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Update July, 2020


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Update by Thanaphon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
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Thailand resumes normal life while wearing face masks still compulsory

The 5th round of business resumption started on Wednesday and resulted in the restoration of normal life but people still have to protect themselves from possible infection.

People can resume their normal life while wearing face masks and using the Thaichana check-in app after the 5th round of lockdown relaxation, according to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said the 5th round of business resumption started on Wednesday and resulted in the restoration of normal life. He strongly recommended people seriously protect themselves from possible infection because, he said, newly resumed businesses posed high risks of transmitting the coronavirus disease 2019.

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

“People must continue to wear surgical or cloth masks,” he said.

According to him, 32 million people registered to use the Thaichana application for check-ins and checkouts at places and 250,000 shops also use it. Pubs, bars, karaoke shops and soapy massage parlors must register for the app use before reopening.

Dr Taweesin also said that Thailand was among 14 countries from which visitors received a green light from the European Union today. The countries were selected on their COVID-19 situation over the past 14 days, infection trends and disease control, he said. (TNA)


Thailand Anti-Corruption Commission finds Ex-PM Yingluck abusing authority

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and former Secretary-General of the National Security Council,Mr. Thawil Pliensri (inset).

The National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand has found former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra abused her authority in transferring a former secretary-general of the National Security Council.

It will ask the attorney-general to file the case with the Supreme Court.

NACC deputy secretary-general Niwatichai Kasemmongkol said the commission found authority abuse in transferring Thawil Pliensri from NSC to be an advisor to the prime minister in 2011.

According to Mr.Niwatichani, Yingluck ordered the transfer on Sept 4, 2011. The transfer process was completed within four days.

On Oct 4, 2011, the cabinet moved Pol Gen Wichien Potephosree from the national police chief’s post to succeed Mr.Thawil at NSC. On Oct 19, 2011, Yingluck chaired the National Police Policy Board and proposed her relative Pol Gen Preawpan Damapong, then deputy national police chief, to become the new national police chief. The board approved her nomination.

The Supreme Administrative Court ruled on Feb 20, 2014, that the transfer actually demoted Mr.Thawil who had done nothing wrong and Yingluck abused her judgement and violated law in doing so.

On May 7, 2014, the Constitutional Court ruled that Yingluck made the transfer to favor her relative’s promotion at the Royal Thai Police Office.

Mr.Niwatichai said that NACC would ask the attorney-general to file the case with the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions. (TNA)


Thailand remains in Tier 2 for human trafficking efforts

Poramethi Wimonsiri, ermanent secretary for the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

The US 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report kept Thailand in its Tier2 human trafficking list for three consecutive years, said Poramethi Wimonsiri, permanent secretary for the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

The US released the TIP report on June 26, he said. It kept Thailand in Tier 2 for continuing efforts to prevent and suppress all forms of human trafficking.

TIP report annually evaluates 187 countries and territories and ranks them into four tiers (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List, and Tier 3), with Tier 1 being the best and Tier 3 the worst.

The permanent secretary said in the past year, the Thai government and all sectors collaborated to suppress human trafficking and made more tangible progress in enforcing the law and taking legal action against culprits.

In terms of protection and assistance, it developed screening tools to identify human trafficking victims and forced labour vicitms, opened more child protection centers and rehabilitated victims, using the 11- million – baht fund.

To prevent the crime, he said meetings were held to listen to opinions of government sector, NGOs and international organizations to forge cooperation in preventing and suppressing human trafficking.

He added Post-Arrival and Reintegration Centers for Migrant Workers were opened to assist migrant workers, being employed under the MoU system.

They were educated about human trafficking their rights and employment contracts and complaint lodging mechanism. (TNA)


Thailand schools reopen with concerns

Education Minister concerns about poor ventilation in air-conditioned classrooms and the lack of equipment and interactions with teachers through online education.

Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan inspected the reopening of schools and expressed concerns about classroom ventilation and online teaching.

The minister surveyed the atmosphere of schools that reopened on Wednesday after the school term had been delayed by the coronavirus disease 2019.

At Yothinburana School in Bang Sue district, parents sent their children at the front gate and students entered the school in a social distancing manner and had their body temperatures checked. They then washed their hands with alcohol gel and did the morning assembly in front of their classes.

Desks were set one meter apart. The number of students in each class was limited at 20-25 and students and teachers always wore face masks. Half of all 3,300 students at the school were present and the rest studied with online media.

Education Minister Nataphol said he was concerned about poor ventilation in air-conditioned classrooms and the lack of equipment and interactions with teachers through online education.

Regent’s International School also reopened on Wednesday. Only well students were allowed in and disease control measures including shoe-sanitizing mats were in place.

The number of students in each classroom was limited at 13 and class hours were staggered for kindergarteners, pupils and secondary school students. (TNA)


European Union relaxes travel restrictions from 14 countries including Thailand

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

Thailand reported two new cases of Covid-19, who were Thai returnees from Kuwait and tested positive to coronavirus in state quarantine.

Thailand marks 37 consecutive days without local transmission. 

Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said the new cases were Thai workers, aged 47-48 years old.

The total cases were recorded at 3,173. Out of all cases, 3,059 cases fully recovered and 56 coronavirus patients are being treated at hospitals. 

The death toll remains at 58.  

Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has relaxed travel restrictions and approved visitors from 14 countries for EU travel including Thailand.

Other countries are Australia, Canada, Japan, Algeria, Georgia, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. (TNA)


Thai Livestock confirms ‘Swine Flu’ safety

The virus also known as ‘Swine Flu’ had not been detected in Thailand and meat production here is up to international standard and reflected high food safety.

The Livestock Development Department confirms Thai pork is safe and free of the G4 EA H1N1 virus.
Livestock Development Department director-general Sorawit Thanito said that the virus also known as swine flu had not raised a serious concern because it had not been detected in the country and Thai meat production was up to international standard and reflected high food safety.

He dismissed the reports that H1N1 was a flu of pigs. He said the so-called swine influenza had nothing to do with pigs.

According to the director-general, the World Health Organization used the word for the new strain of influenza that spread in 2009. Later WHO renamed it A H1N1 also known as the 2009 influenza. Besides, pig farms in Thailand are of high standard and have efficient disease control systems.

Thailand was the only country in the region that screened out the African Swine Fever which was spreading in many countries and Thai people should not panic about G4 virus reports. (TNA)


Thailand prepares for possible 2nd wave of COVID-19 despite no new infected cases

 

Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

At the Outer Santi Maitri Building, Government House, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the meeting of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), gist of which is as follows:

The Prime Minister ordered CCSA to be prepared for the 2nd wave of disease spread which could possibly occur anytime even though there has been no new infected case in Thailand for over 30 consecutive days. This is especially from July 1, 2020 onward when schools are open and additional businesses/activities will be reopened. People and other concerned sectors are also urged to strictly maintain preventive measures against COVID-19.

The Prime Minister mentioned his attendance at the 36th ASEAN Summit via a video conference, hosted by Vietnam, where he had proposed three paths for actions to advance ASEAN in the post-COVID-19 era, that is, 1) More connected ASEAN; 2) Stronger ASEAN by building strength from within; and 3) Better-immune ASEAN.

The Prime Minister also emphasized that CCSA should set example to the public on adjusting their way of life and thinking to the new normal. He has recently announced the ‘new normal’ ways of working in the way that the government works, which is to make sure all sectors and all levels of society have a greater role in developing the nation’s way forward in the post-COVID era. Representatives of various sectors have been called upon and asked to propose a plan on how they can contribute to helping Thailand make giant strides forward, as well as their vision for their sector and transformative ideas that can transform their sector and improve people’s lives and incomes.

The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the Emergency Decree as a tool for CCSA to administer COVID-19 situation, and affirmed that the Government does not have any hidden agenda in maintaining the Decree. He called for the public to be aware that although there has been no new infected case in Thailand for over 30 consecutive days, the number of COVID-19 infected cases in several countries across the globe has continuously risen.

The Prime Minister also thanked all concerned sectors and the people for their collective effort in successfully curbing and fighting against spread of the disease. The ASEAN leaders have come to terms on the establishment of the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund to support research and development in medicines and vaccines, to which Thailand has contributed USD 100,000. He also ordered the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) to expedite deliberation of plans and projects for economic and social remedy and rehabilitation, taking into account the country’s post-COVID direction and goal, e.g., regional medical hub, global food supply, eco-friendly tourism, etc.

With regard to the easing of entry of foreign nationals to the Kingdom, the Prime Minister assigned the Operation Centre for Measures on the Entry into and Departure from the Kingdom and the Protection of Thai Nationals Abroad to work together with other concerned agencies in preparing plans, measures, and priorities for the easing of entry into and departure from the Kingdom. Security units must continue to strictly implement screening process. Measures to be deliberated by Ministry of Foreign Affairs include: 1) expansion of groups of foreign nationals who will be allowed to entry into the Kingdom; 2) special arrangement with other countries; 3) guideline for the entry of foreign business people; and 4) criteria for the entry of Government’s guests.  (Thaigov.go.th)


Bangkok relaxes subway social distancing rules

,

The easing of social distancing measures is to serve high passenger volume as the new school semester started on Wednesday.

MRT subway has eased social distancing rules on board to make all seats available for an increase of passenger volume. 

Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company Limited (BEM), the operator of MRT and the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) said that the easing of social distancing measures is to serve high passenger volume as the new school semester started on Wednesday.

Trains are now allowed to accommodate 70 percent passengers of its total capacity and passengers are asked to comply with the disease control measures by checking in and out via Thai Chana QR code and refraining from talking while riding the trains.

Marks on the floor indicate the distance commuters need to keep apart and the directions they should face.

Moreover, they are asked to wear masks at all times, to maintain at least one meter distance at stations and to have their body temperature checked at the entrances.  (TNA)


Thailand phase 5 lockdown easing, nightlife reopening begins today

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Thailand is moving to phase five of lockdown easing on Wednesday, allowing reopening of nearly all business activities, but emergency decree is extended for another month.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) regarding the next phase of reopening and emergency decree extension.

The fifth phase of the relaxing of restrictions will see entertainment venues and nightlife services including pubs, bars and massage parlors resuming their operations under some disease control guidelines.

More groups of foreigners will be allowed to enter the kingdom, the government said in its statement.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha government has declared state of emergency since late March.  The administration maintains that the executive decree is still necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

As the coronavirus pandemic is far from over in many parts of the world, the government needs legal tools to reduce the risk of a second wave of the pandemic, according to the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet formally approved the extension of the emergency decree nationwide for another month, until July 31, as recommended by the CCSA and the National Security Council.(TNA

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) regarding the next phase of reopening and emergency decree extension.


World Bank projects Thai economy to shrink 5% this year

Birgit Hansl, the World Bank Country Manager for Thailand.

The World Bank projected Thai economy to shrink by at least five per cent this year and an estimated 8.3 million workers could lose their jobs or income.

Birgit Hansl, the World Bank Country Manager for Thailand disclosed the World Bank report on Thai economy, saying due to the impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic, it downgraded the economic forecast for Thailand in 2020 to a contraction of 5% from its earlier projection of 2.9 % expansion last year.

Thai GDP is forecasted to grow 4.1% in 2021 and 3.6 % in 2022, it said.

The coronavirus lockdown led to layoffs and unemployment despite the government issued relief measures for affected individuals and SME businesses. 

Thai economy has been affected by the world economic downturn. Contraction in world trade has an impact on Thai exports and the manufacturing sector particularly electronic and auto parts. 

Travel restrictions to control the spread of the disease have affected service sectors and retailers, which could be seen in a 12 % drop of sales in the first quarter of this year. 

An estimated 8.3 million workers will likely lose their jobs or income because of the Covid-19 crisis, particularly in tourism. The impact on household welfare is also likely to be severe. (TNA)


Thailand sets 50-billion-baht fund to help 700,000 small and medium businesses

Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, has directed the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) to boost liquidity to help small businesses with low interest rate loans.

To give small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) easier access to financial resources after experiencing difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Somkid Jatusripitak, has directed the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP) to boost liquidity to help small businesses in particular.

In response to Dr. Somkid’s orders, the OSMEP will submit a proposal to the cabinet on July 7, requesting a 50-billion-baht budget to set up a fund to help some 700,000 SMEs. The government will allocate another 50 billion baht to help struggling businesses.

"The first thing that the OSMEP has to focus on is improving liquidity, so that they’re able to access loans from banks. This is important. But if you say that there’s adequate liquidity, does it mean that you have a lower standard First take 100,000 to improve liquidity. However, I want more flexibility. If they can get the cabinet to approve the 50-billion-baht budget, I think the amount will be 50 billion plus 50 billion. The money will come out in separate tranches to ensure its effectiveness," said the Deputy Prime Minister.

The OSMEP Director, Dr. Veerapong Malai, said the OSMEP fund will be able to aid businesses a month after receiving approval from Cabinet. The OSMEP will lay down loan conditions, while state-run banks will grant loans to qualified SMEs with a good debt repayment history. For instance, they must not miss or delay payments for more than four installments.

The financial aid will be divided into two parts of 100,000 baht and 1 million baht, with an interest rate of 1 percent per year. The loan term is 10 years, with suspension of principal and interest payments for the first six months.

The OSMEP will also support entrepreneurs, who wish to access the government’s procurement and employment market, which was valued at 1.3 trillion-baht last year. The market has increased 30 percent, and it will help entrepreneurs generate at least 400 billion baht in income. The measure is expected to be finalized this September or October.(NNT)


Thai Prime Minister focuses on farmers, small businesses strength to get through crisis

 

Prime Minister, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha promoted activities to help farmers and small businesses.

Thai Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has promoted several activities to help farmers and individual businesses, expressing his regard for all groups of people.

Prior to the Cabinet’s meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut viewed an exhibition on prolonging the shelf life of local OTOP delicacies, presented by the Minister of the Interior and ministerial executives.

He then observed a promotional exhibition of a campaign by a retail company Siam Piwat, offering free retail spaces to persons affected by the COVID-19 economic fallout, including farmers and small businesses, to enable them to sell their items at special events at Siam Paragon and Iconsiam shopping malls.

The Prime Minister also helped promote a similar retail event held by Central Group, and thanked the private sector for lending a hand in helping to take care of the general public.

He said the government is concerned with COVID-19’s impact on lower-income earners, and hopes to see collective assistance given to the farming sector from manufacturing to processing, as well as the promotion of New Normal tourism that can help local communities generate income. (NNT)


Chiang Mai ‘Walking Street’ reopens Sunday night

Vendors offering foods, handicrafts and traditional goodies revived the lively scenes of Ratchadamnoen Road walking street Sunday evening.

A Sunday walking street in Chiang Mai has returned to life after the COVID-19 control measures have been eased.

Vendors offering foods, handicrafts and traditional goodies revived the lively scenes of Ratchadamnoen Road walking street Sunday evening.

The famous Sunday night Chiang Mai Walking Street imposed measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including fever check and social distancing rule.

As the new school semester begins on Wednesday, more shoppers from other provinces visited the walking street looking for school supplies. (TNA)

The famous Sunday night Chiang Mai Walking Street imposed measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including fever check and social distancing rule.


Thailand controls prices of school uniforms to ease parents’ expenses

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit.

The Ministry of Commerce has cooperated with manufacturers of school uniforms and school supplies to reduce product prices to ease parents’ expenses during the economic recession caused by COVID-19.

The latest ‘Back to School’ campaign is aimed at reducing the cost of living at the start of the new semester which begins on July 1. Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, said today the Ministry of Commerce has coordinated with the manufacturers of school uniforms and school supplies, to help reduce their product prices. The products will be sold at department stores nationwide. The campaign offers a discount of up to 80 percent on many items.

The activity will continue until July 15th, 2020, in order to help relieve the burden facing about 10.4 million parents. It is expected to help reduce the financial outlay of parents in Thailand, by at least one billion baht in total.


Indian man arrested in Chiang Mai on ATM and creditcard skimming charges

 

Chiang Mai police revealed that the Indian visitor had stolen up to 500,000 baht after arriving in Thailand six months ago.

An Indian man has been arrested in Thailand’s Chiang Mai city on charges of electronic card skimming.

The 36-year-old man was caught at a hotel room in the northern city where police found several fake and stolen ATM and credit cards.

He told police that he had stolen up to 500,000 baht after arriving in Thailand six months ago.

Police said they would continue to investigate into the crime to find out the man’s overseas connection as well as past cash withdrawals suspected of ATM skimming. (TNA) 


Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharat party gets new leader

General Prawit Wongsuwan (on screen), currently one of five deputy prime ministers of Thailand, has replaced Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana as the Palang Pracharat party leader.

General Prawit Wongsuwan, at 74, has become the official leader of the ruling Palang Pracharat Party, receiving unanimous support at the party’s general meeting yesterday (June 27th).

General Prawit, currently one of five deputy prime ministers of Thailand, has replaced Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana as the Palang Pracharat party leader. Meanwhile, Anucha Nakasai has replaced Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong as the party’s Secretary-General. The party chose Bunsing Warinrak as the new party registrar and Narumon Pinyosinwat as the new party treasurer.

General Prawit was absent from the meeting but he sent a video clip, thanking the party members and executives for their support. The new party leader announced that he would lead the party to strength and confidence, focusing on serving the public.

The Palang Pracharat Party has decided to change its logo and relocate its head office. The new party leader has the power to choose nine deputy leaders of the party, who are expected to be appointed soon. (NNT)


Households in Bangkok receive bags of relief supplies

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, Jurin Laksanawisit.

The Ministry of Commerce has delivered bags of relief supplies to people affected by "COVID-19", creating smiles and happiness among the people who received the goods.

Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce, delivered 5,000 bags of supplies and bags of relief supplies for mothers and children, to more than 300 households in Bangkok Noi and neighboring areas to alleviate people’s suffering during the COVID-19 situation. The activity was supported by the private sector.

People who received the bags were happy and grateful to the government for helping them at this difficult time when families can’t earn enough to cover daily expenses.

Each bag contained consumer goods urgently needed by people in the various areas to alleviate their suffering. Though the COVID-19 situation in Thailand has begun to improve, the economic situation has not improved much. (NNT)


Over 3,000 Bangkok traffic police officers on duty for first day of school

 

Pol Maj Gen Jirasan Kaewsaengek, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau said traffic police are on standby for traffic management on the first day of the new school term.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau has planned to deploy about 3,000 police officers to manage traffic congestion on the first day of the new school semester on Wednesday. 

Pol Maj Gen Jirasan Kaewsaengek, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau said traffic police have been put on standby for traffic management on the first day of the new school term.

They will direct traffic outside schools to improve traffic flow during the Covid-19 situation when schools will measure body temperature of students before entering the premises. 

Police told schools to set screening checkpoints inside the schools instead of at the school entrances or outside the gates to prevent traffic congestion.  Parents were advised to leave home early due to possible traffic delays.  

School van operators were instructed to maintain disease control measures by having students wear masks, cleaning passenger room and providing hand sanitizers to students.

If they ignore hygiene standard, the police can inform the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to consider measures against them such as warning or suspension of the operations. (TNA


Thailand extended ‘Emergency Decree’ for international travel control

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

The government needed to continuously impose the executive decree on public administration in emergency situations for swift disease control, according to a spokesman.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said the government had to maintain the executive decree imposition for another month because it had stronger disease control effects covering international travel, the monitoring of at-risk people, disease surveillance, the opening and closure of businesses and activities and swift and united efforts to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“The 5th round of business/activity resumption covers all categories of business and activities so that people can resume normal life. The emergency decree is partly imposed and does not limit people’s rights. However, everyone must protect and take good care of themselves,” the CCSA spokesman said.

Dr Taweesin said that CCSA continued to restrict flights by maintaining its authority to give a green light to every flight.

He added that if the COVID-19 situation further improved, press conferences on it would be on Mondays and Thursdays. (TNA)


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 29 June 2020, 11.30 Hrs. (TAT)

 


Thailand next restrictions easing plan focuses on 2nd wave spread prevention

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

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) will disclose details of the easing of Phase 5 restrictions, due to begin on July 1, while stressing the need for effective disease control measures to prevent a second wave.

The CCSA Spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said the CCSA will be holding a major meeting on Monday to finalize the details of further restriction easing in Phase 5, which may allow businesses such as pubs, bars, karaoke venues, gaming centers, internet cafes, and soapy massage parlors to reopen.

Addressing criticism of remaining restrictions in Phase 5 being too stringent as the situation in the country has already improved, the CCSA spokesman said there is a possibility of new locally transmitted cases, albeit no such case has been reported for 32 consecutive days.

He pointed out an example in China, where no locally transmitted cases were reported for 50 days, however, a second wave of infections eventually came.

On Monday the CCSA will consider measures related to international arrivals; the State of Emergency extension by one month; the reopening of schools in border areas, and the easing of some social distancing measures on public transport. It’s likely passengers will be allowed to sit in any of the seats on metro trains which are now blocked. However, passengers must stand 1 foot away from one another, and wear face coverings. (NNT)


Thailand promotes domestic eggs consumption to offset over supply

Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit.

The Ministry of Commerce continues to tackle low chicken egg pricing by promoting more domestic consumption, and providing a special subsidy for exports, in an effort to help affected farmers.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit has disclosed that the market is now seeing an oversupply of chicken eggs beyond consumer demand, with farms across the country producing 40-41 million eggs daily, exceeding the national demand of 38-39 million eggs per day.

The Ministry of Commerce is now encouraging the general public to consume more chicken eggs. The ministry will also help farmers distribute eggs at the special price of 2 baht each, in the 4th round of the ministry’s nationwide trade events, along with many discounted grocery items.

The ministry is providing a subsidy at 0.25 baht per egg for egg exports to help reduce the oversupply. This subsidy will be provided to exporters until the egg price rises to 3 baht each, which is considered a fair price for both egg farmers and consumers.

The current chicken egg price of about 2 baht each, is due to the recent oversupply. (NNT)


Thailand theme park ‘Dream World’ reopens

Theme parks are among businesses that are now allowed to operate under the government’s disease control measures to build confidence among visitors.

Dream World theme park reopened to the public on Saturday after being closed for three months under COVID-19 lockdown measures. A large number of visitors arrived on the first day and measures were in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission. Park visitors are asked to wear face masks at all times within the park areas.

Dream World theme park was able to reopen after measures restricting some businesses to control the COVID-19 situation were eased on June 15. Theme parks are among businesses that are now allowed to operate but are required to comply with the government’s disease control measures to build confidence among visitors. The Dream World theme park can accommodate a maximum of 7,500 people per day.

Entrances are equipped with thermo-scanners to measure all visitors’ body temperature. The staff attach a sticker to each visitor who passes the screening process.

All visitors are required to wash their hands with alcohol gel before using any plaything. There are also posters that provide instructions on accessing theme park services at various spots. Visitors are also asked to maintain social distancing within the park of at least one meter for safety and to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 resurgence. (NNT)


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 28 June 2020, 11.30 Hrs. (TAT)


Thailand extension of emergency decree necessary for inbound travel screening

The National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General, Gen. Somsak Rungsita.

The National Security Council (NSC) insists that the emergency decree has to remain in force for another month, as the country may see a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in this perilous time.

The NSC Secretary-General, Gen. Somsak Rungsita, said on Thursday that an NSC meeting had approved a one-month extension of the emergency decree because the fifth phase of lockdown easing will affect venues, which are at high risk of COVID-19 transmissions. The meeting expressed concern for the elderly and children. With many schools set to reopen in July, gatherings of students and their guardians are expected. If the decree is lifted, it will be difficult for the authorities to effectively implement disease control measures and screen people entering the country. The extension is not related to political issues, and will not affect people’s way of life.

Gen. Somsak said the extension will help build confidence, with more activities and businesses set to resume after the next phase of eased restrictions. The global situation has not completely improved. The lifting of the emergency decree can be proposed any time, but if another wave is imminent, more stringent measures will be taken. Live sporting events can only be broadcast at this time.

The security official said the travel bubble plan can’t happen yet, but entrepreneurs, who plan to visit Thailand, must consider if their business activities can actually stimulate the economy. They have to undergo a health check-up before entering the country. There are limits on the types of businesses and the number of entrepreneurs, and the authorities must be able to locate them at all times when they are in Thailand.

The NSC meeting’s resolutions will be submitted to the cabinet and the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for consideration next Monday (June 29), before the decree’s extension is declared the following day. (NNT)


Bangkok Chao Phraya Sky Park opens to public

The elevated Chao Phraya Skypark spans 280 meters over the Chao Phraya River, linking Khlong San district on the Bangkok side of the river and Phra Nakhon district on Thonburi side.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has officially opened Chao Phraya Sky Park, the country’s first park over a river, to the public.

The elevated Chao Phraya Skypark spans 280 meters over the Chao Phraya River, linking Khlong San district on the Bangkok side of the river and Phra Nakhon district on Thonburi side.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha who presided over the opening ceremony on Wednesday said he encouraged river tourism promotion.

Running along Phra Pok Klao Bridge, the elevate park was developed on a bridge of the country's first elevated railway project, which was abandoned nearly three decades ago.

There were only old columns and beams across the river left over from the incomplete Skytrain project of Canada's Laval in International Co.

The BMA has allocated 123 million baht for landscaping the 280-metre-long and 8.5-metre-wide structure.  It features ramps, elevators, viewpoints, rest areas and various levels of paths for pedestrians and cyclists. (TNA)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening ceremony on Wednesday and urged Thai people to be involved more in river tourism and conservation.


Thailand prepares schools ahead of July 1 opening

Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Krengyos Sudlapa inspected Wat Phraya Siri Aiya Sawan School in Bang Phlat district.

Local authorities and education agencies are now checking schools’ preparedness to implement COVID-19 precautionary measures, during the new school year starting on 1st July to ensure the health and safety of students.

In Bangkok, a Deputy Governor of Bangkok, Krengyos Sudlapa inspected Wat Phraya Siri Aiya Sawan School in Bang Phlat district, which is a small 100-student school in the northern Thonburi side of Bangkok, providing classes from Kindergarten Year 1 to Primary Year 6.

The school director Sayaporn Kraiserm said the school has prepared measures which will be implemented from day one, by allowing only parents to send off their children at the school’s gate, temperature screening of all students, arranging tables in classrooms in a staggered layout, with partitions and name labels attached to each table. Students will need to provide their own personal stationery.

Nap time for young students will still be offered, but the bedding will be placed with a safe distance between each child.

Deputy Governor Krengyos is satisfied with the school’s preparedness, and has urged the school to constantly promote good hygiene practices including frequent hand washing and the wearing of face masks among young children, adding that young children may switch to wearing a face shield instead temporarily, if they are not comfortable with a mask.

Moving to Saraburi, officials from Wihan Daeng Subdistrict Municipality and a local nursery, dressed up in hero costumes and made house visits to meet children and their parents at home, providing them with preparations for the new school year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as exercises for children to practice before their school’s reopening.

The Young Children’s Development Center in Wihan Daeng provides daytime care for pre-school children, considered a population group susceptible to COVID-19 infection.(NNT)


Tourism industry rolls out ‘Thailand Sure 2020’ health safety certification

 The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) has partnered with the Tourism Council of Thailand to introduce the Thailand Sure 2020 symbol.

Domestic tourism has restarted since the Phase 4 easing of restrictions took place in Thailand, with attractions now starting to see many guests. Some people however, are still concerned about the potential spread of COVID-19. To alleviate this concern and promote domestic tourism, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) has partnered with the Tourism Council of Thailand to introduce the Thailand Sure 2020 symbol, provided to tourism businesses certified for their health and safety measures.

The Thailand Sure 2020 symbol will be given to attractions, accommodation, shops, and restaurants, as well as transport providers proven to have implemented effective safety, health, hygiene, and management measures, to serve as a safety guarantee for domestic travelers.

In addition, the OSMEP will be holding an SME Regular Level 2020 workshop, promoting the growth of businesses and providing consultation for some 300 tourism businesses.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, said the tourism sector has started to recover after hitting rock bottom. The TAT is focusing on the promotion of domestic tourism in the first year after the outbreak, attracting regular international Thai travellers, who in total spend some 440 billion baht each year, to make domestic trips. It is expected this strategy should generate no less than 300 billion-baht cashflow for the domestic tourism industries.

Meanwhile, the government’s domestic tourism promotion campaign, introduced with discounts of up to 40 percent on hotel stays as well as transportation discounts, will now have to be reviewed and approved by the Cabinet, but is expected to be relaunched early next month.(NNT)


Thailand to celebrate ‘Asalha Bucha Day’ and ‘Buddhist Lent’ in July with precautions

Monks are advised to wear a face mask and suitable protection every time they go out of the temples, keep the temples regularly sanitized, and must screen visitors for symptoms in and out.

For the approaching Buddhist Lent this year, the Sangha Supreme Council is allowing temples to hold religious ceremonies as normal, while the Ministry of Public Health still encourages temples to hold religions activities with precautionary measures against COVID-19.

For this year’s Buddhist Lent, the Department of Medical Services Dr Weerawut Imsamran has encouraged monks to receive a physical check-up and self-isolate for 14 days to ensure no potential transmission of COVID-19 in the monastery or to temple goers. Temples should be regularly sanitized, and screen visitors for symptoms. Monks are advised to wear a face mask every time they go outside, and see a doctor if they have any flu-like symptoms, such as a cough, fever, sneezes, or a runny nose.

Temple goers are encouraged to keep their guard up and continue practicing precautionary measures, by ensuring they don’t carry the virus into temples where monks have to spend their entire time during Buddhist Lent.

The Ministry of Public Health has prepared a special health unit to serve Buddhist monks, and will provide first aid training to monks volunteering for public health works.

The Sangha Supreme Council’s Office of the Secretary General Director Saroj Kansirisilp, says that following the de-escalation of the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand, the Sangha Supreme Council has now allowed temples across the country to resume arranging religious activities, with precautionary health measures to prevent COVID-19 being implemented.

At religious events, temples should check the temperature of participants, arrange seating with sufficient spacing in between, and require the wearing of face coverings.

Temples across the country will be celebrating the Asalha Bucha Day on July 5, followed by the beginning of Buddhist Lent on July 6. Temples are allowed to arrange religious activities such as a candlelight procession ceremony, and monk ordinations.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, said that the government has declared the beginning of Buddhist Lent Day a National No Alcohol Day. This year, an event will be held where a village health volunteer will be inviting at least three of their family members to make a pledge of 3-months sobriety during Buddhist Lent, either online or on an application. (NNT)

 

Temples across the country will be celebrating the Asalha Bucha Day on July 5, followed by the beginning of Buddhist Lent on July 6.

Thai government declares the beginning of Buddhist Lent Day a National No Alcohol Day.


Thailand approves 3.3-million-baht aid to UN COVID-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund

Deputy Government Spokeswoman, Dr. Ratchada Thanadirek.

A meeting of cabinet ministers, resolved to extend financial assistance of 3.3-million-baht to the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN COVID-19 MPTF).

The Deputy Government Spokeswoman, Dr. Ratchada Thanadirek, said that the cabinet meeting agreed with a proposal to draft an agreement with the UN COVID-19 MPTF, an inter-agency finance mechanism to support low- and middle-income program countries in overcoming a health and development crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund’s financial requirements are projected at 2 billion dollars US, and be established for a period of two years, or until April 2022. An agreement will be signed by the UN Development Program (UNDP) to ensure transparency in the utilization of the funds. The cabinet agreed that the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Thailand to the United Nations in New York, will sign the agreement, on behalf of Thailand.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the financial assistance of 100,000 US dollars, or about 3.3 million baht, to the UN COVID-19 MPTF, using the ministry’s budget for fiscal year 2020. This is to highlight Thailand’s cooperation with the UN in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, and the country’s efforts to achieve sustainable development, without leaving anyone behind.

Other nations that have contributed funds to the UN COVID-19 MPTF include the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland and Slovakia. (NNT)


Thailand, Sweden to collaborate in health, trade, investment and student exchanges

H.E. Mr. Staffan Herrström, Ambassador of Sweden to Thailand (left), and Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha (right).

H.E. Mr. Staffan Herrström, Ambassador of Sweden to Thailand paid a courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister at Government House, praising Thailand for effective control of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Government Spokeswoman Naruemol Pinyosinwat said that the ambassador paid a courtesy call to Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha to bid farewell at the end of her tenure.

Gen Prayut thanked him for his important role in strengthening relations between the two countries. Swedish ambassador thanked the Thai government for supporting him and hoped the two countries would have more cooperation in trade, investment and student exchanges.

Gen Prayut said he hoped that after the Coivd-19 situation eases, both countries will cooperate more in investment, tourism and public health. 

Thailand is ready to exchange experience in management of coronavirus pandemic and work with Sweden in researches and vaccine development. 

Both sides also discussed the post-coronavirus economic recovery plan. 

Thailand invited Swedish private sector to invest more in Thailand, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in the areas of their expertise such as the circular economy, sustainable development and human resource development.  (TNA)


Thailand plans for national motorway-railway grid

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob.

The Transport Ministry plans a national grid of motorways and railways that will be developed in parallel with each other on north-south and east-west directions.

Transport authorities discussed the project in a meeting chaired by Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob. The project was aimed at facilitating the development of new urban areas.

It includes three north-south routes with a combined distance of 2,610 kilometers. They are on Chiang Rai-Songkhla, Nong Khai-Lam Chabang and Bung Kan-Surin routes.

Five routes were designed for east-west directions, on Tak-Nakhon Phanom, Tak-Ubon Ratchathani, Kanchanaburi-Sa Kaeo, Kanchanaburi-Trat and Phuket-Surat Thani routes.

Minister Saksayam said he would propose the project to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha after the cabinet meeting next week.

In the meeting, senior transport officials said that the government should co-invest with the private sector because the project would be costly. They also warned the government to prevent duplication with some old railway project such as the Den Chai-Chiang Rai-Chiang Khong railway project.

The master plan of the project was expected to be done in a year.


Thailand reopens pubs, bars, karaoke until midnight; soapy massage, bathing allowed

Nightlife entertainment will have to cooperate with ‘new normal’ health precautionary measures that each venue will put in place for the safety of both customers and workers.

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration plans to permit the reopening of pubs, bars, karaoke shops and soapy massage parlors on July 1.

CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said a working group of the center finished its draft for the resumption of five categories of business and activities. It covers schools, malls, service parlors, game and internet shops and soapy massage parlors. CCSA would consider the draft and the resumption was expected on July 1.

He said all business and activities to resume would have to use the Thaichana application to record customers to ensure traceability. Staff who are ill must report to concerned officials for disease investigation. Online reservations will be applied to help control diseases.

Pubs, bars, karaoke shops and entertainment venues will be allowed to open daily until midnight. Customers must be at least one meter apart. The numbers of customers will be limited to ensure each will have four square meters of space.

Customers will be prohibited from mingling, dancing far from their tables or seats or sharing containers. Their groups will be limited at five people each. Tables will be two meters apart or be separated with 1.5-meter-high partitions. Sales campaigns will be banned. Operators must keep CCTV footage for at least one month to support disease probes.

At soapy massage parlors, people must wear face masks and be one meter apart except during bathing. Everyone must use the Thaichana app for check-ins and checkouts. Staff will be tested for COVID-19 at times. (TNA)

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


Thai Prime Minister worries 2nd wave spread at entertainment venues after easing

Prime Minister, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha.

At the Inner Santi Maitri Building, Government House, following the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha disclosed that he is scheduled to attend the 36th ASEAN Summit and other related summits, hosted by Socialist Republic of Vietnam, via a video conference on June 26, 2020.

He also emphasized the importance for Thai people to keep guards up against COVID-19 even though Thailand enjoys 29 consecutive free days from new COVID-19 infection. The Government understands the plight of employers and employees in all sectors, but certain businesses, especially entertainment places, are considered high risk, and additional measures other than those of the Government’s, have to be decided and implemented to prevent the 2nd wave of disease spread. The lockdown has now been eased for domestic tourism, but entry of foreign tourists will have to be carefully deliberated.

The Prime Minister also called on both public, private, and business sectors to continue with the work from home measure in a bid to prevent spread of COVID-19, and alleviate morning traffic congestion, particularly when school term starts.

He disclosed that extension of the Emergency Decree will be impartially decided by Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration with no political agenda involved. The Government would also consider relaxing lockdown of additional businesses/activities to further mitigate people’s plights. The Prime Minister is also planning to take field visits to other provinces to follow up on various Government’s implementation progress once the COVID-19 situation eases.


Thailand extension of ‘Emergency Decree’ inconclusive

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The Thai Cabinet has assessed the pandemic situation including the progress of COVID-19 vaccine trials in the country.

In its weekly meeting on Tuesday, the Cabinet acknowledged the vaccine development in the country that could see a clinical trial in humans as early as October.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said that the government gave a full support to vaccine research and development.

He also said that the ministers discussed ‘travel bubble’ proposals, a plan to boost the tourism industry.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

Many countries wanted to join Thailand’s travel bubble plan to mutually reboot tourism industries, he said.  The ministers considered conditions for cooperation in pairing with other countries to create travel bubbles.

On the possibility of an extension of the emergency decree which has been imposed since late March, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha did not give a clear answer saying his government intended to ease as many restitutions as it could.

Anutin hinted that the government’s COVID-19 task force on Friday would discuss extension of the emergency decree which has been enact since late March. (TNA)


Thailand confirmed 5 returnees from Egypt and Qatar new COVID-19 cases

The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration report.

Dr Panprapa Yongtrakul, assistant spokesperson of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said that two infected returnees arrived in Thailand on June 9 and were brought to state quarantine facilities in Chonburi province.

They tested negative in the first test on June 13 but positive in the second round on June 20. They did not show a symptom. One of them is a 31-year-old male student who returned from Cairo and the other was a 22-year-old maid.

Three new cases returned from Qatar on June 16 and were quarantined in Chon Buri. They tested positive for COVID-19 on June 21 while being asymptomatic.

One of them is a 31-year-old woman, another is a man aged 22 who was a masseur at a spa and the other is a 52-year-old man who was a crane driver.     

The accumulated number of COVID-19 cases in the country stood at 3,156, 3,023 of whom recovered and 75 remained at hospitals. The death toll was unchanged at 58. (TNA)


Thailand ready for new school term in classes and online on July 1

Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) secretary-general, Amnat Wichayanuwat.

About 21,000 schools are 100% ready for their new term that will begin on July 1 while about 5,000 schools will also apply remote education, according to the Office of Basic Education Commission.

OBEC secretary-general Amnat Wichayanuwat said 21,000 schools were 100% ready to comply with disease control measures instructed by the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

5,000 other schools were large and included primary and secondary students. They would stagger the days of classes for different groups of students, broadcast educational programs and apply online education, he said.

Mr Amnat said any student suspected of contracting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) would be sent to the Public Health Ministry's facility right away without being placed in a school sick room in order to prevent transmission. Besides, that school would have to close and turn to broadcast and online educational programs, he said. (TNA)


Geographical indications (GI) registration adds higher value to Thai products

Shallots and garlic in Si Sa Ket province were known for their unique flavors and scents as they are grown in the land and weather conditions with the long-standing cultivation techniques of local farmers.

Deputy Commerce Minister Weerasak Wangsuphakijkosol expected higher value for shallots and garlic in Si Sa Ket province because the products’ geographical indications (GI) were registered.

Mr Weerasak said the Department of Intellectual Property announced the GI registration for shallots and garlic of the northeastern province on June 18.

Si Sa Ket’s shallots and garlic were outstanding for their unique flavors and scents thanks to the land and weather conditions of the province and the long-standing cultivation techniques of local farmers, he said.

Thailand has 126 products from 76 provinces with GI registration. The Department of Intellectual Property would promote garlic and shallots of Si Sa Ket locally and internationally and develop quality control systems for the products to boost communities’ income in a sustainable manner, Mr Weerasak said. (TNA)


Non-formal school continues in Yasothon, northeastern Thailand

Mrs. Kanokwan Wilawan, Deputy Minister of Education (center).

The Deputy Minister of Education has praised a Non-Formal school in Yasothon province that has managed to continue studies amid the COVID-19 outbreak

Mrs. Kanokwan Wilawan, Deputy Minister of Education visited Yasothon recently to observe Non-Formal educational schools and the private education system. During the visit, the Deputy Minister lauded teachers, school staff, and students for conducting educational programs during the COVID-19 situation. The non-formal education system in Yasothon has managed to continue teaching students of various ages, to create products and train for professional careers.

Non-formal education schools’ role is to provide an education for any interested persons. They can study at these schools at any age without limitation. This kind of education answers a wide range of desires of the students, from improving their skills to simply spending quality time in retirement.(NNT)


Thailand ‘Business Bubble’ travel scheme for EEC investment

The EEC Policy Committee meeting discussed a proposal to allow businesspersons from certain countries to enter Thailand.

The Eastern Economic Corridor Policy Committee will be proposing to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration this week a scheme to allow international travel by businesspersons from selected countries, in order to continue investment activities in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) which is important in driving the country’s economy.

The EEC Policy Committee meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, discussed a proposal to allow businesspersons from certain countries to enter Thailand.

The EEC Policy Committee has previously discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Health the so-called Business Bubble model, to reopen the country to visitors travelling for business and investment purposes, especially investors in the EEC, as well as technicians and specialized workers. The move follows requests from international companies and organizations including the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the Japan External Trade Organization, and South Korean companies.

Under this proposal, foreigners allowed to enter the country must consent to a compulsory 14-day quarantine, but will be allowed to conduct businesses and sign documents from their place of quarantine. They must also fulfill pre-travel requirements which may include a COVID-19 test, obtain a Fit-to-Fly certificate, and must hold an eligible travel insurance package.

The ECC office will be submitting the Business Bubble proposal to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration this week, along with guidelines on the registration of additional Alternative State Quarantine facilities in the EEC area. (NNT)


Bangkok schools set COVID-19 guidelines for July opening

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) Spokesman, Pol Maj Pongsakorn Kwanmuang.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has prepared COVID-19 guidelines for its 473 public schools, aiming to allow as many students as possible to return to school on 1st July with COVID-19 prevention measures in place.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) Spokesman Pol Maj Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, has announced that City Hall has decided to go ahead with a 1st July opening of public schools under the BMA’s supervision, with classes to be held at school as much as possible.

Precautionary measures will be taken at schools to prevent another outbreak of COVID-19, including social distancing and temperature screening on entry, while gathering activities such as the morning assembly will be suspended.

At about 92-120 schools, class schedules will be staggered, with the first period, lunch break, and last period in some classrooms altered to prevent crowding.

Classes for young students from Kindergarten to Primary Year 3 will be held entirely at school, while some classes for older students from Primary Year 4 to Secondary Year 6, may implement online and remote learning. All classes will be held at schools should the situation improve after a month of being open.

BMA schools will implement the same disease control protocol as used for the hand, foot, and mouth disease outbreak, for COVID-19. A classroom will be closed if a student is found to be infected, while an entire school level will be closed should more than one student in different classrooms of the same level be infected. The entire school will be closed if students from different school levels are found to be infected.

The BMA is working with prestigious schools to produce education materials, following an initiative from the Prime Minister to allow students at public schools to receive a quality level education.

In this campaign, Triam Udom Suksa School will help produce materials for Physics; Srinakharinwirot University Prasarnmit Demonstration School will help produce material in both Thai and English; Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School for Chemicals; Mahidol Wittayanusorn School for Science and Technology, and Mathematics; Debsirin School for Biology; Suankularb Wittayalai School for Mathematics, and Shrewsbury International School for English.(NNT)


Thailand aims to start COVID-19 vaccine human trials in October

A study of a COVID-19 vaccine prototype in monkeys has been successful, according to the NRCT.

A trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in monkeys has been successful, with the subjects showing higher immune responses. Researchers are now gearing up for human clinical trials in October, with production starting in mid-2021.

A study of a COVID-19 vaccine prototype in monkeys, performed by the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and Chulalongkorn University’s National Primate Research Center of Thailand, has been successful, according to the NRCT.

This experimental mRNA vaccine had first been successfully tested in rats, while the tests in monkeys started on 23 May.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, Suvit Maesincee, said all the monkeys that received the vaccine show no negative side effects, while their blood tests show a satisfactory level of the antibody triggered by the vaccine.

The monkeys, at the National Primate Research Center, have been injected with the vaccine once. Researchers will today administer the second dose for further study. Should all go well, the clinical trial of this vaccine candidate in humans can begin in October and November this year.

The NRCT Secretary General Dr. Sirirurg Songsivilai said the monkeys will be tested periodically for their immune responses after receiving the second dose of vaccine, with their antibody level expected to increase over the next two weeks, while the third dose will be administered in August.

He said this research project is now progressing on track, with the target to start producing a viable COVID-19 vaccine in Thailand in mid-2021.

The National Primate Research Center Director Suchinda Malaivijitnond said the experimental vaccine has shown no negative side effects in recipient monkeys, with no fever, or symptoms in the neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory or digestive systems. The monkeys are showing normal behaviour, which is a good sign that this vaccine prototype would be safe for use in humans.

She said this project shows the world-class capabilities of vaccine researchers and development projects in Thailand. (NNT)


Thailand tourism rebounds as attractions reopen

Domestic tourism attractions have become lively after the lockdown easing with precautionary measures to prevent COVID-19 in place.

With inter-provincial travel restrictions eased since earlier this month, many people have paid visits to domestic tourism attractions, bringing back lively excursions, with precautionary measures to prevent COVID-19 in place.

Last weekend at Khao Kho in Phetchabun, many people visited the mountain to enjoy the scenery and cool breeze, despite being outside the peak tourism season.

Khao Kho district has enforced measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, by providing alcohol gel dispensers or hand washing sinks at tourism attractions, screening visitors for fever or any suspicious symptoms, and requiring all visitors to wear a face mask. Those who fail to wear a mask can be fined up to 20,000 baht.

Most of the visitors travelled in groups with family or friends, making visits to famous attractions such as Wat Phra Thart Pha Sorn Kaew, Khao Kho Post Office observation point, Kanchanapisek Pagoda, and the Windmill Field, as well as trendy restaurants and cafes. Some of the attractions such as Khao Kho Royal Palace are still closed.

Moving to the eastern region, Khao Kheow Open Zoo in Chonburi reopened on 15th June, with COVID-19 precautionary measures being fully enforced. Visitors are screened for fever, required to check-in and out, wear a face mask, and practice social distancing.

Visitors are now required to park only in designated areas, and refrain from feeding the animals. The visitors appear to be satisfied with the measures in place, while giraffes, zebras, flamingos, pygmy hippopotamus, and elephants are the most popular animals in this open zoo.

Meanwhile, in the northeast, Khon Kaen Zoo has arranged a Khan Tok traditional dining ceremony for a family of three giraffes, consisting of a 14-year-old mother named Chae from Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo, a 11-year-old father named Khem imported from South Africa, and a 3-year-old son named Wang, who was born in Khon Kaen Zoo on 1 August 2017.

The zoo has implemented strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing, placing alcohol gel dispensers where needed, requiring all visitors to wear face masks, and asking visitors not to feed or touch the animals with their hands. (NNT)
 


DAILY UPDATE

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Thailand resumes normal life while wearing face masks still compulsory

Thailand Anti-Corruption Commission finds Ex-PM Yingluck abusing authority

Thailand remains in Tier 2 for human trafficking efforts

Thailand schools reopen with concerns

European Union relaxes travel restrictions from 14 countries including Thailand

Thai Livestock confirms ‘Swine Flu’ safety

Thailand prepares for possible 2nd wave of COVID-19 despite no new infected cases

Bangkok relaxes subway social distancing rules


Thailand phase 5 lockdown easing, nightlife reopening begins today

World Bank projects Thai economy to shrink 5% this year

Thailand sets 50-billion-baht fund to help 700,000 small and medium businesses

Thai Prime Minister focuses on farmers, small businesses strength to get through crisis


Chiang Mai ‘Walking Street’ reopens Sunday night

Thailand controls prices of school uniforms to ease parents’ expenses

Indian man arrested in Chiang Mai on ATM and credit card skimming charges

Thailand’s ruling Palang Pracharat party gets new leader

Households in Bangkok receive bags of relief supplies

Over 3,000 Bangkok traffic police officers on duty for first day of school

Thailand extended ‘Emergency Decree’ for international travel control

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand


Thailand next restrictions easing plan focuses on 2nd wave spread prevention

Thailand promotes domestic eggs consumption to offset over supply

Thailand theme park ‘Dream World’ reopens

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand


Thailand extension of emergency decree necessary for inbound travel screening

Bangkok Chao Phraya Sky Park opens to public

Thailand prepares schools ahead of July 1 opening

Tourism industry rolls out ‘Thailand Sure 2020’ health safety certification


Thailand to celebrate ‘Asalha Bucha Day’ and ‘Buddhist Lent’ in July with precautions

Thailand approves 3.3-million-baht aid to UN COVID-19 Multi-Partner Trust Fund

Thailand, Sweden to collaborate in health, trade, investment and student exchanges

Thailand plans for national motorway-railway grid

Thailand reopens pubs, bars, karaoke until midnight; soapy massage, bathing allowed

Thai Prime Minister worries 2nd wave spread at entertainment venues after easing


Thailand extension of ‘Emergency Decree’ inconclusive

Thailand confirmed 5 returnees from Egypt and Qatar new COVID-19 cases

Thailand ready for new school term in classes and online on July 1

Geographical indications (GI) registration adds higher value to Thai products


Non-formal school continues in Yasothon, northeastern Thailand

Thailand ‘Business Bubble’ travel scheme for EEC investment

Bangkok schools set COVID-19 guidelines for July opening

Thailand aims to start COVID-19 vaccine human trials in October

Thailand tourism rebounds as attractions reopen