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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

Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Health officials call for smoking to be banned in residential buildings in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Irina Iriser on Unsplash

Thai health officials are calling for a ban on smoking in residential buildings, such as condominiums, hotels, and dormitories. Those campaigning for a change in the law say it’s needed to protect the health of residents, and children in particular. Paisan Limsathit, from the Health Laws and Ethics Centre at Thamassat University, says residential buildings should be smoke-free in order to protect residents from second-hand smoke. He was speaking at a seminar on the protection of non-smoking condo residents.

The seminar was organised by the National Health Foundation and examined the results of a September – October study from Thammasat University that looked at smoking in condominium buildings.

According to the findings, out of over 1,200 people surveyed, 15% say they are smokers. Nearly half of those say they usually smoke on the balcony of their condo. 89% of respondents are in support of a total ban on smoking in condo buildings.

Meanwhile, Nipapan Kangsakulniti from the Faculty of Public Health at Mahidol University, says non-smokers are susceptible to second-hand smoke in shared buildings, adding that, according to a US study, banning smoking in residential buildings could cut maintenance costs by nearly 5 billion baht, as well as protecting the health of residents and reducing the risk of fires.

While the law in Thailand outlaws smoking in government and office buildings, as well as shopping malls and other public spaces like lobbies and corridors, there is no outright ban on smoking in residential buildings. Charan Kesorn from the Property Management Association of Thailand and the Thai Real Estate Association, says a compromise would be to reserve dedicated smoking areas away from non-smoking residents.

The fine for breaching Thailand’s ban on smoking in public places starts at 2,000 baht, rising to a potential 100,000 baht and/or a year in prison for smokers caught puffing on the beach.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Protests

12 anti-government protesters summonsed to hear lèse majesté charges

Maya Taylor

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12 anti-government protesters summonsed to hear lèse majesté charges | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sakchai Lalit / AP

With almost impeccable timing, 12 pro-democracy protesters have been issued with police summons to hear charges under section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code. Section 112 relates to the offence of lèse majesté, or insulting, defaming or threatening the Monarchy. Anyone convicted on lèse majesté charges faces imprisonment of between 3 and 15 years.

In June this year the Thai PM announced that HM the King had asked the government not to impose the country’s lèse majesté laws.

Protest leader Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin” is facing a total of 8 charges. According to a Nation Thailand report, 6 have been filed by police stations in the north-eastern provinces of Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, and Roi Et, in the central provinces of Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi, and the Chana Songkram district of Bangkok. 2 additional charges are being brought by the Technology Crime Suppression Division.

Meanwhile, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung”, who has been named by the BBC as one of 2020’s 100 most inspiring and influential women, faces 6 charges. Both Panupong Jadnok (Mike) and human rights lawyer Anon Nampa face 4 charges each.

The other activists facing charges are Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon, aka “Mind”, (3 charges), Chanin Wongsri (2 charges), and Juthathip Sirikhan, Piyarat Jongthep, Thatthep Ruangprapaikijseree, Atthaphol Buaphat, Chukiat Saengwong and Sombat Thongyoi, all facing 1 charge each.

A spokesperson for the Royal Thai Police says officers are working on additional summons for a further 3 – 5 protesters, who will also face lèse majesté charges. It’s understood officers had a request for arrest warrants turned down on the basis that the suspects are public figures who have permanent residences in the Kingdom.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Crime

Department of Land Transport threatens hefty fines for customised vehicle headlights, taillights

Maya Taylor

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Department of Land Transport threatens hefty fines for customised vehicle headlights, taillights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The Department of Land Transport is warning motorists that they may face significant fines if they modify their vehicle’s headlights or taillights. Jantira Buruspat from the DLT says that customising a vehicle’s lights in a manner that contravenes either the Vehicle Act or the Land Transport Act can incur a fine of up to 50,000 baht. He says the reminder is being issued after a number of complaints from members of the public who say their visibility is affected by issues such as vehicles that have blue lights.

“The customisation of vehicle headlights or taillights in private cars and taxi-meters is against the Vehicle Act, facing a maximum penalty of 2,000 baht. Light modification in public buses and large trucks also violates the Land Transport Act for adding objects to vehicles that can harm other people’s physical or mental health, which stipulates a maximum penalty of 50,000 baht.”

Jantira adds that vehicle owners should ensure they’re familiar with road safety rules and that their vehicles adhere to the manufacturer’s standards. Failure to do so means they will need to undo any customisation work detected during a vehicle inspection and before they can renew their driving licence.

“We are also cooperating with police nationwide to randomly inspect vehicles at selected checkpoints. Officials can immediately take charges against the drivers if their vehicles are found with modified headlights or taillights.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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