Advance Blog

April 7, 2020
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Headline summary as of 6th April 2020


Updates related to COVID-19

  • As of today, In Thailand there are 51 newly confirmed cases, total 2,200 confirmed cases. Three have been reported dead, making 26 total dead.
  • Last night, Ministry of Interior released a memo telling provincial governments to step up its preparedness prompting speculation that a nationwide provincial lockdown and a 24-hour curfew is imminent. The memo ordered local governments to prepare local quarantine sites, store food and necessities, prepare field hospitals. In the case of lockdowns, local governments are designated to supply food and necessary items to the people.
  • This morning, the COVID-19 Situation Administration Centre has dismissed the speculations, and warned people of the legal penalty of spreading ‘fake news’.
  • Last Friday, groups of Thais who have returned to Thailand on the earlier entry regulations to obtain ‘fit-to-fly document’ were struck at the airport, since the authority claimed to utilise a new regulation, announced on 3rd April (the announcement was made when they were on the flights). The new regulation banned passenger from any nationality from entering Thailand for three days, those who have obtained the earlier documents will need to be under state quarantine. Passengers refused to cooperate, claiming they did not have the knowledge of the forced quarantine. After that, a high-ranking military official at the airport negotiated with the passengers and allowed them to go back home, on the condition that they should remain ‘silent and docile’. 
  • However, on Saturday, the government has declared a deadline for all passengers to report to provincial authorities or at the airport within 6 pm. If not, they are considered escaping and will be hunted down for violating the emergency decree. All passengers reported to the authority in time.
  • A media outlet and some social media users shared the full name, passport numbers and address of all the passengers, wishing to social punishing those who ‘escaped’. 
  • Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand’s director said that as of midnight today, they will start to re-open the sky again accepting Thai passengers who wish to get home. 
  • The Immigration Bureau (IB) plans to seek cabinet approval for a new raft of measures for three different categories of foreigners in Thailand affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • The government has warned private hospitals not to send medical bills to COVID-19 patients or their families, saying their medical expenses will be paid for by the government.
  • The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) reported that African horse sickness (AHS), which was recently reported for the first time in Thailand, has caused the deaths of at least 154 horses in Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Phetchaburi


  • House Speaker Chuan Leekpai said on Friday the House would reconvene on May 22 as scheduled with the spending plan for the 2021 fiscal year high on its agenda.–Bangkok Post
  • Tomorrow, the cabinet is scheduled to meet to approve a new economic stimulus package and, highly likely, loan bills.


Foreign Workers

Social Security

Agriculture/Supply Chain

  • The Office of Economics Agriculture expects agricultural sector in Q1 of 2020 to contract by 4.8 percent compared to the same period last year, attributable to Covid19 outbreak that disrupted trade, logistics and distribution capacities.  The shortage of labourers is also another hurdle for the sector.
  •  Fruits will be affected the most because they will be available in the market in Q1 and Q2
  •  Pork, cassava and rice are to benefit from the surge in global demand.  Unhusked rice output for 2019/2020 is anticipated to total 28.3 million tonnes, which is enough to sustain domestic consumption (13.3 million tonnes), but might affect allocation for export (15.38 million tonnes), industrial use (2.4 million tonnes) and seedling (1.37 million tonnes).
  • Pork continues to see higher demand within Thailand and from neighbouring countries due to supply shortage resulting from African Swine Flu. Some 92.86 percent of Thailand’s 1.68 million tonnes of pork production is for domestic consumption.
  • The 2020 cassava supply will see a 5.11 percent decline due to the drought, but demand for it is rising as cassava is used in the production of disinfectant alcohol.
  • Thai Rice Exporter Association asserted that Thailand will not ban rice export just yet and will only do so if export exceeds 900,000 tonnes nextmonth (current monthly export is 600,000 tonnes).  The price of rice is expected to increase by 20-30 percent if the pandemic is not contained in a few months.  In the past week alone, Thailand’s rice export price had gone up by 71 dollars per tonne, partly because other countries such as Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Myanmar are restricting or banning rice export as a result of both the drought and pandemic.

Stimulus Package

  • The first batch of 5,000 Baht cash-handout will be made on 8 April to eligible applicants.  To date, some 260,000 people have withdrawn their applications to receive the cash hand-out after The Ministry of Finance allowed ineligible applicants to revise or cancel their applications from 4 April until the end of June through the government’s website www.เราไม่ทิ้งกัน.com (   The total number of applicants from 28 March – 6 April stood at 24.2 million.


  • On 5 April, American troops attending the Thai-US Hanuman Guardian 2020 joint military exercise were waiting in Pattaya City in Chon Buri to depart Thailand after the drill was shortened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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