Thai Bits: Thai Government Starts New COVID-19 Services For Elderly Expats, New Lockdown Could Hurt Thai GDP

Thai Government Has Launched COVID-19 Vaccinations Services For Elderly Expats

In Thailand, the Disease Control Department, the Central Vaccination Centre, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry have launched Covid-19 vaccination services for elderly foreigners.
From Monday at Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok, the ministry’s Consular Affairs Department will offer mass vaccinations to foreigners living in Thailand.
Foreigners over 75 who have not received a jab can come to Gates 2, 3, and 4 from 9 am to 4 pm for vaccinations, according to the departments.
Passports and proof of residence, such as a visa or work permit, are required.
Pre-registration is required for those aged 60–74 residing in Bangkok and the surrounding five provinces (Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon), and who have never received a vaccine.
Upon completing registration, individuals will receive an appointment notification and additional information via SMS or email within two days.
As of July 22, 2021, at 1 pm, 1,966 foreigners aged 60-74 had registered for vaccination.
Tanee Sangrat, the ministry’s spokesman, tweeted that this vaccination drive is only for those over 60 years of age. Many foreigners under the age of 60 showed up at the vaccination center, he said.

New COVID-19 Measures Could Hurt The GDP In Thailand

The Bank of Thailand predicts the government’s tougher measures to contain new infections will reduce economic activity by 0.8 to 2 percentage points.
In the best-case scenario, GDP would drop by only 0.8 percentage points, said Chayawadee Chai-Anant, senior director for the economic and policy department.
The assessment was made on July 16 and is based on the effectiveness of lockdown measures.
If containment measures are highly effective and new infections decline by 40%, the outbreak should be contained in August and the government can relax the measures by the middle of August, according to the central bank. Economic activity would contract by 0.8 percentage points in this scenario.
Unless lockdown measures are more effective and new infections drop by only 20%, the government would need to maintain tougher measures until the end of the year, keeping more people at home. Economic activity would contract by 2 percentage points in this scenario.
Chayawadee stated that the Monetary Policy Committee will continue to discuss growth projections for this year and 2022.
As a result of new government measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, including curfews and lockdowns, economic activity has slowed across the country.
Despite the containment measures for the third-wave outbreak, economic activity has fallen to almost the same level as in April last year, when the government implemented lockdown measures nationwide.
In 13 provinces, the government has imposed curfews and other tight restrictions.
The curfew from 9 pm-4 am and other restrictions have been in force since July 19 in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, and Nakhon Pathom, as well as the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.
Chon Buri, Chachoengsao, and Ayutthaya provinces were also placed under lockdown.
Among the restrictions are the closing of all stores in malls at 8 pm except for those deemed essential, such as supermarkets, and those selling medical equipment and communication equipment.
Restaurants, wet markets, and convenience stores must close between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. as part of the ban on dining in.
In its June 22 report, the central bank estimated that the Delta variant would spread into restricted areas and that the government would gradually relax containment measures in the second half of the year.
Chayawadee said fiscal policy plays a key role in sustaining economic momentum.
In 2020, government subsidy measures through Finance Ministry packages led to a marginal contraction of 1% in domestic consumption, she said.
According to Chayawadee, domestic consumption would have contracted 6.3% without the fiscal measures.

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