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Thailand News Today | Herbal Covid vaccine, HM answers questions, Thailand goes to moon | Dec 15

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Thai Covid-19 experimental vaccine to proceed to human testing from April 2021

A Thai start-up developing a herbal Covid-19 vaccine has reported that they’re making good progress, with the candidate passing the first phase of testing. 

ใบยาไฟโตฟาร์ม, a Thai firm developing a vaccine from plant leaves, is to sign an agreement to begin production for use in human trials. The State Enterprise Development Planning Subcommittee, says the firm is one of several Thai companies working on a vaccine to combat the virus.

The research team from จุลาลงกรณ์ University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, whose vaccine has been developed from plant leaves, has reportedly passed tests on laboratory animals.

The Thai biotechnology firm Siam Bioscience has also signed a technology-transfer agreement with AstraZeneca-Oxford University to start production of their vaccine within the first 6 months of next year.

Festival-goers claim event shut down over pro-democracy content, not Covid-19

Social media users are accusing officials of shutting down a music festival in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima because of its anti-government content.

The claims follow a statement from the provincial governor who says the festival was terminated early due to Covid-19 risks. He accuses organisers of failing to implement adequate preventative measures, saying there was no limit on numbers and many concert-goers were not wearing masks.

But festival goers have jumped online to share video footage of the three-fingered salute, yellow rubber ducks, the singing of protest songs, and a pretend “corpse” representing activists deemed to have been forcibly “disappeared”.

Those posting the content accuse officials of using Covid-19 as an excuse to put an end to the festival over its pro-democracy messages. 

No “drink voting” – Alcohol ban on Saturday and Sunday during elections

Possibly in an effort to make sure no one stumbles to the voting polls and casts their ballots drunk, alcohol will be banned from 6pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday during Thailand’s municipal council elections.

Selling booze during the 24-hour ban carries a pretty hefty fine: up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to 10,000 baht. Bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues can remain open, but they are prohibited from selling alcohol.

Drinking alcohol at home is still allowed, as long as it is not sold.

Thailand’s Election Act was revised in September 2018, banning alcohol during elections. 

HM the King says “I’m just like other human beings”

In another rare public appearance, His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn sat down and spoke with a group of student volunteers at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the King’s Guard. 

Answering a question about his role as Thailand’s He’d of State, His Majesty remarked candidly… “I am just like other human beings.”

Since HM the King’s return from Germany in October, he’s made several unprecedented public appearances. 

At the gathering in Bangkok for the LOVE camp (leadership, oneness, volunteer and experience), Their Maesties the King and Queen sat down with 200 students and answered questions. 

Bangkok scores world’s 3rd worst air quality

The air quality index in Bangkok soared to an unsafe 190 yesterday morning, ranking third in the world’s worst air pollution list.

AirVisual measures particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less which is measured as PM2.5.

The safe AQI threshold is 100, and 190 is in the range of unsafe for public health.

The Pollution Control Department reported Bangkok’s highest PM2.5 level were in the central Din Daeng district

Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon had ordered agencies to stop farmers burning field trash, ask industries to reduce production, facilitate traffic flow, limit construction times and put vehicles spewing black smoke off the roads, to reduce smog levels.

Minister says Thailand plans to build spacecraft to orbit the moon within 7 years

Government minister has announced that within 7 years, Thailand will have built and launched a spacecraft that will orbit and explore the moon.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation was speaking at a press conference at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University where he announced that the government will launch a space project by mid-January of next year. 

He adds that Thailand will be the fifth Asian country to send a craft to the moon, following in the footsteps of China, India, Japan, and South Korea. He says information on how the project will be funded is yet to be confirmed.

“The project will forever change the whole perspective of Thai people that Thailand is no longer a developing country but is a country with a future, opportunity, and hope.”

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