Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7

Today’s Thailand News Today with Tim Newton…

Zoos to be investigated for possible involvement in black market animal trade

Zoos across Thailand will be investigated for possible involvement in the black market wildlife trade. The probe follows a case where 2 rare albino barking deer went missing at Songkhla Zoo and a top zoo official investigating the disappearance was shot and killed at the zoo in an apparent murder-suicide.

The Zoological Park Organisation panel plans to look at the current state and numbers of animals at the zoos under their jurisdiction and determine if there are signs of illegal wildlife trading.

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University alumni and students gather to commemorate the Thammasat University Massacre

A small gathering was held yesterday on the grounds of Bangkok’s Thammasat University Tha Prachan Campus commemorating the 44th anniversary of the ‘Thammasat University Massacre’, the violent crackdown on students by right-wing militia and army in the morning of October 6, 1976.

Pattaya woman accused of prostituting granddaughter to repay gambling debts

A 16 year old girl has been taken into care, amid reports her grandmother forced her to sleep with a loan shark, and a friend, to repay the older woman’s gambling debts. The 57 year old Pattaya woman faces charges of human trafficking and prostitution and a warrant has been issued for her arrest, as well as that of the loan shark and the friend, both of whom face human trafficking charges.

Poll finds many disagree with reopening borders, lack confidence in Covid-19 prevention measures

A number of people in a recent survey say they disagree with reopening Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists. Many say they lack confidence in the government’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and that the move could cause a second wave of the virus.

The National Institute of Development Administration, or Nida Poll, conducted a random survey last week on 1,318 people of various ages and backgrounds. They were asked about the new Special Tourist Visa scheme which allows long term stays after tourists complete a 14 day quarantine.

57% disagreed with the Special Tourist Visa scheme

40.2% say it could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak

16.8% say they do not have confidence in the government’s coronavirus prevention measures.

42.3% agree with opening the border to foreign tourists, but say preventative measures must be in place.

The survey also asked which group of travellers they see as more of a threat of potentially spreading Covid-19.

50.2% say all travellers are an equal threat

31.1% say those crossing natural passageways are the highest threat

10.5% say those arriving by air are the highest threat

Phuket tourists to arrive ‘after Vegetarian Festival

The country’s first tourists to arrive since April’s border closures are not arriving tomorrow as originally expected. Phuket’s Governor now says they’ll be arriving after the island’s annual vegetarian festival which runs from October 17-25. He hasn’t clarified when he requested the delay for foreign tourists to start coming back to Phuket, and he hasn’t confirm exactly when the first tourists were expected, except that it will be after October 25.

Key foreign investors could be exempt from quarantine

Key foreign investors might be able to skip the 14 day quarantine required for travellers entering Thailand. The proposal would allow high-spend investors a free pass on the current, mandatory isolation period. The Centre for Economic Situation Administration is discussing the proposal today.

One of the ideas floated included having a health officer stay with each investor during their stay and act as a Covid chaperon.

Continuous rainfall, with isolated heavy showers, forecast for most of Thailand

The Thai Meteorological Department is forecasting plenty of rainfall for pretty much all of Thailand in the coming days. The TMD says the north-east, east, south and central region, including Bangkok, are all in for “continuous rainfall” and some isolated heavy showers. The heavy rain is expected to continue until around October 9, as a category 2 tropical depression in the South China Sea moves slowly west.

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