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Thailand News Today – Friday May 8

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today – Friday May 8 | The Thaiger
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8 new Covid-19 case, total now 3,000, no new deaths

8 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been announced at this morning’s daily press briefing in Bangkok, maintaining the recent trend of single-digit daily increases.

The new cases take Thailand’s total to 3,000 since the beginning of the outbreak. No new deaths were reported, leaving the tally at 55. All of the new cases were located in the deep South and either imported by, or associated with, people who recently travelled from Malaysia.

Only 161 patients remain under treatment for Covid19 in the entire country, with 12 more people having fully recovered and released.

Bangkok immigration police nab Chinese loan sharks

Bangkok immigration police have arrested 5 organisers and 73 employees at a building for running an illegal finance firm.

Police raided the building in Chom Thong district, where alleged Chinese loan sharks were operating under cover of a shelf Thai company. The company, “Thai Luck Trade” was extending loans at interest rates far higher than the limit under Thai law.

The company was registered as a merchant dealing in glasses, watches and cameras but they secretly developed applications with names like “Cash Home” and “Take Money Quick,” which had been downloaded over 100,000 times to extend loans of between 2,000 to 20,000 baht, and required customers to pay 42% of the loan amount as a “registration fee.”

Additionally they were charging interest rates up to 600% per year. The company’s accounts showed that it had 200 million baht in circulation to more than 20,000 customers.

Thai Health Minister says China, South Korea no longer virus hotspots

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has provisionally approved a suggestion from Health Minister that China and South Korea be removed from the list of Covid-19 “hotspots”.

The number of confirmed cases in both countries has now dropped into single digits and attempts are being made to re-establish economic and social ties.

But the CSSA says these ties will be restored gradually and there will be no sudden return to freedom of movement for Chinese or South Korean citizens coming to Thailand, or from any other country.

Flights from all international destinations, except for medical supplies, freight, repatriation flights or emergencies, are currently banned until at least the end of May.

Meanwhile the Thai PM said today that the economy would improve once businesses reopen and starts employing people, and tourism resumes. He said…. “Tourism, tourist destinations and hotels will be improved so that tourists will have confidence and return to Thailand. We will take special care of public health,

Pattaya’s beaches are still a ‘no go’ area this month

Pattaya’s beaches are closed until the end of May in an effort to prevent socialising and to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Pattaya’s police posted photos on Facebook of the taped-off beaches and warning signs. They announced…

“Those who try to access the beach could face a year in jail or an up to 100,000 baht fine. People and tourists are prohibited from gathering in the areas between 9am – 9pm during the three-week period.”

However, people are still allowed to walk and exercise on the sidewalks adjacent to the beaches.

Thai family heads out on a 1,000 kilometre trek on clapped-out motorbike

One family had a mission to get home, but with a broken down motorbike, it was some of the communities along the way that helped them to complete their journey.

About a week ago, a mother and her two children set off on their trip using a run-down motorbike and sidecar. They had a nearly 1,000 km journey ahead of them, from Pattaya to their home in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai.

The family broke down in Tak, about halfway home. They were broke and could not fix the bike on their own. But with help from the local Tak community, the family was able to get up and running again.

They made it to Lampang where they were checked by health officials. But this time volunteers from Mae Sai organised a van and pickup truck to take the family back to their Mae Sai home.

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Environment

Tourist and environment groups share concerns for new access piers for Maya Bay

Anukul

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Tourist and environment groups share concerns for new access piers for Maya Bay | The Thaiger
PHOTO: islander.io

The Chairman of Krabi Tourism Industry Council has shared his concerns about new piers and landing facilities on Koh Phi Phi Ley after being made aware that the Department of National Parks had the initiative to build a pier so tourist can travel by foot to Loh Samah Bay area behind Maya Bay, Ao Nang Subdistrict, Muang District, Krabi.

Maya Bay remains closed to all visitors and access confined to boats passing by the entrance to the bay for a photo opportunity instead. The bay was attracting up to 6,000 people per day at the height of its popularity before authorities closed down access in June 2018.

The idea of the floating piers would allow tourists to disembark then walk from the rear of the island across raised boardwalks to arrive on the back of the beach. In the past tourists had arrived on boat and jumped ashore with the boats waiting either along the shore or anchoring in the bay.

Maya Bay was made famous in the 2000 movie “The Beach” with Leonardo diCaprio.

Even though Koh Phi Phi Ley, the smaller of the two Phi Phi islands, is in the Krabi province, most tourists accessed the island group from Phuket by either speed boat or scheduled ferry.

The Chairman says… “I am concerned about the impact on nature and the environment, where Loh Sama Bay is a dive site that consists of both shallow and deep corals, complete with beautiful, diverse species including soft corals, hard corals, sea anemones. Previously, tourists have consistently come to dive and inspect the beauty of coral reefs there.”

Tourist and environment groups share concerns for new access piers for Maya Bay | News by The Thaiger

A Koh Phi Phi conservation group consisting of tour operators and local villagers have also previously submitted a proposal to the Department of National Parks voicing their concerns about the construction of the new infrastructure.

Pankham Kittithornkul, Chief of Ao Nang sub-district, says that he and local villagers have come to a conclusion to proceed with the construction to service Maya Bay with the exception during low season, closing the famous bay for nature to recover.

“The Department of National Parks has closed off the area to preserve the wide life but there is no news of the reopening of the bay, causing local people to lose revenue.”

“Previously the start of installation of the piers was recalled.”

SOURCE: One31 | Phuket People Voice

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

New rules for Thai cinemas to re-open in Phase 3

Jack Burton

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New rules for Thai cinemas to re-open in Phase 3 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Yahoo News

As part of Phase 3 of the easing of Emergency Decree restrictions enacted to fight the spread of Covid-19, cinemas will be allowed to reopen on June 1 (though many operators are unlikely to do so as food and drink are their main revenue source and the movie companies say there are currently no new movies to release…)

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has released the rules for the reopening, designed to help encourage social distancing and prevent any possible spread of the virus

The rules are…

  • No eating or drinking in the movie theatre. Patrons can eat concession food outside the viewing room, but the cinema must have a properly spaced eating area that encourages social distancing, with partitions
  • A maximum of 2 people can sit next to each other. Others must be spaced out at least 3 seats apart. People must not be seated directly in front or behind others
  • Film festivals and nonstop screenings are prohibited
  • Cinemas must be fully sanitised and cleaned after every viewing
  • Masks must be worn at all times during a film
  • Cinema staff will be asked to enforce the rules about eating, drinking and social distancing

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

6 guidelines issued for schools to re-open in July

Jack Burton

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6 guidelines issued for schools to re-open in July | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The government is considering allowing schools in Covid-19 infection-free areas to open in July, and the Public Health Ministry has issued 6 guidelines to schools nationwide on how to guard against the spread of virus among students and faculty once they reopen. The Department of Health’s director-general made the announcement yesterday.

“The first point that must be emphasised is preventing the spread of Covid-19 and other germs by setting up screening checkpoints at all entrances to check for fever and other symptoms. Furthermore, schools must stick to strict rules on wearing face masks and washing hands frequently, as well as providing adequate alcohol gel or handwashing stations.”

She says that classes should have no more than 20-25 students in order to maintain a distance of at least 1 metre between students.

“This will pose a challenge for schools as normally each classroom has around 40 students. Schools may employ an alternate study schedule where half of the students study online at home while the other half attend the school, and then switch at a suitable interval.”

“The second point is to prepare lessons and learning materials that are suitable for both classroom and online learning, to ensure that no student’s education is hindered during the Covid-19 crisis. The third point is to give underprivileged and disabled children the same learning opportunities as other students by providing suitable protection equipment or specialised tools to facilitate their education both at home and in school.”

The fourth point is to protect the health and welfare of children from families who have fallen ill with or are under investigation for the virus. Measures must be taken to ensure that affected students are not excluded from their peer groups.

The fifth point is to provide infrastructure to prevent the spread of the virus in schools, including additional handwashing sinks, partitions in cafeterias, and rearrangement of classrooms, hallways and communal areas to maintain social distancing.

“The sixth point that school should focus on is administration of their budgets, as these measures will increase the financial burden on the school and possibly on parents. Schools must make sure they are financially sound before reopening so they can ensure uninterrupted operation until the end of the semester.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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