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Thailand News Today – Tuesday, March 17

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Thailand News Today – Tuesday, March 17 | The Thaiger
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30 new cases announced for Thailand – Tuesday

Sunday, 32 cases. Monday 33 cases. Now another 30 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been confirmed.

Thailand now has a confirmed total of 177 cases according to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Health at a media conference today.

A boxing stadium, north east of the Bangkok city centre, has been the source of many of the new cases with hundreds of people being chased for testing after coming into contact with a number of contaminants. The contaminants were all linked to one of the managers at the stadium, Thai celebrity Matthew Deane.

Other cases are related to Thais which had been working closely with foreigners. 70-80% of the cases have been recorded in Bangkok, according to the spokesman, without providing any details of other locations around the country.

Thai cabinet announces school closures and postponement of Songkran

Meanwhile, The Thai cabinet today approved plans to postpone next month’s Songkran New Year holiday and to close schools to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The approvals followed a series of plans announced yesterday to close schools, bars, movie theatres, cockfighting arenas and other entertainment centres.

The cabinet approved that the Songkran holiday be postponed and schools closed. The initial announcement hasn’t specified that private schools would be covered in the official closure.

The closures of entertainment venues would be up to the discretion of each provincial governors.

We’ll post all the latest information about that situation at The Thaiger.com

Mandatory sim and app used to track down movement

A free sim card is being provided by The National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission to every foreigner as well as Thais who had have travelled from countries that have have been designated as ‘high risk’ of Covid-19 infections.

These countries include China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, and Macau (as of the time of publishing). According to NBTC, the AoT Airports’ new application has more than 7,000 downloads since it went live on March 12.

The sim cards will help track the position of users for 14 days to verify that they remain in quarantine. After 14 days have passed, the App will stop tracking and the system will delete the data immediately.”

Chaing Mai venue owners don’t agree with shutdown plans

Chiang Mai venue owners are speaking out about a proposal from the Thai Health minister to close down entertainment venues across the country.

Yesterday, after owners of Chiang Mai’s entertainment venues received the new updates on the proposed ‘lockdown’ , they voiced their opposition to the move. One of the owners in the province says he doesn’t agree with the measure because it would heavily impact the business. They say it will affect up to 10,000 local employees who will lose their job if the lockdown goes ahead.

The Thai PM came out last week in opposing the move. But that situation could change at any time.

Two bombs explode in front of the Yala provincial offices today

More violence in Thailand’s south today as two small bombs explode at the front of the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre in Yala’s city centre this morning.

Many people are reported as injured from the blasts. It’s believed that five provincial police and three media were wounded in the two explosions. Thai PBS is reporting that 18 people have been hurt.

The first of the two bombs went off just before 10.30am in front of the provincial offices. Moments later another bomb, hidden in a white pickup truck parked near the entrance to the same offices also exploded.

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Thailand

Doctors warn against internet claims that popular herb cures cancer

Maya Taylor

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Doctors warn against internet claims that popular herb cures cancer | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.phuketindex.com

Medics from the National Cancer Institute are urging Thai netizens not to fall for internet claims that a herb known as Khao Thong can cure cancer. The herb, with the scientific classification, Houttuynia cordata, is also known as fish leaf or heart leaf, but Jida Rojanamethin from the National Cancer Institute, says social media users shouldn’t believe unsubstantiated claims about its potential to cure cancer.

“Misunderstanding could lead to health risks or reduced chance of success when receiving standardised treatment. Although this herb is good for your health, one should also eat the 5 food groups proportionately as well as avoid cancer risk factors such as smoking and drinking.”

His words are echoed by Somsak Akksilp from the Department of Medical Services, who says patients shouldn’t credit the herb with healing properties that simply aren’t there.

“Khao Thong is a Thai traditional herb in the Saururaceae family, which is rich in anti-oxidants of the polyphenol group, such as flavonoid and chlorogenic acid. However, there is no conclusive study proving that it is effective in treating cancer in humans.”

Somsak’s warning is similar to one he issued earlier this year, when he had to refute online claims that bitter cucumber could cure cancer.

For legitimate advice on cancer treatments and other medical information, patients are advised to visit the website of the National Cancer Institute (Thai only) or that of the Department of Medical Services.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Politics

Election Commission to investigate charges that Progressive Movement is run as a political party

Maya Taylor

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Election Commission to investigate charges that Progressive Movement is run as a political party | The Thaiger
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Political activist Srisuwan Janya is accusing the Progressive Movement of being run like a political party, with its leaders campaigning for members in local elections, in violation of the Political Party Act. The claim has prompted the Election Commission to launch an investigation into the movement.

The movement was formed by Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, Piyabutr Saengkanokkul and Pannika Wanich, after their former party, the Future Forward Party, was disbanded by the Constitutional Court. The movement was ostensibly created to carry out political campaigning outside of Parliament.

However, Srisuwan says that by campaigning for its members in local mayoral and council elections, the movement is acting like a political party, thereby breaking the law. If found guilty, Thanathorn, Piyabutr, and Pannika could receive a sentence of up to 3 years’ imprisonment and/or a 60,000 baht fine, as well as being banned from politics for 5 years. The movement’s members could also face having their election results cancelled, and their right to stand in future elections suspended.

The leaders of the defunct Future Forward Party have been a thorn in the side of the ruling administration for some time, with several attempts to discredit them eventually leading to a successful dissolution in late 2019, on charges of accepting illegitimate donations. Since then, they have been threatened with potential legal action in relation to donations, with others accusing them of orchestrating the ongoing anti-government protests from behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, anti-corruption activist Srisuwan Janya has already earned the nickname, “Complainer in Chief”, for what many see as a tendency to lodge frequent complaints in his efforts to hold government and others to account.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tourism

Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021 – Minister

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Thailand will remain closed to general tourism until at least the 2nd quarter of 2021 – Minister | The Thaiger

Kiss any resemblance of general tourism to Thailand goodbye, at least until march next year, at the earliest. That’s the outlook for Thailand’s beleaguered tourism industry from the usually optimistic Minster for Sports and Tourism, Pipat Ratchakitprakan.

So, apart from the STV and the modified 60 day Tourist Visa, and a few other options – all involving quarantine and a lot of red-tape for now – there’s not much good news on the horizon for people wishing to get back to Thailand right now. The minister’s outlook wipes out any hope of any tourism resurgence for the 2020/2021 high season.

The Thai Hotel Association and The Thailand Travel Agents Association have been lobbying, even demanding, the Thai government to drop its mandatory quarantine provisions and urgently negotiate travel bubble with provinces in China and other nations that are currently “low risk” for Covid-19, including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

But Pipat says everything is on hold at this stage and that the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging caution in regards to any wholesale easing of restrictions.

“The country will continue with opening to businessmen, technical experts, high level workers and those in the medical field for now. 14 day quarantine will continue for now with many countries still in the grip of the pandemic.”

He also noted that even Chinese officials are advising caution and suggest waiting until the hot season next year (mid year).

There was small outbreaks in 3 cities in China over the past few weeks, less than 10 cases in each city, where Chinese health officials rolled out quick response lockdown teams for the affected communities.

The Minister, indeed the Thai government and the CCSA, appear to be bowing to survey after survey which shows Thai people, around the country, are in favour of keeping the borders closed for now, despite the country’s tourism and hospitality industry being decimated by the government’s policies.

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