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Thailand News Today, February 25, 2020 – Daily news for Thailand

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Thailand News Today, February 25, 2020 – Daily news for Thailand | Thaiger

Two news cases confirmed in Thailand, pushing total to 37

The Thai Public Health Ministry has announced two new Coronavirus cases in Thailand, up from 35 to 37 cases since the outbreak starts in late December last year.

A 31 year old woman and a 29 year old taxi driver are the two new cases.

Permanent secretary for health confirmed that the woman was a housemaid and was initially diagnosed with a pneumonia of “unknown causes”. Doctors later discovered she had a relative who had recently returned from China.

The male patient has been admitted to a hospital in Nonthaburi. He told doctors he had been in close contact with many Chinese tourists and initially showed up with a fever and cough.

Health officials are now tracking down any people that had been with the pair during the past few weeks.

22 of Thailand’s 37 cases have already fully recovered.

8 people injured, including school children, in Songkhla bomb attack

Eight people have been injured by shrapnel from a roadside bomb, including two school children, in a Songkhla bomb blast today.

The eight were amongst a group gathered near a public park in the Sabayoi district of Songkhla, in Thailand’s south. Also amongst the injured were the local district assistant chief, a local defence volunteer and Sabayoi villagers.

Security authorities currently speculate that southern insurgents detonated the bomb as a converted pickup truck passed the spot. The blast blew the vehicle onto the side of the road.

British sailor, adrift for 3 days, rescued by Thai navy

A British man had to be towed back to shore along with his yacht after the vessel’s motor broke down off Phuket, leaving him adrift for three days before he was rescued.

The operations centre of the 3rd Naval Area in Phuket got a request from a cargo ship yesterday afternoon to help a sailboat, the Pollen Path, which was spotted helplessly drifting at sea, about 40 nautical miles from Phuket.

The Navy towed the Pollen Path to shore arriving in Phuket at 9.30am this morning.

Bangkok has a surplus of 100,000 new condos as Chinese buyers stay home

Bangkok’s condominium market is facing its biggest challenge in decades with one of its key feeder markets sitting it out at home.

The capital’s soaring condo market, once a favourite for Chinese investors, looks towards a bleak year with Chinese investors having other things to worry about, or simply unable to travel to Thailand, due to coronavirus fears.

Bloomberg economists predict that foreigners could account for as little as 10% of purchases this year, that’s down nearly 50% from last year.

The president of Agency for Real Estate Affairs, estimates there is 100,000 vacant completed condominiums in and around Bangkok.

Thai Baht on the slide over fears of spread of Coronavirus outside China

What goes up must go down. The Thai baht has continued to weaken against leading international currencies.

As of this morning the baht was trading at 31.70 baht to the US$ . The falls reflect regional concern over the coronavirus spreading beyond China. In the past few days both central South Korea and parts of northern Italy have reported outbreaks of the virus. We have a daily coronavirus update at the thaiger.com

Meanwhile the Thai stock exchange plunged 4% in trade yesterday.

At least 30 injured in head-on train collision

There was a train collision yesterday at Pak Tho station in Ratcha Buri province, just west of Bangkok, injuring at least 30 people.

Traffic Police radio and local Jor Sor 100 radio reported the crash between a passenger express train and a freight train , which took place around 6:30pm.

Thai media report that station staff couldn’t switch the tracks in time for one of the trains to pass on the main track while another was waiting on another track. At least 30 people were injured, including railway staff, but no fatalities have been reported.

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Crime

Burmese prisoners granted amnesty on first day of Myanmar’s New Year

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Over 23,000 Burmese prisoners and student political activists are enjoying freedom after being released yesterday in an amnesty on the first day of the country’s Lunar New Year celebrations. The state-owned MRTV reported that 23,407 prisoners were released under sections of a penal code. In the Yangon region alone, over 800 prisoners were released, while Mandalay saw around 2,800 released from 5 prisons.

But, with the recent military crackdown on protesters and civilians, the law’s ambiguity may be used against those released. As the law allows for the conditional release of prisoners, that means authorities can re-arrest the prisoners without warrant at any time.

Zayyar Lwin, Paing Ye Thu and Paing Phyo Min were among the released student political activists. The 3 were arrested for writing political Thingyan poems and rhymes. They were arrested under Section 505(a) of the penal code and Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, both of which are regarded by many as draconian tools to oppress dissent.

The junta-led State Administration Council also issued a statement releasing 130 foreign prisoners under the same conditions. There have been 2 other mass releases since the coup. The first was in mid-February, which rights groups feared was a move to free up space for military opponents, and the second on the eve of Armed Forces Day when the regime released around 900 detained demonstrators.

But prisons continue to fill up as more than 3,100 people, mostly anti-coup protesters have been detained. The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners has been keeping track of detainees as well as injuries and deaths allegedly at the hands of the junta. It is stil unclear, however, if those released yesterday were post-coup detainees.

Meanwhile, the Burmese military leader, Gen Min Aung Hlaing, is expected to attend an ASEAN summit in Jakarta where representatives of the bloc are expected to discuss Myanmar’s situation. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, made the announcement.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Politics

Myanmar junta leader to attend ASEAN summit, activists appalled

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Myanmar junta leader to attend ASEAN summit, activists appalled | Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

Myanmar’s junta or military leader, Min Aung Hlaing, is expected to attend an ASEAN summit in Jakarta where representatives of the bloc are expected to discuss Myanmar’s situation. Thailand’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Tanee Sangrat, made the announcement.

“I can confirm that the Brunei Chair has proposed the date April 24 with the venue at the Secretariat in Jakarta. Several leaders have confirmed their attendance including Myanmar’s MAH [Senior General Min Aung Hlaing]. Some leaders have yet to confirm.”

The military has consistently justified the putsch by alleging widespread fraud in November’s elections, which Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.

The country’s New Year started yesterday, but it was a somber scene as activists traded celebrations for more protests. According to an AFP-verified video filmed by a resident, the New Year holiday saw soldiers crouched on a street as their commanding officer shouted that he wanted “deaths.” A rescue worker told AFP at least 1 person had died.

“He was shot in the stomach.”

The junta has also issued nightly arrest warrants on state-run media, targetting celebrities, influencers, journalists and prominent activists with large social media followings. Doctors refusing to work under the regime — leaving hospitals unstaffed in a pandemic — have also drawn the wrath of the junta. By last night, the arrest warrants totalled 420.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Transport

New restrictions for domestic flights effective along with other nationwide restrictions today

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New restrictions for domestic flights effective along with other nationwide restrictions today | Thaiger
Stock photo via Flickr
Today, along with tightened restrictions across Thailand, the Civil Aviation Authority is setting new guidelines for domestic flights in an effort to curb the spread of the nation’s so-called 3rd wave of Covid-19. The changes, effective today, include limiting flights by airlines between 11pm to 4am.
As most businesses in red zone provinces are required to close during those times, the extra effort is being made to keep even more people at home and off flights at the same time. Even 7-Elevens are closed overnight, despite a nationwide curfew having yet to be announced. Other changes from the CAAT include a better notification system for passengers if flights are cancelled or changed.
Seating arrangement on flights will also follow social distancing along with operators strictly following Covid-19 related measures such as a ban on eating, drinking, and providing complimentary reading material in-flight. Flight operators must also have a plan in place to immediately inform all passengers if a customer was found to be infected with Covid-19 and follow up with appropriate precautions.
The CAAT did not say when the new restrictions would expire, except that they are effective immediately as of today, with no end date. The restrictions coincide with nationwide restrictions for orange and red zone provinces also being effective today.

FULL LIST OF PRECAUTIONS

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours

(except for international schools running exams)

• No events can have more than 50 people

Provincial red zones (listed below)…

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

(Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9pm)

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace. These workplace and travel ‘advisories’ will certainly be ramped up if the number of daily cases continue to rise.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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