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Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 2

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Thailand confirms 104 new coronavirus cases (Thursday)

Thailand now has at total of 1,875 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, another drop in newly announced cases.

104 new cases were confirmed over the last 24 hours and 3 more patients died. Total deaths now stand at 15. This continues a hopeful trend of new cases in Thailand dropping as restrictions tighten across the country. 120 new cases were reported yesterday, 127 on Tuesday.

Bangkok, Phuket order convenience stores closed overnight to battle virus

To fight the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, Bangkok’s convenience stores and food shops will be closing overnight. They will be closed from midnight to 5am, effective from now until end of April.

All public and private parks in communities, housing estates and condos will also be closed from tomorrow until April 30.

Official document services, usually performed at district offices, will also be suspended (except for the issuance of birth and death certificates, marriage registrations, divorce certificates and approval of household certificate and ID card copies).

The Interior Ministry has extended the validity of expired ID cards until the end of July.

Rents paid by vendors in 10 markets owned by City Hall will be waived until the situation has returned to normal.

Meanwhile, down south in Phuket, island officials have taken similar measures.

All 24 hour convenience stores must close from 8pm to 3am until April 30, and all motorbike shops are ordered closed. Violators face up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to 100,000 baht

Thai Airways goes into hibernation until end of May, others ground fleets too

After a decade of financial struggles and corporate upheaval, Thailand’s national flag carrier, Thai Airways, with a previous reputation as one of Asia’s premier airlines, is ceasing all flights for a period of at least two months.

The once proud airline made the initial announcement a week ago, suspending some flights at that time. Then the acting president said yesterday that employees have been asked to take two months off from tomorrow until May 31. Some staff salaries are being reduced by 10-50%.

Phuket rooftop party busted, drugs seized

Police have arrested 9 foreigners and 5 Thai women for partying in Patong in violation of orders against gathering in crowds, to control the spread of coronavirus disease. They were arrested on the rooftop of a rental house on Sirirat Road in Patong last night after police received a complaint about a loud party. Those arrested included Australians, British, Americans, Ukrainians and Thais.

Police officers seized 4 grams of cannabis and 0.94 gram of cocaine. They also seized several bottles of liquor and loudspeakers.

Thailand’s food delivery services are booming

Whilst most businesses have been turned upside down by the disruptions caused by the Thai government’s reaction to Covid-19, at least one business is booming at this crazy time.

With restaurants closed to sit-down customers, the delivery services are providing a valuable service getting food to customers stranded at home whilst applying social distancing for the safety of their drivers and hungry customers.

Last year Kasikorn Bank Research reported that Thailand’s food delivery business in 2019 was worth 33-35 billion baht, up 14% from the previous year. Now most of the Food Panda and Grab Food drivers are anecdotally reporting their business is up 100% compared to a few weeks ago, sometimes making 15 deliveries over a two hour period.

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Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private

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Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai government is taking full control of the Mor Chana application, which is used to trace Covid-19 infections and alert users if they are in a high risk area. The Digital Economy and Society Minister says the government will still be working closely with the app developers, adding that users can be assured that their data will be kept private.

The Mor Chana Volunteer Team, the app developer, made a post on their Facebook page saying the Mor Chana contact tracing application will be 100% under government management and control from now. The team will be responsible only for the open source programme development. The post has prompted public comments about the reason behind the application handover to the government.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta says the government will take full responsibility for the application management and control measures, but the collaboration with the app developers will continue. The developer team’s announcement is just to inform the public about the app.

He also says some app functions will be redesigned and adjusted to be more friendly to use and won’t violate users’ data privacy. Personal information such as users’ names and mobile numbers for registration won’t be required anymore.

SOURCE: Post Today

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Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

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Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger

369 new Covid-19 cases were reported today during the daily briefing. Most cases were detected in Samut Sakhon in a mass testing campaign. Thailand currently has 3,147 active Covid-19 cases under treatment and investigation.

12,423 infections have now been detected since the start of 2020 – 8,186 of them reported since December 20 last year… just a month back.

12 of today’s newly announced cases were detected in quarantine from people arriving from overseas.

Police say they will issue arrest warrants for at least 2 people in connection to Saturday’s bomb attack near the Chamchuri Shopping Centre and Sam Yan MRT, just a few hundred metres from Lumphini park.

The people are suspected of throwing a ping pong bomb into a group of police officers, njuring 3 policemen and 1 reporter. Metropolitan police say the perpetrators threw the bomb from a vehicle as they were travelling over the flyover. Police found nails, wire and black electrical tape at the scene of the modest explosion.

The attack occurred at 6pm on Saturday, 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 last November. Just last week, a Thammasat University student was arrested in his dorm room over lese majeste charges.

It might be a while until tourists can visit Australia, or Australians travel overseas. The Australian government has announced that borders might not reopen until at least 2022. Australia is rolling out its local immunisation program next month, but even if most of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, the Australian government says it will probably wait to make sure the vaccine prevents the transmission of the virus before fully reopening borders.

Australia’s borders are only open for citizens, residents, those with family in Australia and travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days. All incoming travellers must quarantine for 14 days unless they come from an area classified as a “green safe travel zone.”

The government announced today…. Already airlines have indicated that if you’re not vaccinated you can’t travel overseas and I think that’ll be an incentive to a lot of people. Looks like I’ll be chatting to family over Zoom for another year.

Thailand is on fire. The burning off of harvested crop plantations is lighting up the agricultural areas. The truth is starkly revealed in this live NASA satellite feed which tracks the fires around the world.

The website Firms.Modaps, shows the concentrations of the current fires around Central Thailand, north of Bangkok, parts of Isaan, north east of Bangkok, and around Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand.

Notably the concentration of fires in northern Cambodia and across the north-western border in Myanmar, is also causing plenty of problems as the foreign smoke drifts across the borders. No matter what Thai officials do to enforce the rice, sugar and corn plantation burn-offs, there is little they can do about the haze drifting across the borders.

Bangkok, so close to clusters of fires, is in for bad air pollution this week, or anytime the light winds of the start of the year blow from the north or the east. The lack of rain adds to the problem, the annual problem, that engulfs Thailand’s capital during days between December and April, with the worst month, statistically, being March.

Chiang Mai also has a local geographic problem which exacerbates the bad smoke pollution. The city is in a valley, surrounded by hills, trapping in the smoke and helping block any breezes that could otherwise blow it away.

A 44 year old Australian man is wanted by Thai police for allegedly sexually abusing children in Thailand. Mr Adam Fox financially supported some migrant children in poverty stricken areas and allegedly sexually abused them.

He is wanted for allegedly sexually assaulting or abusing at least 3 Burmese boys, all under 15 years old, at his home in Tak’s Mae Sot district near the Myanmar border.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Adam has claimed the accusations are a “set up.” The Herald notes there is an explicit video allegedly involving Mr. Fox and a boy, as well as messages that go into detail about sexual abuse.

Reports of alleged sexual abuse came in after a local school principal noticed some of the boys had been absent from class, according to human trafficking investigator Daniel Isherwood.

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

People arriving Phuket from the “highest risk” areas are required to take a swab test by the staff at emergency operation centres (EOC) or show the test result document endorsed by the EOC staff made within 72 hours of their arrival. The revised order is effective from now until January 31, according to the Phuket Governor.

Those people who are on a brief business trip to Phuket need to show certificates from their employers describing the reason and necessity of their trips. If they want to leave their accommodations, they have to make a request to the EOC and clearly explain the reason as well as the time and destination. Visitors are also asked to avoid going to the community areas to avoid crowded gatherings.

It is noted that the revised order by the governor has not been officially promoted by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. However, all visitors are still asked to register online via the Mor Chana contact tracing application and via www.gophuget.com according to the order re-issued on Friday.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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