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PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters

Maya Taylor

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PM to visit Phuket on Monday as island’s economy lies in tatters | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket People's Voice
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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is to arrive in Phuket on Monday, where he will meet with local business leaders and discuss proposals for reviving the southern island’s devastated tourism sector. It’s understood a representative of Phuket’s Old Town area is to put forward an idea for promoting the historic centre as a tourist destination.

Since borders were closed in late March, in an effort to protect the country from the Covid-19 pandemic, Phuket’s tourist revenue has plummeted to practically zero, with countless businesses shuttered and thousands of jobs lost.

In addition to hearing suggestions from local operators on how to revive tourism on the island, the PM will also listen to requests for additional help from central government. The much-discussed Phuket Model never materialised, despite being seen at one point as the pilot project on which a wider re-opening of borders would be based.

While hotel occupancy in the province has increased from a pitiful 13.4% in June, September’s rates were still woefully low, at just 30%. This is despite a stimulus package introduced by the government in an effort to boost domestic tourism.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

    I’m hoping to see some Thais demonstrating against his restrictions.
    That is if he appears in public. He probably will not.
    Anyway he will see what his unreasonable, unjustified, restrictions have done to the people of Phuket.
    I hope some Thais tell him he is using the tiny threat of the virus to deny government elections so he can stay in power.

    • Avatar

      Antytoby

      October 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Toby you have mental issues. How mich soros pays you for spreading this protest propaganda?

      • Avatar

        Toby Andrews

        October 30, 2020 at 10:51 pm

        Oh I am flattered.
        you created a name and logged in to purely dispute my posts!
        Who is Soros?

      • Avatar

        James

        October 31, 2020 at 12:18 am

        Antybody

        Come on now, open up your mind, and see the truth.

        You know little green aliens do exist and live amongst us, the twin towers in New York collapsed because the CIA blew them down not terrorist aeropleanes and JFK was shot by the mafia.

        In order for the virus not to be real, all the politicians, all the doctors, nurses etc would all have to be in it together.

        You have to laugh.

  2. Avatar

    James

    October 30, 2020 at 4:38 pm

    How can he do anything about it?

    Tourism in most countries of the world is dead.

    Just admit the real world facts.

    Europe is about to go into total lockdown.

    China is changing its border controls in the next few days to make it more difficult to get in.

    Just admit there will be no tourism for the next six months until Oxford University (etc) has tested its vaccine and distributed it.

    Then talk sensibly about tourism.

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      October 31, 2020 at 1:12 am

      No total lockdown in Europe… just curfews relatively harmless for the economy while we build herd immunity.

      Herd immunity is key, vaccine will only work partly, any country will have to go through.

  3. Avatar

    EdwardV

    October 30, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Hotel occupancy rates are greatly effected by the number of hotel rooms available. If enough hotels close, you can actually have a decrease in number of rooms rented and the occupancy rate still go up. The point being the occupancy rate increasing in this type of market probably means less than it appears. As to the visit, what can the PM do to make things better? The TAT just announced that for the foreseeable future only hotels located in Bangkok will be allowed to host quarantine travelers. So he can’t offer them that as has been done in the past. He’s not going to open up the country any faster. Any promises of investment and retooling the Phuket economy is pie in the sky. Even if true we are talking years of development and building before you see any real change. The only thing he can do it offer monetary support. That’s good and needed, but it often comes up short and misses the most needy. What the people need are jobs and now.

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      October 31, 2020 at 1:13 am

      No true… Phuket has quarantine hotels approved and ready… just waiting for the international flights to be reopened.

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        October 31, 2020 at 9:39 am

        The story is in the BP, Oct 30 business section. I’d link it for you, but we are not allowed to do so.

        • The Thaiger & The Nation

          The Thaiger & The Nation

          October 31, 2020 at 10:51 am

          But you’re welcome to quote paragraphs freely. We’re just being over-careful… sorry for the inconvenience.

          • Avatar

            EdwardV

            October 31, 2020 at 11:11 am

            Completely understandable and not a problem. From the BP: “ All inbound tourists have to complete quarantine at alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facilities in Bangkok in the first stage of reopening, with direct flights to provinces still postponed, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).” – seems they want to get out of the preliminary stage before considering letting tourists stay in ASQ hotels outside of Bangkok.

  4. Avatar

    west tiger

    October 31, 2020 at 1:53 am

    Some farangs are willing to come to Thailand for 90 days plus but the government here puts so many obstacles in theie and so many hoops to jump through they will go elsewhere or stay in their home countries.
    The Australian government is delighted that Australians can’t leave the country as that money that used to go overseas in now staying in Australia, and the same for some European governments that the locals are spending money in their home countries and not seeing that money go overseas

    • Avatar

      Malc Thai

      November 1, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      If tourists will come for 90 days or over then 14 days out of 90 is not that much of an inconvenience.. it’s the pricing and red tape you have to go through that I’m sure will put people off.. and yes your right with people staying at home spending money but also think of the money lost from tourists to your own country who spend more in a 2 week holiday than people spend who live there

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Coronavirus Japan

Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay

The Thaiger

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Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay | The Thaiger

The Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more than its original budget of US$13 billion, after it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympic organisers say they will decide on the increased budget for the Games after communicating with Japan’s government and Tokyo. The Games were postponed by 1 year after Covid-19 spread worldwide, with its opening date set to July 23, 2021. Of all the events postposed because of Covid-19, the Olympics was the biggest and most complex to postpone.

Such a delay has yielded new costs, from retaining the organising staff, rebooking venues and transportation. Not to mention, the question of if the event can actually proceed safely. But Olympic officials are reaffirming that the Games can, indeed, be held following safety measures.

Such covid safety measures are reportedly another reason why the price of the event has increased, although the new estimated cost doesn’t include such measures. Officials say they are expecting the additional costs to be paid for by the Japanese government. Organisers and officials are reportedly considering a long list of possible virus countermeasures that they hope will make the Games possible, even if a vaccine is not yet available.

A dialed-down, lower-cost Olympics plan was announced in September, with banners, mascots, meals, and athlete welcome ceremonies being scrapped along with fewer free tickets to be offered. A senior official has said that Tokyo Olympics test events will resume in March with a decision on fan attendance to be made in the spring season.

Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee Chief says he is very confident that the Games will have attending fans. However, fan enthusiasm has decreased inside of Japan, with summer polls indicating only 1 in 4 Japanese people wanting the Games to happen, with most wanting them to be postponed or even fully cancelled.

So far, Tokyo has reported just over 40,000 cases of Covid, with Japan reporting 145,000 cases since the pandemic began.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus Singapore

Singaporean woman gives birth to baby with Covid antibodies in system

The Thaiger

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Singaporean woman gives birth to baby with Covid antibodies in system | The Thaiger

A Singaporean woman has given birth to a baby with Covid antibodies in its system, giving new clues into whether Covid can be transferred from mother to child. The woman, Celine Ng-Chan, was infected with the virus in March during her pregnancy, and gave birth this month to her Covid-free baby.

“My doctor suspects I have transferred my Covid-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy.”

The World Health Organisation says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman with Covid-19 can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.

Ng-Chan became mildly sick from the virus, but was discharged from the National University Hospital after 2.5 weeks. So far, the World Health Organisation says it is not yet known whether a pregnant woman can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery, but this new finding helps researchers with new information. The active virus has not been found in samples of fluid around the fetus in the womb or in breast milk as of now, with Chinese doctors reporting such detection of antibodies in babies born to women, who have been infected with the virus, has been shown to decline over time.

New York Presbyterian/Columia University Irving Medical Centre has also reported in October, in JAMA Pediatrics, that the transmission of the virus from mothers to babies is rare, further pointing towards the risks being minimal of the possible transmission from mother to baby either in the womb, during delivery, or in breastfeeding.

Meanwhile, a 29 year old female Thai returnee from Myanmar has tested positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, after visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She was the only local case reported, out of 5 other positive tests, with officials saying she is believed to have contracted the virus in Myanmar.

The positive test on November 27, came after she was out and about, with authorities saying 326 people are suspected of coming in contact with the woman. The woman reportedly visited a mall to eat Japanese shabu, watched a movie, visited a karaoke bar, and used public transportation before her positive diagnosis.

SOURCE: NDTV.com

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact

The Thaiger

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Thai woman tests positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, 72 people found to be in close contact | The Thaiger

A 29 year old female Thai returnee from Myanmar has tested positive for Covid in Chiang Mai, after visiting the hospital with flu-like symptoms. She was the only local case reported, out of 5 other positive tests, with officials saying she is believed to have contracted the virus in Myanmar. The positive test on November 27, came after she was out and about, with authorities saying 326 people are suspected of coming in contact with the woman. The woman reportedly visited a mall to eat Japanese shabu, watched a movie, visited a karaoke bar, and used public transportation before her positive diagnosis.

Of those suspected 326 people who came in contact with the woman, 105 were deemed at high risk of infection with 149 deemed at low risk. Officials said 72 people were in close contact with her. The mall operator says those who were found to be in contact with the woman will proceed to a 14 day quarantine period.

The woman reportedly came down with symptoms on November 23 and went to the Nakornping Hospital the next day to be checked out. Now, the Chiang Mai governor has ordered all affected venues to be disinfected, including the Central Festival Chiangmai mall, which closed at 4 pm for a “big cleaning” yesterday.

Officials from the Disease Control Department have provided the woman’s whereabouts at a briefing on Saturday as part of the contact-tracing exercise. Sopon Liamsirithavorn, director of the Communicable Diseases Division, has presented a timeline of her movements:

  • From October 24 to November 23, the woman was in Myanmar. On November 23, she developed a fever, watery diarrhea, and lost her sense of smell.
  • On November 24, she still had a fever and developed a cough and a headache. Around 5 am on that day, she travelled from Myanmar to the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai by public van.
  • Around 11 am on November 24, she left Chiang Rai for Chiang Mai by bus.
  • At 2.51 pm the same day, the woman arrived at her condominium in a Grab car. That night, she used another Grab car to visit a karaoke bar in the Santitham area with two friends. They smoked a cigarette and shared it.
  • On November 25, she stayed overnight at a condominium with one of the friends who had returned from the entertainment venue around 2 am. Two other friends who lived in the room opposite came to the room to drink alcohol.
  • About noon on November 25, the woman left the condominium in another Grab car. She arrived at her condo building at around 1 pm.
  • Between 3.30 pm and 8.30 pm, she used another Grab car to visit a shopping mall and watched a movie there, had meals, and went shopping. She wore a face mask most of the time. She later used another Grab car to return to her condominium.
  • On November 26, the woman took a Grab car to a private hospital in Chiang Mai for a medical check-up around 3.30 pm after she lost her sense of smell, had watery diarrhea, and a body temperature of 36.9 celsius. She underwent a Covid-19 test.
  • Around 10pm, she was sent to Nakornping Hospital for another Covid-19 test. On November 27, the tests turned out positive.

A full announcement is set to be made by the Chiang Mai governor and Thai public health authorities when more information has been confirmed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Reuters

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