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Thailand News Today – Thursday, May 14

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Thailand News Today – Thursday, May 14 | The Thaiger
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Tenants bailing out of pricey Bangkok offices amid pandemic

Bangkok’s high-end office district is looking more like a ghost town as the coronavirus pandemic seems to have many companies bailing out of their pricey office spaces.

Business owners have had a wake-up call from employees discovering the advantages of working from home.

A spokesperson from Phoenix Property Development and Consultancy says that…. “More companies may consider downsizing their workspace by letting people continue working from home, which has been proved to be an effective and economical alternative during the government’s lockdown.

Available rental space in Bangkok could rise from 60,000 square metres at the start of 2020 to over 200,000 square metres by the end of the year.

Defence Ministry to take legal action over anti-government slogan campaign

The Defence Ministry is vowing to take action after an anti-government slogan was projected onto various Bangkok monuments and buildings.

The buildings Included the Defence Ministry building itself, the Democracy Monument, at the Victory Monument BTS station and on Wat Pathum Wanaram.

Former members of the now defunct Future Forward party are taking credit for the campaign, which seeks to commemorate the anniversary of a bloody government crackdown that ended 3 months of protests in the capital in 2010. Over 100,000 people, supporters of former PM, Thaksin Shinawatra, and known as the “Redshirts”, had flooded into Bangkok, demanding elections be called.

Koh Tao residents caught without face masks made to do push-ups and jumping jacks

Officials on the island of Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand have come up with a novel way to punish people for not wearing face masks.

It’s still a legal requirement under the Covid-19 emergency decree when people are out in public.

Both tourists and Thais caught without protective face coverings are being made to do a series of push-ups and jumping jacks, much to the amusement of onlookers armed with smartphones. It comes after police on Koh Tao set up a checkpoint near the pier, with anyone violating the face mask stipulation being made to perform no fewer than 20 push-ups and 20 jumping jacks.

Thai carmakers slash production by 50% in 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic could cut Thailand’s automobile production by up to 50%, according to the Federation of Thai Industries.

Thailand is the eleventh biggest carmaker in the world, producing more than 2 million cars last year. The FTI now expects only half that in 2020.

A spokesman says that exports to the US, Europe and Japan are the most worrisome, while demand is starting to return from China. Local demand is also down at least 60% according to the FTI’s numbers.

 

South Korea asks Thailand to remove it from list of “high risk” countries

South Korea is asking to be removed from Thailand’s list of “high-risk” countries. The list was drawn up in early March, when South Korea was second only to China for Covid-19 case numbers.

It now ranks 40th, and is considered one of the countries most successful at managing the outbreak. To date, none of the 7,000 Thai citizens, who have returned from South Korea, have tested positive for Covid-19.

Sp, the South Korean embassy in Bangkok is appealing to the Thai government to be removed from the list of countries considered high risk. It adds that being left on the list amounts to unfair stigmatisation and does not recognise South Korea’s success at containing the virus.

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Disease control measures ease up in Samut Sakhon

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Disease control measures ease up in Samut Sakhon | The Thaiger
PHOTO: NNT

Disease control restrictions are easing up in Samut Sakhon. The coastal fishing province that has been under “maximum control” since last month’s Covid-19 outbreak at a major seafood market in the province’s Mahachai area.

Salons and barber shops are now allowed to open from 6am to 9pm in all districts of Samut Sakhon, but services are limited to hair cutting, dressing, and washing. Manicures, pedicures and shaving services are still prohibited. Each customer can only stay in the shop for only 2 hours and no queuing is allowed inside the salon or barber shop.

Restaurants and cafes are allowed to open, except for those in some sub districts of Muang District…

  • Thai Sai
  • Mahachai
  • Krok Krak
  • Tha Chalom
  • Nadee
  • Bang Ya Phraek
  • Khok Kham
  • Tha Chin

Restaurants and cafes can offer customers the dine-in services from 6am to 9pm. Takeaway services are allowed after 9pm. Other businesses including sports complexes, playgrounds, educational institutions, boxing gyms, internet cafes, fishing ponds, and cinemas are still closed.

SOURCE: NNT

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Police say at least 2 people to be arrested in Bangkok bomb attack – UPDATE

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Police say at least 2 people to be arrested in Bangkok bomb attack – UPDATE | The Thaiger

Police say they will issue arrest warrants for at least 2 people in connection to yesterday’s bomb attackin Bangkok. According to Thai PBS World, the people are suspected of throwing a ping pong bomb into a group of police officers in front of the Chamchuri shopping centre that injured 3 policemen and 1 reporter. But previous reports by Khaosod English say the bomb attack saw only 2 policemen injured out of a total of 4.

Piya Tawichai, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, says it is believed that the perpetrators threw the bomb from a vehicle on the flyover heading towards Hua Lampong railway station. Police say they found nails, wire and black electrical tape at the scene of the explosion.

The attack occurred at 6pm, 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 November. Just last week, a Thammsat University student was arrested in his dorm room over lese majeste charges. Ironically, the reason for his arrest was reportedly due to his calling for such a law to be abolished.

Earlier today, a group of pro-democracy protesters and Ratsadon guards rallied in front of the Internal Security Operations Command head office in Dusit district, demanding for the release one of the guards, who has been missing since last night.

ISOC spokesman Thanathip Sawangsaeng responded to the claims by saying that ISOC had nothing to do with Mongkol’s disappearance because it is “not responsible for maintaining peace and order in the city.”

Now, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights have reported that that Mongkol has been released in the Bangpoo area. Mongkol and his lawyer went to notify the police at the Muang district police station and say that Mongkol will be sent for a physical and psychological evaluation.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand’s PM says he won’t let Thais become vaccine “guinea pigs”

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Thailand’s PM says he won’t let Thais become vaccine “guinea pigs” | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM is saying he won’t let Thai people become vaccine “guinea pigs” in his Facebook post today as he points to reports of serious negative side effects that some people have suffered after getting jabbed with the Covid-19 vaccine. Instead, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he will wait for more information from the experts about whether such side effects were attributed to the vaccine solely, or other factors.

“For Thai people, I decided not to take the risk and will not rush to inoculate with vaccines which have not been fully tested and will not let Thai people become guinea pigs.”

He says the National Vaccine Committee will advise the government and closely supervise the use of Covid-19 vaccines in the country once they are rolled out. As the vaccines are not yet available, he reiterated the importance of taking precautions such as wearing face masks when leaving home, practising social distancing and abstaining from gatherings, particularly political ones.

The government has reported 374 new cases of Covid-19 in the kingdom today, with all but 10 being locally-transmitted. Now, the total has risen to 12,000 cases since the pandemic began.

A government spokesman is also saying that PM Prayut is worried about people’s health as the weather has taken a turn for the cold. He also affirmed the importance of imposing measures under the Emergency Decree and Thailand’s Communicable Disease Act in order to help curb the recent Covid second wave. He is also reminding the public to download the Thai Chana and Mor Chana apps.

Thailand has ordered 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from a variety of sources, with the first shipment of 200,000 doses to arrive in February. Those vaccines are from China’s Sinovac Biotech. In March, another 800,000 doses are scheduled to arrive and another million by April.

The government has also pre-ordered 26 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, using vaccine technology transfer to allow local production by Thailand’s local company, Siam Bio Science.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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