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Covid-19:

Started by thaiga, March 24, 2020, 08:38:19 PM

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thaiga

Today marked the 40th day in the capital without a single new domestic case of Covid-19

making Thailand a great place for outsiders to visit feeling a bit safer from the dreaded virus, that other countries are suffering from. as we've seen in the thai media, the elite visa is the choice that many have gone for, after seeing the covid results, this country could be, or already is a sought after destination.

I get the impression and imho the authorities never liked the bars, booze and prostitution which is illegal and what goes with it, but it was the flow of money that it earned, which made it attractive, so it all went on.

BUT now ...This is a great time for Thailand to shrug off it's image of the cheap charlies, two weeks millionares, sex & booze, kiss me quick hats style and go for quality not quantity tourist. if they wanted to.

Thinking on that, will the cheap charlies or anyone else, go through all that paperwork that will probably be needed along with covid free papers and maybe insurance. then sit on a plane mask on for 12 hrs flight, no drink, maybe a quaranteen as well, that's if Thailand accepts travellers from their country.

not to mention a lot are now unemployed, money short. don't stop there, exchange rates never been so bad, not a lot of baht for your pound UK pound barely touching 37 baht.

Thailand has some great sites to see as a visitor to this country, temples, malls for shopping lovers, some fantastic hotels to choose from. the attractions here are tops, some of the best in the world. a good job has been done by Thailand, keeping us safe, which the whole world has taken note of. they talk of a second wave, we haven't had a first one yet, have we.

lets hope it stays that way.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

CCSA Urges People to Continue Wearing Face Masks
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 today 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.

"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)

mcot.net
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

COVID19 UPDATE (2 July 2020)
- 6 new confirmed #COVID19 cases (3,179 total)
- no new discharges (3,059)
- 62 in hospital
- no new deaths (58)

All cases are in state quarantine among Thai returnees from Indonesia (4 people), South Africa and Sudan (1 each).
credit @SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Certificate of entry from Thai embassy or consulate required for foreigners to enter Thailand
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) today (July 2) issued the "Notification on Conditions for Aircraft Permission to Enter Thailand (No.2)", reiterating that its ban on international commercial aircraft remains in place, reports the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Although, Thailand allows entry to several groups of foreigners from July 1, the eligible travellers must seek advance certificate of entry from local Thai embassies or consulates abroad as well as the relevant necessary documents as required under the order of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the TAT said in an announcement today.

The TAT announcement explained as follows:

With the ban on international commercial aircraft remaining in place, only the following types of aircraft can enter Thailand:

(1) State or military aircraft

(2) Emergency landing flights

(3) Technical landing flights without disembarkation

(4) Humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights

(5) Repatriation flights

(6) Cargo flights

(7) *Passenger flights carrying the persons permitted to enter Thailand.

*The entry into Thailand of the persons of any of the following types, by aircraft, shall be permitted, provided that they comply with the conditions, time limits and rules of the authorised persons under the Thai immigration law, communicable diseases law, air navigation law, and the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation, for the prevention of the spread of disease, and the organisation of the number of persons entering Thailand in accordance with the capability of the competent officers or the communicable disease control officers for the screening and arrangement of facilities for isolation, quarantine and control for observation:

(1) Thai nationals.

(2) Persons with exemption or persons being considered, permitted or invited by the Prime Minister, or the head of responsible persons accountable for resolving state of emergency issues to enter the Kingdom, pertaining to necessity. Such consideration, permission or invitation may be subject to specific conditions and time limits.

(3) Persons on diplomatic or consular missions or under international organisations, or representatives of foreign governments performing their duties in the Kingdom, or persons of other international agencies as permitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pertaining to necessity, including their spouse, parents, or children.

(4) Carriers of necessary goods, subject to immediate return after completion.

(5) Crew members who are required to travel into the Kingdom on a mission, and have a specified date and time for return.

(6) Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parents, or children of a Thai national.

(7) Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of permanent residency in the Kingdom, or permission to take up residence in the Kingdom.

(8. Non-Thai nationals who have a work permit or have been granted permission from government agencies to work in the Kingdom, including their spouse or children.

(9) Non-Thai nationals who are students of educational institutions approved by Thai authorities, including the parents or guardians of the students, except for students of non-formal educational institutions under the law on private schools and of other similar private educational institutions

(10) Non-Thai nationals who are in need of medical treatment in Thailand, and their attendants. However, this shall not include medical treatment for COVID-19.

(11) Non-Thai nationals who are permitted to enter the Kingdom under a special arrangement with a foreign country.

To enter the Kingdom, the persons as prescribed in the 11 aforementioned groups are required to comply with the relevant laws on disease prevention measures.

CAAT's Notification on Conditions for Aircraft Permission to Enter Thailand (No.2) takes effect from 03 July, 2020.

thephuketnews.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand and Japan cautious on EU travel despite priority status
Visitors from South Korea also given green light, but obstacles remain

Travelers from Japan, South Korea and Thailand are now welcome in the European Union. But business groups and travel industry figures from the three countries do not expect a rush, citing remaining obstacles and a lingering fear of a coronavirus second wave.

The EU took the first step towards restoring global ties interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic on July 1, saying visitors from 15 countries, including the three from Asia, would now be allowed entry. The group is united in achieving low infection rates, according to the EU.

But the most powerful business lobby in Japan said it expected only limited impact from the EU's move. "Japanese business travelers still need to undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine when they return to Japan," said one executive from the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren. "As for European nationals living in Japan, they can't even come back to Japan."

In Thailand there was also caution. "I think business travelers would be the first group to go abroad when the EU opens up. But, I don't think Thais would like to travel abroad at this moment as they are not confident about hygiene standards out there," said Kritapas Patamanate, managing director of AOM Travel, a tour operator in Thailand.

The EU's list of nations from which entry will be allowed also covers Australia and New Zealand. Chinese travelers will also be allowed, but only if China announces that it will also accept European visitors.

The list will be reviewed every two weeks, looking at the latest infection situations and containment measures.

Even after the EU's step toward opening, confusion persists. It is up to EU member states and associated countries in the "Schengen" passport-free area to decide to lift travel restrictions, making it unclear whether travelers will be allowed to enter the region. Any requirement for quarantine or testing also depends on each country.

As a result countries are putting in place a patchwork of measures. For example, Greece -- which relies on an influx of visitors for its tourism-heavy economy -- and the Netherlands have said they grant access to travelers arriving from countries on the EU list. France now also welcomes visitors from the enlisted countries but it is unclear whether a quarantine period and other measures will be required.

Meanwhile Italy -- which had also been pressing for opening -- said it would keep "a prudent line" and would maintain 14-day quarantine restrictions for arrivals from countries on the EU "green list."

"We must prevent the sacrifices the Italian people have made in recent months from being wasted," Health Minister Roberto Speranza said.

Nor can citizens of those countries granted access easily travel to the EU in the near future, since international travel links are still limited.

Korea Air Lines said that it may take some time to restart flights to Europe as it needs to consult with the transportation ministry. As of July 1, it operates flights from Incheon to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Vienna, but stopped flights to Zurich, Budapest and eight other cities.

"We cannot make decisions by ourselves," said a spokesperson for KAL. "We also need time to set up schedules. We should discuss this with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport."

While Japan Airlines has increased the number of international flights connecting Japan and Europe, links are still far from normal. In July only 21% of scheduled flights to the continent will take place, compared with 6% in June.

While it only had a flight connecting Haneda and London in June, it will also resume Haneda-Paris, Narita-Frankfurt and Haneda-Helsinki this month.

"While the infection is still increasing globally, we will provide flights as public transport to those who need them," said a spokesperson for the Japanese carrier.

Japan's largest travel agency JTB has canceled all of its package tours to Europe until Aug. 31 and a spokesperson said lifting of the EU travel ban "would not impact our decision."

As for Thailand, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has not yet allowed any normal commercial flights, making it hard for Thai travelers to go abroad.

The lack of reciprocity with Europe is another big challenge as well, since it means that while entry into the EU might be easier, certain restrictions still exist for anyone who does travel from Asia and wants to return.

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare told the Nikkei Asian Review that a business fast-track with Europe is "under consideration," but so far Japan is only allowing Japanese nationals to enter, even barring foreigners with permanent residency.

Acting on a request from the Japanese government, the Keidanren has asked member companies to consider offering PCR testing to employees going on business trips abroad to "facilitate the restart of the Japanese economy through the recovery of global traffic."

The Japanese government is in talks with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand over resuming business travel -- but still only aims to allow a daily maximum of 250 business travelers from these countries.

Thailand allows entry for Thais and foreigners but insists all who enter the country must be quarantined. "Those who want to enter Thailand need to comply with our [state of emergency] law, which stipulates visitors to be quarantined for 14 days," said Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration.

Kritapas from AOM Travel said: "I don't think people would like to travel abroad if they have to be quarantined for up to 14 days when they get back home."

Thailand plans to allow business travelers holding passports from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan, along with Chinese from some provinces, as part of proposed "business travel bubbles" from July. South Korea has already allowed business travel with China.

asia.nikkei.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Anutin Stresses Safety in Phase 5 of Eased Restrictions
More activities are allowed to resume, including businesses that are considered to be most at risk of spreading the feared virus, such as entertainment venues. Public health authorities are working hard to monitor the venues and ensure all parties comply with the regulations.

Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Deputy PM and Minister of Public Health called an online conference this week with directors of provincial public health offices, and directors of hospitals all over the country, to assign policy to be followed in the new Phase 5 easing of restrictions.

He stressed that all health sectors must be prepared for an emergency situation especially with the anticipated arrival of international visitors. The disease control department and the department of medical sciences will use COVID-19 rapid test kits to avoid congestion in screening.

Entertainment venues and restaurants must be strict in screening customers and ensure their patrons follow all the regulations. If there is any outbreak of infection related to a venue, the venue will be charged over the incident . The ministry will also send officers to randomly inspect entertainment venues and restaurants to ensure the safety of all involved.

As for schools, there must be screening of students every morning. If any student is found to have a high fever, the whole class of students won't be allowed to enter the school building. If they are identified during lessons, they will be detained individually in a room prepared for an emergency situation, until a medical team arrives.

thainews.prd.go.th
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thaiga

COVID19 UPDATE (3 July 2020)
- 1 new confirmed #COVID19 case (3,180 total)
- 7 more discharged (3,066)
- 56 in hospital
- no new deaths (58)

New case in state quarantine: a Thai returnee from Bahrain.
credit @SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand Covid-19 Situation 03.07.2020
The Thai Government is providing an English language broadcast on Thailand's COVID-19 situation.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Ministry launches research into immunity against Covid-19
The Ministry of Public Health is planning to conduct research on immunity against the new coronavirus by inviting those who have recovered from Covid-19 and those who have had close contact with patients to participate.

"This "Hero Covid-19" project will be funded by Health Systems Research Institute with a budget of Bt3 million," said Dr Kanawat Chantaralawan, consultant to Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Satit Pitutecha, who is heading the project. "The research aims to study how to build immunity against Covid-19, the period that a patient body requires to build immunity, and how long the immunity will last in the human body."

"To be eligible volunteers for the study, candidates must be over 18 years old and either be a recovered patient or have had close contact with a patient," he added. "Researchers will draw blood for the study three times: at three months, six months and nine months, while the volunteers' identity will be kept confidential.

"Additional data and statistics required by the study will be supported the Department of Disease Control and the Department of Medical Sciences," added Kanawat. "The study could help unveil the secret to prevention of Covid-19 in the future."

Interested candidates can join the project at the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University on tel 02-256-4132 ext 404 or e-mail: [email protected]

nationthailand.com
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thaiga

Thailand situation, 4 July 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,185 (+5)
- Recovered: 3,066 (+0)
- Active cases: 61
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
new cases are in state quarantine  credit @SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Hope, fear as kingdom's gates creak ajar
Islands prepare to receive first batches of foreign tourists allowed in since Covid-19 struck


Tourism operators and residents in five southern tourist destinations which may open up to foreign travellers next month are optimistic about the government's travel bubble scheme.

They are ready to open their doors again but on the condition the government implements disease control measures to guard against the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the kingdom.

The Bangkok Post talked to both groups after the Tourism and Sports Ministry recently proposed five islands -- Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao in Surat Thani province, Phi Phi in Krabi and Phuket -- return to hosting foreign tourists as early as next month.

Currently, only a select group of pre-approved foreigners may enter the country.

The first countries allowed to send foreign tourists under the proposal would be those who have controlled the virus successfully in the eyes of the government.

Tourism is one of the sectors most seriously affected by the pandemic. As one of Thailand's main sources of revenue, the industry has been slated for hefty aid from the state.

As the government gradually relaxes travel restrictions, all five destinations famous for their beaches have expressed a readiness to welcome back tourists, despite many countries still fighting high infection rates.

WORSE THAN THE 2004 TSUNAMI

In Phuket alone, tourism generated over 420 billion baht from 10.6 million foreign tourists in 2019. However, from February to July 2020, a study by the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket campus, found Phuket will likely lose as much as 127 billion baht in tourism revenue.

President of the Phuket Tourist Association Sarayuth Mallam said the province is ready to welcome tourists as long as disease control measures are imposed.

"Sooner or later we have to reopen," he said. "If we wait until early next year, it may be too late ... what is important is that we continue to keep our guards up with clear measures and stringent disease screening."

Should the government allow foreign tourists to enter Thailand in August, they must come from travel bubble markets in Asia, Chalermlak Kepsap, Patong municipality mayor says, adding the pandemic situation in Europe must improve before its people are allowed in.

"We should not allow all nationals in yet. It is too scary ... we can accept specific groups first such as business travellers, medical tourists and those with families in the area. Upon arriving, they must be screened for symptoms and quarantined," said the mayor.

Without foreign tourists, Phuket has diverted its attention to the domestic market.

Ms Chalermlak pointed out most Thai tourists still think Patong beach is too expensive and said she had urged local businesses to lower their prices and run promotions. Locals should also turn to agriculture more instead of relying only on tourism, she added.

Narong Phonladet, 50, a Patong local, said that without tourists the local economy was suffering more now than during the 2004 tsunami.

"We want the government to allow foreign tourists in but they must be screened for the virus at the departure country and quarantined in Phuket after arrival ... but Phuket must have tourists. Without them, it dies," said Mr Narong.


PARADISE FOUND: A couple sits on a hill admiring the beauty of Koh Phi Phi in Krabi which is expected to be one of the five southern islands to welcome foreign tourists again next month. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports last week asked the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to consider its plans.

full article bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation update on COVID-19, 5 July, 2020.
Confirmed total 3,190 cases (5 new cases).
- Admitted 61 cases.
- Discharged 3,071 cases.
- Death 58 cases.   
credit pr_moph

new cases are Thais in state quarantine
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thais less worried about Covid-19 but want to remain alert: poll
Following the sharp fall in the number of new Covid-19 cases and the gradual relaxation of lockdown measures, most people's concerns about the pandemic have eased but they want the government to monitor the situation and help the affected people, according to a Suan Dusit poll.

The poll about "The lives of people after the relaxation of the Covid-19 measures" surveyed 1,109 people between July 1- 4.

Suan Dusit found that most of people's concerns about Covid-19 had eased (52.93 per cent). Some 39.40 per cent of respondents are hopeful Thailand will return to normalcy by the end of 2020; 94.77 per cent think they are helping to control the situation by wearing a mask and 88.19 per cent believe they are helping by frequently washing their hands.

As the virus situation gets better, 77.5 per cent of people want the government to remain vigilant about the situation, while 71.78 per cent want measures to help people who are continuously affected.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations
WHO has said virus spreads primarily through small droplets from the nose or mouth

Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that the novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.

In an open letter to the United Nations agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said.

The WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said, according to the NYT. full article  cbc.ca

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

COVID19 UPDATE (6 July 2020)
- 5 new confirmed #COVID19 cases (3,195)
- 1 more discharged (3,072)
- 65 in hospital
- no new deaths (58)

All new cases are Thai returnees from Kuwait in state quarantine (the same return flight also had another 5 cases).
credit @SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Locals pin hopes on travel bubble
Most Thais prefer the travel bubble scheme to have strict regulations for entry, but they would allow in more than 2,000 people a day because it would help revive the economy.



With Thailand set to reopen its borders to international leisure tourists in August at the earliest, public opinion towards the travel bubble plan is one component that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is considering before announcing a final draft, said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

The TAT and the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) released poll results yesterday from 3,000 local residents and tour operators in eight tourism provinces.

A majority of locals (82.9%) agree with the principle of limited entry under a travel bubble scheme, while 87.2% of tour operators in those provinces agreeing with reopening with some restrictions.

Some 74% of locals agree with travel bubbles if the government can impose strict regulations and have specific criteria that assure them about the screening process, such as requiring a health certificate (free of Covid-19) 72 hours before arrival and temperature checks at the place of origin, and not visiting risky countries 14 days before arrival.

Most of them prefer to have an initial number for the pilot project larger than 2,000 persons per day, as they have the impression that international travellers set to come via this scheme will help boost the economy.

"Even though the previous opinion survey from other agencies showed that Thais don't want foreign tourists to return soon, we have to acknowledge that this survey was different because we specified the questions towards stringent travel bubble rules that could be used in the initial phase," Mr Yuthasak said. "So people understood more about the elaborate plan that will assure health safety in the country."

He said the Tourism Ministry and the TAT already talked with the Office of Insurance Commission about additional requirements for foreigners to buy Covid-19 insurance from insurance firms in Thailand.

The two parties have yet to reach a conclusion on the price of the insurance package, saying the range being discussed is between 400 and 1,000 baht. But the Tourism Ministry would like to lower the price to accommodate foreign tourists.

Meanwhile, the TAT and the Finance Ministry yesterday launched tourism stimulus packages that are expected to spur 700 billion baht in spending in the economy.

Lavaron Sangsnit, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, said the scheme operates on a first-come, first-served basis, as local tourists have to finish both registration and booking transactions to receive the benefit.

The tourism stimulus measures will subsidise 40% of 5 million nights of hotel stays, limited to 3,000 baht per night for up to five nights.

Each hotel room reservation can also book two air tickets with a 40% discount on 2 million air tickets, with the discount limited to 1,000 baht per seat.

Eligible users will also get a 600 baht e-voucher upon check-in to be used at restaurants or tourism sites in any province except for their own.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand Still Tepid on Tourists as Virus Fears Linger
Economists and industry insiders predict a slow rebound for Thailand's all-important tourism sector as one of the world's top travel spots slowly opens its borders after more than three months of virus-induced lockdown.   

While some European countries, with far more confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, have already begun welcoming visitors from the rest of the continent and beyond, Thailand is moving with much more caution.

The government says the first few thousand non-essential foreigners were cleared for arrival as of July 1 — mostly permanent residents and work permit holders, investors, teachers, students and those seeking medical care.

The country is eyeing the return of tourists from a select few Asian countries in August or September, just ahead of peak tourist season. Even then the visitors will be kept on a short leash and likely made to download phone apps that track their moves and to stick close by their hotels.

The size of Thailand's tourism sector has made the pandemic especially hard on the country. The World Bank predicts that the Thai economy will see one of the sharpest contractions in the East Asia and Pacific region this year, at about 5%, throwing an estimated 8.3 million people out of work.

"And the main reason for that is that Thailand has a large exposure as a tourism hub; close to 15% of GDP is tourism-related earnings," said Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, the World Bank's senior country economist for Thailand.

Thailand was the 8th  most-visited country in the world last year, welcoming 39.8 million foreign guests, according to the UN. In its own 2019 index, Mastercard named its sprawling capital, Bangkok, the world's most visited city.

It will take time to get the tourism sector humming again. World Bank economist Arvind Nair said the economy will need at least two years to recover, owing substantially to the "gradual normalization of tourism over the course of 2021."

The Travel Authority of Thailand is expecting to finish 2020 with 10 million foreign tourists at most, about a quarter of last year's total.

Numbers like that are setting the industry back some 10 to 20 years, said Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, a vice president of the Thai Hotels Association, "so I think we're bracing for a very slow recovery."

The government is hoping to make up some of the lost business from abroad by trying to stimulate more domestic tourism with a  number of incentives, from discounts on travel and accommodation to subsidies for tour companies that book trips for health care workers. Airlines are coming up with deals of their own.

"So hopefully that will bring in some income for hotels, but nowhere near normal levels at all,"  Sukosol said. "We need international income from tourists to be able to resuscitate the hotel sector."

The World Bank warned also that schemes to stimulate domestic tourism, while welcome for now, could backfire if misdirected and prolonged. It said they may fail to prove tempting enough to lure Thais still wary of the virus away from home.

The Hotels Association says about 8 of every 10 hotels in the country closed their doors to ride out the COVID-19 lockdown and that few of them have reopened to try and cash in on the domestic tourism push.

In Pattaya, a beach town on the Bay of Thailand popular with foreign tourists, the Sunbeam Hotel is not planning to throw its doors open again until November or December, choosing instead to wait for the return of foreign guests.

"For us [the] international market is around 80 to 85% of our total room occupancy..., so for us it's very, very important," said general manager Boonkerd Suksrikarn.

In a typical peak season, the Sunbeam could expect to fill anywhere from 75% to 85% of its 270 rooms on an average night. This season hotel officials are hoping it can fill half of them.   Much like the World Bank, Boonkerd is not expecting numbers to return to normal for another two to three years.

"This year ... we'll be happy if we break even or make just a little bit of a profit," he said. "That's our goal — survival."

Before the lockdown, Thailand's hotels nationwide relied on international guests for nearly two-thirds of their business. While a vaccine will do much to draw many of them back,  Sukosol  says the industry can ill afford to wait that long. But she also understands the government's caution. Thailand has kept total confirmed infections below 3,200 thus far and gone more than a month without a locally transmitted case; Its leaders are keen to avoid importing a second wave.

"We only have one chance to recover," she said. 

voanews.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation update on COVID-19, 7 July, 2020.
Confirmed total 3,195 cases (0 new case).
- Admitted 65 cases.
- Discharged 3,072 cases.
- Death 58 cases.

credit pr_moph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand's economic outlook 'worst in Asia': analysts
Thailand has been cited as a success story in containing the coronavirus outbreak, having gone more than 40 days without any local transmission of Covid-19. Yet its economic outlook is the darkest in Asia.

Gross domestic product is forecast to contract 8.1% this year, according to the Bank of Thailand. That's worse than official forecasts for any of the main economies across Asia, and would be the country's biggest GDP decline ever, surpassing even its plunge during the Asian financial crisis two decades ago.

"Thailand has large exposure as a tourism hub, close to 15% of GDP, and it also has large exposure of the export-oriented sector," said Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, senior economist for Thailand at the World Bank. "Hence the large shock to GDP."

Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict the kingdom's economy will contract more than others in Southeast Asia, at 6%, and with a weaker rebound in 2021 of 4%.

Here's what's weighing down the Thai economy:

The state of emergency, night-time curfew and business closings imposed across the country to fight the virus have crushed private consumption and investment, which were already on a modest downtrend last year. Purchases are expected to pick up as the lockdown restrictions are lifted and as government stimulus measures filter through to the economy, but investors could be slow to return given the gloomy prospects.

Thailand recorded no foreign tourist arrivals or receipts for a second straight month in May as the pandemic forced border closings. Annual tourist arrivals are forecast to drop to 8 million, just one-fifth of last year's total.

Despite plans for travel bubbles with select countries, authorities are proceeding to open the country slowly and carefully. Efforts to kindle domestic tourism won't offset the tremendous losses to this critical industry, which last year made up about one-fifth of the economy.

At first glance, exports appear to have held up relatively well this year, contracting for only two of the first five months of 2020.

As it turns out, distortions in one commodity have helped cushion the overall blow. Rising gold prices during the outbreak have led local investors to sell gold, boosting total exports. Excluding gold, total shipments have been hit hard by weak global demand and supply-chain disruptions.

Baht Troubles

The Thai baht has gained almost 6% against the US dollar in the past three months, the second-best performer in Asia tracked by Bloomberg. Despite the Bank of Thailand's three interest-rate cuts this year, which have brought the benchmark rate to a record low of 0.5%, the country's success in containing the pandemic has kept the currency strong.

The central bank has showed concern about the baht's strength, which hampers exports and will complicate the economic recovery. Officials have warned they're considering additional steps to tame the baht if needed.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Dr. Thanarak Plipat says Thai people are inviting the return of COVID-19
Thai people are becoming less concerned about the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 infections and may actually be encouraging the return of the contagion, said Dr. Thanarak Plipat, Deputy Director-General of Thailand's Disease Control Department.

Writing on his Facebook page on Monday, Dr. Thanarak asked if the country is ripe for a second wave. His answer is "yes", as evidenced in the behavior of many Thais "who are putting Thailand at increased risk", citing the many stores and shops which are no longer insisting on the wearing of masks and customers appearing to be more confident about not wearing them.

"Whether the disease will return again depends on the Thai people, and I personally feel that they are not afraid of COVID-19 and want it to return," said Dr. Thanarak, adding that this attitude is very dangerous, as he wants them to come to their senses.

He referred to a report by Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, CCSA spokesman, saying that about 3,000 migrant workers reentered Thailand, after the easing of lockdown restrictions, noting that these people may be infected and may spread the disease.

"The best protection we currently have is to wear masks and observe the other safety measures," said Dr. Thanarak.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sopon Iamsirithavorn, Director of the General Contagious Diseases Division, said the fact that Thailand has been without a single case of local infection for 42 consecutive days does not mean that the disease has been eradicated from the country.

He warned that the disease may return with a vengeance "if we lower our guard and ignore basic safety measures," citing lessons from several countries where cluster infections are being reported in congested places.

During the long weekend, he said that several venues and tourist attractions were congested with people, providing an ideal environment for the spread of the disease.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Visiting team led by US Army chief not to be quarantined
A delegation led by the United States' Army chief of staff won't be quarantined at state facilities as they are "not a Covid-19 risk group" but will be required to wear face masks during talks with the prime minister, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said.

CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said there were six reasons why the group, led by Army chief General James McConville, won't need to be quarantined – they are from a "high-ranked organisation", not more than 10 persons (9), travelled for a short distance, screened for the virus in the last country they departed, accompanied by public health officials and travelled in private vehicles.

"The visit is related to delicate international ties and Thailand must welcome its guests," Taweesin said. "We have exchanged [Covid-19] information with the US and they understand."

General McConville is to meet Thai Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong and Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha on July 9 and 10.

He and his group will be the first foreign guests to visit the country after it went into lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

He met with Thailand's RTA Combat Team in Hawaii on July 5 and discussed improvements in manoeuvres under the Lightning Forge 2020 exercise and Covid-19 preventive measures.

nationthailand.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

WHO acknowledges emerging evidence of airborne spread of COVID-19
The World Health Organization says it acknowledges emerging evidence of the airborne spread of COVID-19,... after a group of scientists urged the WHO to update its recommendations. Speaking at a virtual press briefing on Tuesday,... a senior WHO official explained there is a possibility of airborne and aerosol transmission,.. but more evidence needs to be collected and analyzed

Until now,... the WHO has insisted the virus spreads primarily through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

COVID19 UPDATE (8 July 2020)
- 2 new confirmed #COVID19 cases (3,197 total)
- 2 more discharged (3,074)
- 65 in hospital
- no new deaths (58)

New cases are Thai returnees in state quarantine, 1 from India and 1 from Indonesia.
credit SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Keep them doors shut at least till a vaccine is available :-[

Thailand expects to delay plans for 'travel bubble' on virus worries
(Reuters) - Thailand expects to delay plans for so-called travel bubbles given a resurgence in coronavirus infections in countries that had managed to contain the initial outbreak, a senior official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Thailand partially lifted a three-month ban on foreign visitors this month and had been planning to further boost tourism, a key contributor to its economy, by creating travel bubbles later in the year with countries like Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong that had managed to contain the virus.

But fresh outbreaks are creating uncertainty, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said.

"The travel bubble that was going to begin in the fourth quarter could be delayed," he added. The government had previously said the travel bubble could begin in September.

"We adjusted our forecast for foreign arrivals this year to 8.2 million from 10-12 million," Yuthasak said.

Thailand recorded 6.7 million foreign arrivals in the first five months and is allowing business travelers and tourists seeking medical treatment to enter for the rest of the year.

The government this month will roll out a $722 million domestic tourism stimulus to boost revenue.

Tourism, mainly international visitors, is crucial to Thailand's economy. A record 39.8 million foreign tourists visited the country last year and spent 1.93 trillion baht, accounting for 11% of its GDP.

Thailand on Wednesday marked 44 days without a local transmission. It has reported total 3,197 virus infections, with Thai nationals returning from overseas accounting for new cases.

reuters.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

CAAT's recommendations for 11 exempt types of travellers planning a trip to Thailand
11 types of Thai and non-Thai nationals, currently allowed to enter the country, must comply with the conditions, time limits and rules of the authorised persons under the Thai law.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has issued recommendations for the 11 exempt types of travellers planning a trip to Thailand during the current time as the nation continues its unprecedented effort to maintain zero new local cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection in the country.

The eligible travellers as listed below must seek in advance a 'Certificate of Entry' from their local Thai embassies or consulates abroad as required under the order of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Here are the CAAT's recommendations:
Predeparture

Check whether they are individuals as described in the 11 exempt types issued by the CAAT.
Prepare the necessary relevant documents as required for the different types of individuals.
Contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate to submit the documents and follow the terms and conditions for the flight bookings to obtain the 'Certificate of Entry'

Departure date

Show the following documents and items to the airline at the check-in counter:

Passport.
Certificate of Entry.
Health certificate clarifying no risk of COVID-19, using a RT-PCR laboratory technique, issued no more than 72 hours before travelling (required from passengers in Types 2, 3, and 6-11).
Health insurance policy showing a minimum coverage for COVID-19 of not less than US$100,000 (required from passengers in Types 5-11).
Surgical masks and alcohol-based hand sanitiser (per the approved amount).

Onboard the aircraft

Wear a surgical mask during the flight.
Follow the airline's infection control guidance and restrictions.

Upon arrival

1. For visitors staying no more than 14 days.

    Undergo the COVID-19 testing using a RT-PCR laboratory technique at the airport.
    Download the tracking mobile phone app for COVID-19 incidents.

2. For visitors staying longer than 14 days.

    Undergo the COVID-19 screening (checking symptoms and body temperature).
    Download the tracking mobile phone app for COVID-19 incidents.
    Enter a 14-day local or state quarantine.

List of the 11 exempt types of travellers:

1)   Thai nationals.

2)   Persons with exemption or persons being considered, permitted, or invited by the Prime Minister, or the head of responsible persons accountable for resolving state of emergency issues to enter the Kingdom, pertaining to necessity. Such consideration, permission or invitation may be subject to specific conditions and time limits.

3)  Persons on diplomatic or consular missions or under international organisations, or representatives of foreign governments performing their duties in the Kingdom, or persons of other international agencies as permitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pertaining to necessity, including their spouse, parents, or children.
   
4)  Carriers of necessary goods, subject to immediate return after completion.

5)  Crew members who are required to travel into the Kingdom on a mission and have a specified date and time for return.
   
6)  Non-Thai nationals who are a spouse, parents, or children of a Thai national.
   
7)  Non-Thai nationals who hold a valid certificate of permanent residency in the Kingdom, or permission to take up residence in the Kingdom.
 
8.)  Non-Thai nationals who have a work permit or have been granted permission from government agencies to work in the Kingdom, including their spouse or children.
   
9)  Non-Thai nationals who are students of educational institutions approved by Thai authorities, including the parents or guardians of the students, except for students of non-formal educational institutions under the law on private schools and of other similar private educational institutions.
   
10)  Non-Thai nationals who are in need of medical treatment in Thailand, and their attendants. However, this shall not include medical treatment for COVID-19.
   
11)  Non-Thai nationals who are permitted to enter the Kingdom under a special arrangement with a foreign country.

tatnews.org
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

COVID19 UPDATE (9 July 2020)
- 5 new confirmed #COVID19 cases (3,202 total)
- 11 more discharged (3,085)
- 59 in hospital
- no new deaths (58)

New cases are Thai returnees in state quarantine: 4 from the UAE, 1 from Egypt.
credit SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

first wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand has ended
The first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand has come to an end, after the country has not seen a case of local, or community infection for 44 consecutive days, said Dr. Anupong Sujariyakul, an expert attached to the Disease Control Department, today (Wednesday).

He warned, however, that Thailand must now be prepared for the possibility of a second wave of infections, as the contagion is still spreading in many parts of the world, with several countries already experiencing a second wave.

As far as Thailand is concerned, Dr. Anupong said that the Ministry of Public Health supports the Government's plan to open the country cautiously, in order to restart its ailing economy, while still keeping our guard up, by strictly observing the basic rules of wearing face masks, regular hand cleaning and social distancing.

Regarding the warning from scientists in 32 countries to the WHO, that coronavirus can be transmitted through airborne droplets smaller than 5 microns, Dr. Anupong said that the Thai Public Health Ministry had previously explained that the contagion can be transmitted through airborne droplets in an enclosed environment, such as in intensive care units, but not in open spaces with good ventilation and sunshine.

"If COVID-19 can be easily transmitted through the air, like tuberculosis, then worldwide infections would not be just 11-12 million cases, but many more," he said, as he advised the public not to be overly concerned about airborne contagion at this point.

thaipbsworld.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

PM accelerates 'New Normal'
Health safety and the poor are priority

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is keeping faith with his "New Normal" to steer Thailand foward, prioritising public health safety and tackling the economic problems of the poor.

The prime minister said his government was moving ahead with a package to employ 400,000 people.

He also vowed to expedite efforts to address the economic woes caused by the pandemic by picking the most skilled people should he decide a cabinet reshuffle was the best way to proceed.

Gen Prayut on Wednesday led his team on a visit to the Bangkok Post, which he chose as the first stop on his tour of 10 publishing companies to listen to their opinions on how to move the country forward amid the Covid-19 crisis.

His latest moves follow his announcement on June 17 of a nation-building programme called "Thais Together Build Thailand", describing his plan to invite all sectors of the country to map out the future as a "New Normal".

The prime minister raised two issues for the media in asking them to give their opinions. The issues were: What should Thai people and the country prioritise in the current situation? and What factors can drive Thailand to move forward?

He agreed with the Post's executives and editorial teams that maintaining public health continued to be the priority. Although Thailand has gone 44 days without any local infections, the pandemic still continues unabated overseas.

Strict enforcement of health precautions was required if foreigners were to be allowed to enter the country, so the current policy would continue to focus on those who want to come to Thailand for medical treatment, he added.

The government will also come up with additional measures to help people affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

Gen Prayut expressed concern about the economic impact on poor and low-income people, especially when they pile up debts or lose their jobs. Strict legal measures will be taken against loan sharks that abuse loans to those people, he said.

He had also met associations of business people and discussed ways to minimise lay-offs, at the same time as his government has launched a package that creates 400,000 jobs for Thais.

He said that while 500 billion baht had been spent to relieve the immediate impact of Covid-19 for the people over the past three months, another 550 billion baht had been earmarked to combat ongoing problems. A large slice of that --200,000 billion baht -- will be reserved in case of a second wave of infections.

On the political scene, Gen Prayut said a cabinet reshuffle was not easy to implement because, bearing in mind the need to adhere to democratic principles, the new generation of skilled people were reluctant to enter politics and cope with all the problems it entails.

"I will find the best people and we have to give them the chance to work. Unless it goes well, we will have one [a reshuffle]," he said. "The big problem is nobody wants to come as they are afraid of politics."

Speaking at Government House earlier in the day, Gen Prayut said that the 400-billion-baht spending plan for economic rehabilitation would be undertaken in two phases.

He said the cabinet had on Wednesday approved a budget allocation of 100 billion baht for the first phase, aimed at strengthening the farming sector and creating more jobs.

The second phase is worth 300 billion baht and details will be made available later, he said.

The government will also roll out measures to help small and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs) access funding, with the collaboration of the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers Association.

"It is important to create jobs because some businesses cannot operate and export their goods due to a decline in demand overseas," he said.

The cabinet on Wednesday also approved five projects worth 15.5 billion baht proposed under the government's economic stimulus packages altogether worth 400 billion baht.

The first is a One Tambon One New Theory Cluster project worth 9.8 billion baht, which focuses on increasing farmers' income and employment.

Another, worth 4.7 billion baht, aims to increase farmers' income and employment.

A third project worth 169 million baht involves developing soil and fertiliser businesses and a fourth project involves boosting safety at tourism spots.

bangkokpost.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

COVID-19 Transmitted Via Contact with Droplets: Disease Control Dept
(TNA) - The Disease Control Department reiterated that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is transmitted through respiratory droplets when people cough or sneeze to allay fears of airborne threats of coronavirus.

Dr Anupong Suchariyakul, a specialist at the Disease Control Department said on Wednesday that the first wave of Covid-19 outbreak had come to an end in Thailand as the country had not seen any new local case of coronavirus for 44 consecutive days.

However, he warned people to be prepared for a second wave of outbreak due to the continuing spread of COVID-19 in many countries. He instructed people to stay vigilant and wear masks.

Regarding scientists from 32 countries, calling for the World Health Organization (WHO) to acknowledge COVID-19 can spread in the air, Dr. Anupong said about the cases in Thailand that the virus is spread via respiratory droplets when people cough or sneeze and they pose a risk of exposure at distances of 1-2 metres.

He said the risk of airborne transmission occurred closed space such as ICU rooms which tiny respiratory particles could remain aloft in the air. But the aerosol transmission would not occur in outdoor space with wind, sunlight and better airflow.

He said the possibility of aerosol transmission must be verified by academic information.

If COVID-19 can be easily transmitted like Tuberculosis, the number of coronavirus patients worldwide would be higher than 11-12 million people.

He allayed public concerns, saying the existing knowledge showed that Covid-19 was transmitted through respiratory droplets and WHO needed to further investigate airborne risk of coronavirus.

mcot.net
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

thaiga

Thailand situation, 10 July 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,202 (+0)
- Recovered: 3,087 (+2)
- Active cases: 57
- Deaths: 58 (+0)

Wear mask, hand washing, keep physical distancing
credit SaksithCNA
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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