Health Advisory for travelers regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
(MOPH) Department of Disease Control: Health Advisory for travelers
regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Reduce your risk of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection
(MOPH) Department of Disease Control:
Health Advisory for travelers regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Thailand prepares for summer storms during March 15-17
BANGKOK (NNT) The Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, has coordinated with every province in
preparing staff and machines to deal with thunderstorms and wind gusts
expected from 15th-17th March. The public will need to check their house’s
durability because the strong winds and rain may cause severe damage.
The Thai Meteorological Department has predicted that
upper Thailand will be hit with thunderstorms this month, and some areas may
need to deal with hail and lightning.
In the South, there is an expectation of increased
Meanwhile, during 18th - 21st March, the upper part of
the country’s thunderstorms will ease, the temperature will rise, and
residents of the area can expect hot weather during the day leading to
heatwaves in some areas.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior, has ordered provinces
and district security centers in high-risk areas to monitor the weather
round the clock. Reinforcement of staff and machines needs to be ready at
all times for rescue missions. The department has also asked members of the
public to follow the weather forecasts and strictly observe any warnings.
Those badly affected by the storms, should call Hotline
1784, available around the clock.
PM drives all working teams to wipe out coronavirus (Covid-19)
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Prime
Minister has convened a meeting of relevant agencies to follow up on the
Covid-19 situation. The discussion took place at Government House.
Prime General Prayut Chan-o-cha, as the commander of
the Covid-19 Epidemic Situation Management Center, called the urgent meeting
of relevant agencies to assess the current situation, at the Covid-19
Epidemic Management Center, Santi Maitri Building, Government House. The
Prime Minister urged those in attendance to help create an understanding of
the situation among people in society.
Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said that since
Covid-19 is a new issue for the country, all operations must originate at
the center and that everyone has to help one another.
The Covid-19 Epidemic Situation Management Center’s
work is divided into six areas consisting of public health, preventive
medical supplies, information, foreign affairs, preventive measures and
remedies. All are to be directed by the Prime Minister.
Initially, a meeting has been scheduled at 9 a.m. every
day to follow up on the situation and report it to the Prime Minister for
acknowledgment and further consideration of measures to be taken.
Air Force dispatches helicopters to alleviate PM 2.5 level in Thailand’s northern region
BANGKOK (NNT) - The level of particulate matter of 2.5 microns or
less (PM2.5) in the northern region is still high and is affecting the
health of residents. The smoke and haze is due to forest burning both in
Thailand and neighboring countries. The Prime Minister has ordered the Royal
Thai Air Force (RTAF) to dispatch helicopters to spray water to reduce the
Government Spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat disclosed
today that Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had
been informed of the rising level of PM 2.5 in 17 Northern provinces of
Thailand. Yesterday, the volume of PM 2.5 reached a level that affected
health in many areas. Many hot spots have been found in the Northern
provinces, along the Thai-Myanmar border area and in neighboring countries
as a result of forest burning both in Thailand and in neighboring countries.
The level of PM 2.5 in the North is likely to go up due
to still air. The Prime Minister has ordered all agencies to control and
extinguish the forest fires and strictly prevent new fires in forest areas
so as to urgently reduce the haze level. He has ordered the RTAF to use
helicopters to spray water to reduce dust in the air in the North.
The Prime Minister has ordered relevant agencies to
implement public health care measures such as arranging safety zones and
dispatching mobile medical units to serve the public until the situation can
Thailand-China put all in to fight against COVID-19
BANGKOK (NNT) Thailand and China have vowed to
cooperate in their fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
epidemic, with the Chinese authorities offering to share medical
equipment as the situation in China is starting to resolve.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce
Jurin Laksanawisit, met yesterday with the Minister Counsellor of the
Chinese Embassy in Thailand Yang Xin, along with the Deputy Minister of
Public Health Satit Pitutacha and delegates from related agencies.
The Chinese Minister Counsellor said China is
willing to offer help to partner countries, now the situation in China
On this note, Thailand has requested support in
obtaining medical equipment such as surgical masks, N95 respirators,
personal protective equipment sets, and COVID-19 test kits, as well as a
relaxation of import taxes and fees on certain items as necessary.
The Thai officials thanked China for its
assistance, adding that the country can now produce 1.2 million surgical
masks daily, and is eager to accept the support of China.
The Chinese Minister Counsellor, on this occasion
offered thanks for continual cooperation from Thailand, and the support
Thailand has given in the fight against COVID-19, stressing China’s
willingness to offer help in return.
Thai man, woman arrested for selling overpriced masks via WeChat
BANGKOK (TNA) Immigration police arrested two Thais, a man and a
woman, for allegedly selling overpriced surgical masks via chat software.
Immigration police commissioner Pol Lt Gen Sompong
Chingduang identified the suspects only as Mr Chai and Ms Nat. He said one
of the suspects was arrested with 5,000 surgical masks at the parking lot of
a hotel in Laksi district, Bangkok, on March 9.
Earlier police learned that foreigners were selling
surgical masks at inflated prices via a mobile application WeChat account
named Amazing Tom Café. In a sting operation, detectives ordered 5,000 masks
priced at 15 baht each from the source. Mr Chai was arrested while
delivering the products in five boxes.
Mr Chai told police he advertised mask supplies in
Chinese through the chat application. Later police arrested Miss Nat who was
responsible for financial transactions of the racket. She transferred money
to Bangladeshi man identified only as Zaw, who was their real mask supplier.
Pol Lt Gen Sompong said that the gang transferred
nearly 2 million baht over the past seven days. (TNA)
COVID-19 control measures intensified across Thailand’s provinces
CHIANG MAI, March 12 (TNA) --
Authorities have stepped up disease control in many provinces amid concerns
on the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
In Chiang Mai, doctors and nurses from the Dararassamee
Hospital under the Border Patrol Police Region 3 shared knowledge about
COVID-19 with local police commanders and police officers from 38 stations
in the Northern Province.
The medical personnel also advised the officers on
proper habits to cope with the global disease outbreak and handed out hand
sanitizer gel produced by the wives of Chiang Mai police.
The hand wash gel will be placed for use by visitors to
local police stations. So far local police officers have not tested positive
for the disease.
In Phichit province, health officials checked the body
temperatures of about 400 local administrative officials including village
headmen and their assistants from 15 sub-districts of Muang Phichit district
for the sake of disease surveillance.
The examination happened before their monthly meeting.
About 10 village headmen and other local administrators had colds and
They wore face masks before attending the meeting.
Those who had fevers were asked to leave.
At Hat Yai airport in Songkhla province, officials were
checking the body temperatures of all departing passengers. Those having
fevers will undergo an established process of disease control in a bid to
curb COVID-19. Air passengers were advised to arrive at the airport a few
hours before their boarding time to pass the illness screening process
The number of travelers at Hat Yai airport obviously
fell. Most of them wore face masks. Officials were regularly cleaning the
passenger terminal and prepared hand sanitizer gel for travelers. (TNA)
Thailand reports 11 more Covid-19 cases found hanging out with Hong Kong tourist
BANGKOK, March 12 (TNA) Thailand
reported 11 new coronavirus cases, bring the total cases in the country to
70 on Thursday, said Sukhum Kanchanapimai, permanent secretary for public
All 11 new cases are Thais. They are friends in the
same group, hanging out with a tourist from Hong Kong, who was later found
to be infected with the virus.
The group socialized and shared drinks and cigarettes
at a restaurant in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area. All of the new patients have
The public health ministry advised people to practice
hygiene habits by eating hot meals and using middle spoons.
The ministry will step up lab test screening among flu
Thailand’s temples clean up to cope with COVID-19
BANGKOK- The government is
cleaning Bangkok’s Buddhist temples popular to tourists to control the
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The measure began with the Temple of Dawn. Prime
Minister’s Office Minister Tewan Liptapallop who supervises the National
Office of Buddhism led officials and volunteers to clean the pagodas and
crematorium of the temple. Officials also sprayed disinfectant in the
They also encouraged local monks to conduct disease
control campaigns for the good health of monks and local people.
Visitors to temples should strictly follow disease
control guidelines of the Public Health Ministry including regularly washing
hands and wearing face masks before giving alms to monks and meeting monks,
Mr Tewan said.
The cleanup also started at Wat Hong Rattanaram
Ratchaworawihan, Wat Phra Chettuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram, Wat
SuthatThepphawararam, Wat Paknam Phasi Chaeroen, Wat Traimit Withayaram
Worawihan and Wat Rakhang Khositaram. (TNA)
Thai Hotels Association (Northern Upper) re-elects Laied as president
Laied Bungsrithong (left) will serve another
year as president of the Thai Hotels Association Upper North Region after a
unanimous vote. At right is Pakanan Winitchai, Director of the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT), Chiang Mai Office.
The general manager of RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort
will serve another year as president of the Thai Hotels Association Upper
North Region after a unanimous vote.
Laied Bungsrithong and a new THA board were chosen
March 10 at the Rati Lanna.
The THA board for 2020-22 will includes Bungsrithong, Warunee Kummean from
the Duang Tawan Chiang Mai Hotel, Klanarong Pungnak of The Empress Hotel,
Ittithep Homnien from Furama Hotel Chiang Mai, Paul Watcharaprecha from Park
Hotel, Noppadol Sangsawang of the Chiang Mai Hill Hotel, Punrada
Siripakmongkok from the Dusit D2 Chiang Mai and Settapong Wattanakul of the
Kantary Hills Hotel.
Chiang Mai calls off ‘Songkran Festival’, water splashing refrained
CHIANG MAI (TNA) The municipal
office of the northern province has cancelled all activities related to the
Songkran water festival in April to help control the coronavirus disease
Chiang Mai mayor Tasanai Buranupakorn said the annual
Songkran New Year festival that normally attracted huge crowds would be
completely suspended and there would be only Lanna-styled decorations in
urban areas and exhibitions on traditional lifestyles at the ancient Tha
Phae gate and the Three Kings Monument.
“For the safety of people and tourists, we cancel any
activities that would attract crowds of people. They include a beauty
contest of women cycling while holding paper umbrellas, a procession of
Buddha images and a tradition of extending Songkran greetings to the Chiang
Mai governor,” Mr Tasanai said.
Besides, he said, the Chiang Mai municipal office
treated water in the ancient moat of the province to improve the urban
Mr Tasanai asked the public to refrain from splashing
water and especially using water from the moat for such activities to help
control the disease. Virus could live in water for as long as 4 days, he
Thailand’s factories ramp up mask production, shortages at hospitals eased
BANGKOK (NNT) - A representative of mask factories has insisted they
are ramping up their production, with all masks produced being sent to the
authorities for distribution. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization has
confirmed that surgical mask shortages at hospitals will be resolved in
coming days. The Ministry of Labour has also introduced a measure allowing
employers to submit reduced social security payments for their employees.
The government’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Information Center today made its daily announcement regarding current
government actions to overcome the impact of the epidemic.
At today’s press conference, a manager from Thai
Hospital Products Paisarn Charuraksa, said the company has been increasing
its production capacity of surgical masks, with the current maximum capacity
now at 400,000 items per day. The company is delivering 350,000 pieces daily
to the Department of Internal Trade and the Government Pharmaceutical
Organization for distribution.
He said the company is trying to increase the
production output to meet the rise in demand, insisting that the company
doesn’t send surgical masks to any persons or companies, as the production
line is now being monitored by officials from the Department of Internal
Trade to prevent illegal exportation.
The company has ensured the current production is
compliant with quality control measures and strict inventory control, with
all information continuously shared with relevant organizations.
The Government Pharmaceutical Organization’s Managing
Director Withoon Danwiboon, said today the GPO is now mainly occupied
distributing the 410,700 surgical masks it receives from factories daily, to
government agencies in need. The organization has successfully maintained
distribution to 99 percent of hospitals in major provinces.
The Ministry of Public Health now distributes 400,000
surgical masks to public hospitals under its supervision, 30,000 masks to
hospitals beyond its supervision, and 140,000 items to private hospitals and
clinics, 70,000 items to hospitals under the supervision of the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration, and 60,000 of the masks to teaching hospitals
belonging to universities, as well as dental schools.
Additionally, the Ministry of Commerce now handles
500,000 surgical masks each day. 200,000 of which are allocated to those at
low-risk of infection. The ministry is selling 150,000 surgical masks each
day to the general public through Blue Flag stores across the country, plus
25,000 items through pharmacies, and 125,000 masks through convenience
stores and government offices. The ministry has distributed some one million
surgical masks over the past three days, expecting the earlier shortage to
be resolved soon.
Meanwhile, an advisor to the Minister of Labour Jak
Panchupetch said today the Ministry of Labour has prepared aid measures to
prevent affected businesses from closing, including a measure allowing
employees to take leave while receiving 75 percent of their normal wage. In
addition, the Social Security Office has approved a measure allowing
employers to pay a reduced contribution to their employees’ social security
fund, lowered from 5 percent to 4 percent. This measure is starting this
month, and will continue for six months.
Thai Airways Int’l announces flight adjustments, check-in procedures in Thailand & Overseas
THAI requires health certificate clarifying no risk of COVID-19 from
passengers traveling from Disease Infected Zones following the CAAT
Bangkok, 10 March, 2020, at 13.00 Hrs. – Thai Airways
International (THAI) has announced a new requirement for its passengers
travelling from South Korea, China (including Hong Kong and Macau) and Italy
to present a health certificate clarifying “no risk of COVID-19” prior to
boarding pass issuance.
THAI’s passengers travelling from Seoul, Pusan,
Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Rome and Milan are
required to complete the T8 form issued under Thailand’s Communicable
Disease Act 2015 and present to the Disease Control Officers at the
quarantine office in their destination airports in Thailand.
THAI’s measure is in accordance with the
notification of the
Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) on COVID-19 control measures,
which was issued on 8 March, 2020. The CAAT’s guidelines are in line with
the Royal Thai Government’s announcement on 5 March, 2020, regarding the
territories outside the Kingdom of Thailand: South Korea, Italy, Iran and
China (including Hong Kong and Macau) defined as Disease Infected Zones for
In addition, THAI stated that as the ongoing outbreak
of the COVID-19 decreased the number of passengers, THAI adjusted its
flights to match passenger demand and advance bookings as follows:
Flights to Malaysia
Bangkok- Kuala Lumpur round trip
Cancellation of flights TG417/418 now until 31 March, 2020.
Flights to Denmark
Bangkok-Copenhagen round trip
Cancellation of flights TG950/951 on 12, 19, and 26 May, 2020.
Flights to Sweden
Bangkok-Stockholm round trip
Cancellation of flights TG960/961 on 14, 21, and 28 May, 2020.
Flights to Indonesia
Bangkok-Jakarta round trip
Cancellation of flights TG435/436 now until 31 March, 2020.
Flights to Sri Lanka
Bangkok- Colombo round trip
Cancellation of flight TG307 on 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, and 30 March,
2020, and flight TG308 on 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, and 31 March, 2020.
Flights to India
– Bangkok-Bengaluru round trip
Cancellation of flight TG325 on 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, and
31 March, 2020, and flight TG326 on 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 24, 25, 27, and
31 March, 2020, as well as 1 April 2020.
– Bangkok-Kolkata round trip
Cancellation of flight TG313 on 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, and 30
March, 2020, and flight TG314 on 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, and 31
– Bangkok-Hyderabad round trip
Cancellation of flight TG329 on 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, and 31
March, 2020, and flight TG330 on 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 24, 25, 27, and 31
March, 2020, as well as 1 April, 2020.
– Bangkok-Chennai round trip
Cancellation of flight TG337 on 9, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, and 30
March, 2020, and flight TG338 on 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, and 31
– Bangkok-New Delhi round trip
Cancellation of flight TG335 on 6, 13, 20, and 27 March, 2020, and flight
TG336 on 7, 14, 21, and 28 March, 2020.
Flights to Oman
Cancellation of flights TG507/508 on 8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26, 29,
and 31 March, 2020.
For flight and/or route adjustments, passengers may
contact the THAI Sale Offices, visit thaiairways.com, or call the THAI
Contact Centre at Tel. 0-2356-1111, 24 hours a day.
Thai Cabinet approves measures to help SMEs, hotels, transports survive COVID-19 crisis
Bangkok, 11 March, 2020,
– The Royal Thai Government has approved Phase One of a broad range
of financial and fiscal relief measures to help Thai companies, especially
small and medium-sized enterprises, alleviate the business downturn impact
of the COVID-19 virus crisis.
Travel and tourism companies are a primary focus of
attention for the relief measures. Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said
that tourism, which accounts for 12% of the GDP, has been one of the worst
affected sectors due to a 44% decline in visitors in February 2020. Chinese
visitors alone were down 85%.
The downturn has had a significant ripple effect across
the Thai economy affecting all forms of transport, trade and other services.
Many hotels have temporarily suspended operations. The lack of liquidity
also threatens the future of other businesses as well as employment levels.
The package of relief measures was drafted by the
Ministry of Finance based on the principles of “Timely, Targetted and
Temporary as Necessary”. The measures, approved by the Thai Cabinet on 10
March, 2020, are as follows:
1) Low interest loans (at 2% interest for a period of 2
years, not over 20 million Baht per customer) in the total amount of 150
2) Suspending the principal, reducing the interest rate
for the debts of the Government Saving Bank and Government Housing Bank.
3) The Bank of Thailand has eased the rules for
granting commercial bank loans.
4) The Social Security Fund will provide a credit line
(at 3%, for a period of 3 years) in the amount of 30 billion Baht.
5) Reducing withholding tax from 3% to 1.5%.
6) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participating in
low-interest credit measures to help entrepreneurs. Having a single account,
1.5 times deduction can be made for interest expenses that occur between 1
April, 2020 and 31 December, 2020,
7) Allowing SMEs to deduct 3 times the salary expenses
paid in April 2020 to July 2020. For employees who are insured under the law
on the Social Security Fund and receive wages of not more than 15,000 Baht
per person per month.
8) Dissemination of VAT refunds to domestic
entrepreneurs within 15 days after filing the form.
9) Refund the deposit for electricity usage.
10) Reducing contributions to the Social Security Fund
by employers and employees.
11) Government agencies to reduce rental fees for state
The Finance Ministry has also set up specific hotlines
to answer queries, as follows:
• Financial Measures, Tel: 0 2273 9020 Ext. 3235.
• Tax Measures, Tel: 0 2273 9020 Ext. 3509, 3529, and
• Measures to reduce contributions to the Social
Security Fund of employers and employees / measures to build confidence in
the capital market system, Tel: 0 2273 9020 Ext. 3643.
• Measures to alleviate the burden of fees, rental
fees, and compensation for services provided by government agencies and
state enterprises / measures to alleviate the burden of water and
electricity bill payments / measures to assist those affected by the
Coronary Infection Disease 2019 or COVID 19. Tel: 0 2273 9020 Ext. 3558.
• Measures to increase spending efficiency, budget
expenditure for the fiscal year 2020, Tel: 0 2127 7000 Ext. 4588.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak
Supasorn commented, “TAT has been in constant contact with the private
sector, especially the industry associations, ever since the downturn began
in late January. We have communicated their concerns and requests to the
Ministry of Finance and all other branches of the Royal Thai Government.
“TAT deeply appreciates the rapid response of the
Ministry of Finance, which should go some way towards helping travel and
tourism companies survive the crisis.”
Songkran events cancelled throughout Thailand amidst COVID-19 fears, water splashing warned
BANGKOK (NNT) - Each year in April, Thai people celebrate the Thai
New Year or Songkran with world-famous water splashing events. This year
however, many organizers have already cancelled their events to help reduce
the risk of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 spreading among crowds
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has announced
the cancellation of the main Songkran events on Khaosan Road, Silom Road,
and Ratchaprasong intersection to help minimize the infection risk.
Other events where people normally gather are also
cancelled, including the procession of the Phra Buddha Sihing statue, alms
giving ceremonies, and other recreational activities.
City Hall has also asked private companies to cancel
their events, which are normally held every year at Asiatique shopping
center, Central World shopping center, and Siam Paragon shopping center. The
general public is also asked not to come out and splash water, as this
activity could potentially be favorable to the spread of this disease.
The BMA has also closed down Kilawet 1-2 gymnasiums at
the Thai-Japanese Bangkok Youth Center, as well as some parts of the
center’s swimming pools. All of the BMA’s swimming pools are now conducting
body temperature checks on all users prior to entering. Those with a fever
are not allowed to use the facilities.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, Provincial Governor Wichian
Chantaranothai said on Tuesday that the province has announced a ban on all
recreational activities on this year’s Thao Suranari Victory Day, with only
religious rites and traditional dance performances still going ahead. The
12-day 12-night celebration has also been reduced to only one day on 23rd
Govt requires arriving foreigners to Thailand to specify countries recently visited
BAGKOK (NNT) - The Immigration
Bureau has announced that all foreigners arriving in Thailand must now
specify the countries they have recently visited on their arrival card, to
filter out the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Immigration police deputy spokesperson Colonel
Cherngron Rimpadee today announced that the Immigration Bureau after
discussions with relevant agencies had resolved to ask all foreign
passengers arriving in Thailand to list all the countries they have recently
Prior to the announcement, the arrival card that
foreigners fill in, only requested basic information, such as personal
information, country of residence and the accommodation each individual was
staying in, while in Thailand.
On March 5, the government declared four countries and
two territories to be at high-risk of COVID-19, namely, South Korea, China,
Hong Kong, Macau, Italy, and Iran.
Currently, the kingdom welcomes roughly 4,500
passengers daily from these countries.
Disease Control Department Deputy Director-General
Kajornsak Kaewjaras, shared today that all passengers from these high-risk
destinations, and those who have visited them in recent times, must identify
themselves to authorities.
Officials will provide a free medical checkup, and ask
for contact details throughout their stay in the kingdom; government
personnel will then be able to monitor their well-being.
PM promotes ‘Disease-free Animals, Save Humans from Rabies’, Organic Farming
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut
Chan-o-cha, took part in an activity to promote the "Disease-free Animals,
Save Humans from Rabies" project.
The Prime Minister attended the activity to promote the
project, organized by Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. He warned
the general public not to buy pets, particularly dogs, at stores without
proper permits. The pets may be of inferior quality and may have health
problems, and the owners may have to abandon them due to high medical costs.
He instructed relevant units to enforce the law to prevent the issue of
stray dogs strictly, because they can cause problems, such as diseases, for
communities, tourist destinations and temples.
The Prime Minister also urged supermarket cooperatives
to sell more organic vegetables, fruit and meat. He instructed relevant
agencies to help manage them, teach farmers about organic farming and market
demand, and promote beef cattle farming. He also would like supermarket
cooperatives to expand to all provinces nationwide.
Gen. Prayut then observed an exhibition, organized by
the Ministry of Education, to encourage educational institutions to teach
coding to their students, as coding will improve their logical thinking and
analytical skills. They will be able to distinguish fake news from actual
news and information.
Three more COVID-19 cases, found associated with Italy, confirmed in Thailand
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has reported that the
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Europe is starting to
change. Meanwhile, Thailand has reported three more confirmed cases on March
10. The three cases are associated with Italy. Members of the public have
been advised to exercise more caution when traveling to European countries.
The Director of the Bureau of General Communicable
Diseases, Dr. Sopon Iamsirithawon, said on Tuesday the global situation is
beginning to change. While the COVID-19 infections in China are apparently
decreasing, the virus is spreading dramatically in Europe, especially in
The 51st case in Thailand is a 41-year-old woman. She
was in close contact with the 45th patient, who was infected in Italy. The
52nd and 53rd cases are a couple. The wife, aged 46, recently returned from
Italy. As she followed the Ministry of Public Health’s guidelines, she did
not have contact with anyone except her husband.
Of the 53 confirmed cases, 33 patients have recovered
and have been discharged. Nineteen other patients are still being treated in
hospitals. Each of them was infected in other countries. People have been
advised to exercise more caution when traveling to Europe. They should
strictly follow all safety measures. If they cannot postpone their travel,
they should check on the situation in advance.
There are no 4,682 people in quarantine, with 2,844
people having been allowed to return home. A quarantine facility at Sattahip
Naval Base in Chonburi province is looking after 188 Thai workers who
returned from South Korea. None of them has any symptoms of the virus.
The Secretary-General of the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), Dr. Paisarn Dunkum, commented on the Ministry of
Public Health’s announcements related to alcohol-based hand sanitizers and
cosmetics. The purpose is not to prohibit cosmetics companies from producing
alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but the ministry wants these products to
contain at least 70% alcohol, which makes them suitable for disinfection.
The general public can rest assured that alcohol-based hand sanitizers on
the market are effective in killing bacteria and viruses. Producers and
importers who fail to comply are subject to two years in prison and a
Vendors selling hand sanitizers with less than 70%
alcohol are subject to six months in prison or a 50,000 baht fine, or both.
Thailand’s Transport Min: 10,000-baht reward for COVID-19 high-risk groups who refuse to enter quarantine info
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, said the
government will award 10,000 baht to people who provide information about
those who are at a high risk of being infected with COVID-19 but refuse to
undergo the 14-day quarantine. More stringent preventive measures against
COVID-19 have been put in place, as air passengers arriving from at-risk
countries are now required to carry a medical certificate with them.
At Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Transport Minister
inspected the Emergency Operation Center (EOC), set up to handle COVID-19
patients, and a screening zone to check passengers arriving from at-risk
countries. He said the Department of Civil Aviation announced that
passengers arriving from the Republic of Korea, the People’s Republic of
China, the Macao Special Administrative Region, the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region, the Italian Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran
must carry a medical certificate with them before purchasing a plane ticket.
They must present the certificate to the immigration officers during the
If the passengers are Thai nationals, their passports
will be returned after they have undergone a health screening. Passengers
who arrive from high-risk areas of South Korea will be separated and taken
to a quarantine facility in Sattahip district, Chonburi province,
The measures will encourage passengers, arriving from
at-risk countries, to exercise social responsibility to prevent any further
spread of COVID-19. People, who provide information about high-risk groups
refusing to undergo the 14-day quarantine to the authorities, will receive a
tip-off reward of 10,000 baht
Thailand’s Commerce Min prosecutes vendors overpricing anti-COVID-19 face masks
BANGKOK(NNT) The Minister of Commerce discussed the guidelines for
regulating consumer goods during the COVID-19 crisis with consumer goods
entrepreneurs. Eighty-nine offenders have now been prosecuted.
Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Commerce, discussed the guidelines for regulating consumer goods
during the COVID-19 crisis with consumer goods entrepreneurs. The
entrepreneurs have promised to expand the production capacity of consumer
goods by 30 percent to accommodate the market demand.
As for the production of medical masks, 11 factories in
the country are now working at full capacity, increasing the national
production yield to 36 million pieces per month or 1.2 million pieces per
day. All of these new face masks will be entirely managed by the face mask
management center which has resolved to allocate medical masks to hospitals
or medical personnel or patients first. The hospitals of all types
nationwide will be allocated 700,000 pieces per day. Another 500,000 pieces
will be allocated and distributed through various channels to other groups
Commerce Ministry Permanent Secretary Rit Kallayanamit
said eighty-nine offenders have now been prosecuted. The offenders who are
charged for not attaching a price tag and unreasonably raise prices will be
subject to imprisonment for seven years or a fine of 140,000 baht or both.
The offenders who sell face masks at a price of higher than 2.50 baht will
be subject to imprisonment of not more than five years and a fine not
exceeding 100,000 baht or both.
COVID-19 drags February Confidence Index to 27-month low, 500-billion-baht economic damage
BANGKOK (NNT) The COVID-19 epidemic and the drought have been major
economic drawbacks, causing a slowdown in the Thai economy. The University
of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCC) Center for Economic and Business
Forecasting’s (CEBF) latest TCC Confidence Index for February 2020 has
fallen to 44.9, from 45.4 in January, the lowest figure in 27 months.
The lower score reflects the negative impacts from
COVID-19 on tourism and service businesses, which in turn slowed domestic
consumption. The drought disaster is also affecting farmers nationwide,
reducing their farming areas and expected yields.
Despite these setbacks, the Thai economy is receiving a
boost from a 3.36 percent expansion in exports in January, as well as a 0.9
baht per liter reduction in the price of diesel oil.
The private sector is urging the government to
strengthen its measures to control the spread of COVID-19, encourage the
general public to spend more and to travel domestically to help boost the
economy, while ensuring a sufficient water supply for farming.
The UTCC President Thanawat Polvichai said COVID-19 is
likely to cause 500 billion baht in damage to the Thai economy, while the
government’s 100-billion-baht aid measures will only help the economy in the
He said the government must introduce long-term
economic measures, as the spread of this virus is estimated to have
long-term impacts on the economy.
44 more Thai workers from South Korea put in quarantine system, Sattahip naval base
Chonburi (TNA) More 44 Thai
workers returning from South Korea arrived at the Sattahip naval base for
quarantine on Monday, bringing the total number of Thai returnees, placed
under quarantine to 187 persons.
Forty-four persons, including 16 men and 28 women
travelled by a double decker bus from Suvarnabhumi Airport and were
registered to the quarantine system at the navy’s facility in Chon Buri
The surveillance center in Sattahip has received 187
persons so far.
The newcomers underwent thermal scanning while their
luggage, shoes and communication devices were disinfected before they enter
The bus was also disinfected before leaving the
More Thai workers will come to the Sattahip naval base
for 14-day quarantine, imposed among other measures to control the spread of
The facilities there can serve 400 persons and 750
persons at the maximum.
Health checkup for the first lot of 143 workers found
everyone has no fever.
Staff will measure their temperature everyday. If
anyone develops fever during their stay, that person will be sent to
Psychiatric counselling is available for anyone who has
symptoms of tension or anxiety. (TNA)
Thailand’s Minister denies hoarding 200 million masks all egation
BANGKOK(TNA) Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat
Prompow has denied the allegation that his two close aides hoarded up 200
million medical masks for sales to other countries and had a turnover of
about 1 billion baht.
Mr Thamanat said there were attempts to discredit him
so that he would be excluded from the cabinet. Such attempts had failed
during the recent censure debate, he said.
The deputy minister said he did not know Sornsuwee
Puraweeratwatcharee who claimed in an online post to sell medical masks. He
said that PittinanRak-ied was appointed as his close aide to honor the
former candidate of his Palang Pracharath Party for obtaining at least
20,000 votes in the past general election.
Mr Thamanat quoted Mr Pittinan as saying that he met Mr
Sornsuwee at a hotel for the first time and he had made a mistake by taking
a photo with Mr Sornsuwee.
Mr Thamanat said he told Mr Pittinan to file a
complaint with police to insist on his innocence. He said he would take
legal action against anyone who discredited him.
“It is a movement to take the deputy agriculture
minister’s seat from me. A man in the party was discredited and was
identified as a close aide,” Mr Thamanat said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha did not make a comment
when reporters asked him about the matter.
In another development, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization will
transfer its sales of medical masks to the Internal Trade Department on
March 10. Many people arrived at GPO at 3am on March 9 to buy masks and 700
queues for the purchase were completely reserved before 8am.
Each person was allowed to buy 10 masks at 10 baht, 450
milliliters of alcohol at 41 baht, and two tubes of hand wash gel at 24 baht
each. The whole set was priced at 99 baht.
Natchukorn Kaewpratana said she arrived at GPO at 4am
and bought the products for her daughter who was a nurse at Ramathibodi
Thailand’s NHSO to add COVID-19 to national healthcare program
BANGKOK (NNT)-The board of the National Health Security Office (NHSO)
has approved the inclusion COVID-19 in its health care coverage program
which covers all stages from prevention to medical rehabilitation.
The NHSO has approved the inclusion of COVID-19 in its
health care program which covers prevention, awareness campaigns, diagnosis,
treatment and rehabilitation for members of the national health program,
also known as the Gold Card. Although the outbreak of the virus in Thailand
is still in the second phase which indicates that no outbreak has occurred
in the country, the NHSO needs to prepare budgets and measures to support
the patients in order to build confidence among people and fully support the
patient care commitment of its service units. For more information, please
call the NHSO hotline 1330.
Sattahip Naval Base sets up center to screen Thai workers returning from South Korea
CHONBURI (NNT) Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi has been designated a
center for the screening of Thai workers returning from South Korea, to
determine whether they should be quarantined in state facilities or enter
self-quarantine at home.
Defense Ministry Spokesperson Lt Gen Khongcheep
Tantrawanit said today that Deputy Defense Minister Gen Chaichan
Changmongkhol had discussed with representatives of all armed forces, plans
for the operation intended to support the Ministry of Public Health in
coping with the COVID-19 outbreak. The Ministry of Defense has now scrapped
an earlier plan to use guest houses on Chao Samran beach in Phetchaburi, Bo
Fai and Suan Son Pradipat to house quarantined workers returning from South
Korea, as the Ministry of Public Health and local government agencies think
it would be inappropriate. Public Health officials will now be supervising
the returnees during the quarantine period and if the outbreak escalates,
all armed forces are ready to provide other quarantine centers for use by
the Ministry of Public Health.
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha meanwhile, has
urged the armed forces to consider the outbreak of COVID-19 a security
threat that must be addressed by preparing to fully support the work of the
Ministry of Public Health until the situation improves.
Thailand’s health workers in need of face masksdue to COVID-19 outbreak
BANGKOK (NNT) - A shortage of face masks due to the COVID-19 outbreak
has affected healthcare workers in hospitals around the country. The health
ministry is working together with the commerce ministry to deliver medical
masks to those institutions in urgent need.
Siriraj hospital in Bangkok, the largest public
hospital in Thailand, was on the top on the list, receiving an early
delivery of 60,000 face masks from the government’s face mask distribution
center which is jointly managed by the two relevant agencies, the public
health and the commerce ministries.
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Jurin
Laksanawisit announced that each day, the center has 1.2 million face masks
for distribution. The health ministry’s food and drug administration,
receives 700,000 masks for daily distribution to medical institutions, and
the commerce ministry’s internal trade department receives 500,000 masks a
day for the general public. The demand for face masks in each area is
evaluated daily, and the management is equipped to handle a real time
Siriraj Hospital director Visit Vamvanit, said today
the hospital needs 100,000 face masks per day as the daily number of people
working and visiting the hospital, including staff, medical students and
patients, is approximately 15,000. The hospital’s face mask stock is now
critical. It would be enough for only three weeks.
Thailand denies Italian cruise ship passengers to enter Phuket, anchors 2 miles away
PHUKET (NNT) - Thai authorities
in Phuket, a major tourist destination on the Andaman coast in the south of
Thailand, this week declined to allow passengers and crew members of an
Italian cruise ship to land in Phuket, as a precautionary measure to prevent
the spread of COVID-19.
The Italian cruise liner, Costa Fortuna, has been at
anchor in Phuket since Friday (March 6th), carrying 1,631 passengers and 984
The original schedule showed the passengers would be
allowed to enter and visit tourist attractions on the island. However,
relevant state agencies conducted a risk assessment, and decided not to
grant them permission to land, as some of the passengers may pose a risk of
spreading the virus.
The cruise ship was permitted to anchor two miles
offshore, and to leave Thai waters on Saturday (March 7th) as previously
Thailand to stimulate COVID-19 hit SMEs and tourism businesses with 100 billion baht circulation
BANGKOK (NNT) - The global COVID-19 epidemic is bringing significant
disruption to both the Thai and global economies, perceived as one of the
most serious economic setbacks by the private sector. The Ministry of
Finance is working with the private sector to develop some 100 billion baht
in support measures for affected persons and business operators.
These measures will include financial a liquidity
enhancement campaign for low-income earners, freelance workers and farmers.
With this campaign, the government will transfer support benefits, via the
country’s Prompt Pay platform, to some 14 million beneficiaries, who will be
able to for spending on necessities.
Soft loans will be offered to SMEs and tourism
businesses to help secure sufficient funding for their business operations,
as well as special tax measures to help encourage companies to retain their
employees. The Revenue Department will issue a special guideline reducing
withholding tax payments to increase liquidity.
A fund will be set up to support employers who continue
to pay their employees during temporary work stoppages forced.
These, plus aid measures for the stock market, will be
proposed in the economic ministers’ meeting on 6 March.
Thai AirAsia to cut executive pay due to Covid-19 impacts
BANGKOK (TNA) – Thai AirAsia
cuts salaries of executives to alleviate losses from the impact of Covid-19
Due to tourism slowdown in the wake of Covid-19
outbreak, Thai AirAsia decided to cut salaries of executives while it has no
plan to reduce employees.
Pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and managers are
asked to take unpaid leave voluntarily for 2-5 days per month.
The short-term measure is put into effect from March to
September 2020 to cut the company’s cost and maintain cash flow.
The company also adjusts strategies for efficiency in
managing costs to avoid impacts on employees.
Thai Airways International (THAI) last month announced
to cut salaries and other allowances of executives by 15-25% for six months,
effective on March 1. (TNA)
No-Visa Thai dry cleaner in South Korea infected with Covid-19
pSEOUL (TNA) – The first case of illegal Thai worker, infected with
Covid-19 in South Korea was reported by the Thai embassy in Seoul.
Pinyuda Chamchansri, Thai minister-counsellor for
labour, based in South Korea said the Thai patient is a 27-year-old female
worker at a dry cleaner in North Gyeongsang Province.
The woman lives with her husband in Gimcheon without a
working visa. The couple arrived in South Korea together.
She fell sick on February 26 and sought medical
treatment three days later at a hospital, where she was diagnosed with the
She is now under quarantine at a housing unit in the
factory premises, waiting for the South Korean authority to find a suitable
hospital for her, said Pinyuda.
There is no cost for Covid-19 treatment of foreign
patients, according to the South Korean government’s policy, she added.
Four more cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Thailand, 2 Thais 1 Chinese 1 Italian
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health on Thursday (March 5)
announced that Thailand has reported four more confirmed cases of the
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), taking the country’s total to 47.
The first of the four confirmed cases is an Italian
national who went to a private hospital after developing a fever. The
patient was later transferred to Chonburi Hospital. The second of the four
cases is a Thai national who returned from Italy. The second patient went to
a private hospital in Chonburi province. The first two cases are not
related. Neither case showed any symptoms during the screening of airport
The third confirmed case is a Chinese student who
returned from Iran and was waiting to take a flight at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The student developed a fever, a cough and a runny nose, and was taken to
the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute.
The fourth case is a Thai national who also returned
from Iran. The patient went to a hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat province,
and is undergoing treatment.
Thailand now has an accumulated total of 47 confirmed
cases, 31 of whom have recovered, while 15 others are being treated in
hospitals. A critically ill patient is being treated at the Bamrasnaradura
Infectious Diseases Institute. The virus is no longer detectable, but the
patient remains under close supervision.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Gen. Prayut
Chan-o-cha, has instructed the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant
ministries and units to screen people at airports and prepare places to
accommodate passengers who appear to have a risk of infection, as they have
to be supervised by the government.
The Ministry of Public Health has provided criteria to
help different agencies set up a proper quarantine facility. The facility
must be safe. It must have a kitchen, a ward, a proper waste management
system, other facilities and officers working in shifts around the clock.
People who recently returned from at-risk locations are
required to observe a 14-day period of self-quarantine at home to prevent
the potential spread of the virus.
TAT: Thailand’s COVID-19 control measures for visitors from affected areas
Thailand has strict surveillance aimed at safeguarding public health and to
allow health authorities to effectively prevent and control the disease.
Bangkok– The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to
provide clarification regarding the country’s Coronavirus Disease 2019
(COVID-19) control measures for visitors from affected areas.
Currently, Thailand does not recommend any travel or
trade restrictions against China or other affected areas. Also to date, the
Thai government has not made any official announcement regarding
self-quarantine for travelers from affected areas.
However, the Department of Disease Control has scaled
up disease surveillance protocol for visitor arrivals at 46 point of entries
including airports, sea ports and ground ports, aimed at safeguarding the
public health for both Thais and foreign visitors.
TAT’s recommendations for tourists
Tourists are advised to “travel safely” by practicing
frequent hand hygiene measures (washing with soap or using alcohol-based
Kindly comply with the primary fever screening at
attractions. Travelers showing any signs of the COVID-19 symptoms (fever,
coughing, sore throat, runny nose and panting) are subject to further
medical evaluation and treatment.
Kindly wear a hygienic mask while travelling, avoid
close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, and avoid visiting
If feeling sick, do seek medical care as soon as
possible and inform the healthcare worker about the details of your travel
Tourists can keep up to date with the COVID-19
situation in Thailand at the TAT Newsroom (https://www.tatnews.org/)
and the Department of Disease Control (https://ddc.moph.go.th/viralpneumonia/eng/index.php).
For information and assistance relating to Thailand’s
tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police 1155.
Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 5 March 2020, 11.00 Hrs.
Airlines in Thailand to refund tickets to COVID-19-hit countries
BANGKOK (TNA) – Airlines agreed to give refunds to passengers for air
tickets to countries with high risk of Covid-19 infections if they bought
the tickets before February 21, said Prime Minister's Office Minister Tewan
Tewan, in charge of supervising the Consumer Protection
Board said he negotiated with all airlines including foreign airlines and
low-cost airlines to assist Thai people, who bought the tickets in advance
but cannot travel due to the Covid-19 outbreaks in high risk countries.
Persons who bought the tickets before Feb 21 will get
refunds for their cancellations but for those who made payment after Feb 21
will be allowed to postpone their flights until Dec 15, 2020.
For tour group bookings, the minister said would-be
passengers are entitled to full refunds if they cancel 30 days before their
trip but they will partial refunds or only 50 per cent if they make
cancellations 15 days before travelling.
Thailand separate 17 illegal workers returning from South Korea for Covid-19 tests
BANGKOK (TNA) Airport screening
found 17 Thai illegal workers, returning home from South Korea have fever
and sent to hospitals for Covid-19 testing, said Pol Col Choenron Rimpadee,
deputy spokesman of immigration police.
Among all 158 Thai workers, arriving at three airports
yesterday, 17 persons had high fever, detected by thermal scanning at
Suvanabhumi Airport. They were sent to Ramathibodi Hospital for the Covid-19
The rest of 90 persons are instructed to self-isolate
at home for 14 days.
About 5,000 Thai workers initially requested to travel
back to Thailand following the Covid-19 outbreak in South Korea.
Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul said a
meeting was held today to find measures in response to the returns of Thai
workers from South Korea.
He said his ministry had a general plan to handle the
situation but it would look into the details in preparation of each relevant
agencies and it would ask for cooperation from those agencies to implement
Regarding the proposal of the opposition parties,
urging the government to issue the emergency decree to cope with the
Covid-19 situation in response to the returns of illegal Thai workers from
South Korea, he said he did not know about that.
Today’s meeting would discuss the plan to deal with the
situation discreetly, he added.
Thailand to produce one million face masks daily to tackle shortage
BANGKOK (TNA) The government
will conduct investigation from retailers to manufactures to determine the
cause of face mask shortage in an attempt to solve this problem, said Prime
Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha.
According to initial information, he said more than one
million face masks are produced daily. About 300,000 pieces are sold to the
public health ministry for distribution to medical personnel at state-run
hospitals and shops of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization.
The government will probe over the rest of 700,000 face
masks to find out where they are sent to or whether the disappearance of the
face masks is related to hoarding or exporting to other countries.
The premier said the government is trying to curb the
face mask prices at 2.50 baht apiece.
However, he said raw materials have to be imported from
China, Taiwan and Indonesia and every country also needs face masks for
He then ordered the Board of Investment (BOI) to
consider the feasibility to expand face mask manufacturing factories and to
produce raw materials domestically. (TNA)
Thailand, BRN value peaceful solutions to southern violence
BANGKOK (TNA) The government’s
peace negotiators and representatives of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional
insurgent group agree to end violence in the Deep South with peaceful
The Thai negotiation team of Gen Wallop Raksanoh met
BRN representatives led by Anas Abdulranhman in Kuala Lumpur on March 2 and
3 with the presence of Malaysia’s chief facilitator Tan Sri Abdul Rahim bin
The meeting occurred in a constructive atmosphere. Both
sides discussed the coordination and management of their peace negotiation
process. They also started to talk about peace restoration and the reduction
of violence to create a promising environment for their negotiation.
They admitted that the peace process would require
times, continuation and support from all concerned parties.
Both sides agreed to adhere to peaceful steps and
exercise all possible efforts to solve problems in Thailand’s southern
border provinces. They were looking forward to discussing relevant details
in the future.
PM: 5,000 returning to Thailand from South Korea strict COVID-19 screen
BANGKOK (TNA) Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha confirmed illegal
Thai workers from Daegu, North Gyeongsang must be put under quarantine for
14 days to prevent the possible spread of the disease.
The government is considering the place for the mass
quarantine, the prime minister said after the urgent meeting on Wednesday to
prepare measures in response to returning of illegal Thai workers from South
Returnees from Daegu and North Gyeongsang with high
risk of coronavirus infections will be placed under quarantine at the area,
designated by the state only. They will not be in self-quarantine at home to
prevent the spread of the disease, the prime minister said.
The Covid-19 management center, chaired by the prime
minister was set up at Government House to oversee and direct policies to
relevant agencies in preparation for a worsening situation.
The Covid-19 was declared as the dangerous communicable
disease and the government has put in place enough measures against the
spread of the disease. It can be seen from the infection figure in the
country, ranked 17th out of 75 countries, he said.
Regarding public concerns over returning of illegal
Thai workers from South Korea, he said the returnees have to undergo
screening from the origin country. If they have fever, they will not be
allowed to travel home. Strict health screening at Thai airports will
separate passengers, who have fever and they will be placed under
About 5,000 Thai workers, who request to return to
Thailand will gradually travel home. They will undergo strict screening,
imposed at airports, border checkpoints and ports, he added.
Thailand ranked 17th on COVID-19 cases, confirmed remain: 43, discharged: 31
BANGKOK (TNA) Thailand is ranked 17th among 75 countries on the number of
people infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as its confirmed
cases remain at 43.
Dr Taweesin Wisanuyothin, spokesman of the Public
Health Ministry, said that the 43 cases consisted of 11 at hospitals, 31 who
recovered and were discharged and one death. The patients at hospitals
included one with a critical condition.
There were 3,680 patients under investigation. Of them,
2,435 were discharged from hospitals and were being monitored. Most of them
suffered from seasonal influenza. The rest 1,545 people were treated at
In 75 countries, there were 92,321 patients including
Two Thai workers from South Korea listed as suspected cases
BANGKOK, March 3 (TNA) – Two
Thai illegal workers, returning from South Korea were found to have fever
during the thermal screening upon their arrivals and sent to hospitals for
monitoring and testing of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Immigration police found two Thai workers out of all
seven persons, returning from South Korea had suspicious symptoms during the
screening at Savarnabhumi Airport yesterday, said Pol Col Choenron Rimpadee,
deputy spokesman of immigration police.
They were sent to hospitals for the Covid-19 test and
five others are advised to monitor themselves at home for 14 days.
Immigration police have prepared for the returns of
illegal migrant workers in South Korea, called “little ghost”.
Airlines at the origin will report to Thai immigration
after Thai workers check in to board the flights home.
Speaking about the measures on the planes, he said they
would be given seats in separate zones and must wear masks all the time on
board and will be the last group of passengers to get off the planes.
They will undergo thermal scanning at the airplane’s
door before they enter the passenger terminal.
Illegal Thai migrant workers in South Korea have been
given an amnesty by South Korean authorities to return to Thailand without
having to pay a fine for overstaying their visa or being blacklisted. The
amnesty began in December last year and continues until June 30 this year.
Meanwhile, Thai Foreign Minister, Don Pramudwinai said
according to initial investigation 136 Thai workers arestaying in Daegu, the
epicenter of the virus outbreak in South Korea and 300 others in surrounding
Thailand distributes 100,000 face masks to people for free
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of
Public Health handed out 100,000 face masks to members of the general
public, setting a limit of three masks per person, while the Ministry of
Commerce launched a caravan of 111 cars to sell more face masks to people in
different parts of the country.
At 9 a.m., officials started handing out 100,000
protective masks to the public at nine agencies under the Ministry of Public
Health’s administration. They were the Department of Disease Control, the
Department of Health, the Office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry
of Public Health, the Department of Medical Services, the Office of the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), the Department of Mental Health, the
Department of Medical Science, the Department of Health Service Support and
the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine. Many people
waited in line to receive the masks. While waiting, officials provided
information about ways people can protect themselves from diseases, such as
by washing their hands regularly. Health officials were not allowed to
accept the masks, because they were intended to be given to the general
People who received the masks said they were happy that
the government gave them out for free, but hoped it would still distribute
The Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister, Jurin
Laksanawisit, invited 11 face mask producers and representatives of the
Public Health Ministry and hospitals to a meeting to revise the distribution
of face masks in the country. The ministry can exercise its power to issue
measures to regulate products and services, if any irregularities are found.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry launched a caravan of
111 cars to ensure that everyone has access to masks nationwide. Twenty-one
vehicles are to operate in greater Bangkok, while the rest will be in other
regions, starting March 5. The campaign has set a limit of a pack of four
masks per customer, with a price of 2.50 baht per mask, or 10 baht a pack.
The government is dissuading members of the public from
hoarding face masks, as they should think of other people who need them too.
Thailand asks to negotiate with China on antiviral drug to treat COVID-19
BANGKOK (NNT) - A meeting
between the Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister, Anutin
Charnvirakul, and the Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand,
Yang Xin, discussed measures and cooperation to address the coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19).
During the meeting, Mr. Yang and Mr. Anutin discussed
the COVID-19 situation, with both sides expressing willingness to increase
cooperation to deal with the ongoing outbreak and to support the use of
anti-viral medication to treat patients.
The Public Health Minister also asked the Chinese
official to negotiate with a licensed pharmaceutical company in China, in
hopes that the company will sell its antiviral drug to Thailand as a special
case. Currently, the drug is not banned from sale outside China.
Mr. Anutin said the amount of drugs produced in
Thailand is adequate, but can be used for treatment, if the situation does
not escalate. The country has drugs to enable patients to develop immunity
against the virus and recover consequently.
The Public Health Minister then chaired a meeting of
the Thailand Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP) organization committee. After
the meeting, Mr. Anutin said the committee resolved to cancel the event
because of the COVID-19 situation. The Prime Minister and Defense Minister,
Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, was informed of the cancellation.
One more COVID-19 patient recovers, one more confirmed case in Thailand
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Public Health has increased its
criteria for screening the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and has set up an
eight-member academic committee to provide suggestions related to the
current situation and disease control.
The ministry reported that the present situation in
Thailand is in the second stage, but medical personnel and equipment have
been prepared in case the spread widens. On Monday (March 2), Thailand
reported one more confirmed case of COVID-19, while another patient has
recovered and been discharged.
The Permanent Secretary for Public Health, Dr. Sukhum
Kanchanapimai, said the ministry has expanded the screening criteria. They
now include groups of more than five patients with respiratory symptoms who
recently visited COVID-19-risk countries and medical personnel.
The ministry will monitor other at-risk areas, in
addition to the 11 places as previously announced. COVID-19 infections have
been reported in England, the United States, Norway and other Scandinavian
countries. Although the situation is under control, health authorities have
to follow up on the situation and provide travelers with guidance.
A 43-year-old woman, who tested positive following a
trip to Japan, has recovered and been discharged from Rajavithi Hospital.
The latest confirmed case of COVID-19 is a 22-year-old woman. She had worked
with the 37th confirmed case, a Thai man who had been in close contact with
foreign tourists. Thailand now has an accumulated total of 43 confirmed
cases, 11 of whom are still being treated in hospitals.
The Ministry of Public Health has set up the
eight-member academic committee to provide suggestions on the current
situation. The committee, together with many experts and doctors, are
looking into the cause of the death of a patient who had been infected with
Thailand Grand Prix MotoGP postponed due to Covid-19
BANGKOK (TNA) Thailand Grand Prix motorcycling event, MotoGP 2020,
scheduled to be held in Buri Ram later this month has been postponed
indefinitely to mitigate the risks of the Covid-19 outbreak, said Public
Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul.
After presiding over the meeting of the Moto GP 2020
organising committee, he said the Covid-19 has global impacts and Thailand
declared it the dangerous communicable disease.
The decision was made that the hosting of the big event
could inappropriately increase risks for the spread of the virus because
there are participants and spectators from countries with risks of the virus
The postponement of the MotoGP has reflected the
government’s seriousness in curbing the outbreak and it has already made
understanding with the organiser of the event.
The world-class motorcycling event has been postponed
until the outbreak situation improves.
The OR Thailand Grand Prix 2020 is originally scheduled
at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram between March 20-22.
Thailand needs COVID-19 drugs from China
BANGKOK (TNA) Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin
Charnvirakul asked the Chinese envoy to convince the Chinese government to
sell its medicine for Thailand to treat patients of the coronavirus disease
Mr Anutin said that in his meeting with Chinese charge
d’affaires Yang Xin, he sought the favour from the Chinese government which
did not have a plan to export the medicine.
“Most medicine that Thailand is buying will be used to
treat patients in the country and most of them are Chinese people,” he said.
He admitted that the Government Pharmaceutical
Organization bought an amount of medicine from China last week for local
COVID-19 patients and the purchase resulted from the organization’s special
connection with another drug manufacturer.
Mr Anutin denied the rumor that Thailand did not have
medicine to treat COVID-19 patients.
“The drugs that Thailand makes can treat patients’
symptoms. Thailand has enough drugs to treat patients until their recovery
on the condition that the outbreak does not get worse,” he said.
Thailand had more confidence in treating COVID-19
patients because 28 of 43 patients recovered and returned home, Mr Anutin
said. Fourteen patients remained at hospitals and one of them died.
“The cause of the death has yet to be determined… He
recovered from COVID-19 but also had other illnesses which made him unable
to survive,” he said.
Existing medicine could treat patients’ symptoms to
allow them to build their own immunity and recover from COVID-19, Mr Anutin
He also said that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
would today announce a plan to cope with COVID-19 and that the disease’s
outbreak remained at its second stage, not the third stage of wide spread
among many people.
COVID-19 making face masks in high demand nationwide
THAILAND (NNT) - The coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation has resulted in heightened awareness of
personal health and led to a shortage of protective masks in the market.
One pharmacy in Khon Kaen province has reported that it
receives many requests for masks from customers but has been unable to
supply them for over a month now, as only N95 masks designed to filter
particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5) remain. Some
customers say they went to four different pharmacies looking for appropriate
Another pharmacist pointed out that wariness of
COVID-19 has resulted in the high demand for medical masks, which has even
deterred factories from promising orders and shipments. One pharmacy has
switched to carbon masks, which are chosen as an alternative by some
customers, when fabric masks are not available.
Public health volunteers from 26 districts of Ubon
Ratchathani province were given training on how to effectively use fabric
face masks, and have been tasked with passing on the information to local
communities. The training included how to sew a fabric mask for personal use
and how to wash them for re-use. Volunteers also gained knowledge on other
preventative measures against respiratory illness and were told to remember
the need to
"Eat Hot, Use Serving Spoons and Wash Hands".
Approval being expedited after Digital Fund 2020 receives over 400 proposals
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Digital
Economy Fund was set up in 2017 as required by the Act on Digital
Development for the Economy and Society. The fund, supported by the National
Broadcast and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), has reached over 5
The fund was established to support state, private and
individual non-profit and non-commercial projects concerning development of
digital technology with a public benefit. So far this year, over 400
projects have been submitted for approval.
The Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy
and Society Commission, Vunnaporn evahastinna Ayutthaya, said today that 10
projects have received approval for a total 150 million baht in funding. Of
the 10, seven are public projects, two are run by private organizations and
one is from an individual. Success of the 10 will enrich Thailand’s digital
development and create an ecosystem for coping with technological change
while fostering new digital services in the realms of education, public
health, management, agricultural and governance, benefiting all citizens.
The fund is still open to submissions.
Domestic sales of fruit backed to offset China export blockage
BANGKOK (NNT) - The Ministry of Commerce has prepared measures to
support the sale of fruit in Thailand, after the coronavirus disease 2019
(COVID-19) situation cut exports to China. The ministry has also called on
oil palm farmers to be confident the price of their produce will not fall
further after dropping from seven baht a kilogram to just above the state
guarantee price of four baht, at a current five baht.
The Director-General of the Department of Internal
Trade (DIT), Whichai Phochanakij, says that while oil palm fruit is near its
marketable period between March and June, demand is still growing due to
state measures, such as using the produce in B10 diesel production. From
March 1, B10 diesel will be available at all service stations, raising usage
of oil palm fruit this year to two million tons, or two-thirds of the
national production. With imports of the crop restricted to Khlong Toei
Port, and meters being installed to monitor stocks more efficiently, Mr.
Wichai voiced confidence the price of oil palm fruit will be maintained.
The DIT chief noted state stocks are actually below
their 300,000-ton requirement with only 230,000 tons held in government
silos, following palm oil use in fuel production. After a replenishment of
stocks, he said the price of oil palm fruit won’t dip below five baht per
As for fruit sales being affected by the COVID-19
situation, it was indicated that measures have been prepared to offset the
impact such as a reduction in tourist numbers from China who would usually
buy up durian. The Ministry of Commerce will turn its focus to domestic
sales and has begun coordinating with airlines to feature Thai fruit
in-flight, and with retailers to organize fruit fairs set to start in the
North in March.
Public Health Min. organizes ‘Rare Disease Day Thailand’
BANGKOK (NNT) - Health welfare programs have added 24 rare diseases
to the national health insurance scheme, with all to be highlighted at the
10th Rare Disease Day Thailand, organized by the Ministry of Public Health.
The Thai Rare Disease Foundation, the Genetics
Society of Thailand and Ramathibodi Hospital are each involved in this
event, which had its opening presided over by the Deputy Minister of
Public Health, Dr. Satit Pitutecha.
There are currently over 6,000 recorded rare
diseases with up to 30,000 Thais suffering from such ailments.
Unfamiliarity with the conditions can lead to issues in treatment
starting with diagnosis.
So far, 24 such diseases have been added to the
gold-card healthcare scheme ensuring equal access to health services and
compelling the Government Pharmaceutical Organization to produce and
distribute needed medicine.