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Thailand News Today – Thursday, June 4

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Thailand News Today – Thursday, June 4 | The Thaiger
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17 new Covid-19 cases in Thailand, all repatriated citizens from Middle East

Today the Centre of Covid-19 Administration reported 17 new cases of Covid-19 infection. All the cases were repatriated Thai personnel returning from the Middle East. Most the returnees were asymptomatic and were confirmed as infected after a second test.

• 13 of the new cases had returned from Kuwait, 12 were men aged 31-56, and the other was a 44 year old woman.

• 5 were put into state quarantine in Bangkok while 8 are now housed in Samut Prakan province.

• 2 patients were a male and a female who had returned from Qatar on May 22.

• 2 cases were males, aged 28 and 29, who had returned from Saudi Arabia on May 21 and May 25.

TAT will use domestic tourism as dress rehearsal for international returns

The TAT has publicly declared that it will be using the current re-introduction of domestic tourism as a dress rehearsal for how a return to international tourism might look.

Due to the current ban on international arrivals, extended several times and now in effect until at least July, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has created a strategy to support domestic tourism and “learn from the experience”, as it eases into the inevitable challenge of luring back international tourists.

In a feature posted on its website earlier this week, the TAT said it had identified some basic truths; one of them being that the tourism sector will continue to be stifled by disease control measures until a Covid-19 vaccine is developed.

“This will affect and change all behaviour and patterns of traditional travel and tourism activities starting with the aviation experience.”

The so-called “new normal,” which is actually highly abnormal for Thai tourism, will concentrate on less travel, smaller gatherings and avoiding crowds.

Pattaya’s mayor responds to video of black water gushing into the sea

Last Monday, filthy black water was seen gushing into the Gulf of Thailand right next to Pattaya’s famous Walking Street.

The video, from the ‘We Love Pattaya’ Facebook page showed filthy water pouring into the sea from a pumping station near the entrance of the infamous tourist magnet.

Pattaya’s mayor tried to explain away the video, saying it wasn’t sewage but muddy storm runoff, intentionally released into the sea rather than remain on the streets to flood homes and businesses.

“In times of heavy rainfall, the system can’t keep up and water backs up and floods homes, so engineers have the option to open filter gates and allow rainwater to run directly into the sea.”

He insisted the dark colour of the water was sand and sediment, and not sewage.

As Thailand’s beaches reopen, crowds flock back

Yesterday was the Queen’s birthday and a public holiday, so many of Thailand’s popular beaches heaving with visitors as they reopened for the first time since their closure by the Emergency Decree in March.

People across the country took advantage of the easing of inter-provincial travel restrictions that took effect from Monday. Not the least to Chon Buri’s Bang Saen beach was very popular as visitors flocked to its sandy shores.

The crowds caused traffic jams in the area up to 2 kilometres long, such that municipal officials had to close down the beach for a short while again, in an effort to control the numbers.

Major makeover proposed for Pattaya’s Walking Street

Images on the Facebook page of Pattaya City reveal plans for a major re-imagining and makeover of one of the resort’s most notable, and notorious, landmarks – Walking Street.

Gone is the grotty road, broken pavements and lurid signs and frontages, and in their place will be an easy to navigate walking area fit for families.

But the nicely drawn artistic impressions didn’t get much love from netizens that said it looked more like a swish shopping avenue than the organic red light district that had inhabited the street for the past three decades.

Many commented that they preferred the old atmosphere and the girls in hot pants leaning out of the noisy bars.

The designs were presented by the city’s engineering team to Pattaya’s mayor and his deputies on Tuesday, to an apparently “lukewarm” reception.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    David Swartzentruber

    June 4, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I have worked about 6 times in Bangok and feel I can do the job. My phone is: 082250-4731. I hope to hear from you.
    David

  2. Avatar

    David Swartzentruber

    June 4, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    My mother was a librarian, so it runs in the family. I have a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown Univ.on Foreign Service and later took a Masters degree. I do not have an auto so that might be a problem. I have 2 divorces and one grown up, although we get along.I enjoy story-telling. I do have a story about JFK!

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Thailand

Thailand growing more expensive for expats

Jack Burton

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Thailand growing more expensive for expats | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Business Traveller

According to Employment Conditions Abroad, Bangkok and Chiang Mai are among the 30 most expensive cities for expats in Asia. The capital of Turkmenistan might not spring to mind when with considering the priciest cities, but according to ECA International it ranks first on both the global and Asian tables, a 5 point rise up the rankings due to an ongoing economic crisis, food shortages and the resulting hyperinflation.

The survey is performed in March and September every year, based on a basket of items such as rents and utility fees. Car prices and school fees are not included.

In Asia, Bangkok ranks 28th, just above Chiang Mai, according to the latest ECA International survey on the cost of living for expatriates. But it dropped out of the top 50 global rankings from the report released in December 2019. In global rankings, Bangkok is now at 60 and Chiang Mai at 142. Bangkok has lost a good deal of its former appeal for budget-conscious travellers and expatriates, rising 64 places over the past 5 years, according to the survey.

ECA says a rapidly expanding economy and increased foreign investment, at least, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, made Thailand more expensive, fuelled by the strengthening baht.

“The baht has strengthened considerably, making the country more expensive for expatriates and tourists. However, this trend has slowed over the past year, partly in response to government attempts to weaken the baht in order to keep the country competitive.”

Hong Kong is the second most expensive city in Asia after Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), but ahead of Tokyo and Singapore. Singapore is rated the most expensive place for expats in Southeast Asia and has led that ranking for many years.

Hong Kong remains sixth in the global standings, 1 place ahead of the Japanese capital. Singapore was fourteenth in Asia, dropping 2 notches from the previous survey.

Ashgabat’s sudden rise to the top of the is largely attributable to the economic dilemmas of Turkmenistan’s government, according to ECA. The energy-rich Central Asian nation faces severe inflation, and a black market for foreign currencies has caused the cost of imports to rise. Both factors have sparked a large increase in the costs visitors pay.

The ECA says Chinese cities fell across the board due to signs of a weakening economy and poorly performing currency, even before Covid-19 began taking its toll.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

90 minute Covid-19 test at BKK being tested

The Thaiger

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90 minute Covid-19 test at BKK being tested | The Thaiger

A Covid-19 test that takes about 90 minutes. This is a new ‘outside the box’ way at bringing people back into Thailand and checking them before they go through Immigration. The new ‘rapid’ tests were unveiled today at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. The new tests would be offered for overseas arrivals as the Thai government wrestles with the desire to reboot the tourism economy vs avoiding a second wave of the coronavirus.

Tourists have been locked out of the Kingdom since March and only this week saw the blanket ban lifted and a first phase of selected foreign tourists allowed to visit. Last year tourism accounted for about 11% of Thailand’s GDP, reaching nearly 40 million visitors.

Now, business travellers, diplomats and guests of the Thai government, visiting for less than 14 days, will be considered “fast-track travellers”. They are to be swab tested at Thailand’s main international airport entry points to ensure they are Covid-19-free before entry.

Suwich Thammapalo, an official of the Department of Disease Control, believes that the ‘rapid’ tests could be rolled out to use for other arrivals and tourists in the months to come.

But, no surprise, the test would cost 3,000 baht. The cost would be carried by passengers who wanted fast-track entry without spending 14 days in quarantine. It’s also required for other foreigners who have already been arriving – people with resident status or have a family in Thailand, plus international students.

Today the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced they are looking at a plan to open up the travel gates with reciprocal “travel bubble” arrangements with selected countries in September.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hospital director proposes importing overseas Covid-19 patients for treatment

Jack Burton

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Hospital director proposes importing overseas Covid-19 patients for treatment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

With the Covid-19 situation in Thailand apparently well in hand (there have been no locally transmitted cases for well over a month), a hospital director in Bangkok is proposing flying in patients from abroad for treatment at his hospital. The director of Mongkutwattana Hospital is considering medical flights to bring international Covid-19 cases to the hospital for treatment, in an effort to stimulate the economy.

In a Facebook post, Dr Rienthong Nanna said flights would carry 60 passengers and be specially adapted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outside the cabin. Under his proposal, the hospital would act as a state quarantine facility, caring for foreign patients until they are certified virus-free and allowed to travel in Thailand as tourists.

The proposal has the support of several clinics that treat international patients. Accommodation providers who want to collaborate with the hospital to prepare medical flights and state quarantine are invited to contact the director of Mongkutwattana Hospital’s office.

The Ministry of Public Health Ministry has not announced whether Thailand will consider accepting Covid-19 patients from overseas.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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