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Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 30

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Thailand Covid-19 update: 7 new cases, no new deaths

The CSSA has announced this morning that Thailand had only 7 new cases of the Covid-19 nationwide in the previous 24 hours.

3 of the new cases were imported, meaning that they came from Thai nationals returning to the country from overseas. All were immediately quarantined. Only 4 cases came from local transmission, 3 in Phuket and 1 in Krabi.

There were no additional deaths reported, and the death toll remains at 54.

Thailand now has a total of 2,954 cases in total since the beginning of the outbreak in January. Of those, 2,687 have fully recovered, with 22 released from hospitals in the past 24 hours.

Thai Airways gets another lifeline from the government

Thai Airways is finally getting another government bail out, after years of financial woes and corporate drama.

The struggling national carrier is getting a lifeline in the form of a bailout loan.

The State Enterprise Policy Committee meeting approved “in principle” to rehabilitate the national carrier. The Finance Ministry is expected to guarantee a loan worth 50 billion baht to rescue the business.

But the amount falls below the original request for a 70 billion baht loan. And the airline will have to renegotiate its debts with creditors and adopt cost cutting measures.

The national carrier posted a net loss of 2.11 billion baht in 2017, which grew to 11.6 billion baht in 2018 and 12 billion last year, according to data from the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Tourism ministry floats long-stay travel packages

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry is proposing long-stay packages for foreign tourists seeking “disease-free destinations”.

“The ministry is working with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to set up a model which will attract a specific group of travellers to visit chosen areas. TAT offices abroad are now courting the long-stay market, which normally spends more than average tourists, while 4- and 5-star hotels are promoting packages to their regular guests.

“The outbreak allows Thai tourism to shift its focus to quality tourists rather than quantity.”

6 million unemployed – a stark outlook for Thailand’s tourist industry

More accurate predictions are starting to emerge as the full impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand start to become clearer, and we still don’t have the shops open yet.

Reports from the UN’s International Labour Organisation, in collaboration with the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, have made stark predictions about the problems that lay ahead for the Thai government, and the people working in the immediate and peripheral parts of the tourism industry.

Up to 6 million people are expected to lose their jobs in the tourism sector alone as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 10% of the country’s entire population.

Thailand’s tourism sector has overcome many past shocks – natural disasters, coups, a reputation for political instability and recessions.

Locations like Phuket and Pattaya, which are almost entirely tourist-dollar driven, will be particularly hard hit without any other local industries to keep the economic wheels turning. You can read more about that report at thethaiger.com

This year’s wet season expected to be later, drier

Thailand’s annual rainy season usually arrives sometime around Songkran, the Thai New Year festival, on April 13 each year. But the Thai Meteorological Department is warning that the start of heavy rains are unlikely to start around the country until around the third week in May.

They also forecast rainfall this year to be approximately 5% lower than average, adding that “rains should last from the end of May to end June before drying up in July and August due to the La Niña effect”.

27 provinces across Thailand are suffering drought according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. Of the drought-hit provinces, seven are in the North, 10 in the Northeast and 10 in the Central and Western regions.

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Thailand

Gambling crackdown continues, 400 slot machines seized in warehouse raid

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gambling crackdown continues, 400 slot machines seized in warehouse raid | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

In a nationwide crackdown on gambling, police in the Isaan province Khon Kaen raided a warehouse and seized more than 400 slot machines.

Acting on a court warrant, police searched the warehouse in the Mueang district. The locks on the door had been changed and police had to break the locks to enter the warehouse. Inside, canvases covered 418 slot machines. Police say the machines were “plug and play” ready.

Officers say they believe the warehouse was linked to an illegal gambling den in the province. No arrests have been made and police are still investigating.

There have been numerous gambling-related busts and raids in recent weeks. A nationwide crackdown on gambling was launched after a cluster of Covid-19 cases was reported at a Rayong gambling den.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Samut Sakhon governor remains on ventilator with serious lung infection after Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Samut Sakhon governor remains on ventilator with serious lung infection after Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

After nearly recovering from Covid-19, the Samut Sakhon governor was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in his lungs and now remains on a ventilator after nearly a month of the breathing treatment. Doctors are now doing hourly checks to monitor governor Verasak Vichitsangsri’s condition.

While the 58 year old governor’s Covid-19 infection has subsided, the virus negatively affected his lung function, doctors say. The bacterial infection is now destroying some of his lung tissue. Verasak is also diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain. The governor’s brain function has been affected by the infection, according to dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, Prasit Watanapa. He did not go into detail about how the brain function was affected.

“All we have to do is administer antibiotics and remove mucus as much as possible to reduce infection in the body. As for the work of the brain, there has been an effect because the governor is older and has underlying cerebrovascular disease. The medical team is doing their best. “

The bacterial infection was resistant to the first round of antibiotics and doctors are now trying another antibiotic, according Prasit. Doctors will monitor the governor’s condition for the next 72 hours to see if his body responds to the medicine.

Verasak tested positive for Covid-19 last month reporting symptoms of a sore throat and cough. He was diagnosed with lung inflammation and put on a ventilator a few days later. Doctors treated him with the antiviral drug Favipiravir.

Last week, doctors announced Verasak’s condition was improving and he would be taken off the ventilator.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Shoppers disgruntled as registration for co-payment scheme fills up in 10 minutes

Maya Taylor

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Shoppers disgruntled as registration for co-payment scheme fills up in 10 minutes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

Social media users are up in arms after registration for the government’s Kon La Khreung (“Let’s Go Halves”) co-payment scheme filled up within 10 minutes. The scheme, first introduced as an economic stimulus measure in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, gives shoppers 50% off the purchase of everyday items, up to 150 baht a day and capped at 3,500 baht for the duration of the scheme.

The third phase of registration had a quota of 1.34 million users, but interested parties had to be quick. Having lost their chance to register, many disgruntled people took to social media to complain, with the hashtag #คนละครึ่งเฟส3 (#Let’s Go Halves3) trending on Twitter.

Several netizens say they filled out the online registration form at exactly 6.01am but were then forced to wait for the one-time password to be delivered to their phones before they could complete the process. In many instances, by the time they received the OTP code, registration was full. Some say they had to wait over 5 minutes to receive the password, which caused them to miss the small window for registration.

According to a Nation Thailand report, one person has described the scheme as nothing more than a government PR stunt, pointing out that, despite being funded by taxpayers’ money, only some people can avail of it.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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