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Thailand News Today – Monday, May 4

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Coronation Day in Thailand

Today is the first anniversary since HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne and became the tenth king of the Chakri dynasty.

Last year’s ceremonies were held between May 2 – 4 with the actual coronation of the new King happening on the third day. One thing Thailand does particularly well is grand ceremony and HM’s coronation was a broad spectacle given full live coverage on the television with thousands of Thais lining the streets to capture some of the pomp and ceremony. The last crowning of a Thai King was for his father, Kong Bhumibol Adulyadej on May 5, 1950.

National ban on alcohol sales Wednesday

There will be another day of bans on alcohol sales this Wednesday with one of the sacred Buddhist holidays, Visakha Buscha Day.

The ban is nothing to do with Covid-19 or the recent provincial bans on buying alcohol. The ban on alcohol sales was lifted yesterday in all but six provinces. There was a rush on stores carrying alcohol with Macro and Tesco saying they were close to running out of stock despite being ready for the onslaught of sales when the doors opened yesterday.

Whilst the Covid-19 ban is now lifted the country will have another 24 hour ban on sales from just after midnight on Tuesday, throughout Wednesday.

Owners of Pattaya nightlife venues discuss Covid-19 regulations for re-opening

The owners of entertainment establishments in Pattaya held a meeting at the city’s Hollywood Club over the weekend to exchange ideas on appropriate safety measures to implement as part of a future re-opening.

For now, all bars and clubs around Thailand are closed until further notice as part of measures in place to prevent a re-ignition of new cases of the Covid-19 virus.

The 20 business owners attended the meeting and between them came up with a variety of suggestions that can be put forward. Looks like, though there was plenty of ideas between them at the meeting, there wasn’t much distance.

The ideas proposed included the mandatory wearing of masks, bar staff to wear face shields and gloves, temperature checks at every venue, a limit on the number of customers admitted and the logging of ID and passport numbers for possible contact tracing.

Pattaya bar raided, 8 arrested for violating emergency decree

Meanwhile police in Pattaya raided a small bar just outside the city for violating the Covid-19 emergency decree by being open and selling alcohol.

The raid took place at The Pussycat Club in Nongprue at 9pm on Saturday. Police officers were acting following a tip-off that the bar was open and selling alcohol. 8 people, 5 Thais and 3 foreigners, were found to be drinking on the premises, violating the ban on social gathering for the purpose of consuming alcohol.

Over 500 Thais fly home today and straight into quarantine

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced today that 581 Thais have returned from 5 countries.

Over the weekend the flights with repatriating Thais arrived from Maldives, Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, Russia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and UAE.

Some 4165 Thais have now returned from 24 countries since April 4, not including the thousands who have returned across the land borders.

Blacktipped reef sharks return to Koh Hong, Krabi

Marine officials have reported schools of blacktipped reef sharks around the waters of Koh Hong in Krabi, another case of recovery of the local ecosystems around the area.

Than Bok Khorani National Park staff were checking the area around Koh Hong and came across dozens of Blacktipped reef sharks swimming and feeding along the shores in Krabi province.

They reported that there could be a group up up to 50 Blacktipped reef sharks, with a body length of almost 1 metre. They were chasing after mullet fish, a rare sight to see according to the marine officials.

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Disease control measures ease up in Samut Sakhon

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Disease control measures ease up in Samut Sakhon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: NNT

Disease control restrictions are easing up in Samut Sakhon. The coastal fishing province that has been under “maximum control” since last month’s Covid-19 outbreak at a major seafood market in the province’s Mahachai area.

Salons and barber shops are now allowed to open from 6am to 9pm in all districts of Samut Sakhon, but services are limited to hair cutting, dressing, and washing. Manicures, pedicures and shaving services are still prohibited. Each customer can only stay in the shop for only 2 hours and no queuing is allowed inside the salon or barber shop.

Restaurants and cafes are allowed to open, except for those in some sub districts of Muang District…

  • Thai Sai
  • Mahachai
  • Krok Krak
  • Tha Chalom
  • Nadee
  • Bang Ya Phraek
  • Khok Kham
  • Tha Chin

Restaurants and cafes can offer customers the dine-in services from 6am to 9pm. Takeaway services are allowed after 9pm. Other businesses including sports complexes, playgrounds, educational institutions, boxing gyms, internet cafes, fishing ponds, and cinemas are still closed.

SOURCE: NNT

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Police say at least 2 people to be arrested in Bangkok bomb attack – UPDATE

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Police say at least 2 people to be arrested in Bangkok bomb attack – UPDATE | The Thaiger

Police say they will issue arrest warrants for at least 2 people in connection to yesterday’s bomb attackin Bangkok. According to Thai PBS World, the people are suspected of throwing a ping pong bomb into a group of police officers in front of the Chamchuri shopping centre that injured 3 policemen and 1 reporter. But previous reports by Khaosod English say the bomb attack saw only 2 policemen injured out of a total of 4.

Piya Tawichai, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says it is believed that the perpetrators threw the bomb from a vehicle on the flyover heading towards Hua Lampong railway station. Police say they found nails, wire and black electrical tape at the scene of the explosion.

The attack occurred at 6pm, during a pro-democracy rally over the government’s enforcement of the lesé majeste law, which has seen over 43 people arrested, including students, since November. Just last week, a Thammsat University student was arrested in his dorm room over lese majeste charges. Ironically, the reason for his arrest was reportedly due to his calling for such a law to be abolished.

Earlier today, a group of pro-democracy protesters and Ratsadon guards rallied in front of the Internal Security Operations Command head office in Dusit district, demanding for the release one of the guards, who has been missing since last night.

ISOC spokesman Thanathip Sawangsaeng responded to the claims by saying that ISOC had nothing to do with Mongkol’s disappearance because it is “not responsible for maintaining peace and order in the city.”

Now, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights have reported that that Mongkol has been released in the Bangpoo area. Mongkol and his lawyer went to notify the police at the Muang district police station and say that Mongkol will be sent for a physical and psychological evaluation.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand’s PM says he won’t let Thais become vaccine “guinea pigs”

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Thailand’s PM says he won’t let Thais become vaccine “guinea pigs” | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM is saying he won’t let Thai people become vaccine “guinea pigs” in his Facebook post today as he points to reports of serious negative side effects that some people have suffered after getting jabbed with the Covid-19 vaccine. Instead, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he will wait for more information from the experts about whether such side effects were attributed to the vaccine solely, or other factors.

“For Thai people, I decided not to take the risk and will not rush to inoculate with vaccines which have not been fully tested and will not let Thai people become guinea pigs.”

He says the National Vaccine Committee will advise the government and closely supervise the use of Covid-19 vaccines in the country once they are rolled out. As the vaccines are not yet available, he reiterated the importance of taking precautions such as wearing face masks when leaving home, practising social distancing and abstaining from gatherings, particularly political ones.

The government has reported 374 new cases of Covid-19 in the kingdom today, with all but 10 being locally-transmitted. Now, the total has risen to 12,000 cases since the pandemic began.

A government spokesman is also saying that PM Prayut is worried about people’s health as the weather has taken a turn for the cold. He also affirmed the importance of imposing measures under the Emergency Decree and Thailand’s Communicable Disease Act in order to help curb the recent Covid second wave. He is also reminding the public to download the Thai Chana and Mor Chana apps.

Thailand has ordered 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from a variety of sources, with the first shipment of 200,000 doses to arrive in February. Those vaccines are from China’s Sinovac Biotech. In March, another 800,000 doses are scheduled to arrive and another million by April.

The government has also pre-ordered 26 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, using vaccine technology transfer to allow local production by Thailand’s local company, Siam Bio Science.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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