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“Limit visits to marine national parks to six million”

The Thaiger

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“Limit visits to marine national parks to six million” | The Thaiger
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A leading marine biologist has proposed to the government to limit visitors to marine national parks to 6 million a year to lessen impact on its ecological environment.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, deputy dean at the Fisheries Faculty of Kasetsart University, made his proposal at the meeting of the Marine and Coastal Resources Policy Management Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon on Friday (January 19).

The marine biologist based his proposal on information from tourism agencies and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation which indicated that this year Thailand will expect over 6 million visitors to its marine national parks.
He stressed the need to limit the number of visitors to marine national parks to a maximum of 6 million tourists to prevent environmental pollution to the fragile marine ecological system.
According to the department, the country’s 154 national parks received 4.51 million foreign visitors in 2016, and 5.87 million in 2017, a 30% increase.

Dr Thon said of the 5.87 million foreign visitors in 2017, 4.85 million were visitors to marine national parks.

With the projected growing number of foreign visitors this year, over 6 million visitors could be expected at marine national parks, he said.

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Thon Thamrongnawasawat – Deputy Dean at the Fisheries Faculty of Kasetsart University.

Dr Thon said Thailand welcomed 34.33 million foreign tourists last year, over its earlier projection.

“Although this could be considered a success in tourism promotion, but in term of natural environment, it is a grave threat, particularly the marine parks which are the most popular destinations of tourists,” he wrote on his Facebook page.”

With a large number of tourists, it is unavoidable to prevent them from breaking coal reefs and picking them homes as the park has only 30 officials to take care of it.”

In addition, oil leaks from tourist boats, garbage, and polluted water will all have impact on ecological environment”, he said.

He also said a campaign by the government to boost secondary tourist spots in each area was not achieved much as foreign tourists still preferred popular tourist destinations.

Mr Thon also proposed the GPS tracking system for all tourist boats along with the closure of some marine parks to rehabilitate coral reefs and the ecosystem.

Currently, around 77% of the coral reefs in Thai waters are damaged and he hoped that these measures could lessen damaged area to less 50% in five years.

Mr Thon’s proposals came as tourists and tourism operators at Mu Ko Similan marine national park in Phang-nga province complained over tourist overcrowding at several islands in the park, resulting in environmental degradation.

The park opens to visitors for six months from November to April and closes for a six months for nature rehabilitation.

It is the popular tourist destination for diving and was ranked one of the Top 10 dive destinations to visit in the World.

Visitors to the marine park need to buy package tour from tour operators, mostly one-day trip due to the park restrictions.
According to the information from the Mu Ko Similan marine national park, 4,000-5,000 tourists visited the park–90% of them are Chinese tourists.

 

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Gambling crackdown continues, 400 slot machines seized in warehouse raid

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gambling crackdown continues, 400 slot machines seized in warehouse raid | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

In a nationwide crackdown on gambling, police in the Isaan province Khon Kaen raided a warehouse and seized more than 400 slot machines.

Acting on a court warrant, police searched the warehouse in the Mueang district. The locks on the door had been changed and police had to break the locks to enter the warehouse. Inside, canvases covered 418 slot machines. Police say the machines were “plug and play” ready.

Officers say they believe the warehouse was linked to an illegal gambling den in the province. No arrests have been made and police are still investigating.

There have been numerous gambling-related busts and raids in recent weeks. A nationwide crackdown on gambling was launched after a cluster of Covid-19 cases was reported at a Rayong gambling den.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Samut Sakhon governor remains on ventilator with serious lung infection after Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Samut Sakhon governor remains on ventilator with serious lung infection after Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

After nearly recovering from Covid-19, the Samut Sakhon governor was diagnosed with a bacterial infection in his lungs and now remains on a ventilator after nearly a month of the breathing treatment. Doctors are now doing hourly checks to monitor governor Verasak Vichitsangsri’s condition.

While the 58 year old governor’s Covid-19 infection has subsided, the virus negatively affected his lung function, doctors say. The bacterial infection is now destroying some of his lung tissue. Verasak is also diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain. The governor’s brain function has been affected by the infection, according to dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, Prasit Watanapa. He did not go into detail about how the brain function was affected.

“All we have to do is administer antibiotics and remove mucus as much as possible to reduce infection in the body. As for the work of the brain, there has been an effect because the governor is older and has underlying cerebrovascular disease. The medical team is doing their best. “

The bacterial infection was resistant to the first round of antibiotics and doctors are now trying another antibiotic, according Prasit. Doctors will monitor the governor’s condition for the next 72 hours to see if his body responds to the medicine.

Verasak tested positive for Covid-19 last month reporting symptoms of a sore throat and cough. He was diagnosed with lung inflammation and put on a ventilator a few days later. Doctors treated him with the antiviral drug Favipiravir.

Last week, doctors announced Verasak’s condition was improving and he would be taken off the ventilator.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Shoppers disgruntled as registration for co-payment scheme fills up in 10 minutes

Maya Taylor

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Shoppers disgruntled as registration for co-payment scheme fills up in 10 minutes | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

Social media users are up in arms after registration for the government’s Kon La Khreung (“Let’s Go Halves”) co-payment scheme filled up within 10 minutes. The scheme, first introduced as an economic stimulus measure in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, gives shoppers 50% off the purchase of everyday items, up to 150 baht a day and capped at 3,500 baht for the duration of the scheme.

The third phase of registration had a quota of 1.34 million users, but interested parties had to be quick. Having lost their chance to register, many disgruntled people took to social media to complain, with the hashtag #คนละครึ่งเฟส3 (#Let’s Go Halves3) trending on Twitter.

Several netizens say they filled out the online registration form at exactly 6.01am but were then forced to wait for the one-time password to be delivered to their phones before they could complete the process. In many instances, by the time they received the OTP code, registration was full. Some say they had to wait over 5 minutes to receive the password, which caused them to miss the small window for registration.

According to a Nation Thailand report, one person has described the scheme as nothing more than a government PR stunt, pointing out that, despite being funded by taxpayers’ money, only some people can avail of it.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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