A COVID-19 vaccine, a key weapon in subduing the virus
BANGKOK - A COVID-19 vaccine, a key weapon in
subduing the virus COVID-19 by Rungruang Kitphati, M.D.
A "knockout punch" is one of the five "strategies"
against COVID-19 and we are on the right track.
"A Vaccine is one of the said “knockout punches".
Compliments to the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH),
the Department of Medical Sciences, the Department of Disease Control, the
National Vaccine Institute, the Thai Red Cross Society, Mahidol University,
Chulalongkorn University and many other agencies (respectfully apologize for
not naming all) for striving to speed up the process.
There are three proposals which should be put into
practice simultaneously for a very important reason, and they will establish
national health security.
1) A COVID-19 vaccine must be successfully produced,
but when that time comes, despite having money, some people “might not be
able to pay for the vaccine" according to the demand and supply rule because
the demand is very high.
2) At the beginning, a vaccine will be very expensive
according to my experience working with vaccines (from working at the
Department of Science, the Department of Disease Control as the Director of
the Bureau of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Director of the Bureau of
General Communicable Diseases and the Director of Division of Vaccine
- At the start of the influenza outbreak, the influenza
vaccine was very expensive. Despite having money, people couldn’t buy it.
The price is now around one thousand baht per single dose. I was very proud
of myself when I was able to buy it for 99 baht per dose after striking a
- If a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine costs about
2,000 baht, how much will we have to spend
- Normally, a vaccination must cover at least 80
percent of the population and the focus should be on risk groups first,
especially the "extreme risk group”.
- When we calculate (2,000 baht/one dose of vaccine X)
about 70 million people in Thailand need treatment to cover 80 percent of
the people), so we have to spend about 112 billion baht.
Do we have the budget. If not, only the extreme risk
group which accounts for five percent of the population will get it.
Even if we have the budget, we might not be able to buy
the vaccine because countries around the world would be scrambling to buy
I would like to submit three proposals which should be
put into practice simultaneously (to the MOPH and the Secretary-General of
the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration) and be forwarded to the
Prime Minister and all sectors.
The proposals regarding policies and things that need
to be accelerated and done seriously are as follows:
1) Accelerate coordination with countries that produce
vaccines to reserve the COVID-19 vaccines.
2) Cooperate with reliable vaccine companies with the
potential to conduct clinical research in Thailand.
- the current vaccine development in a vial has been
proven efficient and safe for humans.
- Coordinate with various companies to cooperate with
Thailand on vaccination testing in Thailand
- Thailand will get the COVID-19 vaccine first as a
- Thailand will get an inexpensive vaccine (maybe free)
3) According to the sufficiency economy principle,
Thailand must be self-reliant. We have doctors, medical scientists and
people who are no less knowledgeable about vaccines than those of any nation
in this world. My suggestions are as follows:
3.1) Accelerate investment in the establishment of a
“vaccine plant in Thailand” (currently, we can produce only a very small
volume of vaccine and not many types of vaccines) to cope with COVID-19
(this time, we are competing in a marathon, not a 100-meter race).
His Majesty the late King always taught us to seek
self-reliance, to be knowledgeable, careful and reasonable, and follow the
3.2) Even if a vaccine can’t be produced in time to
cope with COVID-19, you should remember that every 10 years a situation like
this will occur (You can study it. It is true). At least, we will be able to
handle the situation in the next 10 years and we will be “self-reliant".
3.3) We could export the vaccines and become a regional
vaccine export leader. Finally, Thailand would earn income from the vaccine
The three suggestions that should be put into practice
simultaneously are aimed at protecting the nation and the people and
establishing health security for Thailand in accordance with the
"sufficiency economy" philosophy.
I wish to express my gratitude to everyone who is
contributing to successful control of diseases with vaccines, such as the
polio vaccine and diphtheria vaccine (Chaloem Phrakiat Project offered 22
million doses of diphtheria vaccine to people nationwide). Today, diphtheria
has almost been eradicated. There is also a project offering free human
papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines. In the future, a very small number of Thai
people will have cervical cancer. Most importantly, Thai people have
accepted and understood and "are longer afraid of vaccines". Today, a large
number of people submit their request for "vaccines".
Rungruang Kitphati, M.D.
- Chairman of the Health Based on the Philosophy of
Sufficiency Economy Foundation
- Member of the "Vaccine for People Foundation"
- Ministerial advisor (Level 10)
(Advisory Level Chief) and Spokesman of the Ministry of
Public Health operating at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister, Government
Governors ordered to manage crowds gathering to receive donations in Thailand’s provinces
Donors must contact local administrative
officials before making the distribution to ensure the safety of everyone
BANGKOK - The Ministry of the Interior has called on provincial
governors around the country to better manage the gifting of private
donations, as some distributions have caused chaos, as crowds gather in one
place to wait for the donations, raising the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
Mr. Chatchai Promlert, the Interior Ministry’s
permanent secretary, has sent a letter to governors of all 77 provinces in
Thailand, acknowledging that many people and members of the private sector
have shown their generosity and willingness to help people who are affected
by the coronavirus situation, and have been donating consumer goods, food
and money to those in need.
However, in order to help deliver donations
successfully and safely, the governors have to inform the donors that they
should contact local administrative bodies in the area before making the
distribution so that the officials can assist and ensure the safety of
In addition, the recipients should be reminded of the
health measures, especially social distancing guidelines, so that they can
receive the donation in a safe way, to protect both themselves and others
around them. (NNT)
Thai PM inspects Bangkok checkpoints, talks to parent on child’s accident
Prime Minister General
Prayut Chan-O-Cha visited curfew checkpoints in Bangkok on Saturday.
BANGKOK - The Prime Minister visited curfew
checkpoints and supported hard-working officers. While citizens are
strictly following the measures by staying in during the curfew.
Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha visited
curfew checkpoints at Pathumwan, Thonglor, Sutthisan and Huaykwang areas
in Bangkok. The PM appreciated and supported the officers’ hard work.
People are reported to be cooperating well with the measures and are
strictly following the curfew by staying inside. They also understand
the importance of the strict measures.
During his visits, the PM also had conversations
with people who were on their way back home from hospital. One such
needed to go outside during the curfew because their child had an
accident, which was an excepted case allowing travel during the curfew.
The PM also asked about the child’s symptoms and was informed that the
child had no severe pain. (NNT)
25 provinces in Thailand declare drought disaster
Deficiency of rain over the past two months has
caused the water level in natural and community sources to decrease
significantly, affecting significant extent of farmland in Lampang.
BANGKOK - According to the Department of
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), 25 provinces have so far declared
drought disaster areas. In Lampang, a province that has yet to make such a
declaration, the lack of rain over the past two months has caused the water
level in natural water sources and community sources to decrease
significantly, affecting some 160 square kilometers of farmland.
Lampang’s Vice Governor Sitichai Chindaluang, together
with the Regional Irrigation Office 2 Chief, PreechaChanthong, revealed
today that 44 villages in seven districts of Lampang are expected to be
caught up in the drought disaster this year, with two villages expected to
face a critical situation.
The province is counting on the discharge of 14 million
cubic meters of water to mitigate the disaster, and provide water to farms
and households in an area of some 155 square kilometers, especially
communities located downstream in the irrigation network in 30 subdistricts,
along with other communities in Tak province.
According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and
Mitigation (DDPM), 25 provinces have so far declared drought affected areas,
covering 6,846 villages in 146 districts.
Disaster areas have been declared in six northern
provinces, namely Chiang Rai, Phayao, Nan, Uttaradit, Sukhothai, Phetchabun;
in 10 northeastern provinces: Nong Khai, Bueng Kan, Nakhon Phanom, Sakhon
Nakhon, Kalasin, MahaSarakham, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buriram, Chaiyaphum, and
Sisaket; in 8 central and eastern provinces, namely Nakhon Sawan, Uthai
Thani, Chainat, Kanchanaburi, Suphanburi, Chachoengsao, PrachinBuri,
Chanthaburi; and in Songkhla in the southern region.
Affected villagers can request assistance by calling
the 1784 disaster hotline, available 24 hours a day.
The Government Spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat says
the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has expressed his concern for the
general public in many provinces facing the drought disaster. He has ordered
related agencies to monitor the water situation to mitigate the disaster,
especially in provinces that have declared disaster areas.
In the Eastern Economic Corridor in Chachoengsao,
Rayong, and Chonburi, the Prime Minister has ordered the Ministry of
Agriculture and Cooperatives to ensure continuous water availability.(NNT)
Thailand developing vaccines against COVID-19
working towards the development of vaccines against the coronavirus disease
2019 (COVID-19) spearheaded by the team members from the National Vaccine
BANGKOK - The Director-General
of the Department of Medical Sciences, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, said that
Thailand now has a team working towards the development of vaccines against
the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The team comprises members from
various institutions, led by the National Vaccine Institute (NVI).
The NVI Director, Dr. Nakorn Premsri, explained that
vaccine development involves the synthesizing of ribonucleic acid (RNA),
deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or fragments of the virus. An experimental
vaccine can then be tested on hamsters or monkeys to see if it has any
effect on the immune system. There are three phases of clinical trials for a
COVID-19 vaccine. The first phase focuses on safety, with about 30 to 50
volunteers. The next phase focuses on stimulating the immune system,
involving 100 to 150 people. The third phase involves at least 500
volunteers to determine its effectiveness. If the vaccine is effective, the
team will submit it to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval.
Meanwhile, the United States (US), China and England
have made the most progress in vaccine development, having completed the
first two phases. There are six vaccines against COVID-19 in development.
Thailand has three options for using vaccines. The
first option is to develop and produce a vaccine in the country, which is
currently under way. The second option is to cooperate with foreign
countries that already have a vaccine and are testing it on humans. This
alternative will enable Thailand to acquire it faster than other countries.
The third choice is to wait for other countries to come up with a vaccine
and then import it. In that instance, Thailand would have to wait longer and
the price could be very high. (NNT)
Thai PM visits Thammasat University Field Hospital for COVID-19 patients
Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the prime minister visited medical staff at the Dluxx
hotel in Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus.
BANGKOK - The Prime Minister has visited the
first facility in Thailand to receive patients infected by COVID-19 at
Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus. He also wanted to express his
appreciation of hardworking medical staff who have been dedicating
themselves to helping those infected, since the beginning of the health
General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, the prime minister visited
medical staff at the Dluxx hotel in Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus
that has been adapted into a temporary hospital or HOSPITEL. During
the visit, the PM spoke of the hard work of the medical staff who are on
duty around the clock, and thanked the university and people who used to
live in the building for allowing it to be used as a hospital.
The temporary hospital or Hospitel has 308 beds and
helps relieve the congestion in five other major hospitals. The hospitel has
been receiving patients since 25th of March, specifically patients with mild
symptoms who don’t need a respirator or ICU service. The hospitel is
equipped with a security system, well-managed caretaking, medications,
equipment and sufficient medical staff, as well as a medical robot that
allows doctors to work at a safe distance from the patients.
However, should severe symptoms appear during the
patients’ time in the hospitel, there is an emergency service team on
standby to escort the patients to the ICU in 5 minutes; it is able to
receive up to 60 patients with severe symptoms of the virus.
Patients who are to be located in Dluxxhospitel are
escorted by an ambulance and immediately delivered to a secure room. With
regular disinfection and cleaning, the facility is guaranteed to provide
zero virus transmission.
Students and officers who previously lived in the
hotel, were provided with new rooms to avoid anxiety. (NNT)
Statement by Thai Prime Minister on Friday 17 April 2020
Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Dear Thai people,
Today I wish to inform you about my forthcoming undertakings and the
important role that we all need to take on for this coming week.
Before that, as this past week was the Thai New Year, I
would like to once again, wish you all a very Happy New Year with good
health and heartened spirits. As it is a very important day for the Thai
people, I hope that you all had a Happy Songkran. Although this year has
been different from the past, it was still a meaningful time for all of us
as we celebrated Songkran Day and Family Day in Thailand.
This is a time that has allowed us to reflect upon the
most important thing in our lives, which is our families. No matter what
problems we may face, the ones that will always be there for us are our
parents, siblings, and relatives. In a way, our families have expanded this
year – extending beyond our relatives to include the entire nation of almost
70 million people, given that we are all doing our best to handle the
ongoing crisis together. We are supporting and relying on each other to get
through this very difficult time and overcome the many hardships - as we
have seen, complete strangers are now buying food for people in distress so
that they can survive the day.
At the moment, Thailand is going through a very
stressful time, with many lives and livelihoods being ruined at an
unprecedented level. At the global level, the Covid-19 crisis has caused
much damage to all nations, whether poor, rich, or powerful. Many countries
in the West, in Europe, along with other highly developed countries are
experiencing high infection rates, which have come with tens of thousands of
fatalities. Experts have also suggested that the number of fatalities may
increase to be in the hundreds of thousands in the future. This is an epic
crisis that has required all governments to live up to their potentials in
order to overcome it.
At the moment, I am focusing on 2 key areas of work.
The first concerns health issues, meaning - what we need to do to reduce the
spread of Covid19, and enhance our capacity to treat patients. The second
area of work concerns providing assistance to the Thai people so that all
citizens will have enough money to live on. This involves approving a number
of assistances programs and the Ministry of Finance has been delegated to be
the main agency responsible for coming up with and implementing such
measures. My role is to direct and manage the entire work of the government
so that each ministry and agency can do their jobs correctly, appropriately,
I am well aware of your concerns about the 5,000 baht
per month scheme and the other assistance measures undertaken by the
Ministry of Finance. I have been continuously looking into this matter. As
such, I met with the Minister of Finance and other concerned officials to
obtain an explanation on the situation, including the cause of the current
problems and how to resolve them. Along with the 5,000 baht per month
scheme, I have been following up on the work by other ministries,
specifically their initiatives to help people out during this difficult
time. Almost all the ministries are implementing their respective assistance
programs, and the government will, therefore, continue to look after every
sector in our society.
Along with these 2 key areas of focus, I would like to
mention another calling that I view as crucial at this time, and is thus a
responsibility for all Thai people to undertake with me. This refers to
actually working together for the greater benefit of all, which essentially
asks of us - how can we do things better and more effectively, more than
ever before, to win this war against the Covid19 virus.
Undertaking this calling begins with understanding well
the reality that we each have our own strengths, weaknesses, limitations and
different ideas. We also need to realize that overcoming the Covid-19 crisis
will need committed cooperation between the government and all sectors in
our country. In this regard, we also need to realize that the government
cannot provide solutions to every single problem. However, there are many
other groups and sectors that can help by coming up with creative solutions
and ideas that will be most useful.
The Covid-19 crisis is extensive and complex. Our task
is, therefore, to fight this together with unity, and as Team Thailand. We
need to seek out greater cooperation and bring in every sector in our
society, particularly the business sector, to pool our knowledge and
capabilities to help our country. We need the many gifted and talented
persons in our country to work together now. This is Team Thailand.
Whether it is the government, our universities,
research centers, businesses, our tycoons, or the average citizen – everyone
has been making personal sacrifices and cooperating together during this
crucial time, and in particular, with our doctors and public health
officials, as well as the many volunteers who have risked their own safety
to save other people.
I know that many of us in Team Thailand have already
started many important and beneficial programs to help out. But now, more
than ever, we need to enhance this national effort, starting first with our
business sector. Therefore, next week I will issue an open letter to our top
20 tycoons and ask of them: as respected persons in society, how you will
work with us more and help our country in this time of need?
There are many tycoons in Thailand who have great
influence on our economy, some of whom are listed as among the wealthiest in
the world. I ask you to play a crucial role in supporting our country by
becoming an integral part of Team Thailand. I am aware and sincerely
appreciate the fact that many of you have already initiated your own
measures to help the people and the country. But I am asking you to please
do more. I know that you are all more than willing, especially as the
country now needs your urgent assistance. I know that you also hurt when you
see so many Thai people in distress and hardship. In this regard, I ask
that you share with us your vast capabilities, know-how, and vision, and use
your proficient organizations to help the country get through this current
Aside from our prominent tycoons, I also want to hear
the opinions and expert advice from our private sector. Therefore, next
week, I will also meet directly with our business societies to listen to
their viewpoints, including the many medium and small businesses. I want to
learn more about the real situation, without initially going through state
agencies. I want to access the knowledge, capabilities, and expertise from
our private sector. I also want to listen to their opinions and
recommendations, as well as their needs and challenges. I want to know how
they will contribute more towards solving this crisis, including learning
about what they have already done. Importantly, I want to learn from them
about how the government can do a better job.
It goes without saying that the government has a
responsibility to look after every citizen throughout the country. But we
can also do more if we cooperate and work with the private sector who
possess much potential and many ways to quickly reach out to people in
distress. By doing so, the government will be able to provide more effective
assistance to the public.
In this current situation, there will be a number of
varying opinions among the experts on how to approach each challenge. This
is beneficial and I would like to have the opportunity to listen to them all
so that we can come up with the best solutions. I believe that your varying
opinions, all mean well for our country. So, when we decide on our course
of action, please render your cooperation and support so that we can achieve
these goals. I ask that we all work together as a ‘family’ and turn this
crisis into an opportunity to make our country stronger, based on the
solidarity and unity of the Thai people.
During this most difficult time for our country, I ask
that we all unite and combine our strengths to help each other out,
regardless of our differences or political affiliations. In the future, when
we look back to this time, we will see that though this was a most difficult
and desperate time for our nation, we were able to bring out the best in
each other, including our true nature as a Thai person with unwavering
devotion to our family of the Thai nation.
This is my hope and I believe that every Thai person
will share this aspiration. I ask that we all join hands now to realize our
hopes and win over this challenge together.
Thank you very much.
Zero malaria starts with me
On World Malaria Day 2020 (April 25), WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End
Malaria in promoting “Zero malaria starts with me”, a grassroots campaign
that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional
resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention
We know that through country leadership and collective
action, we can radically reduce suffering and death from malaria. Between
2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40% worldwide,
from an estimated 743 000 to 446 000.
But in recent years, progress has ground to a
standstill. According to WHO's
World malaria report
2019, there were no global gains in reducing new infections over
the period 2014 to 2018. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2018
as the year before.
Urgent action is needed to get back on track, and
ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by
malaria. The “Zero malaria” campaign engages all members of society:
political leaders who control government policy decisions and budgets;
private sector companies that will benefit from a malaria-free workforce;
and communities affected by malaria, whose buy-in and ownership of malaria
control interventions is critical to success. Join us in our shared effort
to get to zero malaria.
Malaria & COVID-19
In the lead-up to this year’s World Malaria Day,
countries across the globe are in the throes of responding to the COVID-19
pandemic. While cases of the novel coronavirus in malaria-affected countries
currently represent only a small proportion of the global total, the
situation is evolving rapidly. WHO underlines the critical importance of
sustaining efforts to prevent, detect and treat malaria, using best
practices to protect health workers and communities from COVID-19 infection.
World Immunization Week, 24 – 30 April 2020
World Immunization Week – celebrated in
the last week of April (24 to 30 April) – aims to promote the use of
vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Immunization saves
millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s
most successful and cost-effective health interventions. Yet, there are
still nearly 20 million children in the world today who are not getting the
vaccines they need.
The theme this year is #VaccinesWork for All and the
campaign will focus on how vaccines – and the people who develop, deliver
and receive them – are heroes by working to protect the health of everyone,
2020 campaign objectives
The main goal of the campaign is to urge greater
engagement around immunization globally and the importance of vaccination in
improving health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.
As part of the 2020 campaign, WHO and partners aim to:
Demonstrate the value of vaccines for the health of
children, communities and the world.
Show how routine immunization is the foundation for
strong, resilient health systems and universal health coverage.
Highlight the need to build on immunization progress
while addressing gaps, including through increased investment in vaccines
Given that WHO has designated 2020 the International
Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, WHO will highlight nurses and midwives
for their crucial role as early vaccine champions for new parents and
Global Situation – Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) – Death Toll: 161,904
Global Situation – Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as of April 19,
(Sources: Department of Disease Control, Ministry of
Public Health of Thailand Official Website)
Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Thailand Situation, Confirmed case: 2,765, Death: 47
Returning Thai illegal workers placed in quarantine at designated facilities
illegal migrants in South Korean returned home on Tuesday after being
cleared by South Korean immigration authorities and certified by the Thai
Embassy. 165 of them followed back home on Wednesday.
Another group of Thai illegal migrants in South Korean
have returned home after being cleared by South Korean immigration
authorities and certified by the Thai Embassy.
The 135 Thai citizens arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport
on a Jeju Air’s chartered flight at 9.40 pm on Tuesday. There are among the
latest 300 Thai workers who are allowed to return to Thailand following the
Covid-19 outbreak in South Korea.
They are among thousands of Thai people believed to
have worked illegally in South Korea, some of them have already returned
home shortly after South Korea became a coronavirus hotspot.
All of the Thai workers are required to be quarantined
at the government’s designated facilities for 14 days.
Minister Attached to the Prime Minister's Office Tewan
Liptapanlop who inspected the health screening procedure and transfers of
the returnees at Suvarnabhumi Airport said the returnees must pass health
screening conducted in compliance with international standard before being
transferred to state quarantine facilities.
“At the state quarantine facilities, health officials
will provide health checks again before putting each of them in separate
rooms,” he said.
Another group of 165 Thais, accompanied by South Korean
health officials, arrive on a flight from South Korea on Wednesday.
Following the outbreak, South Korea has given an
amnesty for the Thai illegal migrants, also known as Little Ghosts, who
overstayed their visas and worked illegally in the country. (TNA)
WHO praises village health volunteers as unsung heroes during COVID-19 pandemic
Over a million of village health volunteers and
15,000 in Bangkok have been working very hard in collaboration with local
officials to literally knock the door of millions households to search for
and put high-risk people into the screening and treatment system.
At Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 Information Operation Center,
Nonthaburi province, Deputy Minister of Public Health Sathit Pitutecha
disclosed that it is heartening to hear that the number of new
COVID-19-infected patients has continued to decline, which is partly because
of the prompt screening and treatment process of the high-risk groups.
According to the Deputy Minister, this is thanks to over 1,040,000 village
health volunteers and over 15,000 Bangkok health volunteers who have worked
very hard in collaboration with local officials to literally knock the door
of almost 12 million households in a bid to reiterate the importance of
social distancing, provide knowledge and information regarding preventive
measures and self-screening, and search for and put 2,266 high-risk people
into the screening and treatment system. Their endeavors have been
recognized at the global level by the World Health Organization (WHO), who
commended that the Thai village health volunteers have set an example for
several countries across the world as the unsung heroes who help fight
against COVID-19 pandemic.
At the next stage, the role of village health
volunteers will focus on the high-risk group, and will work together with
sub-district healthcare facilities to ensure efficiency of disease control
and prevention. The Deputy Minister, on behalf of Ministry of Public Health,
expressed appreciation and moral support toward all the village health
volunteers nationwide. Since the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over,
they are urged to continue to keep their guard up.
The Deputy Minister also mentioned about Thai
traditional masseurs, who have not been included under the Government’s
5,000-Baht cash subsidy, that the Health Service Support Department has been
assigned to collaborate with Ministry of Finance’s Fiscal Policy Office on
the matter in a bid to promptly alleviate the plight of Thai traditional
masseurs. At present, there are approximately 140,000 people who have
registered with the Department to claim for financial aid rights. - April
Deputy Minister of Public Health Sathit
ASEAN+3 to optimize existing mechanisms in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Prime Minister Gen. Prayut
Chan-o-cha attended the ASEAN+3 Special Summit via a video conferencing to
discuss COVID-19 situation.
At Thai Khu Fah Building, Government
House, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha attended
the ASEAN+3 Special Summit via a video conferencing to discuss COVID-19
situation. Prof. Narumon Pinyosinwat, Government Spokesperson, disclosed
gist of the meeting as follows:
The Prime Minister and other ASEAN leaders commended
leaders of the +3 countries (China, Japan, and South Korea) for their effort
and effective measures against COVID-19 which could considerably decrease
the number of infected patients and deaths. All the leaders came to terms
that COVID-19 situation is a global crisis that has impacted all sectors in
The Prime Minister, in his statement at the ASEAN+3
Special Summit, proposed 3 significant approaches:
1. Establishing “COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund” by
allocating the existing funds from the ASEAN Development Fund and
Cooperation Funds with China, Japan, the ROK and ASEAN Plus Three or another
agreed upon rate, to handle both the short-term impact (i.e., procurement of
test kits, PPEs, and related medical equipment), and the long-term impact
(i.e., research and development of new vaccines and medicines).
2. Optimizing existing ASEAN+3 mechanisms, especially
public health mechanism, to develop the Big Data, and promoting use of
information technology in providing innovative solutions to tackle pandemic
and other future challenges. The Prime Minister also proposed for the ASEAN
Secretariat and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) to compile and
exchange information on related policies and measures of each country, and
to make the most use of Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) in
a bid to mitigate negative impact, and regain regional economic and
financial stability, where necessary.
3. Providing guidance and knowledge on the role of
digital technologies in various dimensions, which has been agreed upon by
the ASEAN+3 leaders last year. Promoting wider use of digital economy, new
technologies, and e-commerce to help out business sector, especially MSMEs,
and promoting cooperation among member countries to reduce negative impact
of fake news.
Lastly, the Prime Minister emphasized that close
partnership and sustainable development in all dimensions would lead
everyone out of the crisis. Thailand stands ready to cooperate under the
ASEAN+3 framework in order for all the countries in the region to recuperate
and move forward in a strong and stable manner. According to the Prime
Minister, “We will overcome the COVID-19 crisis together”. - April 14, 2020
Health workers in Songkhla thanked for their tireless devotion and sacrifice to contain Coronavirus
Deputy Minister of the Interior Nipon Bunyamanee
visited Songkhla province, and thanked the doctors, nurses, and all health
workers for their tireless devotion and sacrifice in fighting against
Deputy Minister of the Interior Nipon Bunyamanee visited Songkhla to meet
medical professionals and health workers on the frontline fighting the
COVID-19 pandemic, stressing the preparedness of quarantine facilities for
returning Thai nationals from Malaysia.
The minister thanked doctors, nurses, and health
workers for their devotion and sacrifice in the fight against COVID-19 which
has now lasted for three months.
He also delivered 10 sets of thermal imaging cameras
used to monitor persons’ body temperature, and a 20,000-baht donation to the
Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organization, which is serving as
Songkhla’s central command center for COVID-19, for the treatment of
patients, and as the province’s central donation agency.
The center provides temporary accommodation for medical
staff, as well as an office for medical management and commands.
Songkhla province has joined hands with Prince of
Songkhla University’s Songklanagarind Hospital in Hat Yai, and other
hospitals in the province, to set up a field hospital at General Prem
Tinsulanonda Historical Park, using the park’s Lamphu-Lamphan building to
accommodate COVID-19 patients.
Mr Nipon said the authorities have been discussing
viable quarantine facilities in Songkhla province, which now ready to
accommodate Thai nationals returning from Malaysia, who will be subject to a
stringent health screening protocol upon re-entry.
More officers have been deployed to patrol at some 70
natural border crossings along Thailand-Malaysia border, while the
authorities have informed Thai nationals in Malaysia through their relatives
in Thailand to register themselves in order to receive assistance, and to
prevent associated risks from border crossing without a health screening. (NNT)
Thai hospitals receive cash donations from private companies to fight COVID-19
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked private
companies for their kind cash donations to hospitals in fight against
The Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has received cash donations from
private companies for hospitals, in support of their fight against the
The Prime Minister witnessed the delivery ceremony of
cash donations from the private sector. The Mall Group has donated 20
million baht, and the Thai Bankers’ Association has donated 50 million baht
to fund treatments for COVID-19 patients.
The donated funds are to be distributed to King
Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Ramathibodi Hospital, Rajavithi Hospital,
Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute, Siriraj Hospital, and the Thai
Red Cross Society.
The Prime Minister thanked the private sector for its
contribution and the help given to hospitals and medical staff, enabling the
government to work more effectively in the present health crisis.
He said leaders in the virtual ASEAN meeting held this
morning praised good practices in Thailand, which have resulted in improving
recovery numbers in the country.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior’s Permanent
Secretary, Chatchai Promlert has received 1 million cloth face masks donated
by Saha Pathanapibul and Integrated Communication companies, which will be
distributed to 878 districts across the country based on the coronavirus
The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand’s
Director, Dusit Singkhiri has received a donation of 1,000 face masks, 3,000
gloves, thermometers, and alcohol gel from the president of China Thai Tour
and Chin Thurakit Group companies’ Li Linghai.
Mr Li said Thailand and China shares a brotherly
relationship, and the companies wish to help the Thai government and people
fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The companies have previously donated protective items
to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, embassies, immigration officers at
Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Ministry of Culture, Ramathibodi Hospital,
Sirindhorn Hospital, and several media companies. (NNT)
Thai traditional massage practitioners affected by COVID-19 appeal for financial aid
Thai traditional massage practitioners appeal
for financial aid from the Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Public Health will hold a meeting with
the Ministry of Finance to discuss measures to help Thai traditional massage
practitioners, as many of them don’t qualify for the government’s financial
aid of 5,000 baht a month.
The Deputy Minister of Public Health, Dr. Satit
Pitutecha, pointed out that most clients of Thai traditional massage
practitioners are foreigners, and all massage parlours are temporarily
closed. Many practitioners, who registered for the 5000-baht cash handout,
have been rejected due to issues related to their occupation. About 50,000
out of 140,000 practitioners, who registered with the Department of Health
Service Support, encountered problems. Another group of 18,000 workers is
now applying for the financial aid. Their names will be submitted to the
Ministry of Finance.
The Department of Health Service Support will look into
their appeals, while the Thai Red Cross Society will deliver relief supplies
to a group of Thai traditional massage practitioners who can’t return home
at this time, because they are currently unemployed and may not have
sufficient financial resources. (NNT)
Thai social and health officials to give aid to hard up families affected by COVID-19
The Ministry of Social Development and Human
Security plans to aid communities in Bangkok, bringing together all members
to ensure support reaches all households.
Deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Human
Security, Patcharee Arayakul, has announced a plan to support 286
communities in Bangkok. The plan aims to aid youth, women, elders, and the
handicapped especially those who are severely affected by COVID-19 such as
parents who can’t afford baby milk or tuition fees, families with
insufficient food, and those who don’t qualify to receive 5000 baht in
The planned Ministerial support will be implemented by
social service officials and public health staff working closely with
community members to provide equipment and consumables, as well as prevent
the spread of the virus in the community.
The support takes into consideration household safety,
food sufficiency, prevention of infection in the community, and distribution
of protective equipment. However, the ministry is also preparing for a
post-pandemic situation assisting the community members with job positions
or career training. (NNT)
Thai health ministry receives large donation from Swiss drug manufacturers to fight COVID-19
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul
receives donations of 7.75 million baht from drug manufacturers in
Switzerland to support the treatment of COVID-19 patients and protect
NONTHABURI - Authorities are discussing the possibility of relaxing
measures to control the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) while ensuring
public safety as the daily numbers of new cases are stable, Deputy Prime
Minister/Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.
The numbers of daily new cases had been stable for two
weeks and showed that people were cooperating with disease control measures,
“Disease control measure can be relieved if the stable
numbers continue for a certain period. Doctors and outbreak specialists are
discussing how to let people live a normal life safely without disease
transmission if measures are relaxed,” Mr Anutin said.
The relaxation of disease control measures would be
planned particularly for each region because disease situations were
different in regions, he said.
Mr Anutin was speaking while receiving donations to
support the treatment of COVID-19 patients and protect medical personnel.
The donations included 7.75 million baht from drug manufacturers in
Switzerland, 77,650 face shields and 310 droplet-proof boxes from MCOT Plc
and three ventilators. (TNA)
COVID-19 slows Thai lottery sales, draw postponed to May 16
board has rescheduled the next lottery draw to May 16 to avoid attempts to
sell lottery tickets during the coronavirus pandemic.
NONTHABURI - The Government
Lottery Office puts off the next lottery draw again, from May 2 to May 16.
GLO board chairman Patchara Anuntasilpa
said that previously the April 1 draw had been postponed to May 2 but the
government was imposing serious measures to contain the coronavirus disease
2019 (COVID-19) and lots of government lottery tickets had not been sold.
Therefore, he said, the GLO board rescheduled the April
1 draw on May 16; otherwise, attempts to quickly sell lottery tickets could
spread the disease.
The rescheduled draw was set at the GLO at 2.30pm-4pm
on May 16 and the May 16 lottery tickets were additionally called off, Mr
He said that the GLO board also ordered the GLO
management to thoroughly study the possibility of selling lottery tickets
online, its legal impacts and other impacts on vendors, buyers and general
Thai people make merit to celebrate Songkran, maintain ‘physical distancing’
At the Rama IX Golden Jubilee Temple in Bangkok,
Buddhists make merit to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year and honor
their ancestors, maintaining ‘social distance’ to prevent the spread of
BANGKOK - Songkran celebrations are subdued this year, as revelers
are banned from splashing water on one another due to the COVID-19
situation. However, people are still making merit by offering alms to
Buddhist monks, while temples are maintaining social distancing measures.
At the Rama IX Golden Jubilee Temple in Bangkok,
Buddhists make merit to celebrate the traditional Thai New Year and honor
their ancestors. They offer food to monks and take part in various other
activities. The temple is following government guidelines and those of the
Sangha Supreme Council. Thermal screening and social distancing measures are
enforced, while hand sanitizers are placed throughout the temple to ensure
the safety of visitors.
The deputy abbot of the temple, Phra Ratchawinai
Sunthorn, said the current situation has dampened the Songkran atmosphere,
but it makes people aware of the uncertainty of this world. He hoped the
public will get through this crisis safely.
At Samakkhi Upatham temple, in Bueng Kan province, a
merit-making ceremony was held to celebrate the Songkran festival. Buddhist
monks and followers maintained a distance from each other of one to two
meters. People used alcohol gel before entering the temple hall, and they
are encouraged to wear face masks.
In a commercial area of Songkhla province, families got
together to offer rice, dried food and desserts to monks and novices to
preserve the cultural heritage. The monks and the people were all wearing
face masks while keeping a safe distance from each other to help prevent the
At a marketplace in Yala province, monks received food,
desserts and flowers from Buddhist followers and gave them spiritual
blessings. Everyone was wearing face masks and maintained a gap of one to
two meters to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.(NNT)
Thai health authority has enough beds for Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients
Department of Medical Services (DMS) Deputy
Director General Dr Narong Aphikulvanich.
BANGKOK-As hospitals are now working with more cases of COVID-19, the
Department of Medical Services has confirmed there are more than 1,000 beds
available for coronavirus patients in Bangkok, plus 150 beds in the
intensive care units which will be doubled to some 300 after May. Meanwhile
5,000 beds are available outside the capital for critical patients, as well
as about 10,000 ventilators, considered sufficient to treat patients.
Department of Medical Services (DMS) Deputy Director
General Dr Narong Aphikulvanich, has revealed there are currently 1,978 beds
in total at hospitals in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces available for
COVID-19 patients in serious condition. They are available at public
hospitals including university hospitals, hospitals run by the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration, hospitals run by the armed forces; as well as
in private hospitals.
A total of 105 hospitals in Greater Bangkok Area are
now ready to admit patients with COVID-19. Additional beds are available for
patients with mild to medium symptoms, plus 603 beds for recovered patients
being held for additional monitoring.
Health authorities are working to add as many as 100
more beds for serious patients this month, and an additional 292 beds in
In other provinces, regional and provincial hospitals
have prepared their intensive care units, negative pressure rooms, and
patient wards for COVID-19 patients following the same protocol as in
Bangkok. Public hospitals, university hospitals, and private hospitals are
now working together to manage their beds collectively.
The general public can inquire after more information
regarding treatments and hospital admission guidelines by calling the 1422
or 1668 hotlines.
Army ready to support quarantine center for Thai nationals returning from USA
Royal Thai Army commander in chief, General
BANGKOK - To bring Thai students in the United States back to
Thailand, the Royal Thai Army commander in chief said the army is
coordinating with all authorities involved. The army itself has prepared
personnel to support the establishment of a quarantine area for people who
will soon return from abroad.
General Apirat Kongsompong, the Commander in Chief
mentioned the progress of repatriating Thai students from the US during the
commander’s video conference, saying that the Royal Thai Army is
coordinating with the authorities both in Thailand and in foreign countries.
The aim is to achieve the mission’s goal as soon as possible in accordance
with the government’s guidelines.
At the same time, it is necessary to reinforce
personnel for the mission such as to ensure quarantine quarters for those
who return from abroad which is the Royal Thai Army’s Center for COVID-19
Situation Administration’s responsibility.
The army will provide enough staff to maintain the
quarantine’s efficacy, and will also train more personnel for the mission.
As for accommodating people in a state quarantine
center, there are already two locations, the Phatthara Hotel and the
Ambassador hotel Bangkok with 279 being quarantined as of April 13. (NNT)
Government intensifies drought mitigation operations in east Thailand
Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.
BANGKOK - Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has urged
related agencies to step up their drought mitigation projects to avert an
even harsher impact on the general public during the period of the COVID-19
pandemic, as well as to re-evaluate water availability and prepare reserves.
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, chairing
the National Water Command (NWC) has assessed the latest development of
drought mitigation and water management projects in the Chao Phraya River
Basin and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), including a video conference
at the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) with related agencies.
The DPM has urged related agencies to ensure timely
completion and success of all water projects across the country to prevent
shortages of water for consumption and farming in at-risk areas, which would
worsen the impact already faced by the general public due to COVID-19
pandemic containment measures.
As for water management plans in the eastern region,
the authorities are working to allocate water from the supply network to
fill the Nong Pla Lai and Khlong Yai reservoirs which are facing shortages.
If successful, this effort will help ensure water availability in Rayong
province and the Eastern Economic Corridor.
The DPM has ordered the Royal Irrigation Department,
East Water, and the Provincial Waterworks Authority to reassess current
water availability and prepare back up sources to offset the effects of
potential rain shortages which could last until June. He has ordered the
Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand to keep track of the water
consumption rate by the industrial sector.
In the remote conference, officials discussed water
management plans for the upcoming rainy season, ordering related agencies to
complete the removal of obstructions in canals and rivers, as well as
ensuring good maintenance of irrigation structures, drainage systems, and
Finance Ministry clarifies 5,000-baht monthly cash handout issue
Ministry of Finance clarifies that If the registrant is a farmer or has
family members who are farmers, the person is not qualified to receive the
5,000-baht monthly cash handout. In that case, the ministry has other
measures to help farmers that will be in action soon.
BANGKOK-The Ministry of Finance has so far given
financial aid of 5,000 baht a month to some 1.6 million workers nationwide,
to ease the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Registrants have received an
SMS message regarding their eligibility for the government’s financial
assistance. Some have received an SMS notification saying they are
ineligible, because they are farmers. The issue has raised several
questions, since they are not farmers.
The Director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) and
Spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, Lawaron Sangsanit, explained that
farmers have registered themselves with relevant agencies every year. During
the registration, they are required to provide information about their
family members. The government has been using this database to help farmers
with their cultivation, harvesting and production expenses. If the
registrant is a farmer or has family members who are farmers, the person is
not qualified to receive the 5,000-baht monthly cash handout. However,
measures to help farmers will be launched soon.
Mr. Lawaron said the verification process will take
time. The second round of financial aid and SMS notifications is on April 13
and 14, with some 600,000 people having qualified to receive the assistance.
About 27 million people have registered for the
assistance, for those who have not been verified after registration, they
can file an appeal. They can still receive the cash handout for three months
because payments will be made based on their registration dates. (NNT)
300 more Thais to come home from South Korea, to be quartered for 14 days quarantine
All Thais traveling on both
flights departing from Korean and will be arriving in Thailand on April 14th
an 15th will be transferred for 14 days quarantine before letting
BANGKOK-According to the Center for COVID-19 Situation
Administration or CCSA, 300 more Thai citizens will return from South Korea
on 14th and 15th April.
On April 14, 135 immigration detainees, overseen by
South Korean officials, will depart on flight 7C2202 from South Korea, at 5
p.m. Thailand local time. The flight will arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at
9 p.m.Later the same day, the South Korean officials will return. South
Korea has asked Thailand to accommodate its officials during the waiting
Another 165 passengers certified by the Royal Thai
Embassy in Seoul, who were delayed due to Thailand’s international flight
cancelation policy, will follow on 15th April. Their flight KE651 from South
Korea will arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 10 p.m. The Thai passengers on
both flights from South Korea will be transferred for 14 days quarantine.
Only seven groups of people can travel during the curfew in Thailand’s provinces
are punished with imprisonment of not more than two years, a fine of not
more than four thousand baht, or both.
BANGKOK - According to the third clause of the
Emergency Decree issued on April 10, 2020, there are seven groups of people
who can travel during the curfew from 10 p.m. until 4 a.m. as follows:
- Officers, assistant officers, police officers and
- Civilians who are performing their duties according
to other laws
- Doctors, nurses, and medical personnel
- Patients who need to see a doctor and persons who
take care of them
- Carriers of food, medicine, medical supplies and
- Consumer product carriers and agricultural product
- Fuel carriers and postal parcel carriers
- Newspaper carriers and import and export product
- Those who are transferring people to a separate place
for quarantine, under the law on communicable diseases
- People traveling to or from the airport or bus
terminals that are permitted by the government to open
- Those who provide service to homeless people and fuel
service providers at petrol stations
- Those who provide food or product delivery services
- Those who provide inspection or maintenance service
for electricity, plumbing, drainage, water and natural gas pipelines
- Those who provide garbage collection and disposal
- Those who provide telecommunication equipment network
maintenance and improvement services
- Those who provide banking services, capital market
services, rescue services and disaster prevention and mitigation services
- Those who must act in the event of an accident
- Those who need to contact the village headmen,
subdistrict headmen, administrative authorities and inquiry officials
- Those who work in shifts according to the normal
scheduled time of the government agencies, companies and factories
- Security guards and fishery professionals
- Rubber tappers and veterinarians
- Those who have other necessary causes will be
considered by officials’ case by case
- The conditions of travel are
- People in Groups 1-6 must present their
identification card or other card, documents certifyingnecessity or
documents relating to goods, services, travel or other evidence
- People in Group 7 must provide necessary reasons
together with evidence to the authority.
- Complying with disease prevention measures as
Violators are punished with imprisonment of not more
than two years, a fine of not more than four thousand baht, or both. (NNT)
Active case finding efficiently detects COVID-19 patients in Phuket
Director of the Bureau of General Communicable
Diseases, Dr Sopon Iamsirithavorn.
NONTHABURI- Active case finding detects patients
of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) soon after their infection and
leads to quick quarantine and effective disease control, said Dr Sopon
Iamsirithavorn, director of the Bureau of General Communicable Diseases.
Active case finding was impressively applied in Phuket
province as it targeted the areas where people worked closely with crowds
and tourists and COVID-19 infections had been reported, he said.
The approach found 9% of local people in targeted areas
contracted the disease. Meanwhile, COVID-19 patients detected with other
case finding approaches formed only 3.9% of ill people with unclear symptoms
and only 1.1% of general people, Dr Sopon said.
Active case finding identified newly infected people
who were quarantined immediately in the way that reduced transmission risks.
Consequently, Phuket showed effective disease control and the declining
number of new COVID-19 cases although it had been among top five provinces
with high infection rates.
Dr Sopon said the country recorded 2,551 COVID-19
cases. Of them, 1,295 remained at hospitals and 1,218 recovered and were
discharged from hospitals. Only 51% of all cases were at hospitals and the
death rate was only 1%. Thailand was in the world’s top group of the
recovery rate, he said.
Those at hospitals had mild symptoms while those who
were discharged fully recovered and many of them had the immunity which
could help others, he said.
According to Dr Sopon, Thailand received the A2, B1 and
B1.4 strains of COVID-19 from China, Europe and the United States and the
first 25 cases were returnees from Wuhan, China.
He warned that the traditional activity of splashing
water in the Songkran festival could spread the disease if people shouted at
one another and did not wear a face mask. (TNA)
Thailand observes quiet Songkran amid Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak
Khao San Road, Bangkok, called off
Songkran festivities due to the coronavirus spread.
BANGKOK – Thai people refrain from celebrations
of the Songkran Thai traditional New Year as urged by the government to
prevent the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Seen as the most silent Songkran festival in almost 70
years, the main celebration venues in Bangkok such as Khao San Road and
Silom area called off the event with no water splashing and no crowds as
usual.The same practices are adopted in the provinces.
Hua Lamphong train station,
Bangkok, is seen empty as all train routes were suspended throughout the
Hua Lamphong train station and Mor Chit bus terminal in
Bangkok are empty as the government asked people not to travel home during
the Songkran Thai New Year.
Trains have stopped services for many routes and bus
services have been suspended.
The government cancelled public holidays during
Songkran and will announce substitution dates for the Songkran holidays at a
Normally, upto 100,000 travelers would leave the
capital for their hometowns upcountry daily to celebrate Songkran festival
with their families.
Meanwhile, the Center for Covid-19 Situation
Administration (CCSA) reported that Bangkok and all 76 provinces ordered
closure of stores or businesses selling alcohol to prevent social gatherings
that could spread the virus.
The bans of alcohol sales will be lifted on different
dates from April 15-30, depending on the orders issued by governors of each
Phitsanuklok and Phuket have imposed the bans until
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has prohibited
alcohol sales until April 20.
Social media users moaned about cancellations of water
splashing activities and celebrations but they said they are willing to
cooperate with the government’s measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. (TNA)
Thailand sees drop in new Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases
Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the
Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration.
BANGKOK– Thailand saw a continuous drop in the
daily rate of new Covid-19 cases, recording 28 new infections and two deaths
in the past 24 hours on Monday.
The total tally rose to 2,579 and the death toll
Additional 70 patients fully recovered and returned
home, bringing the total recovery cases to 1,288.
Two new deaths included a 56-year-old Thai man, having
close contact with a previous patient and the other death was a 43-year-old
male employee of a company, who had pre-existing conditions of diabetes,
dyslipidemia and chronic kidney disease.
New cases fell into two groups. The first group
comprised 25 patients from surveillance and service sectors. They included
18 people in close contact with previous patients.
Other patients in this group included a Thai returnee
from overseas, a visitor to crowded places, two persons working in a crowded
place, and three medical and public health officials.
The second group comprised three returnees who were
brought to state quarantine facilities. (TNA)
Thai PM seeks overview of COVID-19 situations, relaxed measures for barbers
Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha.
BANGKOK- Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has
ordered subordinates to completely evaluate the results of efforts to
control the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to later consider the
possibility of relaxing disease control measures.
Gen Prayut, also the defense minister, made his order
in the meeting of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration today.
The center considered economic situations this year and saw the necessity of
economic rehabilitation for affected sectors.
In the meeting, the prime minister ordered concerned
officials to consider best and worst-case scenarios and the possibility of
relaxing disease control measures for some parties such as barbers.
The Interior Ministry was ordered to consider the
relaxation of disease control measures and action for the worst-case
scenario of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consideration must be comprehensive
and thorough and based on people’s needs
Gen Prayut asked concerned officials to be united,
patiently cope with COVID-19 and avoid conflicts among them.
The prime minister also ordered relevant officials to
record COVID-19 situations in the national archives for future use, consider
useful proposals posted through social media, control product prices,
collect COVID-19-related statistics of infections and sources of the disease
among others, use application software, and collect the details of
development and research projects related to the disease.
The prime minister extended his gratitude towards the
private sector for their contributions to anti-COVID-19 operations and
participation in relevant research projects. (TNA)
Thai PM observes operation of state quarantine facility
Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha observes operation of
state quarantine facility at Elegant Airport Hotel and Udomsuk Police
Station check point.
After finishing his work at the Government House on
Sunday, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha visited a
state quarantine facility at the Elegant Airport Hotel where he was reported
that everything went well, and everyone has been cooperative. Later, he
observed the operation of and gave moral support to officers of Udomsuk
Police Station at a roadside check point, and emphasized strict
implementation of related measures. (Thaigov.go.th)
Thai PM ready to discuss and exchange views on COVID-19 at ASEAN Special Summits
Government spokeswoman,Narumon Pinyosinwat.
14 April 2020, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen.
Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to attend the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 (China,
Japan, and South Korea) Special Summits to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the current situation where COVID-19 pandemic has
greatly affected countries across the world including ASEAN member
countries. Altogether in ASEAN there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases.
And the number has been increased significantly. ASEAN leaders have come to
terms to hold the ASEAN Summit, which is normally held twice a year, via a
video conferencing. The ASEAN Summit is scheduled in the morning of April
14, later in the afternoon will be set aside for the ASEAN+3 Summit. The
latter Summit will be held as an outcome of the Special ASEAN-China Foreign
Ministers’ Meeting on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) held earlier
in Vientiane, Lao PDR, during which China proposed for a special summit on
COVID-19 at an appropriate timing. The Thai Foreign Minister was of the view
that the ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and South Korea) Special Summit on COVID-19
would be beneficial to both ASEAN member countries and the three countries
which have been affected by the pandemic. Vietnam will chair the Summits in
2020. Therefore, Vietnamese PM will first give a speech as a chair of the
meeting then followed by other member by alphabetical order. Starting from
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam as the next
chair on 2021.
ASEAN leaders will discuss and exchange views on the
situation, public health related measures, and collective approaches in
mitigating social and economic impact in an efficient manner, both within
the region and with the external partners. At present, each ASEAN member
country has elevated their preventive measures and surveillance through
social distancing or physical distancing, working from home, wearing masks,
etc. Thailand has also established the Center for COVID-19 Situation
Administration (CCSA) and invoked state of emergency which the Prime
Minister has monitored closely as the chair. The CCSA overlook all measures
to overcome the COVID-19 challenges including Medical and Public Health
Issues, Protecting and assisting the public, Control of Consumer Items,
Economic assistance, Foreign Affairs, and Communications in times of crisis
Two joint declarations expected to be adopt at the
ASEAN Summit, which will affirm the resoluteness of leaders of ASEAN and
dialogue partners (China, Japan, and South Korea) in preventing and
minimizing risk of the disease that have been threatening people’s lives,
social and economic stability of ASEAN member countries.
Global Situation – Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) – Death Toll: 114,249
Global Situation – Corona Virus Disease
(COVID-19) as of April 13, 09:04 AM
(Sources: Department of Disease Control, Ministry of
Public Health of Thailand Official Website)
Shops comply with Bangkok’s alcohol sales ban
The Deputy Governor of Bangkok Sakoltee
BANGKOK -Following the ban on alcohol sales in
Bangkok effective as of yesterday, City Hall officials have inspected shops
and venues, all of which were found to be complying with the regulation.
The Deputy Governor of Bangkok Sakoltee Phattiyakul has
accompanied officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and city
law enforcement officers to inspect certain venues in Chatuchak district,
following the announcement of an alcohol sales ban.
The team inspected areas around Central Lad Phrao
shopping mall and around Major Ratchayothincineplex. Shops inside the
shopping malls were found to be complying well with the regulation, with no
one found to be illegally selling alcoholic drinks.
City law enforcement officers will continue to strictly
inspect shops and other venues to ensure no violations of the alcohol sale
ban lasting 10 days. Places found selling alcohol during this period will
first receive a formal warning, followed by stringent prosecution for any
The inspection team also found social distancing
measures to be well implemented at Central Lad Phrao shopping mall, with a
clearly designated area for food deliveries. (NNT)
Leaders to join virtual ASEAN Summit over Coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 14
Minister and Minister of Defense Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
BANGKOK - To promote regional cooperation to
curb the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders from ASEAN+3 countries will be holding a
teleconference on pandemic control measures and people’s livelihoods,
society, and economic stability among member countries.
Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Gen Prayut
Chan-o-cha will be participating with leaders from ASEAN+3 countries in a
teleconference regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on 14th April.
The conference will start with a virtual ASEAN Summit
in the morning, followed by a meeting with the leaders of ASEAN countries
plus China, Japan, and South Korea.
The leaders will be discussing the latest information,
and public health measures to contain the disease in their countries, as
well as discussing measures to effectively and inclusively alleviate social
and economic impact within the region and in partner countries.
Countries in Southeast Asia have activated their
disease control mechanisms and escalated epidemic control measures,
promoting social distancing practices. In Thailand, the Center for the
COVID-19 Situation Administration has been set up to handle the crisis under
the State of Emergency.
Thailand will be asking ASEAN members to implement more
stringent measures at this meeting, while ASEAN leaders will be endorsing
two joint declarations stressing the determination of ASEAN and partners to
mimimize and eliminate pandemic risks.
The ASEAN Summit is generally held twice every year.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic affecting the entire world, leaders of
the 10 ASEAN countries have agreed to hold a teleconference as this year’s
first summit instead. (NNT)
Three Thais returning from Russia transferred to hospitals
flight from Moscow arrived in Bangkok at 9.45 a.m. bringing Thai citizens
home. The 34 returnees passed strict screening procedures in Russia before
being allowed to get on board.
BANGKOK - A flight from Russia arrived in
Thailand on Saturday morning (April 11th), bringing 34 Thais back to their
homeland. They all went through the screening procedure at Suvarnabhumi
airport, where three of them were found to have a fever and were transferred
to hospitals. The other returning Thais were taken to the designated state
The special flight from Moscow arrived in Bangkok at
9.45 a.m. bringing Thai citizens home. The 34 returnees passed strict
screening procedures in Russia before being allowed to get on board.
However, three of them were found to be suffering from a high fever when
they arrived in Thailand. The health officials separated them from the
group, and took them to two different hospitals for further checkups.
The other returnees were taken to a state quarantine
facility in Bangkok, where they will be staying for 14 days to get a
clearance. They were all cooperative throughout the process. The officials
handled the group with caution, using disinfectant spray to sanitize the
Another special flight from Japan arrived in Bangkok in
the afternoon. The returnees on that flight, went through the same
procedures and are now being quarantined at a state facility in the Rama
Nine area. (NNT)
GQ Apparel partners with Rabbit Digital Group to launch ‘Limited Distance Edition’
partners with Rabbit Digital Group to launch ‘Limited Distance Edition’
collection to raise awareness and funds for Ramathibodi Foundation.
BANGKOK - Supara Group and their brand GQ
Apparel collaborated with Rabbit Digital Group to develop the GQ Limited
Distance Edition T-Shirt and GQWhite Mask. The collection is printed with a
readable warning message that is only readable within two meters. The
message encourages those who can read it to step away until they cannot.
All proceeds from the collection will be donated to
Ramathibodi Foundation for purchasing ventilators and necessary medical
equipment to be used for treating COVID-19 patients.
“We designed the GQ Limited Distance Edition collection
because we want to raise awareness to the concept and importance of physical
distancing” said Wirathip Thanapisitikul, Chief Executive Officer of Supara
Group and GQ Apparel. “It was also just as important to us that we donate
the proceeds to the Ramathibodi Foundation, so patients who are affected by
COVID-19 can get the treatment they need. We will get through this
The collection includes a special t-shirt with a
printed warning that can be seen when approaching a minimum of two meters
distance. The letter size has been certified as visible within 2 meters for
average eyesight by The Association of Thai Optometrists.
Additionally the collection includes a special edition
GQWhite Mask, an innovative fabric mask with seven protective features, with
the physical distancing warning. The reusable mask utilizes GQWhite’s
liquid-repellent technology, is washable more than 30 times, has an
antibacterial 99.9% interior and comes with a secure fit strap that adjusts
to create a custom fit around the face.
“Rabbit Digital Group is extremely pleased to partner
with GQ to help remind everyone as soon as they approach at a safe two
meters to physical distance from one another,” said SunardThanasanaksorn,
Chief Executive Officer & Partner of Rabbit Digital Group. “We sincerely
hope that the GQ Limited Distance Edition collection will provide protection
and care for Thai people, and together we shall pass through this difficult
GQ Limited Distance Edition: A Collection to Fight
COVID-19 is suitable for general use. The products are now available at
www.gqsize.com. The t-shirt is 490 thb and the special edition GQWhite
Mask is 190 Baht per piece. (NNT)
Their Majesties the King and Queen distribute relief supplies to Bangkok communities
10 thousand bags of relief supplies were delivered to the residents of 49
communities in Yan Nawa, Sathorn, Bang Kho Laem and Bang Rak districts.
BANGKOK - Their Majesties the King and Queen
have graciously distributed relief supplies to members of the public who are
affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation, in Bangkok.
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra
Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajarasudhabimalakshana
have expressed their concerns for people who live in densely populated
communities in Bangkok as they are facing many difficulties in life due to
Their Majesties have made donations through the
Rajaprajanugroh Foundation under Royal Patronage, which has sent volunteers
to deliver bags of relief supplies to residents of several communities in
Bangkok, since April 5th.
The volunteers are from various organizations, for
example, the Volunteering Good Deeds from Our Heart project, the Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration, the Royal Thai Army and private companies. They
have joined in packing and transporting the supplies which include face
masks, common household medicines, necessities and consumer goods that will
last for two weeks.
On April 10th, more than 10 thousand bags of relief
supplies were delivered to the residents of 49 communities in Yan Nawa,
Sathorn, Bang Kho Laem and Bang Rak districts.
The royal kindness has brought joy and appreciation to
the people. (NNT)
Hotel in Hatyai - Song Khla, offers ‘Social Distancing’ package
Hatyai Hotel comes up with a ‘Social Distancing’ package that serves
customers who still need to go outside during the lockdown, while protecting
family members from the virus during their stay.
SONGKHLA-A hotel in Hatyai, Songkhla province
has come up with a strategy to prevent its business accumulating losses and
facing likely closure like other hotels during the COVID-19 outbreak. It
offers a “Social Distancing” package where customers can stay comfortably
while ensuring their family’s safety.
COVID-19 has caused many hotels to close, but others
have adapted to the situation, managing to maintain their business and
support employees. The Bed Hatyai Hotel came up with a plan that turns
crisis into opportunity. It’s “Social Distancing” package serves customers
who still need to go outside during the lockdown, while protecting family
members from the virus during their stay.
The hotel offers this group of customers a 14 day
package that costs 15,000 baht (USD 460) with full board and 24 hour
service. In addition to its attractive offer, the hotel strictly follows the
Public Health Ministry’s measures.
Every day, hotel maids clean the room, change bedsheets,
and pillow covers. They will wash and iron the customers’ clothes as
required. Food is freshly cooked and served in single-use containers. Hand
sanitizers are placed at every corner of the hotel.
Before check-in, customers have to fill-in a risk
assessment form, and during the 14 day stay, they must have their
temperature checked each day. Their health information is sent to the
provincial health office every day. Any customer with a fever or considered
at risk of infection is sent to the hospital immediately.(NNT)
Situation updates by the Thai Prime Minister
Minister and Defense Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Friday, 10 April 2020
Dear Thai people,
As Prime Minister and Director of the
Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), I wish to inform you of
the following developments.
Medical and Public Health Issues
Our measures to control the spread of Covid-19 have
included social distancing, encouraging work from home, and the vigorous
efforts by over 1 million village-level public health volunteers throughout
the country who have provided medical assistance directly to many households
and also monitored quarantined persons, including those under observation thatare
scattered in many parts of the country. They represent a solid foundation
and a strong point of Thailand’s public health system, and I would like to
convey my appreciation for their committed efforts.
To enhance our efforts to care for infected patients,
the government has acquired an additional 200 thousand N95 masks for our
medical personnel. These masks are also reusable for up to 4 times following
UV-C treatment. We have now a quota of 1.5 million masks per day for doctors
and nurses. Cloth masks for the general public, or those who are not ill,
have been produced by each community for distribution, and total over 50
million so far, which is an adequate amount. The CCSA has also
been collecting information and monitoring the details concerning
the production and distribution (by Thailand Post) of the types of masks
mentioned above and other medical supplies through the Ministry of Public
Health and the Ministry of Interior, which are available to the public for
We have already received 5 shipments of the Favipiravir
drug from the People’s Republic of China and Japan, totaling
187 thousand pills, with an additional 200,000 in the process of being
further acquired. We have also prepared additional hospital beds and the
necessary facilities to be able to receive patients in 98 locations in and
around Bangkok and its surrounding locations. We have also prepared 80 more
ICU beds and more state quarantine facilities in Bangkok and in other
regions to be able to handle approximately 20 thousand people. Importantly,
the protection of our medical personnel from being infected is a top
priority for me.
Protecting and assisting the public, including
national security issues
The restrictions on cross-province travel and the
current nation-wide curfew have been enforced by 20 thousand officials with
over 1000 check points. So far we have received bettercooperation from the
public, though there have been over 6.5 thousand arrests of those who have
broken curfew from April 3-10. This is still not good enough as it is too
high a number for effective curtailing of the spread of the virus. As a
result, the majority of the people have called for stronger measures and
laws, or increased curfew hours. For those without a social conscience and
are behaving irresponsibly - you are harming your families and the Thai
people by doing this, especially those who are already struggling to make
ends meet. I caution you to stop this behavior and change your ways. For the
moment, however, the CCSA will not increase the national curfew time.
Control of Consumer Items
There have been a lot of grievances on overly-priced
items, hoarding, and the refusal of sale ofsome essential items. In the past
4 months, we have arrested and prosecuted 20 cases of price-hiking, 36 cases
of fraudulent sales, and 75 cases of price-manipulation. Since the
announcement of 4 February 2020 listing masks and alcohol-based
sanitary hand gel as controlled items, there have also been 334 arrests of
violators, with additional confiscations of over 2.7 million masks,
330 thousand liters of alcohol, 60 thousand Covid19 test kits, and 4
thousand thermometers, all totaling a value of over 177 million baht.
Our fundamentals are to survive the current crisis
and come out stronger and more resilient. To this end, the government has
approved several assistance packages (Phases 1 & 2already
implemented), which are considered "urgent" for the people. The next
phase of assistance, or phase 3, will include a budget of 1.9 trillion baht,
which is about 9 -10 per cent of our GDP. This will involve the following:
1. There will be a royal decree approving the Ministry
of Finance to borrow 1 trillion baht to address the issue of monetary flow,
through 3 operational plans, which are: 1) a Public Health operational plan
to acquire medical equipment, medicines, and fund research 2) a
Compensation operational plan for affected farmers and business owners,
which will use about 6 hundred billion baht, and 3) an Economic and Social
Revival operational plan to create jobs, stimulate spending, and promote
investment so that we can return to normalcy, improve the quality of life
for citizens, and maintain progress in our development, which will use about
4 hundred billion baht.
2. A royal decree will be issued approving financial
assistance for SMEs with a budget of 5 hundred billion baht, with the Bank
of Thailand working with commercial banks and other financial institutions
to provide low interest credit for business owners to assist in liquidity
and loan payments. There will also be debt relief for up to 6 months for
SMEs, including adjustments to debt structures to alleviate repayment plans.
It is estimated that 1.7 million business owners will be eligible for this
scheme, which will help support our economy towards revival.
3. A royal decree will be issued approving the Bank of
Thailand to support liquidity in our bond markets, with a limit of up to 4
hundred billion baht, particularly to prevent a lack of liquidity in the
4. There will be a drafting of a royal act to transfer
parts of the fiscal budget from government agencies, to reduce at least 10
per cent of their uncommitted budget allocations to support assistance
packages for people affected by Covid-19, drought relief efforts, and other
natural disaster mitigation efforts. The Cabinet will expedite proposing
this draft royal act for royal approval by June 2020.
5. The Cabinet has approved, in principle,
the increase of medical and nursing staff, and Ministry of Public
Health officials, including hospitals under institutions of the Ministry of
Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. This includes over 45
thousand new positions, comprising around 38 thousand civil servants
and around 7 thousand positions for new medical students in 2020. The
Committee on Human Resource Management for Government Agencies has been
tasked to carefully consider this matter within two weeks. In
addition, given the importance of Thai Traditional Medicine, relevant
personnel will also benefit from this proposal through restructuring within
the Ministry of Public Health.
6. There will also be an increase of free electricity
units, from 50 to 90 units per month for households that have metres of no
more than 5 amps. This is expected to benefit over 6.4 million people across
The previous Cabinet meeting also considered the matter
of unemployment benefits, and has approved in principle, for the Ministry
of Labour to draft laws to determine the conditionsfor receiving
unemployment benefits due to an economic crisis or force majeur, so that
those with social security can claim unemployment benefits that will cover
their redundancy status due to the Covid-19 situation, as well as from other
situations such as a city lockdown, the declaration of an emergency
situation, a curfew,or orders to suspend business operations that are not
officially directed by the government. As well, employees are entitled to
assistance from the Employee Welfare Fund according to the law.
Spending on the borrowed funds and other budgets used
for the Covid-19 situation in the areas of public health, assistance programmes,
and other support remedies will be overseen(directed and followed up) by a
committee, so that the Prime Minister, serving as the Director of CCSA can
propose such programmes to theCabinet for approval. Any news on the use of
this budget, such as in social media, which is not based on Cabinet approval
can thus be considered as not true and, therefore, not credible.
So far, we have focused on quarantining persons
entering the country for 14 days. We have now started to delay the return of
Thai citizens from abroad until 18 April 2020, given that most of the new
cases of infections are imported from returning persons. In the meantime,
the government is considering other assistance measures for those who remain
abroad, particularly in our neighboring countries, in the form of financial
assistance for example.
Communications in times of crisis
Currently, cases of fake news or distorted news are
continuing. Just yesterday there were a total of 26 cases, with charges
brought against 10 cases involving 13 suspects, and arrest warrants out for
Global Situation – Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) – Death Toll: 109,790
Global Situation – Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) as of April 12, 07:04 PM
(Sources: Department of Disease Control, Ministry of
Public Health of Thailand Official Website)
Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Thailand Situation, Confirmed case: 2,551, Death: 38
Summary of Thai provinces banning entry and alcohol sales
Bangkok, 11 April, 2020, at 17.00 Hrs.
– The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide a summary of
Thai provinces that have imposed entry and exit bans as well as those that
ban alcohol sales, as part of the unprecedented measures taken by each Thai
province to prevent and control the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019
The TAT Newsroom is doing our utmost to compile
accurate information at the current time in order to inform international
visitors in Thailand. This press release will be updated regularly as soon
as further information becomes available. We encourage readers to revisit
this page periodically to stay up to date with the constantly changing
situations. *The compilation was first published on 09 April, 2020, at 11.00
Thai provinces/cities that ban entry and exit:
Central, East & West
4 April, 2020, until further notice
Pattaya, Chon Buri
9 April, 2020, until further notice
30 March, 2020 – 30 April, 2020
4-30 April, 2020
4 April, 2020, until further notice
6-30 April, 2020
3-30 April, 2020
5-16 April, 2020
28 March, 2020, until further notice
29 March, 2020, until further notice
29 March, 2020, until further notice
10-30 April, 2020
2-16 April, 2020
5-30 April, 2020
9-30 April, 2020
10-17 April, 2020
7-30 April, 2020
10-17 April, 2020
*Suspension of inter-provincial bus services
11 April, 2020, until further notice
Thai provinces that ban alcohol sales:
10-20 April, 2020
11-20 April, 2020
11-19 April, 2020
2-30 April, 2020
11-20 April, 2020
1 April, 2020, until further notice
10-19 April, 2020
10-19 April, 2020
4-30 April, 2020
Prachuap Khiri Khan
9-30 April, 2020
10-30 April, 2020
3-15 April, 2020
10-20 April, 2020
12-16 April, 2020
1-30 April, 2020
11-15 April, 2020
1 April, 2020, until further notice
11-20 April, 2020
10-20 April, 2020
10-30 April, 2020
11-18 April, 2020.
2-30 April, 2020
31 March, 2020 – 16 April, 2020
2-30 April, 2020
6-30 April, 2020
10-17 April, 2020 (17.00-22.00 Hrs.)
11-17 April, 2020
11 April, 2020, until further notice
TAT is constantly providing updates on the
tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand at the TAT Newsroom (https://www.tatnews.org/).
For additional information and assistance relating to
Thailand’s tourism, contact the TAT Contact Centre 1672 or Tourist Police
For constant updates of Thailand’s COVID-19 control
measures for travelers, please visit
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 12 April
2020, 12.00 Hrs. (TAT)
Tourism Authority of Thailand Songkran greetings 2020
On behalf of all of us at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), we would
like to extend our best wishes to the Thai people and everyone around the
Kingdom of Thailand, as they celebrate Songkran and welcome in the Thai New
Year on 13 April, 2020.
Traditionally most people who work outside their
hometown usually travel home to make merit at temples and to politely
pour water on the hands of their elders, asking for blessings of
prosperity and a healthy life. This has added significance during 2020,
as we take care to ensure everyone remains healthy during the ongoing
Because of social distancing, we understand that
many traditions are on hold this year while the Songkran spirit remains
strong in everyone’s heart.
TAT would like to remind all of you to stay safe
this holiday season, prepare for the time when travel and tourism
returns, and we can all celebrate Songkran in style with our beloved
family and friends.
Tourism Authority of Thailand
12 April, 2020, at 13.00 Hrs.