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TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING – All your news in 3 minutes

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TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING – All your news in 3 minutes | The Thaiger
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Another public holiday today. The Government announced last year that they’d add an extra day to the new year holidays this year in an effort to relieve the rush of traffic as people head home and back for the new year break. Police will be out in force today checking on drunk drivers at checkpoints around the island. Government offices will remain closed, including Immigration. Banks will also be closed but open at most shopping centres. Here’s today’s other main news stories…

239 dead after first four days of New Year reporting period

After the first four four days, the official death toll for the ‘Seven Dangerous Days’ reporting period was 239 with 2,500 injuries. The statistics are compiled by the Road Safety Centre.

Drink driving remains the biggest problem on Thailand’s roads causing most of fatal accidents. This is followed by speeding.

According to the national police chief General Chakthip Chaijinda, officials will tighten their monitoring of traffic conditions today, the last day of the four day holiday, to prevent further casualties as people return to their normal places of residence.

TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Indian tourist dies on first scuba dive

Police are still investigating the tragic accident off Koh Phi Phi where a 25 year old Indian tourist, Alok Kumar Shukla, died whilst attempting his first scuba dive. According to the scuba company running the tour, the incident happened during the pick up following the group’s first dive.

The dive company running the trip says the customer had returned to the boat to get out of his diving gear. He was about to take off the weight belt when he fell overboard. Three people jumped in after him but couldn’t locate him in the choppy seas.

Three others jumped in with scuba gear, located him and brought the man to the surface. CPR was applied immediately and the the man taken to a local hospital. He was later pronounced dead from drowning.

TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

13 injured in van crash in Chiang Mai

Thirteen Thai tourists were injured, four of them seriously, after a passenger van in which they were travelling skidded off a narrow road and plunged into a deep ravine in Chiang Mai.

Fang district officials rushed to the scene of the accident in Tambon Monpin. They found the van at rest at the bottom of the ravine about 140 metres from the road. All the injured were rescued and rushed to Fang district hospital for emergency treatment.

TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Government optimistic about economy

The Government is expressing optimism about the economic outlook for 2018, with PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha saying his New Year’s resolution is to push the “Smart City” concept in the Eastern Economic Corridor, formerly known as the ‘Detroit of the East’, taking in the areas east of Bangkok.

Government Spokesman Maj-General Sansern says the government expected that the economy would boom and extreme poverty “be eradicated” this year, despite signs of a deteriorating economy, including mass layoffs in several sectors. Sansern says the government plans to allocate funds to the grassroots economy, using tourism and the agricultural sectors as mechanisms to create sustainability.

TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

Bar raid on Koh Phangan – mushrooms and laughing gas seized

Authorities raided a bar yesterday morning and arrested staff and management for allegedly selling a concoction blended with hallucinogenic mushrooms, as well as nitrous oxide – better known as laughing gas – to New Year partygoers on Rin Beach on Koh Phangan. The raid occurred at the Bello Bar after authorities were tipped off that the bar was selling fruit smoothies mixed with psychotropic mushrooms.

Authorities also seized three 20kg cylinders containing laughing gas, about 3,000 balloons as well as 1.5 million baht in cash.

Police say the beverages were mixed with the psychotropic mushroom and sold to revellers for 300 baht while balloons filled with laughing gas were sold at 150-200 baht.

Police charged them with the trade and possession of Type 5 narcotics, and selling nitrous oxide without authorisation.

TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO: Nation Multimedia

E-commerce driving economy in 2018

The Bank of Thailand reported that commercial banks had shut down nearly 300 bank branches in the country in 2017 as customers moved towards Internet and mobile banking services, ushering in a new era of digital banking.

In the meantime, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is leading the pack by launching its “SCB Express” concept – fully-automated banking centres in various Bangkok locations.

SCB and Kasikorn Bank are seeking regulatory approval to operate e-commerce platforms to link millions of mobile customers with vendors of various goods and services, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the retail sector, SCB is working with The Mall group, one of Thailand’s biggest retail and shopping centre chains, to introduce an automated cashier-less supermarket service at selected locations.

Read more about that story HERE.

TUESDAY MORNING NEWS BRIEFING - All your news in 3 minutes | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai

More than 100 Chiang Mai students hospitalised with food poisoning

Greeley Pulitzer

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More than 100 Chiang Mai students hospitalised with food poisoning | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: สถานีตำรวจภูธรแม่โจ้ จังหวัดเชียงใหม่

There was chaos at Chiang Mai hospitals yesterday when around 130 students were hospitalised with food poisoning. The grade 8 students from Montfort College in Chiang Mai had eaten lunch at the San Sai scout camp when they began showing symptoms of food poisoning, including diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

There were an estimated 400 students at the camp: about 89 were taken to the local San Sai Hospital and another 50 taken to other Chiang Mai area hospitals. 30 doctors and nurses were dispatched to the camp in Mae Faek subdistrict of Chiang Mai’s San Sai to treat other students who did not require hospitalisation.

The senior permanent secretary for the San Sai district was called in to monitor the situation and was meeting with Chiang Mai’s governor Charoenrit Sanguansat. All but four of the children had been released from hospital after receiving treatment by late last night.

Details of the food poisoning remain unclear other than a boiled chicken dish with dipping sauce was served for the children’s lunch.

SOURCES: The Chiang Rai Times | Chiang Mai One

More than 100 Chiang Mai students hospitalised with food poisoning | News by The ThaigerMore than 100 Chiang Mai students hospitalised with food poisoning | News by The Thaiger

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Air Pollution

Poor air quality in Bangkok and northern Thailand today

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Poor air quality in Bangkok and northern Thailand today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Mai residents are bracing for months of poor air quality - Chiang Mai Citylife

Poor air quality and persistent haze is plaguing much of Thailand’s north today, with the worst pollution in Lampang province, just south of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Meanwhile, a bit further south, Bangkok residents had more of the fine-dust particles, aka. 2.5 microns, in eight of the city’s districts yesterday.

The Pollution Control Department in the north has reported unsafe levels of pollution in 11 of the 15 air quality measurement stations – including Mae Sai district in Chiang Rai; City area of Chiang Mai; City and Mae Mo districts of Lampang; City area of Lamphun; City area of Phrae; and City area of Phayao.

Poor air quality in Bangkok and northern Thailand today | News by The Thaiger

A business owner in Chiang Mai told The Thaiger today that the haze and smoke is at its worst for months. ‘Neo’ runs a flower and giftware shop in central Chiang Mai.

“We are seeing a lot of customers come in today with face-masks and everyone is talking about the problem. Most of us think it is coming from sugar cane plantation burn-offs.”

The readings, in excess of 150mg in many locations around the north, are up to three times the Thai government’s nominal upper-limit of 50 mg of 2.5 micron particulate per cubic metre, and over six times the upper safe limit from the World Health Organisation.

In the capital, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration reported high PM2.5 levels in eight suburbs – Klong San, Bang Khlaem, Wang Thonglang, Phra Nakhon, Klong Toey, Laksi, Bang Khen and Bung Kum. The capital’s most polluted air was in Bang Khen, according to the Bangkok Post.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Poor air quality in Bangkok and northern Thailand today | News by The Thaiger

SCREENSHOTS: AirQuality.com

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Chiang Mai

“Chinese pneumonia” detected at Chiang Mai airport

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“Chinese pneumonia” detected at Chiang Mai airport | The Thaiger

Three Thai passengers are in hospital after being routinely screened at Chiang Mai International Airport with suspected cases of the suspected “viral pneumonia” that is affected the Chinese city of Wuhan. A fourth person, this time a Chinese national, has been found to be infected with influenza A (H3N2), and repatriated to China for treatment.

The virus, which many initially feared was a return of the vicious SARS virus that killed hundreds across Asia in 2003, was first detected in Wuhan in December. As of January 5 there were 59 confirmed cases in Wuhan and another 21 suspected in Hong Kong as of January 6.

2019-2020 China pneumonia outbreak, also known as China pneumonia or Wuhan pneumonia, is an outbreak of pneumonia, which is occurring in Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China. The first case presented in Wuhan on 12 December 2019. On 31 December 2019, state media in China disclosed a series of cases with unexplained pneumonia. On that day, 27 cases were confirmed with seven in critical condition and two expected to be discharged. The rest of the cases were stable. – Wikipedia

Airports of Thailand, which manages five of Thailand’s major airports, is using thermal scanners to screen passenger arrivals from Wuhan. All three of the Thai passengers have “improved overall symptoms” according to doctors, but are being monitored in a quarantined area of a Chiang Mai hospital. Test results were not complete at this stage.

The Department of Disease Control is asking all travellers who have visited Wuhan, and subsequently become ill, to see a doctor or report to a local hospital.

UPDATE: A Chinese traveller arriving in Bangkok has been quarantined, bringing the number of suspected carriers of the H3N2 Flu to five, according to the Bangkok Post. The woman, who arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport around noon on Wednesday, is being treated at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi where three other travellers have already been quarantined.

SOURCES: Chiang Mai One | Bangkok Post

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