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Thailand News Today – Wednesday, May 6

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Thai PM warns Thais to ‘behave’

Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is warning that unless people and businesses continue to adhere to social distancing rules, previously lifted restrictions could be reinstated.

The PM has already issued new guidelines on the sale of alcohol after chaotic scenes in supermarkets across the country following the lifting of the alcohol ban in all but a handful of provinces.

The PM says the government has now imposed limits on how much can be purchased in one visit, while reminding business owners that there continues to be restrictions on what time alcohol can be sold.

Today there’s also an alcohol ban for the Buddhist holiday, Visakha Bucha Day.

Only 1 new case, 1 new death today

The CSSA today reports 1 new coronavirus patient, a Thai masseuse, and one death, of an Australian hotel manager in the South.

The total of Covid-19 cases rose to 2,986 as the Buriram masseuse, aged 27, tested positive for the disease after returning from Russia and being quarantined.

The death toll rose to 55 with the case of a 69 year old Australian man who worked as the manager of a hotel in the southern province of Phang Nga.

Concerns in Pattaya over packed trucks transporting construction workers

Pattaya residents are sharing their concern about the conditions local construction workers are being transported, saying there is no social distancing being observed at all.

The Pattaya News reports about workers crammed onto packed trucks to be taken to and from sites in Pattaya and the wider Chon Buri area. Many of these workers are migrant labourers, already forced to live in very cramped quarters, where observing any form of social distancing is unlikely or impossible.

There were also concerns raised in Bangkok yesterday, when a delay with the BTS Skytrain service caused a backlog of commuters at stations. There’s now hundreds of shaming posts everyday of people sharing examples of bad social distancing practices.

1 million methamphetamine pills seized in Chiang Rai

Last night at around 8.30 pm Police officers from the Narcotics Suppression Division in Chiang Rai arrested a 27 year old called Atthachai.

The man was driving along the riverside bordering the Ban Rong area, in Mae Sai District before heading into the Chiang Rai city area.

The arresting officers were waiting for him following a tip-off and stopped the vehicle and searched the car. They found 5 sacks of methamphetamine pills found in the trunk, a total of just over 1 million methamphetamine pills, known locally as Yaba.

Prayut warns Thai Airways that the latest government bailout will be the last

The Thai PM has issued a stern warning to the executives of Thai Airways that the latest bailout and loan is the last from Thai taxpayers.

Last week the Finance Ministry agreed to guarantee a 54 billion baht bailout loan for the ailing airline and a further 80 billion baht recovery loan – both massive amounts of money being given to an airline that has been in debt for the last decade.

But the PM said… “This is the last time that Thai Airways will receive support from the government. If the situation worsens, there will be a complete structural overhaul of the airline.”

Prayut warned that the airline “must achieve 10 goals and not waste the government-backed loan”. Thai Airways posted a loss of 12 billion baht last year.

Visakha Bucha Day, Buddhist holiday

Today is a public holiday in Thailand to mark Visakha Bucha Day, the most significant day in the Buddhist calendar

The day commemorates three defining events in the life of the Lord Buddha; his birth, attaining enlightenment at 35 years old, and then his death 45 years later, which all, it is said, occurred on the full-moon day of the sixth lunar month.

Traditionally, Buddhists gather at temples to walk in circles three times around the main temple building with lighted candles. But this year the government has urged Buddhists not to gather together for this ritual and, instead, celebrate the event at home with family.

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