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News Hound: Protests waning, Phuket remains quiet

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: Protesters spilled what they say is their own blood at the gates of Thailand’s Government House late yesterday in what canada.com described as “a colourful act of political theatre” designed to propel their fugitive hero Thaksin Shinawatra back into power.

Thousands of ‘Red Shirts’ loyal to the deposed premier queued up during the day to donate blood in makeshift tents, where it was poured from syringes into five-litre water bottles for the bizarre spectacle.

It was the latest part of a pro-Thaksin demonstration which has drawn less than 100,000 protesters to the streets of Bangkok since the weekend, according to police, watched over by a 50,000-strong contingent of security forces.

The Red Shirts, whose numbers appeared to be dwindling on Wednesday, held the blood bottles in the air triumphantly as they rode on trucks followed by thousands of supporters and monitored by riot police.

Meanwhile, Phuket and all other provinces outside Greater Bangkok remain quiet and largely unaffected by the fervor in the capital.

Thai government meetings postponed

The Jakarta Post
The Thai Parliament postponed a scheduled session Tuesday as protesters continued to occupy the streets of the main government district in Bangkok.

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Chai Chidchob, ordered the postponement of a joint session of parliament after most members, including the Prime Minister, did not show up.

The strategy of the Red Shirts appears to be to disrupt the government for as long as possible, in the hope that the prime minister blinks.

Thai economy will survive protests

Reuters
The absence of violence during the protests in Thailand, and a growing view that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva can ride out the crisis lifted Thai stocks 1.4 percent by midday.

Despite the tensions, foreign investors have been buyers of Thai stocks for the past 15 sessions, scooping up a net $850 million over that period, although volumes slowed this week.

“If we can get past this week, things should return to normal and fund flows should start building up again,” said Patareeya Benjapolchai, president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

Australians advised to avoid Thailand

The Star
The Australian government re-issued its travel warning for Thailand yesterday, warning of a strong possibility of violence and civil unrest due to the political protests in Bangkok. The travel advisory urges travelers to use a “high degree of caution” throughout Thailand and said demonstrations could develop quickly and turn violent with little warning.

Thai tourism suffering from protests

CNN
Thailand’s tourism minister estimated the demonstrations might have resulted in a 20 percent drop in tourists. The impact on Chinese visitors appears to have been greater, with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce reporting a 50 percent cancellation rate.

— Gazette Editors

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… “We want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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