Advance Blog

May 11, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 11 May 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesPatients under severe conditions and those using ventilatorsDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
1,91986,9241,270/ 39057,037 (at 65.62%)58,0611,365,992 (+69,552) (= 2.064 %  of the population)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases from active case finding2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
1,902 [1,318 (get tested in hospital) + 584 (active case finding)]17 (in SQ)29,435 [9,438  in field hospital]20,429 (+855)452 (+31) *new record24,983532,462 (+19,008) (=0.804 % of the population)
  • The PM hinted at the press conference after the weekly cabinet meeting that once the surge in the red (controlled) areas is getting better, there should be a consideration for businesses to resume their operations. The PM said the decision will be made balancing the health and economic factors.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Thai MFA spokesperson said that after the CCSA notified the Thai MFA of the widespread of the so-called Indian COVID strain, the ministry has rejected to issue an EOI for foreign nationals from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to enter the Kingdom from 10 May. The spokesperson said that this is a temporary measure and the doors remain opened for Thai nationals.—Thai Rath, The Nation Thailand
  • Deputy Government spokesperson announced that the government will add 16 million people who is subscribing with social security to be on the list to get vaccination.—Thai Rath
  • A CCSA committee headed by the National Security Council stated in the daily meeting that the tendency of infection in Greater Bangkok is not on decline, seeing a stable tendency in some areas. The NSC head has made a recommendation to avoid dining in with friends.–Matichon

Politics

  • Today is the other big moment for student-led protestors as Criminal Court is going to decide whether to grant bails of the three main figures: Parit ‘Penguin’, Panupong ‘Mike’ and Ammy.
    • So far, Ammy has offered his conditions not mess with the monarchy or stir unrest as part of his bail request.–Matichon, Krungthep Turakij
  • Yesterday saw a small gathering at the Bangkok CBD Skywalk with main figures of the protest joined in to request for bails of the other protestors who got detained without trail.—Thai Rath
  • The deputy leader of the freshly established Kla Party came out to set the record straight that his comment calling for the government to revoke health welfare for those rejecting the government-sponsored vaccines are misinterpreted. Worawut Unjai said the recommendation was aimed at revoking the welfare in treating COVID only, not the entire health welfare.—Thai Rath
  • A deputy chief of Senate’s Public Health Committee made a suggestion that since the current measures do not work, Doctor Chaloemchai suggested district lockdowns and mass vaccinations in order to help curb the spread in the Kingdom.—Krungthep Turakij

Economic:

  • Export of Thai Durian to China has spiked thanks to the pre-order online platform that allows farmers to access buyers directly, set up by the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry.  Two weeks ago, it took 9 hours to sell the first batch of 20 tonnes of durian.  On 9 May, it took only 45 minutes for the second batch of 25 tonnes of Durian to be sold out via the platform. This project is a cooperation between the Agriculture and Cooperatives and Commerce Ministries as well as agricultural cooperatives.  Sources:  The Nation Thansettakij
  • Kobsak Pootrakool, the former minister to the PM’s Office who is now Bangkok Bank’s Senior Executive Vice President, suggested that the current government curb the third wave of COVID-19 infection quickly, speed up vaccination, reopen the country to tourism and then roll out incentives to stimulate investments.  Kobsak advised the government to apply Phuket’s vaccination model to the rest of the country since the island is now administering 7 million doses in 7 days.  The government must also try its best to prevent a fourth wave of infection, otherwise additional borrowing to rehabilitate the economy may be inevitable.  Former Commerce and Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijorawong suggests the Thai government establish a fund to help struggling restaurants similarly to those set up in the United States.  Sources:  Bangkok Post, Khao Sod
  • The Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) met with the Bank of Thailand (BOT) to discuss the possibility of allowing SMEs to place purchase orders and invoices as loan collaterals.  This will be achieved through the use of digital technology, which is part of the TCC’s plans to revive the economy from COVID-19.   This is a move to help struggling SMEs have better liquidity to survive the pandemic.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij
  • The Tourism Council of Thailand presented 2 proposals to the government to help maintain employment in the tourism sector, or risk losing 2-2.5 million jobs as most tourism businesses the liquidity to survive for only 3 months.  These proposals include the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation helping TCT members to secure soft loan, and monthly salary co-payment scheme.  Source: Bangkok Post
  • The Thailand Industry Sentiment Index (TISI) in April dropped to 84.3 points, notably the lowest in 8 months, according to the survey conducted by Federation of Thai Industries.  This is attributable to concerns in the business sector on the severity of the current COVID-19 outbreak.  The FTI foresees dim economic prospect in Q3 of 3021 if the government cannot contain the outbreak.  It will discuss with the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking on plans to speed up vaccine distribution to help the government’s inoculation program.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Fees for the cross-border fund transfers between Thailand’s PromptPay and Singapore’s PayNow systems may be lowered in the future if transaction volume is high, said the Bank of Thailand.  Since the system was launched on 29 April, there were around 3000 transactions using the cross border remittance service, in which the fee is 150 Baht per transaction.  This service is part of the ASEAN Connectivity project.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • A raise in foreign ownership quotas for condominiums from 49 percent to 70-80 percent should be allowed in specific locations and capped at units priced higher than 5 million Baht to reserve supply priced lower than 5 million Baht for Thais, according to the Real Estate Information Center.  This is in line with the government’s plan to promote Thailand as a second home by attracting foreigners to buy residential units under both freehold and leasehold contracts.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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