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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 15

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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, April 15 | The Thaiger
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30 new Covid-19 cases (Wednesday), 2 more deaths

Thai health officials today confirmed 30 new Covid-19 cases, taking the national total to 2,643.

New cases – 30

Total cases – 2,643

Death toll – 43

2 new deaths raise the national tally to 43. Today’s result follows the general trend of fewer new cases each day. But a spokesman for the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says the situation is still a cause for concern, saying…

“We must not let our guard down.”

One of the new deaths was a 65 year old female street food vendor who already had diabetes and high blood pressure. 

The other was a 60 year old man who returned from a Muslim ceremony in Indonesia on March 24.

In Phuket there were 3 more cases, again all in the Bang Tao cluster.

Globally, total confirmed cases has jumped over the 2 million mark today with around 126,000 deaths.

China moves to second phase of successful vaccine trials

A vaccine clinical trial in China has successfully concluded its first phase, and moving into the more intensive second phase studying hundred of patients. It is the first Covid 19 vaccine that has entered phase two of clinical trials around the world.

A 84 year old man in Wuhan was vaccinated this week becoming the oldest participant in the second phase of the trials. Unlike the first phase which had a maximum age of 60, phase two has no age limit as the elderly make up the highest percentage of the most at-risk group for Covid 19 patients.

Dr Chen Wei, whose leads the team developing the vaccine says that a possible fully-tested vaccine is still months away and then probably a year away before being approved around the world for mass vaccination.

Grocery trucks make a comeback during Covid-19 crisis

Once a familiar site in neighbourhoods throughout the country, Thai grocery trucks are making a comeback.

The trucks, essentially makeshift mobile shops, are once again bringing everything from mangoes and dried chillies to fresh meat, to people forced indoors by the national state of emergency.

The trucks were a staple of Thai life before shopping malls. The drivers are putting themselves at substantial risk, but say business is booming.

Man drowns in waste treatment pond after fleeing police checkpoint

This morning at 4am a man on a motorcycle, trying to evade a police checkpoint in Songkhla province (southern Thailand), drowned in a waste treatment pool.

As police officers were packing up the checkpoint about to head home, a man riding a motorcycle turned around just before reaching the checkpoint. Police were suspicious so they decided to pursue the man. But he rode to the local Provincial Waterworks Authority and jumped into the sludge treatment pool. While police were trying to get a branch to him so he could get out, he started cramping, panicked and drowned.

His body was sent to Hat Yai Hospital for an autopsy.

Thailand’s flight arrival ban extended to April 30

Thailand’s nationwide ban on inbound flights was yesterday extended to at leastApril 30 by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

CAAT announced the extension this morning. It is the third extension of the ban, which was first imposed back on April 3. 

the Director says that any previous permissions for inbound passenger flights during the period are now revoked.

Exceptions to the ban are repatriation flights, state and military aircraft, aircraft making emergency landings, humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights as well as cargo flights.

Thai Covid 19 “Super Spreader” song goes… VIRAL

The Thai government has recruited girl group Super Valentine to come back together after a 6 year break, and create a Covid 19 song. The songs straightforward lyrics are delivered with a smile and mirrorball warns people to self isolate to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“Don’t just think of fun, or you’ll suffer from Covid
If you can’t recover, you could die!”

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Thailand News Today – Monday, May 25

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today – Monday, May 25 | The Thaiger

2 new cases of Covid-19 reported in Thailand with one additional death

Today there have been 2 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 Coronavirus in Thailand with 1 additional death. 

The 2 new cases consist of 1 imported case from a Thai National being repatriated from Russia last Wednesday. She’s currently under state quarantine in Chon Buri province.

The other was a 49 year old Chinese wife of an Italian who had been infected with the virus in Cherngtalay, Phuket. She has 3 children aged 15, 10 and 7 and currently showing no signs of any symptoms. Cherngtalay is the tambon bordering Bang Tao, which was a hotzone for new cases during April and early May.

The additional death was a 68 year old Thai woman in Chumphon, southern Thailand. She was reported to have had underlying issues when she succumbed to the disease.

From beauty queen Thailand’s new face in Covid-19 reporting

Crowned Miss Thailand 2008, Dr Panprapa Yongtrakul returned to the spotlight last week as assistant spokesperson of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

She’ll be reporting about the pandemic every weekend from now on.

She’s taken over the weekend duties from the reassuring face Dr Taweesin Visan-nu-yothin who has been an extremely professional daily voice of CCSA since it was established on March 26.

In 2008, Panprapa was crowned Miss Thailand at the age of 20. It had been her dream since childhood to become a beauty queen. Now she’s the weekend face of the daily CCSA reports. She’s yet to be tested when taking questions from the Thai and foreign media.

Phuket’s lost summer – looking to 2021 for tourism recovery

In a solemn recognition of the reality of Phuket’s stalled tourist industry, a spokesperson for the southern chapter of the Thai Hotels Association is saying most of the west coast hotels are unlikely to reopen until the last quarter of this year. 

For now, Phuket’s International Airport remains closed to scheduled flights, and the Tha Chatchai road checkpoint at the top of the island is heavily curating who comes in and out with plenty of red-tape and paperwork. Nationally, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand still has a ban in place for all international travel into Thailand until at least the end of June – it could be extended further. The only exceptions are repatriation flights of Thai’s returning home and the return of international diplomats.

Phuket’s issue, as an economy that revolves almost completely around tourism, is that, even if it throws open the immigration gates at the airport and the doors of its almost 100,000 hotel and accommodation rooms, there are few markets that could provide incoming tourists at this stage. Where will they come from? Europe (including the UK), the US and now South America, are mired in their own pandemic outbreaks, and whilst trying to reopen their economies, are facing imminent second waves of Covid-19. 

Whilst other parts of Thailand have opportunities to reopen their businesses – manufacture, agriculture, IT, and large chunks of populations visit shops and general trading – Phuket has little of that. Some 50,000+ of the island’s 450,000 permanent population have already departed the island, either before the borders were closed in mid-March, or as soon as they were able to return to their provinces when the road border re-opened for repatriating people at the start of May.

The vice-president of the Thai Hotels Association southern chapter, says that hotels along the west coast might reopen in September at the earliest. 

Opposition criticises Thai government over economic toll of Covid response

Opposition party Pheu Thai has condemned the government’s management of the Covid-19 crisis, saying total shutdown has had a devastating effect on the country’s economy. 

The party says the hard-hitting restrictions imposed across the country have led to high unemployment, with the International Monetary Fund saying Thailand’s economy is the worst-affected in the region.

They add that the IMF is predicting the Thai economy will shrink by 6.7% this year, saying the country has one of the world’s most negative GDP forecasts, despite appearing to have brought the virus under control quite quickly.

Ayutthaya welcomes visitors after restrictions lift

Ayutthaya is welcoming visitors again after months of empty temple grounds as another set of restrictions were lifted over the weekend, allowing temples and historical sites to open back up. 

The Tourism Council of Thailand president says reopening the historic sites and business for domestic tourists will give tourism operators in the area a “lifeline”. The Buddhist temples had the most tourists over the weekend.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai food giant to provide a million meals priced at 20 baht

May Taylor

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Thai food giant to provide a million meals priced at 20 baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CP Freshmart Phetchaburi/Facebook

Thai food conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods says it plans to offer heavily discounted ready-to-eat meals for those facing financial difficulties as a result of the economic fallout of Covid-19.

CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert says a million meals will be distributed to Fresh Mart shops around the country and will cost just 20 baht. There will be a choice of dishes on offer and customers who purchase 5 meals at a time using the TrueWallet app will get an additional 5 baht discount .

“Six ready-to-eat meals will be offered under the campaign – rice with chicken breast in spicy sauce, rice with roasted chicken, rice with spicy chicken, fried rice with Korean-style roasted chicken, rice with garlic and liver and rice with omlette.”

Nation Thailand reports that CPF is also delivering free food to impoverished homes in Bangkok on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and distributing vouchers to village healthcare volunteers around the country so they can purchase items at discounted prices at Fresh Mart branches nationwide.

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited a company of the Charoen Pokphand Group, is an agro-industrial and food conglomerate headquartered in Thailand. Approximately 64% of its revenue came from overseas operations, with 30% from its home market of Thailand, and 6% from export operations. It recently acquired Bellisio Foods, one of the largest frozen food suppliers in the United States, for US$1 billion, as well as Westbridge Foods, a major British poultry producer with turnover of over £340 Million.

The company’s core businesses are livestock and aquaculture. Livestock operations include chicken broilers, chicken layers, ducks, and swine. In aquaculture, the two main marine animals are shrimp and fish – Wikipedia.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Students to wear mask, get temperature checked at school

Caitlin Ashworth

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Students to wear mask, get temperature checked at school | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Students will need to wear a face mask and have their temperature checked before entering school. The Public Health and Education ministries recently put restrictions in place for the start of school set for July 1, according to Nation Thailand.

Schools are categorised as a high risk area for the potential spread of the coronavirus. In general, cold and flu bugs spread fast in schools. Now, with a more serious pandemic, teachers and school officials will need to work extra hard to keep students healthy and somehow find a way to make sure students are social distancing.

“Hand sanitising checkpoints are now required throughout school grounds. Door knobs, toilets and playgrounds must be cleaned often. If a student has symptoms, the school must inform public health authorities.”

Some advisors are saying schools should wait longer to open, while others say children are less likely to show symptoms of the virus. The start date has already been pushed back and students are looking at a so-called “mega term” with little to no holiday break to make up for lost time until next year.

Thailand’s chief virologist, Dr. Yong Poovorawan, from the Faculty of Medicine says reopening schools needs careful consideration.

“If they do reopen in July, class sizes must be reduced to make sure students are seated a safe distance apart. It’s unclear how schools that are at capacity will lower class sizes.”

Distance-learning classes have launched online, but the system has had a few early bugs, with many Thais without internet or some unable to access the classes.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand| Thai PBS World| Bangkok Post

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