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Thailand News Today – Tuesday, May 12

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Thailand’s national figures for Covid-19 patients – May 12

Only 2 new Covid-19 cases have been announced today bringing the national total in Thailand to 3,017 cases.

No additional deaths were reported keeping the accumulated death toll from Covid-19 at 56 cases. One case was a 19 year old Bangkok woman, the other a 51 year old Thai woman from Narathiwat, both had been living with past confirmed cases.

Phuket bus driver shares government quarantine facility with coffin

A bus driver who left Phuket to return to his home city of Trang was left feeling a little, well, uneasy when he realised he would be sharing his government quarantine facilities with a coffin.

The man had left Phuket as part of the exodus of some 50,000 people who headed back to their home provinces after realising there would be no work on the holiday island in the short to medium term.

But when the 27 year old was locked into his quarantine at a temple in Trang he was a little taken aback to find a coffin sitting next to his bed.

Officials say the monks have always kept the coffin in that room as there is no space in the temple. After posting his predicament on social media authorities allowed him to return to his home where he is spending the remainder of his quarantine time.

A 16 year old girl has now come forward in Mukdahan school rape case

Three of the teachers, suspected in a gang rape case against a 14 year old girl at a school in Mukdahan province are now likely to face charges for the sexual assault of a 16 year old student as well.

The teenager has been placed into the custody of the ministry of Social Development and Human Security. Both victims were reportedly raped on a number of occasions over a one-year period starting in March 2019.

The public school has suspended 5 teachers who stand accused of repeated sexual assaults against the 14 year old girl. The 16 year old victim, from the same school, is acting as a witness in the first gang rape case against the younger student. Police say they’ve already collected incriminating evidence against the teachers and the girl’s stories corroborate.

24 people arrested after police raid on Samui bar

22 foreigners and 2 Thai nationals have been arrested at a bar called La Bohemia on the Gulf island of Koh Samui.

All were charged with breaking the emergency decree, which prohibits restaurants selling alcohol and gatherings of people.

A 24 year old Frenchman, identified as the owner of the beer bar, was one of the people arrested, along with 3 Burmese menwere working as waiters, only one had a work permit.

The next batch of reopenings in Thailand, coming this Sunday

We should find out more in the next few days about the next raft of re-opening for Thailand’s businesses.

The provisional list includes shopping malls, community malls, bowling alleys, fitness clubs, amusement parks, beauty salons offering hair-curling and dyeing services as well as nail services, eateries in office buildings, beauty clinics, weight loss clinics, out-door team sport events (but no spectators), public gardens, galleries and Thai foot massage parlours.

But not movie theatres at this stage. Or beaches.

Thailand rescue dog from meat trade performs on Britain’s Got Talent

A dog rescued from Thailand’s illegal meat trade brought tears to those on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent.

There was silence as the story of Miracle the dog played on a screen to the audience. A photo flashed on the screen of when the dog was crushed in a cage piled high with dogs.

Now, 6 years after the rescue, Miracle is a healthy dog with lots of energy. Miracle’s owner, Amanda Leask from Scotland, now has 40 dogs, 19 of them are rescue dogs.

Miracle did a quick magic trick, bringing out four of his friends that matched photos the judges had picked. Although the magic trick was nice, it was Miracle’s story that made even the stern judge Simon Cowell tear up.

The dog meat trade is an ongoing issue in Asia. The Soi Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organisation in Thailand and based in Mai Khao Phuket, cares for hundreds of dogs rescued from the meat trade. The SDF say the dogs are not humanely killed and many are tortured before being skinned alive because some believe the pain leads to the tenderising of the meat.

There’s a link so you can watch the full performance of Miracle in the story at thethaiger.com

Thailand rescue dog from meat trade performs on Britain’s Got Talent

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Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law

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Banned politician says government silencing him by invoking Lese Majeste law | The Thaiger

A banned politician, who criticised the government’s Covid-19 vaccine plan, is claiming the government is silencing him (again) by invoking the Lese Majeste lawagainst him. The alleged defamation case concerns his questioning of using one of the king’s companies as part of the Covid-19 vaccine strategy that he says will slow down the process of inoculations.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit accused the government of PM Prayut of relying too much on Siam Bioscience to help in the vaccine plan, and pointed out that it is owned by the Crown Property Bureau, the organisation that manages billions of dollars in investment under the king’s personal control.

Siam Bioscience agreed to manufacture AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and supply it domestically and across Southeast Asia. but Thanathorn says the deal “lacked transparency” and it was given an unfair advantage over other companies after the government ordered 61 million doses of the vaccine.

He says the government is slowing down the process by relying on just 1 company and points to other countries as they are already starting to inoculate residents. Both AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience have not commented on his allegations, while the government has filed a complaint against Thanathorn citing the royal insult law under article 112 of the criminal code that can send law-breakers to prison for up to 15 years.

“The deals were not negotiated independently of each other. There was no selection process or comparison so questions must be raised.”

But a government spokeswoman, Ratchada Dhanadirek, maintains the filing of the criminal complaint was not politically motivated. Last year, Thanathorn was banned from politics for 10 years after a court dissolved his Future Forward Party for illegal loans, charges which were upheld by the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, others are criticising the government’s announcement to allow local municipalities to pay for vaccines as they say it coincides with upcoming elections. They point out that the government should pay for the vaccinations, especially in Bangkok, as they say the government has the funds to do so.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

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Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger

In a nationwide crackdown on gambling, police in the Isaan province Khon Kaen raided a warehouse and seized more than 400 slot machines.

Acting on a court warrant, police searched the warehouse. The locks on the door had been changed and police had to break into the warehouse. Inside, canvases covered 418 slot machines. Police say the machines were “plug and play” ready to go.

Officers say they believe the warehouse was linked to an illegal gambling den in the province… surely, not another one. No arrests have been made and police are still investigating.

After nearly recovering from Covid-19, Samut Sakhon’s governor is back on a ventilator after nearly a month receiving artificial creating support. Doctors are currently monitoring the Governor’s condition hourly.

While the 58 year old governor’s Covid-19 infection had subsided, the virus negatively affected his lung function, according to doctors. They reported today that a bacterial infection is now destroying some of his lung tissue.

They also said that the governor’s brain function has been affected by the Covid-19 virus, but the spokesperson didn’t go into specific details.

Last week, doctors announced Verasak’s condition was improving and he would be taken off the ventilator.

Speaking of Samut Sakhon, the province’s Central Shrimp Market, the original epicentre of the latest wave of Covid-19 that kicked off on December 20 last year, is ready to reopen by the end of January after a big clean up.

The reopening is considered “important” to the provincial economy, according to the province’s deputy governor. It will also be a new beginning for the workers, mostly migrant workers, who have been so profoundly affected by the cluster.

The Market has been shut since December 20 after more than 500 cases of Covid-19 were detected, following nearly 7 months of single digit daily infection reports.

Since then, nearly 5,000 accumulative cases have been detected as a result of the cluster… mostly migrant workers, and most from Myanmar. Some 331 are still in hospital.

The Koh Larn community committee is asking the Chon Buri provincial communicable disease committee to consider reopening the island after being affected by the restriction measures from January 5. The island is currently almost cut off from traffic from the mainland.

Koh Larn, one of the province’s popular tourist destinations off the coast of Pattaya, has been massively affected by the restrictions.

The Koh Larn community committee says all stringent control measures are in place now, so there wouldn’t be a problem if they can get back to operation again.

Air pollution in Bangkok is expected to get worse over the next few days as pollutants are getting trapped in the atmosphere thanks to a recent cold spell and a lack of wind to blow the haze away from the city. In response to the unhealthy air pollution, The PM’s Office permanent secretary says he has asked several ministries to step up efforts in combatting the PM2.5 micron ‘dust’ particulate that has blanketed the city.

He says…. vehicle exhaust fumes, construction sites and burning garbage in open areas is not helping.”

“To add to the problem, the cold spell is creating an “inversion layer” which stops air below it from rising and trapping pollutants.”

As usual, Bangkok officials are looking to some of the smaller, localised traffic issues to blame, although the annual “smoke from the north” problem remains the key and overriding issue regarding Bangkok’s smog problem months. The local traffic pollutants, whilst ever-present, don’t cause the skyline smog and haze for the rest of the year.

And when the Thais refer to a “cold spell” it usually means the ambient morning temperature has dropped to the low 20s. In other parts of the world that would be considered a heat wave!

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Government is to allow people to use “legal” parts of cannabis in business

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Government is to allow people to use “legal” parts of cannabis in business | The Thaiger
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With intentions to promote cannabis as the country’s potential new cash crop, the government is preparing guideline to allow people to produce, sell or own cannabis and hemp. The permitted businesses, including textile, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics will be able to register to receive FDA permissions from January 29.

According to the FDA secretary-general, leaves, stalks, stems, roots, flowers, and seeds are not in a list of legal parts as they have high drug content (is there anything left?). Individuals are still not allowed to grow both cannabis and hemp without authorisation. Import and export of hemp must seek permission from the FDA Office as well.

Interested applicants in Bangkok can register at the FDA Office, while those in upcountry can contact the provincial public health offices. Courses and training about how to start a business using marijuana plants will be provided under the collaboration of the Education Ministry and Public Health Ministry.

However, a traditional medicine expert with Chaopraya Abhaiphubejhr Hospital, suggests that 6 groups of people should avoid food and drink with marijuana, including those with liver and kidney problems, heart disease patients, people aged below 25, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and those taking stimulant medications.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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