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Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

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A man has driven his car onto the runway at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport while allegedly under the influence of illicit substances. AOT officials are now trying to figure out how the man was able to breach airport security and drive onto the airport runway.

Airport security vehicles were seen escorting the car off the runway, passing by waiting planes. The Airports of Thailand released a statement saying the man was “quickly” apprehended.

Reports say methamphetamine was found in the man’s vehicle. He was arrested on charges of entering a restricted area of an airport, illegal possession of drugs and driving under the influence.

A senior police officer in Koh Samui faces charges for allegedly raping a 21 year old Burmese woman at the Bo Phut Police Station on the island. The officer, who was an investigation squad leader at the station, has been suspended and is now in detention at the Koh Samui Court.

The senior sergeant major allegedly took the woman, who had been arrested on drug charges, out of her cell at around 2am Wednesday and to another room at the Bo Phut Police station where he allegedly sexually abused her. She was then taken back to her cell.

The woman reported the incident to the Myanmar Embassy which then filed a complaint directly with the Bo Phut police chief. The senior officer was immediately suspended. He now faces rape charges and is now in detention.

In another case of police and officials behaving badly…. At least 33 police officers and other government officials are being investigated for their role in the illegal smuggling of migrant workers into Thailand. The people smuggling business is thought to be at the root of Thailand’s second wave of Covid-19, with countless migrants helped across the border without undergoing mandatory quarantine or any form of health checks.

According to the deputy national police chief, at least 33 people are thought to have been involved in smuggling migrant workers over the Thai-Burmese border, in the Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi. This includes over 20 police officers, with the remainder being state officials. The level of involvement varies, with some turning a blind eye to the people smuggling and others more actively involved.

The government has declared an amnesty for all illegal migrant workers, in the hope it will encourage them to come forward for Covid-19 tests. They will then will be allowed to work in the Kingdom for 2 years. Registration opens today and run until February 13.

The Indonesian island of Sulawesi was shook by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shortly after midnight today, toppling over buildings and injuring hundreds. Reports are continuously being updated as rescuers search through rubble. As of early this afternoon, at least 34 people have been killed… the toll is expected to rise.

Thousands evacuated their homes in West Sulawesi. Several buildings, including hotels, were severely damaged and many homes were flattened in coastal areas. A hospital was partially damaged and reports say more than a dozen patients and staff were trapped under the rubble.

The area was first hit by a 5.9 magnitude undersea quake yesterday. It damaged several buildings, but no deaths were reported.

A suicide prevention team is being created to help Thai people in despair at this time. The Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will chair the new committee. The ministries of Social Development and Human Security, Education, and Justice, as well as several other government bodies, will all play a role in the committee’s work.

Anutin says the committee will work to ensure people are aware of their rights and welfare entitlements, as well as trying to help them manage their problems. The team will also screen people considered “at risk”, such as those battling substance addition, people who have previously tried to commit suicide, and those who are suffering with mental illness.

Since 2017, the suicide rate has been on the increase and is particularly prevalent among males, who make up the majority of victims. 2020 figures show that the financial implication of Covid-19 is playing a significant role in deaths by suicide.

Thailand’s Tourism Minister has confirmed a proposal to charge foreign tourists a fee of 300 baht per visit. The fee will be used to develop tourist destinations as well as providing visitors with insurance benefits while in the Kingdom. The proposal has been approved by the National Tourism Policy Committee.

The fee is designed to ensure anyone who gets sick or is injured can receive medical treatment. 34 baht of the 300 baht fee will go towards insurance coverage.

Despite the introduction of the Special Tourist Visa, Thailand has struggled to regain much of its lost international tourism. The mandatory 14-day quarantine is thought to play a large part in people’s reluctance to visit, particularly if paired with quarantine or self-isolation restrictions in their home countries.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    The0ne

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Kill the 14 day and I will come. It is a lot of days to lose on vacation.

  2. Avatar

    Mick Pelling

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    The imposition of 14 days quarantine is totally understandable,and necessary,but is a major deterrent for the legal tourist
    I have flights booked for end of October and by then I will have been vaccinated as well
    I am happy to pay 300 baht, or more facilitate entry on my day of arrival.

  3. Avatar

    preesy chepuce

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm

    Every Thai person I talk to, is sick of this rule, and wants it all to stop.

  4. Avatar

    Yan

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    34 baht will count for insurance….the rest will go into the corrupt system…..Why Thailand doensn’t develop a good health insurance system for farang?

  5. Avatar

    Shihan

    Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 8:46 pm

    300 baht for insurance is not a problem. The problem at the moment is the 14 days compulsory imprisonment! The sooner we can have the Corona injection the better, but will we still be locked away for 14 days after the injection?

  6. Avatar

    Tom

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    While in school we were taught that if your business is experience more growth than can be effectively serviced, one option is to increase prices to retard growth (higher prices = fewer buyers). I don’t think the Thai tourist industry need to slow growth.

    While a two week quarantine period is absolutely necessary to protect against reintroduction of the virus, or introduction of new strains… it definitely puts a damper on the 2 week annual vacation.

    That said, the alternative is to let the virus/strains into the Kingdom until so many people are sick that no tourists will come anyway… Better to maintain the quarantine.

    What concerns me at the moment, is that there is no provision for vaccines for the expat community. That represents a potential for a huge loss of income to the Thai economy, as well as a potential 2+ million people source of potential reinfections. I would be fine with paying a reasonable fee for an effective vaccine – thereby being a boon to the Thai economy…

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Thailand News Today | Changes to quarantine, ‘adult content’ ban continues | March 5

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Thailand News Today | Changes to quarantine, ‘adult content’ ban continues | March 5 | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Public Health Minister is chairing a meeting next Monday, where a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles is on the agenda. Anutin says those who’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

In related news…. From next month, foreign visitors to the Kingdom will be able to experience the delights of “area quarantine”, after the government confirmed the scheme for 5 provinces. Following a meeting with the Public Health Ministry, the Tourism Minister confirmed that Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Surat Thani, which includes Koh Samui, have been chosen to pilot the scheme.

P**nhub and other adult websites are remaining blocked in Thailand as they apparently “conflict with good morals for upstanding citizens”. The Thai Government says the websites encourage “poor moral standpoints and can affect youth in a negative manner”.

The Acting Minister of Digital Economy and Society and current Minister of Culture says that the decision that was made by the previous office holder will be upheld. The decision also includes keeping other popular adult websites blocked as the Thai Government has labelled them to be “obscene”. But the move to ban adult content has brought protests with those disagreeing saying such sites are a part of freedom of expression.

A houseowner in the central province of Ang Thong, central Thailand, has discovered 3 skeletons on his land that are thought to be over 3,000 years old. 54 year old Somkiat Briboon says this most recent discovery isn’t the first, as the first lot of bones was found last year after preparing his 17 rai plot of land to be rented out for sugarcane farming.

The Thai PM says he’s ordered an investigation into allegations that the military has been using fraudulent social media accounts to aggravate the ongoing unrest in southern Thailand. Facebook has announced the removal of 185 accounts and groups that it has accused of “information-influencing”, targeting audiences in the deep south of the country, where Muslim insurgents continue to fight for independence. The PM says he’s tasked the Defence Ministry with looking into the matter and explaining it to the public.

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Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk

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Pro-democracy group to reach outskirts of Bangkok after almost 250 kilometre walk | The Thaiger

A group of pro-democracy protestors, on an almost 250 kilometre walk, are expected to reach the outskirts of Bangkok today. The group has been walking for 17 days, starting from the Thao Suranaree statue in Korat province’s Muang district to protest the imprisonment of 9 pro-democracy demonstrators who are being denied bail.

The demonstrators imprisoned include 4 protest leaders from Ratsadon named Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Anon Nampa, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Morlum Bank” Saraiyeam. The 247.5-kilometre march, named “Walk Through the Sky: Bring Back the People’s Power,” started on February 16. Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boonpattararaksa, from the student-led protest group Ratsadon, is leading the walking protesters and says they have been held in jail without bail since February 9.

The 4 are facing charges under Article 112, which prohibits lese-majeste, or the defaming of the Thai Royal Monarchy. Lese-majeste carries a jail sentence of 3 to 15 years. They are also facing charges of sedition under Article 116 of the Criminal Code, which carries a jail term of 7 years, as they are accused of organising pro-democracy rallies.

“The ignition and the fuel for the walk is simple. They have started to incarcerate our friends while denying their bail requests, which made it impossible for us to do nothing.”

The court has denied the demonstrators bail requests 4 times now, citing that their release would create more unrest.

Pai said he emphathises with the detained protestors as he has been imprisoned for lese-majeste before. He says he spent 2 years and 6 months in prison for sharing a BBC Thai’s biography of the monarch on Facebook.

“When I was in jail, there were people outside who were protesting for my release so now that my friends are in jail by an unfair law while being denied their right to political expression, I must come out and do something.”

“A walk is a type of a fight against injustice and we choose to fight this way in order to peacefully spread the words about police brutality, the uses of various laws to silence dissidents, the plights of the poor and the mismanagement of the government’s covid-relief measures and natural resources.”

The walk-in protest group is expected to reach Zeer Rangsit in Pathumthani around 5:30 pm today and will camp out near the department store before marching at the Bang Khen intersection tomorrow. On Sunday, the march is expected to end at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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