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Thai cabinet extends visa-fee-waiver until after Songkran

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Tourists from over 21 countries will continue to benefit from an extension to the visa fee waiver introduced in November last year.

In a move to boost tourism, the cabinet has extended the 2,000 baht visa-on-arrival fee waiver, according to Tourism and Sport Minister, Veerasak Kowsurat this morning (Tuesday).

The waiver was set to end on Sunday, January 6, 2019, but will now continue through the Chinese New year holidays next month and Songkran in the middle of April.

The numbers of tourists arriving from mainland china had significantly dropped in Q3, 2019 following several incidents resulting in Chinesedeaths, principally the sinking of ‘Phoenix‘ where 47 Chinese tourists died.

The countries included in the fee waiver include…. Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Taiwan.

For the original story regarding the initial visa waiver announcement, click HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand to remain on US Trade watch list over online piracy and intellectual property violations

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Stock photo by Christin Hume for Unsplash

Thailand is to remain on the US Trade Representative’s watch list as it tackles intellectual property violations and online piracy. Director-general of the Intellectual Property Department, Vuttikrai Leewiraphan, says the USTR made the announcement in its annual report that was released April 30. The report includes findings for more than 100 trading partners after engaging with stakeholders and further research.

“The US government admires the Thai government’s and Commerce Ministry’s progress in preventing IP infringement, the continuous development of IP protection and crackdowns on violations in both the offline and online markets.”

The report indicated that Thailand continues to make progress by seizing counterfeit and pirated goods and has increased efforts to combat the sale of those goods online, and publishing its efforts. It also noted that Thailand increased its efforts against online piracy, through intra-agency coordination, but concerns still remain as counterfeit and pirated goods are still readily available in markets and online.

In addition, the US has urged Thailand to ensure that amendments to its Copyright Act address concerns expressed by the US and other foreign governments and stakeholders, including overly broad technological protection measure exceptions, procedural obstacles to enforcement against unauthorised camcording, and unauthorised collective management organisations.

Vuttikrai has pledged to work with US agencies to build an IP work plan to remove Thailand from all US lists in the future. He said IP rights protections should lead to more Thais benefitting from IP, leading to an increase in the country’s competitiveness and economic development. But he has not released details on the counter-measures to be taken that would ensure the government is continuing to make strides towards addressing the issue of counterfeit and pirated goods even further.

Last year, the USTR released its annual report on Intellectual Property Protection and Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy, with Thailand being included among 22 other countries on the Watch List:

  • Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam

SOURCE: Bangkok Post/USTR.gov

 

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Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine now approved in Thailand for those over 60

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Photo courtesy of Thai Government Public Relations Department

The Chinese-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine is now approved in Thailand for adults over 60 years old. Doctors had initially advised that the vaccine to only be for adults 18 to 60 due to limited research on the elderly. The recommendation from doctors led Thailand’s 67 year old prime minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, to wait and take the AstraZeneca vaccine.

After Prayut backed out of plans to be the first to be injected with the Sinovac vaccine, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who is 55 years old, stepped up to be the first in Thailand to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The Sinovac vaccine has not been used on those over 60 years old since Thailand launched its Covid-19 immunisation campaign in late February.

Anutin says research on the Sinovac vaccine now shows that it is safe for elderly patients who are in good health while the World Health Organisation recently reported that there is not enough quality data on the risk of serious side effects. WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts say they have a “low level of confidence” in the quality of evidence that the risk of serious side effects was low for adults over the age of 60.

A few patients in Thailand have complained of stroke-like symptoms after being injected with the Sinovac vaccine, but health officials have said those symptoms are stress-related.

Director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences, Supakij Sirilak, says both the AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines are safe and effective, adding that every batch of vaccines delivered to Thailand has been checked by the department and the vaccines have met the required efficacy, safety, and manufacturing standards.

The national communicable disease committee recently announced the approval of the vaccine for elderly patients. Anutin, who chaired the committee meeting, says the Thai Food and Drug Administration now just needs to process paperwork to make the approval official.

The Public Health Ministry is now working with the private sector to open 382 vaccination centres across Thailand to reach the goal of vaccinating 50 million people by the end of the year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections, 19 deaths

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Stock photo by Mufid Majnun for Unsplash

The tally for Covid-related infections and deaths reported over the past 24 hours reports 19 new deaths and 2,419 cases. There have been 52,411 confirmed Covid-19 infections in the recent outbreak with more than 16,000 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of infections.

Over the past week, new clusters of Covid-19 infections have been detected in crowded Bangkok neighbourhoods, including the Khlong Toey slum. Poor communities in Bangkok have been seen as vulnerable to coronavirus outbreaks as people live in close proximity to each other and many cannot afford to stop working to abide by stay-at-home orders.

With cases in Bangkok still on the rise, the current disease control measures imposed in the capital will be extended until May 17. Schools and entertainment venues must remain closed.

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections, 19 deaths | News by Thaiger

Saturday Covid UPDATE: 2,419 new infections, 19 deaths | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 7 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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