Thailand News Today – Thursday, May 21

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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