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Pattaya’s homeless population seeks refuge in abandoned bars

Maya Taylor

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Pattaya’s homeless population seeks refuge in abandoned bars | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.fivestarvagabond.com
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Despite the easing of nearly all restrictions imposed to suppress the Covid-19 virus, Thailand’s people are still very much feeling the lingering effect of the shutdown. An ongoing ban on nearly all international arrivals has crippled the tourism industry, meaning many nightlife venues in places like Bangkok, Pattaya, and Phuket remain shut. A report in The Pattaya News shows the full extent of the economic toll in Pattaya, where unemployed and homeless people are being forced to take refuge in abandoned beer bar complexes, mostly in the Soi Buakhao area of ​​the city.

While some people were struggling financially prior to the Covid crisis, many others find themselves newly unemployed and with nowhere to live. One man says he worked in construction until being let go when the lock-down happened. He has now been living in an abandoned bar complex for 2 months, doing odd jobs here and there, and surviving on food handouts.

Another woman says she used to work as a “mamasan”, but the forced closure of the city’s bars left her broke and homeless. She too is living in an abandoned bar while she tries to find another job. Another man says he was already struggling with drug and money problems prior to the arrival of Covid-19, and was sleeping on the beach until it was closed off.

According to the Pattaya News report, all those spoken to hope the government can somehow balance controlling the virus with re-starting the economy, adding that while they hope tourists are allowed to return, everyone should have to be tested before being admitted to the country. Thailand has now gone more than 50 days with no locally transmitted case of Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Avatar

    billy

    July 20, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    at least the bars are good for something.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 20, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Can anyone believe the Thai government has handled this emergency well.
    Thousands homeless. Thousands out of work. Thousands living on food handouts.
    And even though there has been no transmitted case of the virus for 50 days, the stupid government still will not stop banning everything they can.
    No body allowed into the country unless they pay plenty and jump through hoops.
    Nobody allowed to leave though country. Why not???
    Nobody can even transit through the airport unless they have a certificate!
    It is dictatorship pure and simple based on lies and corruption.

    • Avatar

      billy

      July 20, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      wow, I didnt know that. Thanks for your expert knowledge of Thailand.

    • Avatar

      billy

      July 20, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      I guess they not want tourist. I thought it was bad before when they started that hotel reporting crap. I arrived on a friday then the next day had to goto police station to report where I was staying. They told me to come back on Monday as the Guy handling that was off for the weekend. now it seems to be a heck of a lot worse.

      • Avatar

        james

        July 20, 2020 at 10:16 pm

        Billy,

        If you are staying in a hotel the staff do the reporting for you, if you are in a private house you can report online.

  3. Avatar

    billy

    July 20, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    i believe my brother! dont worry i believe

  4. Avatar

    james

    July 20, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    It is the reverse for me.

    Before the shut down of bars due to the virus, I thought I lived in a bar!

    It took me three days to realize the hotel had other rooms for people to sleep in. ?

    Now they are desolate places and most of them are closed (Phuket).

  5. Avatar

    Mitt Romney

    July 21, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Yes the number of beggers for food here has exploded over the last 8 weeks. Its like walking a gauntlet down the streets. 20-30 people begginging you for money. It’s sad and not very likeable. Sometimes it feels dangerous when they get aggressive

  6. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    No need to thank me Billy. I can see you do not know much.
    First time in Thailand?
    I am glad to enlighten you with my export knowledge of Thailand.

    • Avatar

      billy

      July 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      actually it was my third time in Thailand, however, it was my first time going there with a 60 day visa, with the hopes of having it renewed so as to get 90 days out of it. I wanted to do everything according to thai laws so that I wouldnt have a problem with immitgration. regardless, I never made the full 60 days. Got tired of the B/S in pattaya and booked a flight back to the Philippines after 30 days. Basically being a newbie and no friends caught up with me. every f/n thing was BUSINESS only. everytime i had a few beers and sorta let my guard down the leeches would taint my drink and try to clean me out. couldnt trust nothing that moved. girly wise.. anyways thats my story ..

  7. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 21, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Well good luck to you Billy.
    Girls will fleece you all over the far east, but sometimes it seems worth it to be fleeced.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A Burmese teenager who lives near the Thai-Myanmar border tested positive for Covid-19. Now, Thai border patrol officers are tightening security even more to make sure Myanmar’s outbreak doesn’t cross the border and cause a second wave in Thailand.

The 17 year old Burmese boy tested positive for Covid-19 last week. Reports say the teen was in Myanmar’s Payatongsu district, about 5 kilometres from the Three Pagodas Pass checkpoint bordering Kanchanaburi. The teen started having symptoms on September 11 and tested positive on September 17.

Only around 13 people were reportedly in close contact with the teen and they are now in quarantine at a district school. Health officials suspect the teen was exposed to the virus from his uncle who had travelled to Moulmein, a large city near Yangon which had a spike in coronavirus cases. The uncle has been tested and is in quarantine, but his test results are still pending.

In another case, a 2 year old Burmese child tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand. A report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department says the child most likely contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar around September 4 to September 10. The family travelled to Mae Sot and entered Myanmar through natural passageways. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Since Myanmar reported a surge in cases, starting mostly in the country’s Rakhine state on the western coast, Thailand has been increasing border patrol to make sure people are not entering Thailand illegally and potentially spreading the virus. Now that there are cases in some Myanmar border towns, Thailand checkpoints are on high alert.

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. The country reported a total of 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

In some border districts, police have placed barbed wire along the border to prevent people from entering illegally. Security has increased and dozens of migrants have been arrested in the past month for allegedly entering Thailand illegally. Even volunteers have stepped up to patrol the borders. No migrants arrested for allegedly crossing the border have tested positive for the virus.

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Myanmar

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | News by The Thaiger

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. As of September 22, the country reported 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut

Maya Taylor

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Struggling airlines to get reprieve through small loans, extension to fuel tax cut | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TAT News

Airlines in Thailand are being offered a financial lifeline, as the Government Savings Bank announces soft loans for carriers left struggling as a result of the current Covid-19 ‘disruption’. Nation Thailand reports that the GSB is offering the loans over a 60 month period, with an annual interest rate of 2%. Chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa says the proposal will shortly be put to Cabinet for approval.

Airlines have been left financially devastated by the fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with countries closing their borders, passenger numbers plummeting, and carriers forced to slash the number of flights on offer. The services available, including the food services, were also curtailed early on as a preventative measure but that restriction has since been lifted. The effect is being keenly felt by all the airlines in Thailand, with the Kingdom’s borders closed to nearly all international traffic since March.

In a further effort to ease the financial crisis faced by Thai airlines, the Excise Department says it will extend the fuel tax cut for low-cost carriers by another 6 months from the end of this month. Patchara, who also serves as director-general of the Excise Department, says the tax may end up being abolished completely. In normal times, taxation on aviation fuel generates around 1 billion baht a year.

Air Asia has also cut some of its ground costs by using airport buses to ferry passengers from a cheaper aircraft parking area, back to the terminals, foregoing the costs of the airport airbridges. Flights from Phuket to Don Mueang, for example, are now a full ‘bus’ service, sometimes adding an additional 15 minutes at either end for the loading up of the buses and the trip to the planes or the terminal.

It’s understood the excise tax collected since October 2019 totals 503 billion baht, down more than 6.5% on last year’s figure. Most of the income comes from oil or oil products, cars, alcohol, and cigarettes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy

Maya Taylor

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Phuket’s governor calls for help in restoring island’s economy | The Thaiger
Shuttered businesses along Bangla Road in Patong yesterday

The governor of Phuket has likened the southern province to a “patient in a coma”, as he pleads for help to restore its devastated economy. According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew was addressing a Public Health Association forum, where he highlighted the economic crisis caused by the ongoing ban on international tourists. The island’s international airport closed in April, shutting off the supply of international tourists, and cutting off the flow of international money flowing into the island’s tourist economy.

The latest figures show that Phuket has lost over 400 billion baht since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The island’s economy is, either directly or indirectly, 90% reliant on a steady flow of international tourists, and has seen a massive tourist infrastructure boom over the past 20 years, including accommodation, tours, tour boats, tours buses and passenger vans, international shows, new roads, restaurants and rentals – all aimed at the many levels of traveller budgets.

Governor Narong predicts the province will face similar hardship next year, and is calling on the government to organise conferences and other events that will attract more visitors to the province.

“So far, the province has invited 15,000 village health volunteers in the south to travel and spend time in the province while today’s seminar is bringing in 10,000 attendees and followers and will relieve some of the hardship.”

Meanwhile, PHA president Prapat Thamwongsa, says the forum gives those attending the opportunity to share knowledge and advice on tackling the spread of disease, with presentations and competitions addressing all public health activities.

Phuket usually receives around 14 million visitors every year, with around 10-11 million arriving from outside Thailand. The airport usually welcomes up to 300 international flights a day but is now only receiving around 80 flights a day, since the ban on foreign flights started in April. Narong says an estimated 40,000 of the island’s workers are now unemployed, while those still employed have taken hefty pay cuts of anything from 20% to a hefty 90%. Less than 30% of the province’s hotels are currently open.

“Phuket is like a patient in a coma in ICU. So, it is necessary for all stakeholders to help restore Phuket as quickly as possible.”

The Cabinet recently approved a long-stay visa (the Special Tourist Visa) for tourists who wish to visit the Kingdom, although critics say the strict requirements, coupled with the extortionate cost of the mandatory 14 day quarantine, make it unworkable. The new visa is also insisting that travellers will have to arrive on restricted charter or private jet flights, adding further cost and restrictions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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