Posts Tagged ‘international news’

A New Solution To Stop COVID-19 in Phuket: Go After Expats Who Drink Beer

May 17, 2021

It seems that Phuket officials are so concerned about disease control orders banning parties and gatherings with friends, especially when alcohol is involved, that they’re searching for 4 foreigners who were caught drinking beer in a Rawai restaurant.

Based on a complaint from a woman who works for the district office, police raided the restaurant. The photos as well as a video showing a group of four foreign men and two Thai women were sent to the police showing their presence at Roxanne restaurant while she was out campaigning for face masks for locals.

Officials from the Muang District Office and Rawai Municipality also attended the restaurant. According to reports, men were seen leaving the restaurant on motorcycles just as 10 police officers and public officials arrived. The beer was still on the table when police arrived.

Officers took the owner of the restaurant and four of his employees to the Chalong Police Station. The owner faces charges of violating the provincial order that prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Just last week, police raided a home in Cherngtalay, breaking up a gathering of six people. Two UK citizens working in Phuket were fined 6,000 baht, while another four individuals are still waiting to appear at the police station.

As part of disease control measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and to prepare Phuket for a possible Covid-free reopening in July, officials have banned social activities and gatherings, except for traditional events like funerals. Foreigners who break the rules could be deported.

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The Thai Government Sets The Goals of the Bangkok COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

May 13, 2021

One of the main focus of the vaccination effort is to get 5 million Bangkok resident within 2 months so that Bangkok can reach herd immunity as soon as possible.
So far, only 5 percent of the Bangkok population have been vaccinated against the pandemic.
Since April 2021, about 20,000 people have been infected by COVID-19.
The goal of the Public Health Ministry is administer 100,00 doas per dfay in Bangkok. The areas around the new Bang Sue Railway Central Station are going to be used as a vaccination hub. Officially, only people 18 and older in Bangkok can get the vaccination. Other resident and migrants who are not registered will still be part of Bangkok’s vaccination campaign, according to deputy director-general of the Disease Control Department.
The AsatraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines will be a part of the mass vaccination campaign, according to the chairperson of the government’s sub-committee on vaccination management, Sopon Mekthon.
In May 2021, the Thai government does expect more vaccine deliveries including 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca doses and 2.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
Recently, the Khlong Toey area of Bangkok has become a hotspot and a mass viccantiona campaign has already started. Hundreds of people have been tested positive. Some of the infected cannot afford to take time off work to self-isolate. The crowded conditions in this poor community have not helped, either.
Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai PM, says that so far, the number of people registered to get the vaccine is below what the Thai government.
PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says those who have now registered for a Covid-19 vaccine is below the target set by the government. Approximately 1.6 million people who are over 60, or who have an underlying health condition that puts them at risk of a severe Covid-19 infection, have signed up for the vaccine, of whom only 500,000 are in Bangkok. The Thai PM also said the following:
“We need to vaccinate as many people as possible so that Thailand can move forward… All types of (Covid-19) vaccines imported by the government are extremely safe and effective, as they are certified by the Public Health Ministry. They are used by millions worldwide, including many country leaders.”
Thailand plans to vaccinate 50 million people by the end of the year.

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The Myanmar Military Will Not Accept ASEAN Envoy Until Myanmar Is Stable

May 8, 2021

The ruling military in Myanmar is facing nationwide protests against the coup that brought down the elected government two months ago and has said that they would not accept a Southeast Asian envoy until they have established stability, prompting concerns that they will carry out more deadly violence against protesters and ethnic minorities.
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reached a consensus on five points at a summit on the Myanmar crisis last April 2021, which was attended by the architect of the February coup, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
There was an end to violence, a dialogue between the military and its opponents, and a visit by a special ASEAN envoy.
Currently, we are prioritizing the security and stability of the country Major Kaung Htet San, a spokesman for the military council, said on May 7th, 2021.
Only after we achieve a certain level of security and stability will we cooperate with that envoy said the Myanmar military.
There has been turmoil in Myanmar since the coup unleashed anger among a public unwilling to accept a return to military rule after five decades of mismanagement and underdevelopment.
The biggest pro-democracy demonstration took place on Friday in the commercial capital Yangon, and smaller protests took place in at least 10 other places around the country.
At least 774 people have been killed and over 3,700 detained during the military’s crackdown on opponents, according to an advocacy group monitoring the crisis.
In social media posts, several people in Yangon have been taken by security forces without warrants.
Kaung Htet San, a military spokesman, said more arrests of terrorists than had been publicly announced had been made.
As a result of the April 24th, 2021 ASEAN meeting in Jakarta, analysts and activists remain skeptical that Myanmar will implement the five-point plan, which has no time frame nor mention of releasing political prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Myanmar Muslim Reporter Put In Solitary Confinement For Fasting For Ramadan

May 7, 2021

Kay Zon Nway, a Myanmar Now reporter who was arrested while reporting on a demonstration against a coup in Yangon in late February 2021, has been placed in solitary confinement at Insein Prison after she began fasting for Ramadan.
As a result of being charged under Section 505a of the Penal Code for incitement, she has been placed under solitary confinement since April 28. It was only when her lawyer, Nilar Khine, saw her on Thursday that she discovered this.
She says she didn’t do anything that Nilar Khine said. Some people do sit-in protests in prison, but she fasts because it’s Ramadan. She’s being arrested for no reason.
Prison officials couldn’t be reached for further information about her situation. Thursday’s hearing was held at the prison, not at a court.
Kay Zon Nway was accused falsely of fasting for Ramadan when the government arrested her, a woman recently released from Insein who had been arrested for protesting.
Some individuals have told prison officials that she is fasting because she is protesting.
Nilar Khine said that the plaintiff in the case, a deputy police major at Sanchaung police station, testified at Thursday’s hearing that she was arrested for inciting protests underneath the Myaynigone bridge in Sanchaung.
According to Nilar Khine, Kay Zon Nway has a right to report under Myanmar’s media law.
Her lawyer explained that she only had her phone and a tripod for the phone when she was arrested. Those items were used for reporting and not protesting.
The case against freelancer reporter Soe Yarzar Tun was also heard at Thursday’s hearing. The next hearing is scheduled for May 20th, 2021.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reports that 48 reporters are currently being detained in Myanmar in April of 2021.

The Opposition Group NUG Wants To Set Up A Defence Force To Protect People From The Myanmar Military

May 6, 2021

Recently in April 2021, Myanmar’s National Unity Government (NUG), set up by opponents of military rule, announced that it had formed a people’s defense force to protect its supporters from attacks and violence by the military government.
Myanmar has seen daily protests and a surge in violence since the military seized power on February 1st, 2021, and ousted a government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The new force was argued to be a prelude to the Federal Union Army (FUA), which is responsible for ending decades of civil wars and for dealing with military attacks and violence by the State Administration Council (SAC) against its people.
Last month, an array of groups opposed to the junta, including ethnic minorities militias, established a unity government that promised to restore democracy, end violence, and build a federal democratic union.
It is reported by the Karen Information Center media group that as of March 31 the KNU’s Brigade 5 has killed 194 government troops, the country’s oldest rebel group.
An election commission found the November election fair, despite the military’s complaints of fraud by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy(NLD) party.
The military disputes the AAPP figure and has banned the group.
A total of 248 people have been killed since mid-April, 2021, and 24 police officers and soldiers have also been killed in the protests.
It has been impossible for independent media to verify casualties. Many of the journalists and activists have been arrested and detained as well. The Myanmar military has carried out military operations against ethnic groups in Karen and Kachin States, driving thousands of people to flee – some into Thailand.
The latest development comes as thousands of people stage protests across the country despite the violent crackdown.

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Thai Bits: New Soft Curfew for Phuket, Vaccinations For Bangkok District Due To COVID-19 Outbreak

May 4, 2021

New Phuket Soft Curfew Due To The Pandemic

If you are caught during these hours, the police will strongly suggest that you go home. It is best not to go out during these hours.
The curfew in Phuket will be in effect between 10 pm and 4 pm every day until things change. The announcement is now in full effect. Checkpoints are being set up to strongly request people who refuse to cooperate.
In spite of being polite, it is still a curfew. The Thai government has avoided the word curfew or lockdown, hence, the Orwellian soft curfew (google it if you don’t know what I am talking about).
Since the beginning of April 2021, Phuket has had a total of 463 people with COVID-19.

The Phuket government said the following when they made the soft curfew announcement:

Due to the situation in Phuket and across the country more people are infected daily and the number of deaths is increasing in which the infected persons were found in clusters. This is due to the organization of activities that gather many people, the traveling of people from high-risk areas without strictly adhering to public health measures.

These are the other provinces that have instituted soft curfews:

Central Thailand
Chai Nat: 11 pm – 4 am
Nakhon Pathom: 11pm – 4am
Nakhon Nayok: 11pm – 4am
Nonthaburi: 9 pm – 4 am
Pathum Thani: 9 pm – 4 am
Phetchaburi: 11 pm – 4 am
Samut Prakan: 9 pm – 4 am
Samut Sakhon: 11 pm – 4 am

Northern Thailand
Phrae: 11pm – 3am

North-East Thailand
Bueng Kan: 11 pm – 4 am

Southern Thailand
Ranong: 10pm – 4am
Songkhla: 10 pm – 4 am
Surat Thani: 10 pm – 4 am
Trang: 10 pm – 3 am
Yala: 10 pm – 4 am

The Klong Tuey District Get Vaccinations Sooner Because of COVID-19 Outbreak

The government is accelerating vaccine administration among shantytown dwellers in Bangkok’s Klong Toey district following an outbreak of COVID-19.
Within the slums, thousands of people live in very close quarters and travel to neighboring provinces for work. This has led to fears the virus could spread further and overload the healthcare system.
Prayut Chan-o-cha, Bangkok’s governor, says PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is pressing for an urgent vaccine rollout among the community.
Officials aim to inoculate 1,000 people by the end of the day, and another 2,000 to 3,000 people in the following days, at Tesco Lotus stores in Rama IV and Ko Long Toey Withaya Schools starting at 1 pm on April 4th, 2021.
According to Rex Srirangson from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, a total of 39 Klong Toey communities will be tested. All infected patients have been hospitalized. Nearly 1,000 people are being tested for high-risk contacts dating back to the outbreak this summer.
In addition, the Bangkok Post reports that officials will also conduct mass testing at the Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district after detecting 60 new infections there. The aim is to test 4,000 people every day, Pongsakorn Kwanmuang from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says.
In Klong Toey, the outbreak was mainly driven by infections spreading among family members and work colleagues. Pongsakorn says that. The people in this district can live quite close together.

Thai Bits: COVID-19 Is Going to Hurt Economy in 2021, A COVID-19 Test Story in Phuket

May 3, 2021

COVID-19 is not just bad for Thais, it is bad for the Thai economy as well.
In recent months, the economic forecast for Thailand has been lowered to 2.3 percent as the outlook for tourism remains really poor as Thailand is experiencing a COVID-19 third wave.
The Thai Ministry of Finance’s Fiscal Policy Office forecast a 4.5 percent economic growth in 2021. This was partly based on the fact that COVID-19 appears to be weakening.
2.4 percent. In May 2021, it has dropped to 2.3 percent. By January 2021, the second wave had hit Thailand and the Ministry changed its predictions to 2.8 percent.
The Thai economic forecast assumes the Thai government will propose a stimulus package between May 2021 and the end of the fiscal year on September 30th.
According to the Finance Ministry, there is the hope of an economic recovery in the fourth quarter of the year. This could mean Thailand ends the year 2021 with 2.8 percent growth.
During the first two waves, Thailand did relatively well. However, the third wave has infected many more people in Thailand and the vaccine rollout has been slow. A positive effect from the global economic recovery is being undermined by COVID-19. The Thai economy may lose 100 million Thai baht per month for the rest of 2021.
Thai exports declined by 6.6 percent in 2020. The thriving export sector could achieve as high as 11 percent in 2021.
As much as 12 percent of the Thai economy comes from tourism in a mon-COVID-19 year. Tourism brought in 2 trillion baht in 2019. In 2020, there were delays in reopening to tourists on a large scale.
In total, 6.7 million tourists had arrived in Thailand by 2020. This caused a drastic 83 percent drop in tourism revenue in 2020. The only good thing was that a lot of Chinese tourists came.
At the time when they were more optimistic, they had more plans to open Phuket and tourist spots by July 1st, with Thailand fully open in October. Those plans were dashed by the new pandemic outbreak and tourist projections of two million had been revised downward. This could be a serious blow to the economy.

A Phuket COVID-19 Test Story

Just a heads up for people.
Yesterday we entered Phuket with our family and had to do a rapid Covid19 test. My son (10 years old Dutch/Thai passport holder) also had to do the test.
As expected they charged me 500 Baht but ALSO wanted to charge my son 500 Baht. The reasoning was that he had an English name and didn’t had a Thai ID card (he only has a Thai passport). After about a good 15 minutes of back and forth, they decided they were not going to charge my Thai son. However, it was a very unpleasant experience.
So a heads up for ex-pats with half children, expect some problems if they don’t have their Thai ID card.
Stay safe!

By Tobie Oud

The Thai Private Sector Is Assured By The Thai PM That All Foreigners Will Get Vaccines

April 29, 2021

According to Sanan Angubolkul, the new chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC), after he had a meeting with the Thai PM on April 28th, 2021, about 2,000 Thai companies will finance the procurement of about one million doses of vaccine.
Additionally, according to Sanan, the private sector wants to assist the public sector by speeding up alternative sources of vaccines. They want to effectively manage the vaccine distribution by providing support and time to the Thai public sector. Their goal is to ensure that it is thorough and efficient.
After the partnership between the Thai private sector and the Thai government to provide vaccines to 5 million people by the end of this year, Sanan believes the private sector is optimistic about the country reopening by early next year.
Sanan said Health Minister Anutin Charnovirakul and the Thai Prime Minister were able to convince the Joint Meeting that Expats in Thailand and foreign workers will be able to get vaccinated.
The new TCC chairman says the vaccinations for 50 million people can boost confidence in the private sector that Thailand is ready to reopen by early next year and provide herd immunity.
It is also expected that Phuket will reopen on July 1st, 2021 for foreigners who have been vaccinated.
FTI said the meeting between both business groups and the prime minister marked the beginning of a more efficient vaccine distribution plan
During the meeting with Gen Prayut, FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree said that the government will remove regulations that might slow down distribution by the private sector and facilitate its efforts.
the Thai PM told FTI that the government will never ignore ideas and help offered by businessmen.
Thailand’s business sector has urged the state to speed up its Covid-19 vaccination program after the state program was criticized for moving at a snail’s pace at a time when it needs to build herd immunity against the disease.
Thailand’s private sector and the Thai Bankers’ Association are proposing the government offer five-million-baht loans to small and medium-sized enterprises that are currently experiencing a serious liquidation due to Covid-19.
The sandbox will initially be implemented for retail businesses and later expand to cover automotive parts and the electrical appliance industry.

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The Thai PM Makes Vaccination Distribution His Top Priority

April 28, 2021

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has decided that will be his main national priority. This follows a meeting with his advisors on April 27th, 2021. They said there must be a practical process for distribution.
Prayut announced in a Facebook post that the government will receive more vaccines, with the ultimate goal of making 10 to 15 million doses available for distribution per month.
In partnership with the private sector, the government is trying to ensure the existence of more inoculation facilities so as to ease the burden on public health officials and hospitals in the national vaccination program. The speaker talked about places like private hospitals, hotels, sports stadiums, and conference halls where vaccinations would be done.
He will ensure that the vaccine distribution is systematic and effective. He will directly communicate the integrated structure to private organizations and agencies.
Due to the new processes, Thailand should be able to achieve its goal of about 300,00 doses being administered every day. This means that 50 million people should be vaccinated this year.
Nothing is said about what happens to foreigners in Thailand.

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Thai Bits: Thailand Entry Requirements, Thai March Exports Are Up

April 26, 2021

Thailand Entry Requirements
Updated on April 17th, 2021
Please follow us on LINE APP (QR CODE) if you would like to be notified when things change.

Currently there are additional entry requirements in place to enter Thailand. Please refer to the following steps to qualify to enter Thailand.

Step 1: Insurance (not required if Thai)
The insurance must cover travel, as well as COVID-19. You can get the lowest priced COVID-19 travel insurance here.

30 Days – 1,344 THB
45 Days – 2,016 THB (Exempt Entry)
60 Days – 2,688 THB (Tourist Visa)
90 Days – 4,033 THB (STV Minimum)
1 Year – 16,313 THB
CLICK TO GET COVID-19 APPROVED TRAVEL INSURANCE
The insurance package must cover the full stay of the visa you will be entering on.

Step 2: Visa, or Exempt Entry
Please refer to this LIST to see if your passport country is currently allowed 45 day exempt entry. If it is not on the list you must apply for a visa at your local Thai Consulate.

Step 3: COE
You can obtain your COE here.

Step 4: Flight
Before finalizing your ASQ hotel you must have a flight secured.

Step 5: ASQ
You can request an ASQ booking by using ASQ.in.th, but please be aware that there are additional requirements for the reduced period of stay.

7 Day Stay:
In order to qualify for a 7 day period of stay you must have proof of completed APPROVED VACCINATION. Travelers must be vaccinated for more than 14 days before the traveling date.

10 Day Stay:
To qualify for a 10 day period of stay you must NOT be traveling from the following COUNTRIES.

15 Day Stay:
If you are traveling from one of these COUNTRIES then only qualify for the 15 Day Stay quarantine packages.

Step 6: RT-PCR Test (not required if Thai)
Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected, using RT-PCR method, issued no longer than 72 hours before departure

Step 7: COE Status
Check your COE status again here (additional documents may be requested).

Step 8: Come to Thailand
Prepare T.8 document
Prepare Declaration form
Passport or C.I.
Flight tickets
COVID-19 Travel Insurance (not required if Thai)
ASQ hotel booking voucher confirmation
Certificate of Travel (COE)
Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected, using RT-PCR method, issued no longer than 72 hours before departure (not required if Thai)
Install the ThailandPlus application on your mobile device.
Step 9: Start your quarantine
Complete your quarantine, and then enjoy Thailand

Source: https://asq.in.th/entry
Source: Thai Visa Centre, located in Samut Prakan, can be found on LINE

Thai exports hit a record high in March

Thai exports hit a record high in March, more than 750 billion baht, up 8.47 percent year-over-year.
The Minister stated that if not for oil, gold, or military supplies, exports would have grown by as much as 12 percent due to the global economic recovery and cooperation between the public and private sectors to drive exports.

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