, or Songkran, without its normal festivities, highlighting the impact that the Covid pandemic has had on the world. For the 2nd year, the biggest Thai holiday was subdued without water-splashing, parties, and concerts. Instead, the predominantly Buddhist nation turned to its more muted, traditional activities of making merit to observe the 3 day holiday, that started yesterday.

Morning time activities included followers offering alms and a bit of sprinkled water to show respect for Buddhist monks. But the monks wore plastic face shields, following pandemic precautions. Culture Minister, Ittipol Khunpleum, led officials and celebrants in what was called a “New Normal, Preserving Thai Culture” event at Wat Arun Ratchawararam.

The temple was open while others were partially closed because of the pandemic. Other normally bustling areas of Bangkok were also silent, as Songkran was cancelled due to what’s being described as a 3rd wave of Covid hitting the country in some media.

Dr. Opas Kankawinpong, the Disease Control Department director-general, recently warned that Covid-19 infections could shoot up 10-fold starting in May unless the government implements urgent measures to control new infections.

“If we don’t do it right, in the next one month the spread will spin out of control – 9,000 new infections a day.”

Throughout Thailand, the government began shuttering night spots on April 6 in at least 41 of 77 provinces for at least 2 weeks, after a new wave of Covid swept the nation earlier this month. Just yesterday, Thailand reported 965 new infections. The number was the lowest in 13 days, but warnings of an even higher spike continue as the WHO says the pandemic has reached a critical level in South Asia.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken wished the people of Thailand “good health and happiness on the occasion of Songkran.”

“The United States of America is proud to recognise Thailand as one of our strongest and most enduring allies. We look forward to deepening our friendship with the Kingdom of Thailand even further.”

SOURCE: Benar News

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Craig

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 11:25 am

    It was so nice to cross the street today with no traffic.

  2. Avatar

    Alan

    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    What part of Thailand was that then

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Thailand

Songkran road deaths, injuries cut in half thanks to Covid surge

Avatar

Published

on

Songkran New Year celebrations have seen road deaths and injuries cut in half thanks to surge of Covid infections just before the start of the annual holiday that essentially cancelled major gatherings. The Road Safety Director Centre says 192 people have been killed and 1,818 injured so far during the Songkran holiday, with 37 dying on Wednesday alone. But those numbers, although disturbing, are half of what they were in 2019 when the Songkran holiday was in full swing.

Of 1,795 accidents over the past 5 days, Nakhon Si Thamarat accounted for 76, followed by Chiang Mai (63), Songkhla (49) and Surat Thani (49). In terms of deaths, Bangkok, Khon Kaen and Pathum Thai led with 8 each, followed by Chon Buri (7), Chiang Mai (7) and Sakhon Nakhon (6).

Over 3,700 motorists have been charged with drink driving offences during the first 5 days of the Songkran holiday, accounting for 39.6% of all accidents, followed by speeding (27%). Witthawan Sunthornkajit from the Department of Probation says that between April 10 and 14, 3,741 motorists received suspended sentences for driving under the influence, 99.66% (3,730 cases), followed by drug-driving at 0.29% (11 cases) and reckless-driving at 0.05% (2 cases). 1,648 of those were on April 14, the highest number for the 5-day period.

The worst-offending provinces were Chaiyaphum, in the north-east of the country, with 290 drink-driving incidents, Chiang Rai in the north, with 264, and Buriram in the north-east, with 251.

“Defendants in 3,730 DUI cases had consumed alcohol, while in the other 11, offenders had taken narcotic substances. 19 defendants were ordered to wear electronic monitoring tags and banned from leaving home between 11pm and 4am for 15 days, while their driver’s licences have been suspended for 6 months.”

Like in past years, motorcycles continued to be the type of vehicles most involved in the accidents during the festival, at 79.3%, followed by pickup trucks (6.6%) and passenger cars (3.6%).

Over the past 5 days, most accidents occurred on highways (65.7%) and from 4pm to 8pm (30.3%). Most of the people who were injured or killed in road accidents were those aged 50 or more (23.5%).

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Thailand

First 5 days of Songkran see more than 3,700 motorists booked for drink-driving

Maya Taylor

Published

on

PHOTO: Kathy on Flickr

Over 3,700 motorists have been charged with drink driving offences during the first 5 days of the Songkran holiday. Witthawan Sunthornkajit from the Department of Probation says that between April 10 and 14, 3,741 motorists received suspended sentences for driving under the influence. 1,648 of those were on April 14, the highest number for the 5-day period. The worst-offending provinces were Chaiyaphum, in the north-east of the country, with 290 drink-driving incidents, Chiang Rai in the north, with 264, and Buriram in the north-east, with 251.

“Defendants in 3,730 DUI cases had consumed alcohol, while in the other 11, offenders had taken narcotic substances. 19 defendants were ordered to wear electronic monitoring tags and banned from leaving home between 11pm and 4am for 15 days, while their driver’s licences have been suspended for 6 months.”

According to Witthawan, the court will order anyone showing signs of alcohol dependency during their probation to attend rehab. Nation Thailand reports that the Probation Department has deployed 439 volunteers, consisting of staff members and drink-driving offenders currently on probation, at 65 checkpoints around the country. They are tasked with supplying drivers with water and information leaflets on Covid-19 disease prevention measures.

This year, over 8 million vehicles travelled in and out of Bangkok during the Songkran holiday, despite most celebrations being cancelled nationwide due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. And by day 5 of the holiday, in Thailand’s other, never-ending pandemic, the Kingdom had reported 1,795 road traffic accidents, with 1,818 injured and 192 fatalities.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New red zone map shows where restrictions may apply after this afternoon’s CCSA meeting

Tim Newton

Published

on

This new map is up for discussion today when the CCSA meets today. 18 provinces are to be designated as red zones. The amount of red zones may changes as well after this morning’s CCSA update on new infections. The CCSA will meet later this afternoon, chaired by the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

According to some early notes on the upgraded restrictions which are almost certainly going to be announced today, restaurants will be able to stay open until 9pm in the red provinces and until 11:00pm in the orange provinces. Bars, karaoke bars, massage places, must not sell liquor and cannot drink in restaurants in every province. Schools will stay closed.

The map cuts a red swathe through the north east, and the north west areas of the country, and some provinces around Bangkok, including Bangkok,.

The red zones, as of now, include…
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

The list of red zones may be updated after this morning’s CCSA meeting, and in coming days. The list of restrictions applied may also vary across provinces. Governors have a certain level of flexibility when applying and enforcing restrictions.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s mercurial Public Health Minister says he is “confident” the Kingdom can overcome the current Covid-19 crisis without imposing a nationwide lockdowns.

“We have seen no point in imposing a lockdown” for the time being.

He says that the current cycle of the new infections has only been 2 weeks and the Health Ministry has had good cooperation from all stakeholders.

“What we need to see now is less mobility. If we can do it, we will definitely see a declining number of new covid-19 infections by next month.”

NOTE: These zonings and list of possible restrictions are NOT final until announcements made following this afternoon’s CCSA meeting.

New red zone map shows where restrictions may apply after this afternoon's CCSA meeting | News by Thaiger

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending