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Thailand News Today – Tuesday, March 24

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Thailand under a State of emergency – Prime Minister

Thai PM Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha told a news conference today that Thailand will be under emergency decree from this Thursday (March 26) until the end of April to deal with Covid-19.

The decree means the PM will have the executive power to declare further measures to contain the virus, including giving extra authority to officials and creating checkpoints to reduce people’s movements.

Prayut says some requirements would be mandatory while others would be “requests.” He said precise details of the decree will be announced before this Thursday.

He urged people not to return to their home provinces and said there will be checkpoints and quarantine measures taken along the way for those who do. 

The emergency decree gives various powers, including the potential restriction of domestic travel, censoring media, curfews, commandeering or closing building, among others.

The Thai PM said that rumours of a curfew taking place as early as this evening are false.

The PM also said that social media will be “very closely monitored” during the emergency decree period. Those sharing fake news or making claims of cover-ups or conspiracies “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Thailand confirms 106 new coronavirus cases, 3 more deaths

Thailand health officials reported 106 new Covid-19 coronavirus infections today, bringing the total to 827 in the Kingdom. The number of new cases is lower than the 122 recorded yesterday. T

The Ministry of Public Health has also reported 3 additional deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 4. A Public Health Ministry spokesman says the 3 deaths were patients who had previous health complications, including a 70 year old man with tuberculosis, a 45 year old man with diabetes and a 79 year old man with unspecified health problems. Meanwhile local media are reporting 9 new cases in Phuket, including an unnamed medical official.

Thai restaurants and food chains switching to home deliveries

A difficult time for restaurants as the government rolls out lockdowns across the country. So many of the restaurants and food chains are changing from sit-in facilities to home delivery. They’re saying that they need to switch their financial strategy to stay afloat as the spread of Covid-19 becomes more serious in Thailand. So they’re becoming ‘virtual’ restaurants providing the same food but as a home delivery instead.

Smaller restaurants will have the option of either providing their own deliveries and reaching out to their customer base on social media, or registering with some of the App-based service providers like Grab Food and Food Panda. But these services take a whopping commission to be listed.

Riot fears reopen ‘closed’ Thai border checkpoints as migrant workers flee

Some of Thailand’s recently closed border checkpoints were forced to reopen last night and today as thousands of migrant workers, now unemployed due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, flee Thailand for their homes in Myanmar and Cambodia. Their numbers and their desperation sparked fears of rioting.

In Chiang Rai, the border was reopened after about 100 workers from Myanmar arrived at the Mae Sai checkpoint, only to find it closed. A 28 year old woman in the group, recently laid off due to shutdowns in Bangkok, told reporters:

“We must go home, or we will starve to death in Bangkok.”

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    pete

    March 24, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    not clear. can i still go shopping at Big C? Can i still walk the dogs on pattaya beach wearing a mask?

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Thailand

Thailand News Today – April 1, 2020

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today – April 1, 2020 | The Thaiger

Thailand coronavirus cases rise to 1771, two more deaths

Thailand’s now has 1,771 Covid-19 coronavirus cases, with 120 new cases confirmed over the last 24 hours and 2 more patients succumbing to the disease.

As of today 1,429 patients are under treatment, 23 are in critical condition. 342 have recovered and been discharged. There has now been a total of 12 deaths in Thailand. Of the five new cases in Phuket, all had become infected around the island’s Bangla Road red light district.

Thai PM says tourists will get automatic visa extensions

Cabinet is going to extend a virtual amnesty for tourists who will overstay their visa because they’ve become stranded.

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he’s concerned that foreigners seeking visa extensions have been gathering in their hundreds at Thailand’s immigration offices each day, at a time when social distancing is needed.

A deputy ministry spokesman announced that the Thai cabinet has responded with a move to grant automatic renewal of tourist visas for visitors who arrived in Thailand after March 1. People who hold other types of visa, or who arrived before March 1, still need to go visit their nearest immigration office for extensions.

We’ll publish more information about the announcement when it becomes available.

Bangkok Airways cancels all domestic flights from April 7

Bangkok Airways has announced today that they will cancel all it domestic flights from April 7 – 30. The company’s vice president says the flights that are being cancelled are…

Bangkok – Chiang Mai

Bangkok – Phuket

Bangkok – Trat

Bangkok – Sukhothai

Bangkok – Samui

Samui – Phuket

Thailand’s reservoirs and dams reaching critically low levels

The start of the annual wet season isn’t far away, maybe this month, but Thailand’s water sources are running on empty.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported today, that Thailand has seen a large drop of useable water in dams and reservoirs by an average of 30% of their capacity, due to the lack of rain in the first three months of the year.

21 dams in these provinces have reported critically low water levels. Meanwhile, 187 reservoirs nationwide also reported water levels at below 30% including 50 reservoirs in the North, 100 in the Northeast, 33 in Central and four in the South.” 

Lampang, Tak, Uttaradit, Chiang Mai, Uthai Thani, Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Buriram, Suphan Buri, Lop Buri, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok, Chonburi and Rayong .

Regional round-up

PHILIPPINES

Philippines awaits Chinese expert team as cases rise to more than 2,000

Police lock up ‘curfew breakers’ in dog cage in Philippines

SINGAPORE

Boom time for golf in Singapore with courses full; spending time outdoors seen as ‘safe’

INDONESIA

Indonesia declares health emergency. President Joko Widodo announces $24.7 billion package to minimise virus’ impact

VIETNAM

Vietnam has announced a national lockdown to fight Covid-19, with nearly 100 million people ordered not to go outside except for food and medical needs

VIETNAM

The state-run Vietnam News Agency stopped printing English-language newspaper until April 15, after one of its reporters tested positive for Covid-19

MALAYSIA

The Malaysian government urges women to ‘dress up and stop nagging husbands’ during lockdown, then apologises for post

15 minute coronavirus tests now on trial in Thailand

As promised, Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University has rolled out a new 15 minute Covid-19 coronavirus test strip.

The test is aimed at increasing the number of people that can be screened for the Covid-19 virus and easing the burden on Thailand’s health system. The new rapid strip tests detect antibodies in the blood serum or plasma which could indicate that a patient either currently or previously had Covid-19. It works with a drop of blood and gives a first positive or negative result in 10 – 15 minutes.

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Thailand’s reservoirs and dams reaching critically low levels

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Thailand’s reservoirs and dams reaching critically low levels | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: scmp.com

The start of the annual wet season isn’t far away, maybe this month, but Thailand’s water sources are running on empty.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported today, that Thailand has seen a large drop of useable water in dams and reservoirs by an average of 30% of their capacity, due to the lack of rain in the first three months of the year.

“21 dams in provinces of Lampang, Tak, Uttaradit, Chiang Mai, Uthai Thani, Chaiyaphum, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Udon Thani, Buriram, Suphan Buri, Lop Buri, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok, Chonburi and Rayong have reported critically low water levels. Meanwhile, 187 reservoirs nationwide also reported water levels at below 30% including 50 reservoirs in the North, 100 in the Northeast, 33 in Central and four in the South.”

“It is expected that 6,065 villages in 139 districts and 714 subdistricts are currently being affected by the drought.”

So far there have been reports that 23 provinces declared as drought areas requiring emergency financial support by the Ministry of Finance. These provinces include Phayao, Nan, Chiang Rai, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phetchaboon, Uthai Thani, Nongkhai, Nakhon Sawan, Beung Kan, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Mahasarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Chaiyaphum, Sisaket, Chainat, Kanjanaburi, Suphanburi, Chachoengsao, and Prachinburi.

Phuket reservoirs are also at critically low levels, only surviving because of the drop in tourists to the island since January.

Songkran, the Thai New Year, on April 13, is usually the annual celebration of the end of the country’s hot season and the start of the annual wet season. The formal celebrations for Songkran have been postponed by the Thai government.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Thailand

Thailand News Today – Tuesday, March 31

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today – Tuesday, March 31 | The Thaiger

“Far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region – WHO update

The World Health Organisation says that the coronavirus pandemic is “far from over” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the WHO, Takeshi Kasai, says “Let me be clear. This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard, we need every country to keep preparing for large-scale community transmission. Countries with limited resources are a priority, such as Pacific Island nations.

Pattaya eyes hotel as quarantine area

Pattaya’s Committee for the Surveillance and Prevention of Covid-19 is proposing to use the city’s Grand Bella Hotel as a temporary medical shelter.

The shelter would be for people under investigation for Covid-19 coronavirus symptoms to quarantine them from others.

Pattaya currently has 12 cases, with a 16 in Bang Lamung, and a total of 53 in Chon Buri province. 105 people are currently being scrutinised for the virus in the province. 

Bangkok Pattaya Hospital has also announced it’s willing to help with the necessary medical supplies, sanitisers and other equipment. 

All public transport to Phuket, Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat suspended

Thailand’s Land Transport Department is suspending all public transport in an out of Phuket, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, due to the rapid spread of Covid-19.

The four provinces are in the south of Thailand. The department’s director-general says that the suspension includes inter-provincial and chartered services, but public transport to other destinations is unaffected.

Meanwhile the Thai Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong has foreshadowed that they may roll out the same deal for all inter-provincial public transport soon.

Regional Round-up

Philippines

President Duterte assures 200-billion Peso aid for the ‘most affected’ Filipinos in Covid-19 crisis

Indonesia

Jakarta buries 283 Covid-19 victims, suspected victims in under a month

Singapore

14 National University of Singapore students infected with Covid-19, all imported cases

Myanmar

Myanmar reports first death from Covid-19. A 69 year old man who had underlying health issues

Vietnam

Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh City will halt all public buses from Wednesday until April 15

Abandoned newborn girl discovered in Chiang Mai

An infant girl was found abandoned outside a grilled pork stand in Chiang Mai Province in Thailand’s north early yesterday.

The baby was found by a “drunken man” at 6:30am.The infant was wrapped in a red towel, and was quickly taken to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. Hospital staff told reporters the baby girl is in good health. Health officials are trying to track down the baby’s mother.

30,000 Thai hotels to lose all revenue during April

According to the Thai Hotels Association, out of the 32,000 or so hotels registered in Thailand, 95% will lose all revenue during April .

An adviser to the THA says that the number of hotel closures is growing every day as more provinces have imposed stricter lockdown policies.

The president of THA’s southern chapter says that 87% of hotels in Phuket intend to temporarily close during April to comply with the one-month lockdown.

Bangkok monks now sporting bespoke face shields

Monks in the nation’s capital have stopped waiting for a delivery of face masks and made their own face shields.

They’ve started wearing their home-made creations for their daily morning alms rounds. The monks are from Bangkok’s Wat Matchan Tikaram temple.

The home-made shields even included the words ‘FACE SHIELD’ emblazoned across the top, just in case anyone was unsure what they were.

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