Advance Blog

March 27, 2020
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Headline summary as of 26th March 2020

News

Updates on COVID-19:

  • As for today, the daily update on new confirmed cases will be announced at 12.30pm.
  • Now the entire country of Thailand is under emergency decree until 30 April 2020 (subject to extension). Currently, there is no curfew imposed, just yet. PDU and Pol/eco has prepared a simple summary of the business affected. Please see attached.
    • Nonthaburi Civic Center MRT station on the MRT Purple Line is closed , because one of the station staffs is confirmed COVID-19 positive.
    • Administrative officers, following the Minister of Interior orders, set up health screening on every provincial borders. For those who use public transport, officials will ask for id and are required to provide travel log.
    • The governor of Phuket has issued a temporary curfew between 17.00-24.00 last night. It is unclear whether it will be continued; or not.
    • In a national broadcast, The PM as the chairperson and director of Emergency Administrative Centre said Thailand has banned the entry of foreigners and the government may impose a 24-hour curfew as its next step to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
    • The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has approved airlines’ decisions to scale back flights or stop flying altogether due to the Covid-19 outbreak, but told carriers to compensate customers.
    • The Thai Transport Co. has stopped selling trans-provincial bus tickets to passengers form 26-30 March, citing that the tickets are sold out.
    • The Office of Agricultural Economics (OAE) has assured there will be no shortage of food supplies in the country even though the Covid-19 pandemic may force the government to adopt stricter methods to curb transmissions.

Politics.

  • The structure of Emergency Administrative Centre which the PM gives more power to the permanent-secretaries over ministers is seen as a silent coup.–Prachachart
  • Adviser to House Speaker said the House will reopen for its session on May 22 as scheduled despite the Covid-19 outbreak as the constitution does not allow House meetings to be deferred. The opposition has been calling for a special session to discuss government’s measures on curbing COVID-19.—Bangkok Post, Naew Na

Business

  • Economic stimulus package in an attempt to curb the economic effects of COVID-19:–Bangkok Post, Krungthep Turakij
    • The Bank of Thailand’s Monetary Policy Committee voted by 4:2 to keep the policy rate at 0.75 percent.  The central bank noted that while Thailand’s financial system is sound, the prolonged outbreak means the market would take some time to recover.
    • The Bank of Thailand expects Thailand’s GDP to contract by 5.3 percent in 2020 before rebounding to a 3 percent growth in 2021.  The main factors contributing to Thailand’s GDP contraction this year are the decline in export and tourism – the latter of which is expected to drop by 60 percent. o   The Social Security Board decided to defer the monthly contributions of the employers and self-employed individuals to the Social Security Office for the months of March, April and May by 3 months (ie: the deadline for the March contribution would be postponed to July 15.)
  • Consumers have been assured their power will not be cut off immediately if they fail to pay their bills on time. Electricity authorities also said there was no need for a cash deposit and would return money to people who had already paid deposits.—Bangkok Post

ASEAN/World

  • British Prince Charles is tested COVID-19 positive.—All media outlet
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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