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Weather for February 20

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Bangkok

Generally clear. High 34ºC. Winds S at 10 to 15 km/h.Weather for February 20 | News by Thaiger

Phuket

Generally clear. High 31ºC. Winds NE at 10 to 15 km/h.Weather for February 20 | News by Thaiger

Chiang Mai

Generally clear. High 35ºC. Winds SE and variable.Weather for February 20 | News by Thaiger

Pattaya

Generally clear. High 31ºC. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 km/h.

Weather for February 20 | News by Thaiger

Hua Hin

Generally clear. High 31ºC. Winds SE at 10 to 15 km/h.

Weather for February 20 | News by Thaiger

Ko Samui

Generally clear. High 26ºC. Winds ESE at 15 to 25 km/h.

Weather for February 20 | News by Thaiger

 

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals

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Photo via Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูล COVID-19

1,911 new Covid-19 infections and 18 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 76,811 Covid-19 infections and 336 virus-related deaths.

There are now 29,680 active cases. 1,073 patients are in critical condition including 356 on ventilators. The majority of the recent deaths were elderly patients. 12 of the 18 patients who died had contracted the virus from family members. A spokesperson for the CCSA says it’s important that family members be extra cautious around grandparents and elderly relatives who are the most at risk of infection.

Province New cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 739 16,048
Nonthaburi 273 2,831
Samut Prakan 143 2,737
Chon Buri 76 3,039
Samut Sakhon 65 1,230
Surat Thani 53 975
Nakhon Pathom 47 717
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 35 575
Chachoengsao 35 402
Pathum Thani 31 1,060
Nakhon Si Thammarat 31 498

COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger COVID Update: 1,911 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Economy

GDP forecast dropped to 1-2% with best, middle and worst case scenarios

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Economic predictions continue to fall with Covid-19 spread and slow vaccination.

Mass vaccination will be the key stop the slump in economic growth after the Bank of Thailand revised their 2021 GDP forecast to between 1 – 2%. They had previously estimated a 3% growth in the gross domestic product but are now creating tiered predictions of a base level, worse situation, and a worst-case scenario, according to the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee.

The base GDP forecast, which you could call a best-case scenario, expects a 2% growth predicated on some rosy numbers like foreign tourism growing to 1.2 million people and unemployment staying around 2.7 million. It also operates on the assumption that Thailand reaches 100 million vaccines distributed by the end of the year which would allow herd immunity by the beginning of 2022.

The middle ground prediction is a 1.5% GDP growth if 64.6 million vaccines are administered, delaying herd immunity to the third quarter of 2022. It also allows for unemployment to grow by another 100,000 people, and tourism to reach only 1 million foreign visitors. If we don’t get this tourism growth and unemployment and underemployment expands to 2.9 million or above, and we distribute less than 64.4 million jabs, the worst-case scenario would be only a 1% GDP growth and herd immunity not being possible until the end of 2022 at the earliest.

The worst-case scenario would be a 5.7% drop in the GDP this year, a loss of 890 billion baht. The middle ground forecast would cost about 460 billion Baht, about a 3% drop in Thailand GDP.

The BOT had originally forecast stronger GDP growth but reduced from 3.2% to 3% before dropping their predictions to the 1% to 2% figure. With the devastating effect of the third wave of Covid-19 being much more far-reaching than originally expected, this new prediction was released now instead of when it was scheduled in June. They did state that government economic stimulus packages could still have a positive effect and allow the economy to grow 3 to 5.7%, assuming mass vaccination goes into effect quickly.

The tourism sector and small-to-medium-sized enterprises would be the most affected by the delays in vaccination. The Monetary Policy Committee stressed that the economy hinges on the speedy importing and administering of vaccines. Faster vaccination will prevent mutations, new strains, and new outbreaks, as well as allowing international borders to fully reopen more quickly and more successfully. They stress that government efforts to support the economy must continue as the government has recently announced they will extend cash stimulus programs and allot money to more low-income assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Tourism

Thai hotels call for extension to domestic travel stimulus packages

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr / Marike de Meij

The Thai Hotels Association is urging the government to extend the domestic travel stimulus schemes, set to end on September 30. THA president, Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, says the stimulus packages, “We Travel Together”, which subsidises flights and hotel accommodation, and the Tour Teaw Thai co-payment scheme, must be continued until the current Covid-19 crisis is under control.

She points out that despite no national lockdown, Thais are reluctant to travel, which is having a devastating impact on the hotel industry. A recent survey found that nearly half of Thai hotels only have enough liquidity to keep going for 3 months or less. Marisa says it’s vital the government’s tourism stimulus schemes are extended to the end of 2021 and beyond.

“Thailand needs a longer time to contain the spread of the virus because the infection rate of this variant runs faster than the previous 2 rounds, not to mention the higher level of fear among the public. This time will be different and more challenging for the tourism sector as people voluntarily stay home despite no rigid lockdown orders from the government.”

The Bangkok Post reports that a number of Thai hotels are taking part in a scheme which enables them to access soft loans and debt restructuring, but Marisa warns that this will not be enough to help them meet their costs.

“The official order from the government to close hotels in risk areas during the first outbreak prompted the Social Security Fund to compensate 62% of salary to employees for 3 months last year. Even though there is no such enforcement this year, the impact of travel restrictions and the ban on many activities produce the same bitter result.”

She adds that while the THA and the Thai Chamber of Commerce have proposed a monthly salary co-payment plan, there has been no response from the government.

“From the current situation, the only solution for employees to get financial aid from the SSF is to be unemployed first, but hotels don’t want to lay off staff because skilled workers in the hospitality sector will be difficult to find when we want them back.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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