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Thailand News Today – Thursday, May 21

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Thailand News Today – Thursday, May 21 | The Thaiger
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Covid-19 update: 3 new cases including German man, no deaths

3 new Covid-19 cases have been found over the past 24 hour period, but no deaths, bringing the national total to 3,037 and leaving the death toll at 56.

The new cases were found in Bangkok and Chon Buri – 2 community infections while the other was a repatriate student from the Philippines, and is already in state quarantine.

A 42 year old German man is among the new cases. He lives in Bangkok but went to Issan’s Chaiyaphum province in early May. He went for a check-up was and found to be infected last Monday.

The case is a 72 year old Thai man who suffers from diabetes and lung cancer. He is being treated in a state hospital. His symptoms began to appear last Monday.

19 kilograms of crystal meth, valued around 10 million baht, seized on Thai train

2 people are in custody and 19 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine or “ya ice” has been seized after it was discovered in their bags on an express train from Bangkok to the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat last night.

22 year old Ekkapong and his female companion 23 year old Methanee were arrested by railway police as the train was approaching Hua Hin station about 6pm.

Police found 19 plastic wrapped packages, each of which was found to contain a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine. The drugs are estimated to have a street value of about 10 million baht.

I think the lady’s name Methanee was a giveaway.

Officers demand 5 million baht bribe, hundreds riot

3 men, claiming to be police, in Surat Thani have tried to extort a man for 5 million baht so he could avoid arrest.

Somehow hundreds of villagers in Surat Thani got involved and surrounded the policeman’s Toyota Fortuner. Villagers rocked the vehicle back and forth, and the rear window was smashed.

Going back a bit, the alleged ‘officers’ confronted the man when he was purchasing 500,000 baht of shellfish from local fishermen. But the 3 men, said they were police officers told him that he’d be arrested unless he paid them 5 million baht.

When villagers heard about the outrageously high bribe, they formed a riot around the police vehicle. Another officer got involved and eventually allowed the car to drive off.

Score: Police 0 – Surat Thani community 1.

Thai Airways union says it won’t oppose bankruptcy proceedings

The president of Thai Airways’ labour union says that the union have changed their mind and won’t oppose the government’s plan to restructure the carrier through bankruptcy proceedings.

The Cabinet resolved on Tuesday to reduce the government’s holdings in the national carrier to below 50%, stripping the airline of its status as a state enterprise and enabling it to file for bankruptcy.

The union previously indicated it would protest any plan that would reduce the government’s shares to less than 50%.

“This is a painful reality… we will hold discussions with the Transport Ministry to ensure workers are taken care of.”

Meanwhile it was announced today that 6,000 of the company’s 20,000 are to be laid off. The airline says they will receive 10-month pay as compensation.

Bars, nightlife venues may reopen early to mid-June if virus remains in check

Bars and other entertainment venues might be allowed to reopen on or before the current proposed date of June 15. This is when the country is scheduled to enter Phase Four of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

But the CCSA says any decision to re-open Thailand’s nightlife will depend on the ongoing control of the Covid-19 virus. Entertainment mecca Pattaya has now gone 36 days without a new case.

Places like Pattaya and Phuket, renowned for their normally thriving nightlife, have seen bars and clubs shuttered, with countless employees laid off.

Suggestions at a May 3 meeting in Pattaya included the mandatory wearing of masks by customers, bar staff to wear face shields and gloves for handling cash and drinks, temperature checks to be carried out at every venue with hand sanitiser on all tables, and contact tracing to be applied to all customers.

Sounds like fun!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Mats Eriksson

    May 21, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Why no infomation about Hua Hin do we not ave convid here

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Another family kept apart by Thai red tape and quarantine confusion

The Thaiger

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Another family kept apart by Thai red tape and quarantine confusion | The Thaiger

Sometimes you cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s and it’s still not enough to satisfy the paper-pushers, especially at this disruptive time in Thailand, and everywhere else. One Australian father has ended up separated from his family – he’s in Australia and his wife and 2 children are in Thailand being shuffled around Phuket and Bangkok in a Thai paperwork nightmare. Sam Kelly wants his family onto a repatriation flight being organised by the Australian Embassy out of Bangkok on June 6. For now, for reasons not immediately apparent, that’s not going to happen.

“I just want to get my family out of quarantine and onto this flight. I understand that this is not normal circumstances. But the facts are: The Thai and Australian governments have put on this flight to repatriate citizens to Australia. The Thais and the Australians have already shown they can be flexible, but now it looks as though my family might miss this flight. They have been tested and are Covid-19 free.”

The full story of Sam and his family’s plight is below. But Sam is grateful for the help from Australian consular officials up to now.

“I want to thank all the Australian consular staff in Bangkok and Canberra that have been helping me. You have been a great help in a very difficult situation.”

Sam’s story is one among thousands of families separated by the lockdowns and border closures in Thailand, and around the world. The Thaiger believes Sam’s wife and kids, and similar families, should be put on the top of the list of repatriation efforts when bans are lifted and flights resume.

The Thaiger hopes cooler-heads prevail in this case and that Sam, Kanny, Ronny and Adam are back together again soon.

Here is the full unedited text from Sam…


Help me get my family to Australia.

I’m one of the many offshore workers around the world that have been prevented from re uniting with their families

My base is in Phuket Thailand and has been for the last 15 years, I have a wife and 2 children. My wife’s name is Kannika “Kanny” Polngam who is a Thai national and my 2 kids Ronald “Ronny” Kelly (2) and Adam Kelly (5), who are dual Thai and Australian citizens with passports.

On the 12th of February I left Phuket to go on a 4 week on 4 week off rotation. I saw the situation regarding Covid-19 was deteriorating, so I started the process of getting my family out to Australia. I chose to stay here in Australia, so I was available for work, and still be able to provide for my family.

On the 5th of March my kids were taken out of school in Phuket and very strict curfews were imposed to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Flights in and out of Thailand all but stopped with the occasional charter/repatriation flight going out of Bangkok to a few different airports in Australia. I managed to secure a flight on only one of 2 flights from Thailand to Australia for the whole month of June. I spoke with Australian consular officials in Bangkok on the phone and was told that it was a good idea to get the family up to Bangkok in case they needed to do more paperwork, etc.

On around the 19th of May, I told Kanny to just lock the house up, throw away anything we don’t need, just pack a few bags and drive off the island, stay with her parents in Bangkok and wait for the flight. She obtained permission from the Wichit Police Department in Phuket Town to leave the island and drive to make the long 12 hour drive to Bangkok. After being granted permission to get off the island my family was stopped at a Surathani checkpoint which is a few hours north of Phuket and directed to drive directly to:

Queen Sirikit Stadium
Klong 6, Tanyaburi, Pathumthani, Bangkok

When they arrived on the 21st of May they were all locked into a very small apartment that was once student housing at a university.

Kanny contacted the authorities and started to make noise. Everyone in my family has been self isolated for months. The kids actually had more people from the schools and government checking on their welfare in our Phuket house than in this little state sanctioned Bangkok student accommodation. No Thais authorities are checking on their welfare now, they just get a few bags of food thrown on their doorstop every day.

After Kanny made some noise the Thai authorities came and did a Covid-19 check on everyone. The results came back negative the next day and it was agreed that they would all be released and go to my mother and father in laws house nearby in Bangkok.

Now today it is Friday, my wife just got a phone call and one of the head honchos there by the name of Mr Boonlert, he has decided to revoke what he promised which was them being released into self isolation. The date that they will be released now is the 6th of June. This is one day after this flight leaves from Bangkok to Brisbane.

Another family kept apart by Thai red tape and quarantine confusion | News by The ThaigerAnother family kept apart by Thai red tape and quarantine confusion | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Kannika and the two boys are removed from the self-isolation they had been granted and returned to state quarantine – khaosod.co.th

During this time the Australian Consulate and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been in touch with me stating, they cannot issue a ticket for my family to fly to Australia on this special flight until the family are out of quarantine. The Thai authorities have quite happily let people transit through Bangkok who have tickets out of Thailand, but as the Thai authorities have my family in detention, the Australians authorities will not issue a ticket to fly out.

So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place, my family has:

• Been in self isolation for months
• Been checked regularly by the Thai government and their school teachers doing home visits during the time schools closed on the 5th of March
• Have attended regular doctors appointments, including a health screen for my wife to apply for an Australian visa
• Have been in enforced state quarantine for over a week now and passed a Covid-19 test which was a horrible experience for them
• Look like they might miss one of the last flights back to Australia due to this Thai state quarantine period and if by some miracle they make the flight, they have the absolute joy of doing another 2 week quarantine in a hotel in Australia

Thousands of people have travelled to Bangkok from Phuket and none of them have been quarantined, the quarantine is actually a DISCRETION. There has been Australians being repatriated from Phuket, and they have been able to travel hassle free to Bangkok and wait for their flights out. Why are my kids the only Australians that have been locked up? I’m having serious concerns about their mental health at the moment.

All I want is the best for my kids, and neither the Australian or Thai public servants are providing that now.

These boys have not played with another kid or seen a blade of grass since the 5th of March, that means that if they went to Australia, it would be over 3 and a half months by the time they finished their last isolation period.

I have paid taxes in both countries for many years. I want some sort of communication between the Thai authorities and the Australian authorities.

Why are these Australian children being detained? They don’t have Covid-19 and they need to get out of quarantine to get back to Australia on the 5th of June.

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Thailand

Thailand News Today – Monday, June 1

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand News Today – Monday, June 1 | The Thaiger

Returnees from UK found with high fever, hospitalised

Of the 251 Thais who repatriated from the UK yesterday 20 were found to have high fevers and rushed to hospital, according Suvarnabhumi Airport’s deputy director.

The Thai Airways charter flight arrived at the airport at 2.20pm. Screening found that 20 passengers had high fever and they were rushed to hospital. 16 passengers also opted for the alternative 5 star state quarantine facilities, while the rest were transported to the government’s specified facilities in Bangkok and Samut Prakarn.

A Korean Airlines flight arrived last night, also at Suvarnabhumi, bringing 194 Thais from South Korea. Screening officers found 13 of the passengers with high fever. 18 of them upgraded their mandatory 14 day quarantine at a designated hotel.

Thailand has registered on only new Covid-19 case today, another Thai returnee, this time from Russia.

No “new normal” for Thailand’s deadly road toll

In what will come as no surprise to most, the death toll on Thailand’s roads has resumed its upward trend after a brief interruption during the Covid-19 lock-down.

More people are back behind the wheel or the handlebars, and with that, the carnage has returned to Thailand’s roads.

In Phuket, a truck ploughed into a power pole on Saturday, killing the Thai driver and a Burmese national who was hit by the falling power pole as he rode his motorbike on the opposite side of the road.

In the west of the country yesterday, a mother and 3 year old daughter were killed, when the car they were travelling in, left the road and slammed into a tree in Kanchanaburi.

Another accident in the south killed an 80 year old woman in Nakhon Si Thammarat, when the motorbike she was a pillion passenger on was hit by a car.

As of our recording time, 29 people have already died on Thailand’s roads today and another 1,629 have been injured. Annually some 21,000 Thais die on the road, putting it into the Top 10 countries in the world for the most dangerous roads.

Police identify individuals seeking bribes from Pattaya hotels, no charges filed

Pattaya police say they’ve identified a number of individuals chasing kickbacks from hotels in exchange for being listed as a Covid-19 quarantine facility.

However, as none of the hotels involved have filed a complaint, the individuals in question have not been charged. Well, yet anyway.

With hotels across the city shut down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some people have attempted to exploit the desperation of those in the hospitality sector. The statement from the Pattaya police comes in the wake of the government pledging to crack down on such extortion and identify those responsible.

Thai PM Prayut is pressing for legal action to be taken against those involved

Southern mayor backs bounty for shark hunt after boy’s foot was bitten

People are searching for a shark after it apparently bit a boy’s foot at a pier in the southern province of Satun. The local mayor even said he’ll give a cash reward of 1,000 baht to whoever catches the shark. He even took a long tail boat out on Saturday afternoon to scope out the scene and try and track down the shark.

Last Thursday, a 12 year old was playing on the pier with two of his friends. Something bit him when he was swinging his legs in the canal. The boy is okay, but he needed 50 stitches (yikes!!).

Researchers from the Marine and Coastal Resources Department say the bite is most likely from a bull shark.

14,000+ people contract dengue this year

More than 14,000 people have contracted dengue fever and 11 have died so far this year, the country’s north and east the hardest hit.

From Jan 1 to May 25 this year, 14,136 people were found to have caught dengue fever, or 21.2 per 100,000 population. Eleven people died from the disease during the period.

The five provinces with the highest numbers of dengue fever cases were Rayong, Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Mae Hong Son and Nakhon Ratchasima.

25 arrested after police raid online gambling base in Mae Sot

Police arrested 25 people involved in online gambling after a raid Saturday night at a house in Mae Sot, Northern Thailand, right on the Burmese border.

Police also confiscated equipment used for the online gaming. Out of the 25 people arrested, 5 of them were Thai and the rest were foreigners, mostly from China.

Police seized 7 computers, 14 smartphones and 2,000 to 2,500 SIM cards. The gambling operation also has 50 bank accounts with a total of around 100 million baht.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Government outlines new rules as massage parlours reopen for business

Maya Taylor

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Government outlines new rules as massage parlours reopen for business | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Alan Caishan on Unsplash

From today, you can once more enjoy a Thai massage, but there are strict conditions attached to the reopening of massage facilities. Suffice to say, it won’t be the same as the massage you had in the past. As the country enters phase 3 of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, massage parlours are required to register on the Department of Health Service Support website, where they must complete an online self-assessment certificate.

They are also required to keep the department up to date by way of weekly reports on their safety and hygiene protocols. All massage parlours have been issued with a set of rules for both staff and customers. Facilities found to be breaching the conditions of operation will be shut down temporarily. Here are the rules for the “new normal” massage experience…

Guidelines for massage parlours

• Use one entrance only, with space of at least one metre between the reception desk and customers when recording personal details
• Shop operators must have a temperature screening point for both employees and customers
• Shops must provide cloth masks, medical masks, and hand sanitiser containing 70% alcohol
• Everyone in the shop must wear a mask and keep clean
• Follow good health practices issued by the Public Health Ministry
• Massage chairs must be placed at least 1.5 metres apart
• Only one customer per room, but in case of a large room, a folding door or curtain can be installed to separate the room into individual areas
• Provide safe payment options such as online payment
• Prepare and provide clean clothing to customers. When massage is over, the clothing must be removed and cleaned
• Prepare a proper ventilation system
• Employees must change into uniform before providing service
• During service, talk to customers only when necessary

Guidelines for customers…

• Wear a mask throughout the service
• Cooperate for temperature screening and provide true information about personal details
• Clean hands both before and after the service
• Follow the shop’s advice

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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