- Updates related to COVID-19
- HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn donates medical equipment to Thammasart Hospital and Charoenkrung Pracharak Hospital
- As of 1 April, there were reported 120 newly confirmed cases, 1771 total confirmed cases and 12 total deaths.
- The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has ordered all shops including convenience stores and street vendors to close from midnight to 5am, as it steps up restriction to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. All public and private parks, including those at condominiums and in communities will also be closed from 2 to 30 April to prevent large gatherings.
- Thai Governor of Samut Prakan has ordered convenience stores must now open from 5am to 11pm. In addition, everyone should wear masks while outside. This order lasts until 30 April.
- Border authorities anticipate a mass movement of Thai migrant workers are returning home from Cambodia while Cambodia authorities had ordered the casinos in Poipet closed from 1 April – ThaiPBS
- PM Prayut is aware of long queues at Immigration and there is now a plan to grant automatic extension of visa for tourists who arrive in Thailand after 1st March
- PM Prayut will chair a special cabinet meeting tomorrow to discuss additional stimulus measures to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy
- Ministry of Industry is providing 10 million pieces of cloth masks to the citizens of Bangkok via Thailand Post. The first lot will comprise 1 million pieces, followed by 2.5 million masks that will be handed every 15 days – all media outlet
- Over 100 Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officers were ordered to quarantine for two weeks after an officer working at its headquarter was confirmed to be sicked with COVID-19
- 109 horses killed by viral African sickness in Pak Chong district – Thai Rath, Matichon
- Cabinet had approved of the budget for the 5000 Baht cash-handout to cover 9 million people – an additional increase of six million people (original estimate was three million). This brings the total budget to 135 billion Baht, which sources said will be pooled from various ministries. The first of three tranches of handout will be made later in April, only to eligible applicants. As of 31 March, 21.7 million people have registered for the cash-handout.
- Value added tax will be waived for donations of items used in the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of Covid-19 from March 1 until the end of February next year. A similar waiver was also approved on income tax and VAT for companies or juristic persons who make donations to combat the outbreak. The waiver will cost the state 500 million Baht. – Bangkok Post
- The announcement for the import duty exemption of items used in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of Covid19 is pending the Office of the Council State’s approval, which precedes enforcement. The announcement is drafted by the Customs Department (through the Ministry of Finance) according to the list of items designated the Ministry of Public Health. – Customs website
- In lifting the import duties for surgical masks, medical equipment, test kits and medication for Covid19, PM Prayut ordered the Ministry of Public Health to expedite the process of setting up the qualification standards for the import of these items. The Food and Drug Administration (under MoPH) is to spend 1 day on completing the process and the Department of Medical Science (also under MoPH) is to spend 4 days on the it. – Thansettakij
- Ministry of Labour had adjusted to Social Security benefits for the unemployed, approved by the cabinet yesterday. The original announcements were made as part of the Phase 2 stimulus package on 24 March:
- Measure 33 employees who have lost their job or their employers have terminated their employment as a result of COVID 19 will receive 62 percent (revised from 50 percent) of their daily wage for no more than 90 days (revised from 180 days).
- Measure 33 employees whose employment have been suspended as a result of the government’s regulations to curb the spread of COVID19 will receive 62 percent (revised from 50 percent) of their daily wage for 90 days (extended from 60 days). This would ensure that these Measure 33 employees receive a minimum compensation of 5,000 Baht per month, even if their salary is less than 5,000 Baht. This change is to ensure that the Social Security insured workers will receive 5000 Baht – the same amount as the cash hand-out. – Minister of Labour website
- Cabinet approved a proposal to raise the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives’s registered capital by 6 billion Baht this year, bringing total registered capital to 62 billion. Once the registered capital increase is complete, the bank aims to extend 101 billion Baht in loans this year. Some 50 billion Baht of the total will be offered to seven programmes including a smart farming project, famers affected by drought, loans to build additional water resources and an upgrade of agricultural cooperatives. It will also provide loans to SMEs and community businesses.
- The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) expects Thailand’s export to see the worst contraction in 10 years. In its worst-case scenario projection, export will see a decline of 7.1 percent and export value will shrink by 557.72 billion baht this year. UTCC expects the impact of Covid19 outbreak alone to cause Thai export value to shrink by $13.48 billion. Agricultural exports are expected to fall by 8.3-22% or $1.33 billion due to the stringent inspection procedures to curb the virus spread. Risk products include chilled and frozen boiled and fresh shrimp, edible vegetable oil, chilled and frozen fresh fruits, and rice. Thailand’s export to China is forecasted to drop by 1.2 -13.5% this year, the lowest in six years. As much as 80% of export products from Thailand are raw materials, with finished products (35.7% of which are fruits) making up 20%. – Bangkok Post
- The tourism confidence index plunged to the lowest level in nine years, though the industry is optimistic about the final quarter of 2020, which could lead to a total of 26.6 million international arrivals this year, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) – Bangkok Post