Advance Blog

April 3, 2020
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Headline summary as of 3rd April 2020

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19 in Thailand:
    • As of today, there are newly confirmed 103 cases, 1,978 total cases and 19 total dead.
    • Yesterday the PM held a national address announcing nation-wide curfew from 10pm until 4am starting since last night. Media quoted a source in the government house saying that the PM is monitoring the situation for one more week. Should the infection rate remain as high, the 24 hours curfew measure will be considered/enforced. The curfew came with an exception for people who work in medicine, banking and delivery of consumable goods, crops, medicine, medical supplies and equipment, newspapers and gas; people who work shifts; people who are traveling to and from an airport; and people with permission from their district officials. International arrivals have been tightly restricted, requiring medical clearances prior to departure and 14-day self-isolation after arrival. The PM stressed that he would place public health concerns prior to liberty.—all media outlet
    • The government will block all travel to Thailand, including by Thais, for half a month to prepare “state quarantine” facilities after more local patients have been linked to imported cases.—all media outlet
    • Today, the PM has ordered a special cabinet meeting at the government house to consider new economic stimulus packages. A media quoted a source in the Finance Ministry report that the Ministry will propose a 800 billion-1 trillion THB loan bill to curb the effects of COVID-19 on Thai economy.–Thansettakij
    • Yesterday, the COVID-19 Administration Centre reported 104 newly confirmed cases, 1,875 total confirmed cases. Out of the 1,875 cases, 1,355 are being hospitalized and 23 of the hospitalized are in critical condition.
    • An attempt to reduce the cost of living burden, the electricity and water bills will be discounted for 3 percent from April until June.—all media outlet
    • About 10,000 tourists remain on Koh Chang as authorities there prepare for a flood of arrivals from the shut-down beaches and bars around Pattaya, after their call for the province to be locked down was rejected.—Bangkok Post
    • Social media outlet started to pick up the budget that army has been using 22 million THB to spray disinfectants on streets in Bangkok.

Politics

  • Matichon Weekly ran a special report hinting the reason why PM Prayuth did not deploy military to be stationed at the inter-provincial health check-points and appoint the Commander in Chief to be the head of security in COVID-19 Administration Centre, rather than Army Chief Apirat. The author wrote that after active shooting incident in Nakhon Ratchasrima months ago with the Army’s involvement, there were rumours that PM Prayuth would dismiss General Apirat. Even though, the PM might not want the public to get too alerted from seeing military personnel on streets, the author wrote that this could be seen as the PM’s fear from getting coup’d etat by the army. Another point of conflict might be the next army chief: the PM and Army Chief both have their own preferential candidate.

Business

  • Forbes Thailand has announced 50 richest Thais for 2018. The CP owners remain the richest, despite their assets have devalued.  Red Bull owner, ThaiBev and real estate tycoon, and Central Pattana family ranked second, third and fourth.—Matichon
  • Thai Airways has announced that the national carrier will cease its flights internationally and domestically from April until the end of May and has compensated 50-90% of wages for its employees.—all media outlet
  • A fresh batch of relief measures for people and businesses affected by the outbreak, farmers and capital market stabilisation is set to go before the economic ministers’ meeting today before being forwarded to the cabinet next Tuesday.—Bangkok Post

ASEAN/World

  • Coronavirus Pandemic globally passes 1 million infected.
  • The natural resources and environment permanent secretary said Thailand will seek talks with Myanmar and Laos to lend strength to the fight against haze and smog pollution. The Environment Ministry is being urged to talk with the neighbouring countries, although it has also acknowledged that part of the problem has originated from bushfires within this country.—Bangkok Post

Australia

  • HOM’s interview with Matichon Weekly, “Thailand-Australia: an intimate and smooth relation (1)” is published. The focus is on Canberra’s measures on COVID-19 and HOM’s interest in Asia and Thailand.
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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