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Thailand News Today, Thursday March 5, 2020

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Thailand News Today, Thursday March 5, 2020 | The Thaiger
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Thailand announces 4 new coronavirus cases, all from Italy or Iran

Thailand today confirmed four new cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus, bringing its total to 47 since January. All were recent arrivals from Italy or Iran. Reuben Tuck reports…

(Reuben VO)

IT SHOULD BE NOTED that Thailand has recorded only one coronavirus-related fatality

Thailand’s Koh Phangan full moon party cancelled

The next Full Moon Party, scheduled for March 8, has been cancelled.

The memo from the Mayor of Koh Phangan says that the hugely popular monthly party has been cancelled due to fears associated with the Covid-19 virus. The memo also says that there will no further monthly parties until fears over the outbreak pass.

The cancellation of next week’s party will add another challenge to Thailand’s tourism which has been hi hard in the past month as fears over travel and the coronavirus start biting. Tourism provides an estimated 18% of the Thailand’s GDP.

Chinese murderers arrested in Burmese border town

Burmese authorities on the border near Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, have arrested two Chinese men wanted for murder in Thailand.

Two Chinese nationals are two of four men wanted for the murder of Chinese businessman Wang Jun. Police retrieved a suitcase containing Wang’s tied-up body from the Ping River on February 25.

The two were captured in Chiang Rai province.Two other Chinese suspects were handed over to Mae Sai police yesterday by officials from a nearby immigration post. According to police, they confessed to murdering Wang in Pattaya over a business debt.

The four men allegedly committed the crime at a house in Pattaya, using a cord to strangle Wang and then cram his body into a suitcase. They also confessed to stabbing to death Wang’s wife as well. Her body was also put in a suitcase and dumped into the river.

Thai Health Minister laughs at media when asked about his ‘travel restrictions’ document

Thailand’s gaffe-prone Public Health minister, has thrown the holiday plans of thousands into confusion. It follow’s the Minister’s Tuesday night announcement for any new arrivals from 11 destinations to go into self-imposed quarantine. The minister removed his Facebook post hours after posting the announcement but long after Thai media had already published the story.

Then his official Facebook page was taken down altogether.

Tuesday evening’s post said travellers from affected countries would be subjected to a 14 day quarantine “without exceptions”.

The destinations were China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Taiwan, and the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.

When Thai media reached out for comments from the Minister yesterday, Anutin denied any knowledge about the matter.

“I’m also wondering how the document ended up there, since I haven’t signed it. (well, that’s HIS signature on the bottom of the letter). I need to look back into the issue before making changes.”

When asked directly why he deactivated his Facebook account after publishing the official memos from the Health Department, Anutin laughed and attempted to deflect the question onto another topic.

The Thai finance and tourism ministries announce stimulus packages

Both the Thai Finance Ministry and the tourist and sports ministries have foreshadowed bug stimulus packages aimed at stimulating the local economy and Thai tourism due to the economic slump caused over coronavirus fears.

The finance minster said the measures will assist “all sectors of Thai society currently affected by the Covid-19 situation”, which arrived at the same time as an economic slowdown, an export slump and drought. He says that over 14 million Thai people, already classified as low-income earners, will receive the money.

Meanwhile the Sports and Tourism minister is putting the finishing touches on a five billion baht package that will stimulate domestic tourism and involve incentives for Thais to spend at least one night outside their home province.

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

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

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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A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai

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A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Representational

A wild elephant killed an 80 year old man camping in Khao Yai National Park early this morning. Park officials believe the bull elephant was in musth, which is when the elephant has rise in reproductive hormones and becomes aggressive.

80 year old Prayot Jitbun was sleeping in his tent when the elephant attacked. Other nearby campers alerted park officials saying the elephant had walked around the Prayot’s car before becoming angry and stomping on his tent, then throwing the man into a tree.

Fresh fruit was inside the man’s car and park officials believe the smell of the fruit attracted the elephant. Park officials suspect the animal became angry and attacked when it couldn’t reach the fruit.

The wild elephant, known as “Phlai Due” had been fitted with a tracking collar earlier this month. The officials say this is the first person attacked by an elephant in the park this year and ensure it won’t happen again.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi

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40 arrested in a suspected gambling house in Nonthaburi | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Last night, police raided a house in Nonthaburi and arrested 40 people for allegedly gambling.

According to the deputy chief of the Central Investigation Bureau, 33 are Thais and 7 are migrant workers of the casino. The officials also confiscated decks of cards of the Dragon-Tiger game, plastic chips and some cash as evidence.

During the raid, the migrant workers allegedly revealed that the gambling operations at the home had only been going on for 2 days and that the owner planned to move it to other locations.

Police have been cracking down on gambling after the Covid-19 outbreak at a Rayong gambling den in line with the PM’s order made last week to shut down the illegal venues and tracking down “influential figures.”

SOURCE: National Thailand

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