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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, March 18

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New cases of Covid-19 takes Thai toll beyond 200

35 new cases of Covid-19 coronavirus have been confirmed in Thailand today.

29 of the new cases were linked to what’s now being referred too as the Lumphini cluster…. the Lumphini Boxing stadium north west of Bangkok city.

Since Sunday 130 new cases have been announced, almost tripling the total cases from last week. A professor at Mahidol University faculty of Medicine is urging the government to announce Stage 3 restrictions. After today all schools will be closed as well as bars, entertainment venues and massage parlours in Bangkok and most of the tourist areas.

Narathiwat/Malaysia border checkpoints closed March 18-31

After Malaysia announced its nationwide lock down, the Army has announced the temporary closure of the customs checkpoints in Narathiwat, along the Thai/Malaysia border.

After seeing that only Malaysian nationals are allowed to enter into Malaysia, the 4th area command said the border will now be totally closed to help combat the spread of Covid-19. The order was effective from 5am yesterday morning.

Airlines offered drop in landing fees and fuel excise at Thai airports

Airlines, international and domestic, have been hit hard with the impact on travel following the Coronavirus outbreak. Over the past month there’s been daily announcements of cancellations of flights and rescheduling to cope with border closures and daily changes in the coronavirus evolution. The Thai Cabinet has confirmed there would be a 50% reduction in landing and parking fees for all airlines up to December 31.

There will also be an extension of the reduction in jet fuel excise up to the end of this year, extended from September 30. From March 1 to 16, the number of arriving passenger fell 49% and was as low as 60% on some days.

Cabinet approval to reduce water, power bills by 3%

And the Cabinet has approved 17 billion baht in measures to tackle the Covid-19 crisis and drought. They are reducing water and electricity bills by 3% and returning deposits for installation of electricity meters.

And during a ‘grace period’ of not more than six months, the cabinet has also approved extending the period of electricity payments for specific businesses such as hotels and housing for rent, without interest.

3 insurgents killed in shootout

More violence in Thailand’s restive South yesterday as three insurgents were killed in a shootout with government forces near a Pattani dam.

Pattani and its neighbouring provinces are home to a bloody separatist insurgency which has rocked the region for decades. An Army spokesman said the clash occurred about 5pm yesterday, the sixth day of an operation to pressure southern insurgents to surrender. The operation began on March 12 after a clash in which four members of a government force were injured.

Vendors flock back to Phuket’s Surin beach

Driving past Surin Beach, Phuket, over recent weeks you’d be wondering if you hadn’t travelled back in time to the days, pre-military coup (2014), when the umbrellas and cheap white plastic sun lounges were ubiquitous lined up along Phuket’s beaches.

Cherng Talay President Ma’Ann Samran, has confirmed that the beach chairs and umbrella operators have, indeed, returned to Surin Beach last week. But locals say the vendors have been back in full swing since at least last December.

The Army kicked the pesky vendors, umbrellas and cheap plastic white sun lounges off Phuket’s beaches following the coup in 2014 and designated Surin Beach a cleared beach in honour of a visit from HM King Bhumibol back in 1959.

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Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 9

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today – Thursday, April 9 | The Thaiger

Chamber predicts 7 million Thai people to be jobless by June

7 million Thais could be on the unemployment queue by June in dire predictions from an industry chamber.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking have predicted that 7 million people will be joblessby June. 

The report says… “Low wage workers will be affected the most by the layoffs, an estimated of 4.2 million retail and shopping mall workers will lose their jobs, along with 1 million construction workers, 978,000 hotel workers, 250,000 restaurant workers, 200,000 spa and massage workers and 200,000 garment factory workers.”

Thailand’s labour market currently employs about 38 million workers.

Thailand confirms 54 new coronavirus cases, 2 new deaths 

54 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in have been announced in Thailand today, less than half of yesterday’s 111.

The new cases bring the total number of infections in the country to 2,423. Two additional deaths were reported as an 82 year old Thai man and a Frenchman aged 74. This brings the national death total to 32.

2,423 confirmed cases including…

• 1,242 in Bangkok

• 161 in Phuket

• 142 in Nonthaburi

• 103 in Samut Prakan

• 73 in Chon Buri

Visa amnesty for foreigners – but conditions apply

The visa amnesty has been announced, hopefully relieving some of the stress on stranded tourists and other foreigners that have ended up without flights or ways to get home.

The Immigration Bureau has announced that it is granting amnesty for all foreign nationals who have found themselves marooned in Thailand. The key points are…

• Visas that have expired from March 26 onwards will be automatically extended to April 30.

• Foreigners are no longer required to apply in person for an extension at an immigration office

• They will not be charged 500 baht per day for overstaying their visa

• Foreigners who are due to file their 90 day reports, between March 26 and April 30, are also temporarily exempted.

• Foreigners with border passes will be allowed to stay in Thailand for now but will be required to leave Thailand within 7 days once the borders are opened again.

Stranded Burmese permitted to return home

Stranded Burmese people at Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai border crossing in Northern Thailand have been allowed to return home to Myanmar.

The Burmese people, stuck in Thailand since borders were closed have been held in quarantine at a temple in Mae Sai. Myanmar officials allowed them to cross the border after being declared free from Covid-19 infection.

A fleet of 23 trucks transported the nearly 200 Burmese from the temple to the Friendship Bridge at Mae Sai. They’ll be quarantined in Myanmar for another 14 days.

Burmese pair arrested at border for smuggling 16.5 million baht

But the traffic hasn’t all been one way up in the north. Police have arrested two Burmese nationals for trying to smuggle 16.5 million baht in cash into Thailand. The 29 and 24 year olds were arrested following a tip-off.

Police found 16,500 1,000-baht banknotes in two black plastic bags during a routine check.

Police say the pair claimed they were going to deposit the cash at a Kasikorn bank in Mae Sot but they were unable to produce any evidence of bank books or a bank account.

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News & Updates

90 day ban on transporting horses to control AHS virus outbreak

Greeley Pulitzer

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90 day ban on transporting horses to control AHS virus outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: eiriu-eolas.org

Thailand has issued an order banning the movement of all horses nationwide in an effort to stop the spread of African Horse Sickness , which has already killed more than 200 horses in the kingdom. The Ministry of Agriculture announced the order yesterday, effective for 90 days.

The disease has already killed nearly 200 horses in the country.

A spokesman for the the ministry says the AHS deaths have been reported in 4 provinces including Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Phetchaburi since the outbreak began on March 26.

The ministry’s Livestock Department and the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department told reporters that they’re still investigating the source of the virus.

Horse farm owners are calling on livestock officials to trace the origin of AHS and list it on the Animal Disease Act to pave the way for strict enforcement of animal health regulations. Some farm owners have told the department they suspect zebras imported from Africa are the most likely cause

Many farms have also reportedly threatened a lawsuit against the livestock department for failing to prevent the disease. Officials say they are in the midst of consulting experts for the use of a vaccine to prevent the disease.

SOURCE: Khaosod English | xinhuanet.com

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Stranded Burmese permitted to return home

Sean Kelly

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Stranded Burmese permitted to return home | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chaing Rai Times

Stranded Burmese people at Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai Tachileik border crossing in Northern Thailand have been allowed to return home to Myanmar.

The Burmese people, stuck in Thailand since borders were closed as a prevention in the spread of Covid-19, have been held in quarantine at Phra That Doi Wao temple in Mae Sai. Myanmar officials allowed them to cross the border after being cleared from Covid-19 infection but will require additional quarantine once back in Myanmar.

burmese people-Chiang Rai

A fleet of 23 trucks transported the nearly 200 Burmese from the temple to the Friendship Bridge connecting Mae Sai with Myanmar’s Tachileik province and are now in a quarantine facility in Myanmar where they will be observed for another 14 days.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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