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Update May, 2020


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Thailand develops reusable PPE for medical workers

Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul (center).

BANGKOK - Medical workers who are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic face the highest risk of infection. Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is essential to protect themselves against the virus, however it can only be used once. Now, the Ministry of Public Health has joined forces with related agencies to developed reusable PPEs that are domestically manufactured.

The newly developed PPE comes in the form of a long-sleeve protective gown that can be washed and re-used at least 20 times; it is intended to be used as a substitute for the conventional single-use gowns.

It is the result of cooperative development between the Food and Drugs Administration, the Government Pharmaceutical Organization, the Department of Medical Sciences, the Department of Science Service, Thailand Textile Institute, and 13 certified manufacturers.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, said today the safety of medical workers and patients has been the main priority in the development of the new reusable PPE.

The Ministry of Public Health aims to manufacture this protective wear domestically, which will help reduce the cost of some 10 billion baht for PPE imports.

The first 44,000 new PPEs have already been manufactured. The MOPH Permanent Secretary Sukhum Karnchanapimai said today that all these PPEs will be taken to the Government Pharmaceutical Organization this month, before being delivered to the medical supplies’ distribution center, responsible for the distribution of these much-needed items to hospitals across the country.(NNT)


Social distancing on public transport helping solve crowding in Bangkok

 

The BTS Skytrain lines officials in Bangkok are closely managing crowding on the platforms with better social distancing in waiting areas.

Passenger numbers on public transport are increasing after the relaxation of restrictive measures in the city to slow down the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry of Transport is asking commuters to be confident with the measures still in place to prevent possible transmission, including social distancing and more frequent services.

The Ministry of Transport’s Permanent Secretary Chaiwat Tongkamkoon, said the ministry has adjusted the scheduled services of public transport within and between provinces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The ministry has suspended 203 inter-provincial bus routes serving 20 provinces, while dramatically reducing train services from some 500 daily down to 43. Long distance overnight trains which ran during curfew hours have also been suspended.

Crowding on the BTS Skytrain lines in Bangkok is now being closely managed, with better social distancing in waiting areas, which is receiving good cooperation from passengers. There are however complaints of longer travel times, as train capacity is now reduced from 1,000 passengers per train to only 250 to reduce the chance of virus transmission.

Meanwhile, five airlines have resumed domestic flights to and from 18 airports. The flights are now operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, to comply with Thailand’s curfew hours.(NNT)

 


Thailand to start new academic year in July, online system prepared

The Ministry of Education is testing an on-air and online learning system, in case at-school teaching is not safe enough for the start of the new semester on 1st of July.

BANGKOK - The Ministry of Education is going to test an on-air and online learning system, in case at-school teaching is not safe enough for the start of the new semester on 1st of July.

The deputy permanent secretary at Thailand’s education ministry, Rakana Tantawutho, as the ministry’s deputy spokesperson, revealed that schools and education institutes under the ministry’s supervision will start the 1st semester from 1st of July to 13th of November 2020.

The semester break will be 14th to 30th November. Then the 2nd semester will be from 1st of December 2020 to 9th of April 2021 and the school year break will be 37 days long from 10th of April to 16th of May 2021. Students and teachers will have a total of 54 days of school breaks.

As for the learning system during COVID-19 outbreak, the ministry is preparing an appropriate method, which is in accordance with the current situation, as well as adding more skill classes during the school breaks. The new curriculum will allow students to access education and stay safe at the same time, such as through online classes and distance learning via 17 TV channels. Also, to prolong the break time, the new curriculum will decrease assessments and cut unnecessary activities.

In addition, the ministry will conduct a survey of students, parents and teachers, in order to develop the right tools and a suitable schedule.

The ministry will test the distance learning system on 18th May to prepare for the start of the semester, in case the situation is not safe enough for at school learning. (NNT)


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 10 May 2020, 11.30 Hrs. (TAT)


Thailand increases active case finding of COVID-19 during the relaxed restriction period

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) is increasing active case finding of COVID-19 in risk groups especially in people who returned from abroad, healthcare workers, and people who live in crowded places following the relaxation of restrictions based on thedecisions of the provincial communicable diseases committee. The 8th round of DDC surveys found that people are washing hands more often than before but there is a decreasing trend in wearing face masks/cloth masks.

On 7 May 2020 at the Emergency Operations Center (Press Conference), the Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi province, Dr. Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Director General of the Department of Disease Control stated that currently, Thailand has found a decreasing number of additional confirmed cases. Therefore, the government has started to relax the measures. If people neglect their self-protection, the situation may worsen and cause a second wave of COVID-19. For long-term disease control, the MOPH has increased active case finding for at-risk groups and places instead of focusing on close contacts or family members. These are also included in the guidelines for the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and the Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee to manage the active case finding in their respective areas.

Thailand will support technology that saves costs such as substituting saliva testing for nasal swabs, and pooled samples (one time testing with 5 –10 samples). The target for examination is set at 6,000 people per one million people and the number of examinations is expected to be 85,000 people per month.The populations most at risk refer to groups that tend to gather in large numbers of individuals such as migrant workers who are living together in the same accommodations or factories, inmates who are detained in the Immigration Detention Centers, or those who are at risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 such as those who meet a lot of people (personnel or ticket takers in public transportation and groups like healthcare workers who are more likely to meet patients).

Risk areas referto places such as markets, religious places, bus stations, sky trains, slum communities, etc.In addition, from January to 5 May 2020, the DDC conducted 8 rounds of surveys (the DDC poll) among 27,843 target people regarding COVID-19 and social distancing measures. The results showed that the percentage of washing hands with soap or alcohol gel, especially before/after meals and after using the toilet increased from 61.2% in the first surveyto 92.7% in the eighth survey.

The percentage of wearing a mask when getting sick to prevent the spread of the disease increased from 56.2% in the first survey to 74.6% in the eighth survey. However, this is a decrease in mask-wearing percentage from the fifth survey (94.9%), which was during the peak period of reported cases. Wearing masks among people without any illness has declined from 93.5% in the 3rd round of the survey to 75.7% in the 8th survey.

As for physical distancing, there was an increase in correct knowledge among the general public about keeping a 1-2 meter distance away from others, increasing from 72.3% to 94.1%, but a reduction in the frequency and duration of going in public areas has not changed much. It may be related to a change ofpeople's attitudes from the previous survey, that physical distancing can prevent the spread of the virus, decreasing from 84.8% to 78.1%.

In addition, the general public wants the government to distribute masks at a cheap price, to provide alcohol gel atservice points and to strictly screen customers of public places in various settings. Although the government has relaxed measures, people must not relax their practices. The people should consistently practice to prevent COVID-19 by frequently washing hands, wearing masks every when going out, keeping space between others and reducing activities where many people join" said Dr. Suwannachai.

(Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand Press Release – ddc.moph.go.th)


Phuket’s hotel operators propose to reopen service on June 1

Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the Thai Hotels Association's (THA) southern chapter.

Hotel operators in Phuket proposed to the authorities to allow reopening of hotels on June1, so they can get ready for the full operation later.

Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, president of the Thai Hotels Association's (THA) southern chapter said the proposal was raised at a recent meeting with local authorities and public health officials.

If approved, he expected about 30-40 per cent of hotel staff would return to work. 

He said the first group of guests during the soft opening was likely to be local market such as local businesspeople, who would travel to Phuket for business trips not as tourists. 

Foreign tourists will later come after the outbreak is put under control and the international fight ban is lifted.  He viewed that tourists from China and Asian countries would be the major incoming travellers, arriving around October.

When international airlines are allowed to operate flights to Thailand, it will take some time for potential tourists to regain confidence in travelling.

He expected Phuket tourism would be back in motion next year when the island could see the number of tourists rebound to the same figures, recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic.  (TNA)


Muslims allowed to perform Friday prayers at mosques in Thailand

The Office of the Sheikhul Islam announced earlier that Muslims may attend Friday mass prayers at mosques and need to follow government measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

BANGKOK - Muslims in Thailand are allowed to pray at mosques on Friday after religious gathering has been banned for over a month to curb the spread of the coronavirus for since March 27.

The Office of the Sheikhul Islam announced that Muslims may attend Friday mass prayers at mosques. It urges Thai Muslims to follow government measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Muslim communities and mosques across Thailand have prepared for Friday prayer by disseminating disease control information and setting up health screening. 

Mosques in Muslim-majority southern provinces such as the Pakistani Mosque in Songkhla province will resume their Friday prayers.  Administrators and health officials will perform health screening and enforce social distancing rules. 

Everyone must clean their hands with alcohol-based sanitizer before entering.  The floors are marked to keep spacing of 1.5 to 2 meters for people while praying.

Like Muslims across the world, Thai Muslims have been called to observe the holy fasting month of Ramadan that began on April 23 at home.(TNA) 


Thailand consumer confidence index lowest in nearly 22 years

Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

BANGKOK- The consumer confidence index in April was the lowest in nearly 22 months due to the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Thanavath Phonvichai, president of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the index in April was at 47.2, the lowest in 21 years and 7 months since October 1998 when the university started its surveys on consumers’ confidence.

Consumers were concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impacts on the Thai economy including unemployment, he said.

The index fell in all categories and most categories showed continuous declines for 14 months, Mr Thanavath said.

“The Thai economy has entered its technical recession. It will contract for three quarters consecutively and will grow 1-2% in the fourth quarter thanks to the restart of businesses and the government’s economic rehabilitation and stimulation measures worth 400 billion baht,” he said.

“Money will obviously enter the economic system in early August and the Thai economy in 2020 will decline slower at 3.5-5.5% instead of 8.8% as earlier anticipated.”

According to Mr Thanavath, normally about 600 billion baht was circulated in the economic system on a monthly basis. Lockdown measures reduce the amount by half. If more businesses are unlocked on May 17, the circulated money will rise by nearly 200 billion baht a month.

“That will stop the Thai economy from declining or let it bottom out. The Thai economy will pick up noticeably approximately in the second quarter of 2021,” he said. (TNA)


Thailand prepares to submit action plan on global warming

 

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan.

BANGKOK-All governments have been working together to solve the climate change problem that affects humankind. Thailand is now to submit an action plan to the United Nations, focusing on solving particular problems especially reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet the announced target.

The meeting of the National Climate Change Policy Committee chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan via a video conference and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) stressed the importance of solving the global warming problem in general as it affects ecology, farming and water sources and leads to drought, floods, particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5) in the atmosphere, or even emerging diseases such as COVID-19 which has spread rapidly due to the weather conditions. Thailand officially became a member of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Partnership NDC on January 22, 2020, in order to help upgrade operations to solve global warming together with the United Nations. Thailand will submit a revised draft to the NDC which focuses on operations in terms of greenhouse gas reduction, adaptation to the effects of climate change and issues of Thailand’s need for support.

Gen Prawit ordered the ONEP to use remarks related to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to revise Thailand’s draft to the NDC before submitting it to the Cabinet for approval and forwarding it to the United Nations. This is to emphasize the role of Thailand that places importance on and participation with the world community in solving climate change problems. He also instructed the ONEP to accelerate implementation of the action plan to reduce greenhouse gases to meet the goal announced to the United Nations.(NNT)


Thai farmers sign up online for COVID-19 payout

BANGKOK-Online registration is now open for farmers to receive payouts to mitigate disruption to their output, by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) yesterday put the registration website online, while saying that applicants don’t need a savings account with the BAAC to be eligible.

The registration website for farmers’ COVID-19 relief payout has been online since 8 p.m. yesterday, allowing farmers to register for the COVID-19 pandemic relief payout, according to a Cabinet resolution on 28th April.

Farmers need to enter their national ID number, their mobile phone number, and savings account number, along with other personal information in the registration process. Farmers are however, not required to have an account with the BAAC in order to receive the money.

After the online registration, no further action is required for farmers who enrolled on the national farmers database in 2018 and 2019. They will have the relief money transferred to their account after verification by the BAAC.

Farmers who enrolled in the national farmers database before 2018 however, will need to report to their community leaders or village agricultural volunteers, or at the district agricultural office where their farm is located by 15th May.

Farmers who have never enrolled on the national farmers database must do so by contacting their community leaders or village agricultural volunteers, or at the district agricultural office where their farm is located 15 days after starting their cultivation, but by 15th May.

The first payouts will be deposited on 15th May, with a target to transfer the money to 1 million farmers daily. (NNT)


Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Thailand provides relief bags to Muslims

The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Thailand provides relief bags to Thai Muslims in the month of Ramadan.

BANGKOK-The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Thailand has provided relief bags to Thai Muslims in the month of Ramadan, to relieve the suffering of those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr Samart Maluleem, a representative of the Foundation of the Islamic Center of Thailand welcomed to Thailand Saudi cultural envoys who distributed rice and survival bags from the King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Project in Thailand to Muslims for the cooking of dinner during Ramadan, to alleviate the suffering of Muslims affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The distribution of donated items is strictly in accordance with the standards of the Ministry of Public Health. Space management was maintained during the occasion, along with temperature measurements and hand gel for the participants. (NNT)


‘THAI Stay Home Miles Exchange’

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) collaborated with Wunderman Thompson to launch the “THAI Stay Home Miles Exchange” Royal Orchid Plus (ROP) Campaign, following the Government’s policy requesting Thais to stay home, to offer ROP members with one mile for every four hours of staying in during 24 April-26 May 2020.

Mrs. Priyasiri Juathes, THAI Vice President, Product and Guest Experience Department, said that in response to the Government’s policy requesting Thais to stay home after the outbreak of COVID-19, THAI and creative agency Wunderman Thompson jointly launched the “THAI Stay Home Miles Exchange” ROP Campaign offering a total of 1,000,000 miles for ROP members in Thailand. ROP members will receive one mile for every four hours of staying in. The purposes of the campaign are to comply with the Government policy, to support Public Health workforce, and to encourage ROP members to stay home by offering ROP miles for their future redemption as soon as the situation improves. The earned miles can be redeemed for award tickets, accommodations, and others. Terms and conditions may apply. To join this campaign, download the THAI Stay Home Miles Exchange application and follow these steps:

1.Download the THAI Stay Home Miles Exchange application- Android users: download via https://bit.ly/THAIStayHome and join the campaign from 24 April– 23 May 2020- IOS users: download via App Store and join the campaign from 27 April– 26 May 2020


2.Set your home location once download has completed. Note that the location cannot be changed afterwards. The application will start collecting data. User may remain in the same location or go no further than 100 meters for continual mileage collection. The users will be notified and the application will stop collecting miles if they leave their home location..


3.On the last day of the campaign (23 May 2020 for Android users and 26 May 2020 for IOS users) or when the 500,000 miles provided to each group of users (Android & IOS users) run out , ROP members who joined the campaign should fill out their information and the system will update ROP miles to their personal accounts within 10 July 2020. Terms and conditions may apply. Those who have not yet apply as ROP members may apply on thaiairways.com/rop without fees and expenses (for Thailand residents only).

THAI is aware of its mission as being the national flag carrier for 60 years. Although THAI and Thai people are affected by this crisis, the Company is certain that we shall pass through this together. THAI will resume its operation to raise national pride again. (thaiairways.com)


Thai Government checking farmers’ entitlements to financial aid

Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), will transfer the cash subsidy to farmers from May to July upon the verified information.

BANGKOK- The government is making continuous efforts to provide aid to all groups of people affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It is now verifying the information of registered farmers to make sure that they are not recipients of the earlier 5,000-baht cash handout for informal workers. Payments will be made to some 8 million people by May 15, 2020.

The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Anan Suwannarat, said that the Ministry of Finance is checking the information of 8.3 million registered farmers to avoid making overlapping payments. The verified information will then be forwarded to the Bank of Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), so that the bank can transfer the cash subsidy to farmers, who are entitled to receive the support. They can nominate any bank account to receive the money.

Farmers, who have yet to register, are advised to update their accounts and register with the seven departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives before May 15, 2020, in order to receive the 5,000-baht monthly cash handout, from May to July this year.(NNT)


Coronavirus payment benefit extended to May 10 for Thai recipients

 

The Finance Ministry has deposited first payments to 11 million people, plans to make payments to a total of 12.8 million people this week.

BANGKOK- The Ministry of Finance is expected to have deposited 5,000-baht payments to a total of 12.8 million people by Friday. Appeals related to this campaign’s entitlement are being accepted at the Public Relations Department in Bangkok until 10 May.

The multi-purpose plaza at the Public Relations Department is being used to receive appeals related to the campaign, including from those who are unable to register themselves on the campaign’s website, those initially deemed ineligible, and eligible persons who have not received the money.

Officials from the Ministry of Finance are on site to receive appeals and give out advice, under strict health screening and social distancing measures to prevent the potential spread of the virus as people gather.

Every person entering the area is checked for symptoms, and must maintain a proper distance from others. They must also wear a face mask. Food and drinks are available for the members of the general public.

The Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said that only people who have registered on the campaign’s website can make an appeal.

Most appeals are received from those who have unsuccessfully registered due to incorrect data, those whose bank account identification doesn’t match their name, and those appealing against ineligibility to receive the payout.

Some five million people have already filed appeals for a reconsideration of their eligibility.

The Ministry of Finance will continue to receive the appeals until 10th May, and will process all requests by 17th May.

The ministry has already deposited first payments to 11 million people. It is intended to make payments to a total of 12.8 million people this week.

This government payment scheme is aimed at helping workers who are not insured under the Social Security scheme, by providing a monthly payment of 5,000 baht for a total of three months to eligible persons.

People in Bangkok can file their appeals at the Public Relations Department until 10th May. People in other provinces can also file an appeal at the provincial Damrongtham center. Applicants’ status can always be verified online on the campaign’s Rao Mai Ting Kan.com website.(NNT)


Thai PM outlines strict measures needed to beat COVID-19

Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

BANGKOK- The Prime Minister has thanked the people of all sectors for helping slow the spread of COVID-19, stressing that strict measures must remain in place, even though the current situation is satisfactory.

Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has chaired a meeting of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), where he outlined policies for the transitional period as the outbreak situation in Thailand is much improved.

He said proactive and stringent measures are still needed, as well as strict regulation of persons entering and exiting the country over land borders, who must be subject to state quarantine and other disease control measures.

The Prime Minister has ordered government agencies to continue enforcing measures in line with the State of Emergency, asking the CCSA, security agencies, public health agencies, the military, and the police to remain on high alert, and work collectively with local authorities to regulate and monitor actual enforcement of the measures.

He has ordered the CCSA to assess the possible impact of the relaxation of restrictive measures, assist impacted persons, consider proposals from businesses, as well as promoting such measures to the general public.

On the relaxation of restrictive measures, the Prime Minister said related agencies are instructed to address issues which have arisen, such as overcrowding on city train lines, while the Ministry of Public Health is instructed to disclose data regarding testing, on its website and social media pages, to create a better understanding among the general public.

The Prime Minister has urged all sectors to focus on a restoration of confidence, and the balance between aid measures and public health measures, asking them to collectively consider individual steps over the three months ahead. (NNT)


Needy people rely on food aid distributions during COVID-19 crisis in Thailand

Local people arrived early morning to be in a long queue to receive lunchboxes in Nakhon Rachasima province.

BANGKOK- Needy people in Thailand have relied on food aid distributions offered by public agencies and philanthropists during the COVID-19 crisis.

A police command headquarters in the northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province on Thursday handed out 500 lunchboxes to people in the local community.Many people arrived at 5 am to form a long queue before the handing out scheduled at 11 am.

To avoid hours of queuing, they put bags, shoes and sandals to secure their places in line.

An elderly woman said everyday she travelled to several places that offered relief supplies.  

Groups of donors across Thailand have arranged food aid distributions for impoverished families in their localities.  Benevolent acts in time of crisis have revealed not only community humanitarian response but also how COVID-19 has put people deep in indigence. (TNA)


Thai farmers to receive Coronavirus cash handout this month

 

Agriculture Minister,Chalermchai Sri-on.

BANGKOK - Nearly 1 million Thai farmers will receive cash handout for COVID-19 compensation this month, Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on said on Thursday.

Chalermchai confirmed that the farmers on the list of the Ministry would receive 5,000 baht each for three months to alleviate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

The government has already given similar financial aid to informal workers who have no social security benefits.

The list of registered farmers was being screened to ensure the accuracy of eligible recipients. Chalermchai said during a launch of COVID-19 food donation programme.

By the middle of this month, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) is expected to transfer the cash to about 10 million farmers.(TNA


Thai Deputy PM orders for backup plan to reserve more water during rainy season

Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon.

Prof. Narumon Pinyosinwat, Government Spokesperson, disclosed that Deputy Prime Minister Gen. Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered for the backup plan to reserve more water during the rainy season, as there has been raining in several areas across the country during the past week, as a result of which 423 million cubic meters of water have been added to the country’s major dams. The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), in particular, has received additional water budget of approximately 18 million cubic meters. The Deputy Prime Minister also ordered to set aside 37 million cubic meters of reserved water for industrial use to boost the industrial sector’s confidence if no more rainwater has been added. 

The Deputy Prime Minister, as head of the National Water Command Center, also disclosed that Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, the Royal Irrigation Department, Marine Department, Department of Provincial Administration, and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration have managed to get rid of over 1.4 million of water hyacinths during October 1, 2019- April 17, 2020. (Thaigov.go.th)


Thai PM warns people not to drop their guard against COVID-19

Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

At the Command Building I, Government House, following the cabinet meeting, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha urged Thai people not to drop their guard despite the continuously decreasing number of infected patients, and called on the media and social media to build public awareness on the importance of maintaining their cautiousness against COVID-19. 

The Prime Minister also ordered the investigation of temporary breakdown of BTS during rush hours which caused crowded scene at several BTS stations, and called on BTS to come up with countermeasures. 

The Prime Minister also disclosed that he had chances to talk with representatives of medium and small-scale businesses, and visited officials working at checkpoints. He also thanked Deputy Prime Ministers and ministers for taking field visits upcountry to observe and give moral support to officials across the country. 

The Prime Minister thanked the 20 business organizations for their response to his open letters, and for committing to take care of staffs and workers under respective industrial chains. They also proposed collaboration with the Government on national rehabilitation and assistance to people of all professions and sectors. Meanwhile, the Government, through various ministries, such as Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Industry, and Ministry of Tourism and Sports, have come up with relief measures under the Royal Decree on 1-trillion Baht loan. Despite the cabinet’s approval, these measures, especially those related to provision of soft loan, will be reviewed to ensure their relevance with the situation and related laws, and to accommodate people’s ‘new normal’. 

The Prime Minister also advised the public to file complaints on their plights via appropriate channels.

Their complaints will be brought to the cabinet meeting for its consideration. He also called for people’s endurance so that we will go through this difficult time together. - May 3, 2020. (Thaigov.go.th)


Masseuse, 27, returns from Russia recorded new COVID-19 case in Thailand

 

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

BANGKOK – Thailand recorded one more case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection andone new death on Wednesday.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said the new case was a woman aged 27 who was a masseuse in Buri Ram province. She returned from Russia and was brought to quarantine right away.

Her case raised the total of COVID-19 patients in the country to 2,989 who were recorded in 68 provinces.

The death case was a 69-year-old Australian man who worked as a hotel manager in Phang-nga province. He had asthma. The death toll increased to 55.

Over the past 24 hours, 14 patients recovered, raising the total of recovery cases to 2,761. Meanwhile, 173 patients were at hospitals.

Dr Taweesin said that 40 earlier suspected cases in Yala province tested negative for COVID-19. (TNA)


The number of electric train passengers has doubled in Bangkok

The Rail Department predicted that the number of electric train commuters will rise even more on May 7.

BANGKOK - The Rail Department has advised commuters to leave for work early because the number of passengers on Bangkok electric trains doubled after the government permitted the reopening of some businesses.

Sorapong Paitoonpong, director-general of the Rail Department, said that after the government eased its disease control measures and allowed some businesses and places to reopen, the number of electric train commuters nearly reached 400,000 on May 4.

The traffic showed a 100% increase from 189,000 passengers on May 1.

He said that his department predicted that the number of electric train commuters would further rise on May 7.

He suggested commuters prepare more travel time, wear face masks while being on electric train systems and conduct social distancing to help curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). (TNA)


Thailand’s guidelines for park visitors: should walk, not run

The spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin.

BANGKOK – People should exercise by walking while wearing face masks and should not run in parks during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) advised.

CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said people should exercise by walking to keep good health as the government permitted the reopening of public parks.

He said visitors to parks should not run because runners’ breath could leave droplets about 10 meters behind. Besides, people would lack air while running fast with masks on their face, he said.

“If you want to run, you should see if anyone is following you within a distance of 10 meters. If there is such a follower, you should not run because the clearance is not enough. Droplets from fast breathing would reach the followers. Please do not run,” Dr Taweesin said.

“If anyone is following you, you should wear a face mask and walk. Walking already raises pulses and walking for 30 minutes can make you sweat. That is enough and there will not be droplets from your mouth like those from running people,” he said. (TNA)


Indian PM praises Thailand for strong COVID-19 surveillance and control efforts

Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Bangkok – Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi praised Thailand for its strong COVID-19 disease surveillance system and control efforts in a recent phone call to Thai Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, according to the Prime Minister Operations Centre (PMOC).

In the announcement on the PMOC’s Facebook page, the two PMs have reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening ties to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and enhancing cooperation on various sectors.

The Indian PM praised Thailand for its efforts to contain COVID-19, saying that India is ready to support the export of medicines and medical supplies, especially Hydroxychloroquine as requested by the Thai government.

The two PMs also praised each other for looking after their citizens during the lockdown restrictions and discussed ways to enhance cooperation on economics and other sectors to be prepared for the “new normal” in the world’s post-COVID-19 era.

Source & photo credit: Facebook: Prime Minister Operations Center @PMOCNEWS

(tatnews.org)


An Australian hotel manager in Phang-nga, 69, recorded new COVID-19 death case in Thailand

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

BANGKOK – Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said the death case was a 69-year-old Australian man who worked as a hotel manager in Phang-nga province. He had asthma. The death toll increased to 55on Wednesday.

The new infected case was a woman aged 27 who was a masseuse in Buri Ram province. She returned from Russia and was brought to quarantine right away.

Her case raised the total of COVID-19 patients in the country to 2,989 who were recorded in 68 provinces.

Over the past 24 hours, 14 patients recovered, raising the total of recovery cases to 2,761. Meanwhile, 173 patients were at hospitals.

Dr Taweesin said that 40 earlier suspected cases in Yala province tested negative for COVID-19. (TNA)


Thai Cabinet extends Lao, Cambodian, Myanmar workers’ visas to May 31

The Ministry of Labour grants temporary residence and a work permit extension to workers from neighbouring countries.

BANGKOK-The Cabinet has approved automatic visa extensions for workers from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar under an MOU, giving them the right to reside in Thailand until 31st May.

The Cabinet approved a proposal from the Ministry of Labour to grant temporary residence and a work permit extension to workers from neighbouring countries, who entered the country under intergovernmental agreements or Memorandums of Understanding (MOU).

The extension covers Cambodia, Lao, and Myanmar nationals, including workers in border areas who are unable to return to their home countries due to the COVID-19 situation.

The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Labor had previously granted an extension to 30th April. This new extension, now allowing migrant workers to stay in Thailand until 31st May, follows the one-month State of Emergency extension in Thailand until the end of May.(NNT)


Thai PM thanks private sector for helping gov’t recover economy

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

BANGKOK- The Prime Minister has disclosed that Thailand’s economy, affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, may need nine months to recover, and he has asked the 20 richest individuals in Thailand to cooperate with the government in undertaking economic reconstruction.

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense revealed today that Thailand’s economy was damaged by the COVID-19 outbreak and may need 6 to 9 months to recover. The government is preparing for gradual recovery and preparing citizens to adopt a new normal. He further said that last week he met with SME businesses and was directly informed of the impact on business activity and given suggestions. The PM promised the government will use the advice from members of the private sector but may need some time to proceed especially with soft loans for business owners affected by COVID-19.

As for the letters to the 20 richest citizens, the PM said he received answers from all of them. Most of the answers advised urgent aid for less fortunate people. The 20 will cooperate with the government to help it rebuild the economy and support members of the public.

The PM praised and thanked all of them for being part of the recovery, saying the government itself will work at its maximum as well.(NNT)


Thailand Celebrates Coronation Day

Government officials pay their respects to HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn on Coronation Day.

BANGKOK, May 4 (TNA) - Thailand celebrates the Coronation Day, marking the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn that took place on 4 May last year.

Thai officials attended ceremonies to commemorate the coronation one year ago when the King completed the ancient rites including accepting royal regalia symbolizing the kingship and purification bathing rite with consecrated water.

May 4 was designated as the Coronation Day and a public holiday by the Cabinet of ministers later in May, 2019.

Organizers of the commemoration ceremonies such as provincial administrations of Nakhon Pathom and Trad on Monday applied social distancing practices to all attendees. (TNA)


Thailand Model Farm Project to overcome COVID-19 downturn

Government officials inspect the model farm project under the Royal Initiative of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, at Sawangha district in Angthong province.

ANGTHONG - A model farm project under a Royal Initiative provides agricultural knowledge for local residents who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr. Sutthi Sukosol, Permanent Secretary of Labour as Chair, along with Mr. Teerapat Prayoonsit, Permanent Secretary of the PM’s office as a representative of the Royal Thai Volunteer office, and Mr. Rewat Prasong, Governor of Angthong, have presided over the development of the model farm project under the Royal Initiative of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, at Sawangha district in Angthong province.

The COVID-19 outbreak, has had a wide impact on citizens. Many have become unemployed and face a financial crisis.

His Majesty King Vairalongkorn and Her Majesty the Queen have therefore provided a model farm project to aid the citizens of the area.

The project aims to provide careers and alleviate the burdens of daily life, by having these citizens learn specialized agricultural methods and be able to adapt them for use in their households, becoming better able to support their families.s.


Sheikhul Islam Office announces COVID-19 measures for mosques in Thailand

The Sheikhul Islam Office of Thailand issued an announcement yesterday, allowing Muslims to attend prayers, but they must strictly follow guidelines against the spread of COVID-19.

According to the announcement, Islamic committee members or public health officers will measure people’s body temperatures before they are allowed to enter mosques, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers are to be placed at the entrance. People are not permitted to perform ablutions inside the premises. Mosques must be cleansed and ventilated before and after each prayer session. Social distancing stickers are placed on the floor to make sure that Muslims stay at least two meters apart while praying. While inside the mosque, people still have to keep a safe distance between each other.r.

Today, provincial Islamic committees and related units discussed further measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19. (NNT)


Passing of Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto

His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and the Grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto

His Most Eminent Highness the Prince and the Grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, passed away on 29th April 2020 in Rome at the age of 75. The funeral will take place on 5th May in the Church of Santa Maria in Aventino, in the Magistral Villa in Rome.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered a period of state mourning and the national flag to be flown half mast for three days on 5th, 7th and 8th May 2020.


Bangkok Governor delivers relief bags to people in communities

The Governor of Bangkok, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang visits Lad PhraoSoi 40 and Lad PhraoSoi 54 communities in Bang Kapi district.

BANGKOKOK-The Governor of Bangkok delivered relief bags to people affected by the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing particularly on communities that had yet to receive help.

The Governor of Bangkok, Pol Gen Aswin Kwanmuang visited Lad Phrao Soi 40 and Lad PhraoSoi 54 communities in Bang Kapi district to deliver relief bags to 620 households in the two communities.

Each relief bag contains essential items for daily life, such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. The governor also delivered face masks to anyone in the communities who didn’t have one.

This delivery of relief bags focused on communities that had not received help before, in order to provide inclusive help to all people. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is now delivering relief bags everyday.

On the easing of lockdown measures, allowing restaurants, hair salons, parks, and some other businesses to reopen, the Bangkok Governor said he has instructed responsible agencies within the BMA to ensure orderliness, while asking the general public to maintain social distance, wear a face mask, and wash their hands frequently.

He said companies that are looking at allowing employees to return to the office to work, should limit the number of employees present at the office at any one time, monitor their body temperature, require everyone to wear a face mask, and ensure the offices are cleaned frequently.(NNT)


Restaurants change seating to comply with new operational guidelines

Many restaurants are changing their seating arrangement and service style to comply with the new operational guidelines.

Restaurants are among the six businesses allowed to reopen from May 3 as part of a relaxation of lockdown measures. Many restaurants are now changing their seating arrangement and service style to comply with the new operational guidelines, such as the restaurants surrounding the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce which have closed their doors for about two months now.

Many of these restaurants that used to serve students have lost almost all customers due to the lockdown measures, resulting in more than 70 percent loss of income, even though some of them offer online ordering and home delivery options.

After the announcement by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration allowing restaurants to reopen and accept dine-in customers, these restaurants have started to change seating and services in preparation for the reopening, while following the latest guidelines and regulations.

Some of the restaurants, such as Larb Lung Thong, will however only accept online orders for home delivery, as the clientele usually dine in groups, making it difficult to enforce social distancing in the restaurant, were it to open fully.


Domestic flight passengers advised to check self-quarantine requirements of provinces

The Department of Airports recommends passengers to look up for the destination’s announcements regarding quarantine measures in order to follow the province’s requirements correctly.

BANGKOK-The Department of Airports has notified passengers to look up destination’s measures in advance, as some provinces require quarantine upon arrival.

Since 1st of May, four Thai airlines: Nok Air, Thai Air Asia, Thai Lion Air, and Thai Viet Jet have been flying to 14 destinations under the Department of Airports’ control. The destination airports are Lampang, Maesod, Phitsanulok, Buriram, Sakon Nakhon, Nakhon Phanom, Roi Et, KhonKaen, UbonRatchathani, Udon Thani, Trang, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani, and Krabi.

The Department asks that all passengers look up the destination’s announcements regarding quarantine measures in order to follow the province’s requirements correctly.

Nine airports are operating without quarantine requirements which means passengers to these provinces don’t have to stay in isolation for 14 days. The provinces areTak, Lampang, Roi Et, KhonKaen, Sakon Nakhon, Udon Thani, UbonRatchathani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Surat Thani.

However, the other five provinces, Phitsanulok, Buriram, Krabi, Trang, and Nakhon Phanom still require passengers to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, in accordance with provincial orders.

The Department of Airports has also asked passengers to strictly follow these provincial measures. In addition, before every trip, it is recommended that passengers check the destination’s requirements with the airlines, and arrive well before the flight’s departure to undergo the airport’s COVID-19 screening for the safety of all passengers.(NNT)


Bangkokians return to public parks after eases of Covid-19 restrictions

BMA reopens 39 public parks with measures to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.

Bangkok citizens have started to go back and exercise in public parks since the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration or BMA, reopened 39 public parks with measures to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak.

Wachirabenchathat or Rot Fai park has reopened for the first time since its closure on the 18th of March. It has been more than a month since the BMA ordered the closure of 39 public parks in its control. May 3 as the first day of reopening, many people have gradually been arriving to exercise since early morning.

Rot Fai park has only two entrances - the gate opposite Chatuchak Metro Park, and the gate at the parking lot. Only running tracks and biking routes are in service. The other areas such as a playground, an outdoor gym, and others sites that may lead to gatherings of people and close contact, are still closed.

People who came to use the park said they are glad that the park is finally back in operation and trust that the park will screen users and require them to wear masks, as a safety measure to prevent an outbreak of the virus.

However, the park has already put up announcement boards at the entrances, outlining the requirements park users must observe: wear masks, refrain from gathering with others, and ensure at least two meters of social distancing from others during activities in the park. The popular park is open from 5.30 a.m. to 8 p.m.(NNT)


Barber shops, hair salons reopen from Sunday May 3

Hair salons and barber shopsare allowed to reopen on Sunday for hair cutting, hair washing, and blow drying, but not other services.

BANGKOK - People who might need a hair cut by now, will be able to visit a barber shop or hair salon from 3rd May for some of the services normally on offer, under strict hygiene measures and social distancing.

The Department of Health Director General, Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn has visited Chalachol Academy to provide operational guidelines to hair salons and barber shops, which are allowed to reopen on Sunday for hair cutting, hair washing, and blow drying, but not other services.

All workers must place a high priority on health, safety, and good hygiene for both themselves and their customers, as well as implementing infection control measures strictly.

The Department of Health’s guideline require hairdressers and barbers to wear a face mask, protective gown, and a face shield while working at all times. Equipment such as combs, brushes, and scissors must be cleaned before and after each customer. The customers themselves must be seated 1.5 to 2 meters apart from one another.(NNT)


Pattaya sees less rain this week, hot during the day

Drought-hit Mapprachan reservoir in Nongprue sub-district, one of the main water reserves supply to Pattaya City and the surrounding areas.

Pattaya City, Chonburi Province and Eastern Part Weather Forecast

Hot with isolated thundershowers mostly in Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat. Minimum temperature 25-28 C. Maximum temperature 33-39 C. Southeasterly winds 15-30 km/hr. Wave height about 1 meter and 1-2 meters in thundershowers areas.

During 3 - 4 May, Hot during the day. Isolated to scattered thundershowers. During 4 - 9 May, Hot during the day. isolated thundershowers. Minimum temperature 24-28 C. Maximum temperature 35-39C. Southeasterly wind 10-30 km/hr. Wave height below 1 meter and 1-2 meters in thundershower areas.

Pattaya 7 days Weather Forecast 


Thailand reports 3 confirmed cases on Sunday, no further losses

The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) reported three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Sunday May 3 with no fatalities. Meanwhile the authority is addressing the unusual increase in infected persons in YALA.

The new cases bring the total number of infections to 2,969, while the number of cured patients stays at 2,739. The total number of deaths is still 54, while 176 patients are still in hospital.

Meanwhile, the public health authority reported that Yala Province had found a large number of infected individuals following its proactive approach. As a result of 311 examinations, 40 people were found to be positive. Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesperson for the CCSAsaid the authority has arranged a thorough investigation because the cases of infection reported were unusually numerous in some districts, and confirmed that the data will be disclosed.(NNT)


Thai Health Min. inspects screening at southern border checkpoint

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

SONGKHLA - Thai Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has inspected the health screening process at Padang Besar border checkpoint in the southern province of Songkhla where Thai workers continue returning from Malaysia.

The border crossing has been the main entry point for Thai returnees amid COVID-19 pandemic.  Over 1,000 of them have returned from Malaysia since Thai authorities reopened the border on April 18.

Anutin observed the health screening and other disease control procedures at the checkpoint on Thursday.   He presented medical supplies for officers enforcing strict disease control measures.

The Minister praised local officials in Songkhla for detecting and caring for 42 COVID-19 patients found inside an immigration detention center.

Local officials reported that the 42 cases found on Saturday were among 115 illegal migrants being detained at Songkhla Immigration Detention Center.

Most of them have mild symptoms.   Six others have been sent to hospitals; five have developed pneumonia and one of them is pregnant. (TNA

 

Thai workers continue returning from Malaysia through Padang Besar border checkpoint in the southern province of Songkhla.


Next phases of easing Covid-19 rules possible in Thailand if new cases remain low

Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the health ministry's permanent secretary.

BANGKOK - Easing Covid-19 restrictions will proceed into the next phase if relaxation of the rules against coronavirus in the first phase goes well for 14 days said Sukhum Kanchanapimai, the health ministry's permanent secretary.

Thailand reported single digit of the new Covid-19 cases between 7-9 for four straight days and all of the new cases travelled from overseas.

This indicated that the existing measures are effective to reduce the number of new infections. Unless the state quarantine system is put in place to curb the outbreak, the number of coronavirus patients may reach 10,000, the permanent secretary said.

People should maintain hygiene practice, social distancing and stay home after the restrictions are eased to allow some businesses such as supermarkets and restaurants to reopen on May 3, he said.

Private companies should continue work-from -home policies.

After 14 days, if the number of new cases is fewer than 20-30, more relaxation of anti-Covid 19 measures will proceed into the second and third phases for other business categories, he added. (TNA)


Thai Govt. concern about people’s mental health during crisis

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration Spokesman, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin.

BANGKOK (NNT) - The government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration has expressed concern about the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people’s mental health, which can lead to suicide.

Speaking of a spike in suicides during the pandemic, the CCSA Spokesman, Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, said the government and the Ministry of Public Health are fully aware of the gravity of the issue and are searching for solutions, using information from academics and various sources.

According to a report released by the Department of Mental Health, this is a global crisis. It has affected people’s physical and mental health. Physicians around the world have predicted that the number of deaths from self-harm or suicide will increase during this pandemic. The Department of Mental Health is looking into this problem. Different sectors in many countries are also working together to address the issue.

If people are aware of relatives or other individuals who may have suicidal thoughts, they can contact the Department of Mental Health’s hotline service. Although the number of suicides is currently lower than that during the Tom Yum Kung financial crisis, all sides have to work together to solve it.


Migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in Thailand can claim unemployment benefits

The Social Security Office Spokeswoman for, Pitsamai Nithipaiboon,

BANGKOK - In addition to the cooperation of Thai people to help limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the government has launched a COVID-19 information hotline in three languages for migrant workers in Thailand. They have been told they can also file unemployment claims with the Social Security Office (SSO).

The Spokeswoman for the SSO, Pitsamai Nithipaiboon, explained the relief measures for migrant workers in the country. If their employers shut their businesses temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the migrant workers will receive 62 percent of their daily wage for up to 90 days. They can visit the SSO’s website at www.sso.go.th to submit their unemployment claims and complete an e-form for SSO benefits. They are required to provide copies of their passports and the first page of their bank passbooks for verification.

The Department of Disease Control, under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Health, has cooperated with the World Health Organization (WHO), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and related units to launch the COVID-19 Hotline for Migrant Workers. The hotline will enable relevant agencies to provide them with proper services, in an effort to increase the efficiency of disease control. Migrant workers can access information and health guidelines on this hotline by dialing 1422. Cambodian workers should press 81 to receive information in their own language. Lao speakers, should press 82. Workers from Myanmar can press 83 for more information. The hotline service is available next month. (NNT)


Classes go online as school opening pushed to 1 July in Thailand

Teachers record their lecture, and upload the video recording onto a virtual drive for students to watch. Zoom, Facebook, and Line programs can be used to create direct contact between teachers and students.

BANGKOK - The new school term this year will begin on 1st July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many schools have moved their classes’ online, using remote learning technology to enable undisrupted education in all subjects.

At Prachawit School, School Director Pimporn Theppinta said today that the school has prepared teachers in all subjects to implement both online and offline teaching tools to hold online classes.

Teachers will record their lecture, and upload the video recording onto a virtual drive where students can watch it, as well as adopting an online conference room on Zoom, and direct contact between teachers and students via Facebook and Line.

The school has adopted Google Classroom as another platform for students to upland their completed assignments.

Mrs Pimporn said the school has reached out to parents and students, saying they have found all high school students are ready for online classes, while 90 percent of students in kindergarten and primary school are ready.

The school will be following up with and assisting the 10 percent who are not prepared for online classes. It is asking parents to be confident in the system it has developed, that will allow students to learn and develop their skills as effectively as regular classes. The school will also arrange tutoring programs for students once the situation returns to normal.

Mr Wichai Sangsri, the Director of Ubon Ratchathani Primary Education Service Area Office 2 has held a meeting with related agencies to prepare online and remote classroom services.

The office plans to allow kindergarten, primary, and junior high school students to learn through the Distance Learning Television (DLTV) platform, while high school students will be studying content delivered by the Office of the Basic Education Commission.

These remote classes will be trialed from 17th May to 30th June, ahead of the beginning of the 2020 academic year, which has now been pushed back to 1st July.

The first semester will take place from 1st July to 30th November 2020, while the second semester will run from 1st December 2020 to 30th April 2021, with no school break in between.(NNT)


Stranded Russian tourist impressed with Thai hospitality

Mr Iwan is a 25-year-old engineering student from Russia, was well taken care of at Wat Mai Pattanaramtemple in Surat Thani since 26th March.

BANGKOK - As borders close and stringent travel restrictions are imposed around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some foreign tourists have become stranded in Thailand, especially in southern seaside provinces. Most of them are complying with regulations in the respective areas, and are impressed with the help being provided by Thai people and the authorities.

Mr Iwan is a 25-year-old engineering student from Russia. Not being able to travel home due to the pandemic, he is now seeking shelter at Wat Mai Pattanaram in Surat Thani, with the acting abbot PhraKhru Pisan Pattananukit taking care of his wellbeing since 26th March.

Surat Thani Governor Wichawut Jinto yesterday met Mr Iwan while he was helping the temple prepare meals for villagers affected by the pandemic.

Having ran out of money after a trip to have his visa extended in Songkhla, Governor Wichawut has personally given some money to Mr Ivan, advising him that related agencies will assist him with his visa extension, and telling him to rest assured about his safety; The governor thanked the temple for providing shelter to the stranded tourist.

Mr Iwan thanked the governor for the help, praising the hospitality of Thai people.

He said local people he has met would ask if he has eaten, if he has a mask to wear, and warned him not to go out after 10 p.m. during curfew hours.

He said he is now waiting for Russia to reopen borders and for flights to operate into his native country, then he will plan his return journey.

In Krabi, Muang Krabi District Chief Chaiwut Buathong has led health officials, village headsmen, and the president of AoRailay Tourism Businesses Association to meet with some 130 foreign tourists, who have been staying in the area for more than two months.

Most of the tourists are complying with orders from the provincial communicable diseases control committee. They have expressed their impression with Thai people, saying that most of them decided to stay as accommodations helped by reducing the rent, and providing food to the tourists.

AoRailay tourism businesses association has been screening potential patients in the area since the outbreak began. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 so far in this area, which is now closed to new arrivals.

Tourists who were staying here before the lockdown are welcome to stay, however everyone in the area is asked not to travel beyond limits. (NNT)


May 16 lottery draw to go ahead in Thailand

BANGKOK- The Government Lottery Office (GLO) has postponed three lottery drawings: the 1st April, 16th April, and 2nd May drawings. The office has confirmed it will not postpone the next drawing on 16 May, and will sell lottery tickets for 1 June drawing as usual.

Any persons who have purchased lottery tickets in the postponed drawings can win prizes in 16th May draw. The GLO Spokesman Thanawat Polvichai said today the office will strictly enforce health and social distancing measures at the Lottery draw event.

Lottery sales will continue as normal from the 1st June draw onwards. Sellers and customers are encouraged to practice precautionary measures by wearing a face mask and sanitizing their hands when making transactions.

A GLO Spokesman said today that lottery sellers should keep in mind the reduced purchasing power of people in the neighborhood where they sell tickets, due to the financial impact of COVID-19. He urged sellers to purchase tickets for resale in appropriate quantities.(NNT)


Thai Health Min. visits state quarantine for monks

Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Minister of Public Health inspected the state quarantine for monks and Buddhist nuns in Samut Prakan province.

SAMUT PRAKAN - The Ministry of Public Health has established a state quarantine center especially for monks who recently returned from a pilgrimage to India, in order to facilitate the monks need to practice the monkhood’s routine.

Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, together with Mr. SathitPitutecha, Deputy Minister of Public Health, this week inspected the state quarantine for monks and Buddhist nuns, in Samut Prakan province.

The ministry has been strictly implementing measures to protect all parties at risk of COVID-19 infection, especially those who return from foreign countries. The measures include the monks and Buddhist nuns who returned from a pilgrimage to India on 24th-25th April. The ministry has arranged a special state quarantine that is suited to monkhood activities.

Each monk will stay in a room equipped with a Buddha image and other necessities.

All of the monks and nuns underwent health screening and none of them had a fever.

Despite 14 days quarantine before arriving in Thailand, the monks still need another 14 days quarantine in Thailand’s state quarantine in accordance with the measures that apply to all parties. After the 14 day monitoring period, they will be able to go back to their temples.(NNT)
 


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Thailand develops reusable PPE for medical workers

Social distancing on public transport helping solve crowding in Bangkok

Thailand to start new academic year in July, online system prepared

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand

Thailand increases active case finding of COVID-19 during the relaxed restriction period


Phuket’s hotel operators propose to reopen service on June 1

Muslims allowed to perform Friday prayers at mosques in Thailand

Thailand consumer confidence index lowest in nearly 22 years

Thailand prepares to submit action plan on global warming

Thai farmers sign up online for COVID-19 payout

Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Thailand provides relief bags to Muslims

‘THAI Stay Home Miles Exchange’


Thai Government checking farmers’ entitlements to financial aid

Coronavirus payment benefit extended to May 10 for Thai recipients

Thai PM outlines strict measures needed to beat COVID-19

Needy people rely on food aid distributions during COVID-19 crisis in Thailand

Thai farmers to receive Coronavirus cash handout this month


Thai Deputy PM orders for backup plan to reserve more water during rainy season

Thai PM warns people not to drop their guard against COVID-19

Masseuse, 27, returns from Russia recorded new COVID-19 case in Thailand

The number of electric train passengers has doubled in Bangkok

Thailand’s guidelines for park visitors: should walk, not run

Indian PM praises Thailand for strong COVID-19 surveillance and control efforts

An Australian hotel manager in Phang-nga, 69, recorded new COVID-19 death case in Thailand


Thai Cabinet extends Lao, Cambodian, Myanmar workers’ visas to May 31

Thai PM thanks private sector for helping gov’t recover economy


Thailand Celebrates Coronation Day

Thailand Model Farm Project to overcome COVID-19 downturn

Sheikhul Islam Office announces COVID-19 measures for mosques in Thailand

Passing of Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Giacomo Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto


Bangkok Governor delivers relief bags to people in communities

Restaurants change seating to comply with new operational guidelines

Domestic flight passengers advised to check self-quarantine requirements of provinces

Bangkokians return to public parks after eases of Covid-19 restrictions

Barber shops, hair salons reopen from Sunday May 3

Pattaya sees less rain this week, hot during the day

Thailand reports 3 confirmed cases on Sunday, no further losses


Thai Health Min. inspects screening at southern border checkpoint

Next phases of easing Covid-19 rules possible in Thailand if new cases remain low

Thai Govt. concern about people’s mental health during crisis

Migrant workers affected by COVID-19 in Thailand can claim unemployment benefits

Classes go online as school opening pushed to 1 July in Thailand

Stranded Russian tourist impressed with Thai hospitality

May 16 lottery draw to go ahead in Thailand

Thai Health Min. visits state quarantine for monks