Advance Blog

January 11, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 11 January 2021


  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesProvinces with confirmed casesDischarged from hospitalFrom 15 Dec, total confirmed cases from clusters
24910,547586,566 (at 63.25%)6,090
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalisedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases for active case finding among migrant workers
176+48 (active case finding among migrant workers) +14 (illicit entry)11 (in SQ)3,914447 (+36 cases reported today)672,839
  • The CCSA spokesperson said in the press briefing that as of yesterday, there have been 6.34 million downloads of the ‘Mor Chana’ application, the newly introduced application the CCSA is recommending to curb COVID-19. The application is a step up from the ‘Thai Chana’ which also asks for GPS and Bluetooth of users.
  • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister raised up an idea to let people who got COVID infection from illicit behaviours, including illicit entry and gambling to be responsible for their own treatment expenses. The Public Health Minister affirmed that it is by rights that everyone in Thailand is subject to medical treatment without any objection, but according to the Communicable Disease Act Article 41-43 the authority can ask certain groups to be responsible for the expenses.—Thai Post
  • Media are reporting on the deadly illicit drug which is believed to cause 7 casualties in Bangkok within a day. Apparently it is the new formula of Ketamine, widely called ‘Milk Powder Ketamine’ and the side-effect is deadly.–ThaiPBS


  • Super Poll released its latest poll on the popularity of the PM showing that under the pandemic 87 percent of the people have trust in the PM. The poll said that the support of the Coalition has been rising since April 2020 which was at 35.7 percent late last year and now at 53.6 percent in January 2021. –Super Poll


  • Second largest opposition Kao Klai Party (the party successor of the now defunct Future Forward Party) are facing a dilemma from not being as progressive as the student-led protestors and too progressive for the Opposition. The article regarded the role of the party being downgraded as ‘follower’ from the leading role. The party is being left behind in their progressive agenda on including the rejig proposal of Article 1 and 2 (Form of State and On Monarchy) to the Opposition charter rejig proposal.—Matichon Weekly


Provident Fund & Unemployment

  • Finance Ministry will allow employees and employers to suspend or postpone their provident fund contributions from January to June 2021, without affecting their provident fund status.  The statement was published in The Royal Gazette on 10 January 2021.  Sources:  The Nation Krungthep Turakij
  • TDRI expects unemployment caused by the current COVID-19 outbreak to be worse than last year, given that employment number had not fully recovered.  While auto, food and manufacturing sectors are not much affected, the service sector remains the hardest hit.  Unemployment peaked at 8 million during last year’s lockdown (2 percent) and came down to 7.3-7.4 million.  When the lockdown was lifted last year, around 5 million jobless people were able to find employment.  But of this figure, 2-3 million are earning less compared to pre-COVID19 period because their working and OT hours are reduced.  The government’s decision to implement a soft lockdown as opposed to a nationwide hard lockdown leads to ambiguity in compensation guidelines for those who are suspended from work or whose working hours are be reduced.  TDRI expects the government will need 100 billion Baht to assist the migrant labourers who are marginalised and would need the most assistance.  Source:  Thansettakij

Tourism & Aviation

  • Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) expects the current outbreak to affect tourism for 2 months, after which another month is needed before TAT could provide a new forecast for year 2021 tourism figures.  Foreign arrivals are expected to return in Q3 2021, when the vaccines are rolled out.  TAT’s original forecast for 2021 was 120 domestic trips with revenue of 700 billion Baht, and 10 million foreign arrivals with revenue of 500 billion Baht.  Domestic tourism had declined by 90 percent because cross-province travel is restricted, according Federation of Tourism Thailand.  It called for the government to extend the benefits of the domestic stimulus package to a broader group of businesses in the tourism value chain, such as spas and tour guides. Sources:  Thansettakij newspaper, 7-9 January 2021 Bangkok Post
  • The current Covid-19 outbreak caused domestic air travel to drop by 60 percent since the start of 2021, based on figures from the 20 airports supervised by the Department of Airports (DOA).   In 2020, domestic and international fights dropped 55 percent to 464,944 from 1.04 million in 2019.  Thai AirAsia (TAA) said this is the worst crisis for aviation in Thailand as airlines face more pressure than during the lockdown last year.  Most airlines in Thailand are not in a good shape financially, since they received no financial support from the government despite requesting for the soft loans since last year.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Bangkok Post
  • Tourism operators ask the government to start researching on a plan to welcome inoculated international tourists, with the aim being to revoke the 14-day quarantine requirement.  Source:  Bangkok Post


  • Economist Somjai Phagaphasvivat expects the Thai economy to contract in Q1 of 2021 and lauds the government’s effort at implementing the stimulus schemes.  Federation of Thai Industry suggests the government foregoes the cash-handout and instead raises the Khon La Krueng co-payment subsidy to 5,000 Baht until March.  The Wholesale and Retail Association chided the government’s inefficiencies in handling the latest outbreak and said existing state aid measures only benefitted certain groups of people and businesses.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCCI) offers to cooperate with the government in tackling the virus outbreak, while requesting a tax deduction for expenses incurred from health screening, treatment and vaccinations for infected employees.  TCC proposes that a joint working group be established with the public and private sectors to manage problems in the longer term.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Ministry of Finance is mulling 4 options to assist those affected by COVID-19.  If the cash-handout is implemented, it would be limited since the government did not impose a nationwide lockdown.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok

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