Advance Blog

March 14, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 10 March 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
22,984Domestic +22,937Abroad+473,088,873( since 2020)                                      74221,585
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients(28 Jan – 8 March )2nd dose vaccine recipients(28 Jan – 8 March)3rd dose vaccine recipients(28 Jan – 8 March )
125,199,011 (+162,439)54,039,149(+55,280 yesterday) 77.7 %49,986,606(+18,227yesterday)71.7 %21,263,256(+88,932 yesterday)30.6%

  Sources : Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and Department of Control 

Covid-19 and change regulation

  • National Communicable Disease Committee has approved a 4-month plan to adjust the Covid-19 from the epidemic into endemic disease from the 1st of July onwards

                            Phase 1 (March 12-early April) is called Combatting. Must exert pressure on the number not higher than this. is a battle phase to reduce the outbreak reduce the severity Various measures will be taken, the quarantine action is reduced.

                            Phase 2 (April-May) is called Plateau, which means keeping the infection level from rising. into a plane until it decreases

                           Phase 3 (late May-30 June) is called Declining, reducing the number of infected people to 1,000-2,000 people.

                            Phase 4 (July 1, 2022 onward) s, known as Post pandemic, is out of the epidemic into endemic disease.   ThaiPBS

Shane Warne

  • The body of Shane Warne left Thailand early on Thursday, flying back to Australia where the cricket superstar will receive a state funeral.  Bangkokpost

Political news

  • The parliamentary panel vetting 2 organic laws related to the new election system had its 1 st meeting at Parliament yesterday amid reports that the panel was split over calculation of party-list seats and the mixed-member proportional (MMP) System for electing members of parliament.

·         It is said that all panel members were present except Palang Pracharat Party list MP and deputy leader Paiboon Nititawan who missed out on the chairmanship post.

·          Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha, who chairs the vetting committee, dismissed rumoured disagreement over the issue of calculation of party list MPs and the MMP system. He said the rumour is groundless, comparing the 2 system as 2 separate rivers that separate the 400 elected by constituencies and 100 coming from party lists.

·          Sathit said Sections 83, 86 and 91 clearly state the intention of the MMP system.

·          The panel is expected to complete deliberation of draft amendments on the 2 organic laws on the election of MPs and the political parties in April. Prachachart  Thaipost Khaosod

  • The Election Commission (EC) is expected to meet on March 14 to decide on the date for the election of Bangkok governor and the Pattaya City Mayor following the Cabinet’s approval on the election timeline. The election date is expected to be on May 22 with candidate registration during April 7-11.
  • Move Forward will field candidates for the election of Bangkok district councillors across 50 district and  will  debut its campaign policy for Bangkok governor candidate and candidates for district councils on March 27 at the Future Forward’s headquarters. Mathichon Krungthepturakij
  • The opposition parties plan to hold a seminar on the issue of “Time’s up for the Prime Minister before the country’s time is up”, which  will be held on March 13 at Amari Watergate Bangkok Hotel. It will focus on the controversy over Gen Prayut’s 8-year tenure in the office , which Section 158 of the charter bars any individual from assuming premiership in excess 8 years and will have a session to gather public opinion .   In addition,  the opposition plans to debate on Gen Prayut’s maximum 8-year tenure which will end on August 23

Khaosod

  • The Election Commission (EC) has decided to file a criminal suit against Sira Jenjaka, a former Palang Pracharath Party MP for Bangkok, in connection with a previous conviction of fraud   [%20%20]Bangkokpost

Economic News

Akara Mine

  • The Civic Group for Reform of Resources and Gold represented by 30 activists submitted a petition to the House committee on law, justice and human rights.  They demanded an explanation of the government’s decision to extend Akara Resources’ gold mining licenses for 10 years.  The group urged the committee to suspend the renewal of licences and demanded that Akara pays compensation to Thailand for their many unlawful activities.  They Group also visited the Justice Ministry, calling out for an investigation on the irregularities surrounding DSI’s investigations of Akara Resources misdoings.  Sources:  The Nation TV Bangkok Post

                          The group also travelled to Industry Ministry to seek clarifications on a number of issues, such as

o    Minister Suriya’s claim at the parliamentary debate that Akara Resources is a Thai company.  If this were true, Akara would be ineligible to sue the Thai government through the TAFTA tribunal mechanism

o    Whether or not Akara had submitted applications for more mining license renewals, and whether or not the applications were lodged for the 61 plots of land that appeared on Kingsgate’s video clip which was disseminated worldwide

o    Why the government would extend gold mining license to Akara when the company is still being investigated on several charges, among them forest encroachment, toxic leakage and illegal road construction outside the mining zones.  Source: Siam Rath

Others news

  • The National Energy Policy Committee (NEPC) decided to remove the 40-billion-Baht cap on loans to support the Oil Fund in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  The move will give the fund more room to borrow and cap the soaring oil price.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • In the worst-case scenario wherein the Russia-Ukraine conflict is prolonged for the entire year, the Thai economy would suffer a loss of 244.70 billion Baht, according to the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce.  This would bring down the Thai GDP growth from 3.5-4.5 percent to 2-3 percent, while inflation could surge to 5 percent due to the soaring oil price, meaning Thailand would enter technical stagflation within this year.  Consumer confidence index for February also dropped for the second consecutive month and the lowest in 5 months since October 2021, following the onset of Omicron outbreak, Russia-Ukraine conflict and rising oil price.  Source:  Post Today   Prachachart Turakij Bangkok Post
  • Thai Chamber of Commerce also voiced its concern on the possibility of Thailand facng a stagflation despite suffering only indirect impacts from the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  It asked the public and private sectors to brace for shortages of wheat, rare earth and fertilisier supplies, which would push up their market prices.  The rise in oil price would also hike up manufacturing and logistics costs, therefore the government should focus on protecting the export industry and maintaining a weak Baht.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij
  • The Eastern Economic Corridor Office (EECO) does not expect the Russia – Ukraine conflict to affect investments in the EEC as it plans to forge ahead with 5G and Electric Vehicle (EV) projects.  The EECO remains confident it can achieve investment target of 400 billion Baht for this year and 2.2 trillion Baht in 5 years.  The EECO will also team up with the navy to organise the Thailand International Air Show at U-Tapao airport in 2025 to coincide with the airport’s official opening.  The event will showcase Thailand’s potential to become an MRO  hub and will also feature a business matching event to attract investments into the Eastern Aviation City.   Source:  Manager Online
  • PM Prayut ordered responsible agencies to speed up main infrastructure development projects in the EEC as planned.  These comprise 655 billion Baht high-speed railway links between the 3 airports; the develpment of U-tapao airport; and Map Ta Phut Industrial Port Phase 3 and Laem Chabang Port Phase 3.  Contracts have been signed for these projects since pre-COVID time.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Gold price today had dropped after it reached new heights yesterday as the Russia-Ukraine conflict unfolded.  Yesterday, people queued up in Chinatown to sell their gold for cash as the buying price of gold bullion increased to 31,850 Bath and sold at 31,950 Baht yesterday.  Today, it dropped to 31,800 Baht and 30,900 Baht respectively.  Sources:  Prachachart Turakij   Thai PBS World
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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