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Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 23

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Thousands of tourists stranded on a trio of Gulf islands

An estimated 10,000 foreign tourists are stranded on three islands in the Gulf of Thailand – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.

More than half of them, around 5,700 are on Koh Samui, another 3,300 foreign tourists on Koh Phangan and about 1,000 on Koh Tao, after passenger flights were suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Surat Thani province’s tourism and sports chief says… “They have accommodation, travel and growing expense problems. I have sought help from the Tourism and Sports Ministry.”

Local officials have asked local hoteliers to allow the foreigners to stay until they are able to leave the Surat Thani province. 

There is currently a visa amnesty running for foreigners on Tourist Visas running up to July 30.

Huge rise in single-use plastic during Thailand’s lockdown

One positive of the world shutting down is nature being given a much-needed chance to heal and recover. Sadly though, another not so nice consequence of the Covid-19 lockdown has been the significant increase in Thailand’s plastic waste. 

The Thailand Environment Institute is blaming the steep rise on more people using single-use plastic bags during this time for takeaway and the delivery of food. They acknowledge that non-plastic alternatives are still difficult to find and expensive to buy at this stage.

Latest reports say the country’s plastic waste is now sitting at around 6,500 tonnes a day. It was 1,500 tonnes a day prior to the virus outbreak. In an attempt to reverse the upward trend, the Thailand Environment Institute is asking people to replace single-use plastic with reusable containers when ordering takeaway food, not usually an option when ordering through most of the popular food delivery Apps. 

There’s also been an apparent reversal on the ban on plastic bags from convenience stores over recent months.

Baby becomes youngest Covid-19 patient to recover in Thailand

As of 10.45am today, Thailand has a reported 2,839 Covid-19 cases, 13 more added since yesterday. 83% of those have recovered and been discharged from hospital already. Today they can add 1 more recovery to the list.

A 1 month old boy has become Thailand’s youngest coronavirus patient to successfully make a full recovery from Covid-19, after a team of medics used of a cocktail of antiviral drugs. 

The paediatrician in charge of the baby’s care says that… “The strategy used to treat the baby was to give him medication for 10 days. We conducted a health check on him every day, and after 3 to 5 days his X-rays showed signs of gradual recovery.”

Phuket eyes lifting restrictions on Tambons that are virus-free for 14 days

Out side Bangkok, the island of Phuket has had the second highest number of Covid-19 infections. Now the provincial governor is looking at a possible lifting of some of the inter-tampon travel restrictions that have virtually locked down the island for the past month.

Phuket’s outgoing governor Pakkapong Tawipat says they are seeking opinions from all quarters about the possibility of reopening some of the island’s 17 tambons, or subdistricts, once they are free of new Covid-19 cases for 14 days.

Out of the provinces 17 tambons, there are 8 still considered in a “red condition”, including Patong, Bang Tao and Kathu. The provincial governor hinted that the lockdowns may have to continue in the 8 ‘red’ tambons for at least another 14 days.

Man allegedly shoots his wife after argument over money for alcohol

A man has allegedly shot and killed his wife as she lay next to their baby yesterday after, according to neighbours, she refused to give him money to buy more alcohol.

Nation Thailand reports that Police in Samut Songkhram province, south west of Bangkok, say the alleged killer is still on the run. They found the body of the 36 year old woman lying with a gunshot wound to the head as the couple’s 9 month old baby cried next to the mother’s dead body. She was found still clutching 700 baht in her hand.

Police learned that the couple were vendors suffering from lack of employment during pandemic crisis. Police have named the 25 year old husband and are continuing the manhunt to arrest him.

A witness told police he saw the man argue with his wife after she refused to give money to buy alcohol and then heard gunshots, before the man fled from the house.

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