Advance Blog

August 12, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 12 August 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)3rd dose vaccine recipients (from 16 July)
22,782 (375 from prisons)839,771 (last seven days: 146,011)5,495/ 1,103623,801 (+23,649)810,90817,068,105 (+366,677)BKK: 5,693,746 (+63,254)394,073 (+69,577)BKK: 96,312 (+13,346)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Average tests in the last seven days
22,399 [19,973 (get tested in hospital) + 2,426(active case finding)]8 (in SQ)209,028 [1148,901 in field hospital]198,709 (+4,854)6,942 (+147) (last seven days: 1,279)22,288,819 (+570,865)BKK: 7,025,992 (+89,239)4,826,641 (+134,611)BKK:1,235,934 (+12,639)52,404
  • Two coronavirus vaccines administered using a nasal spray being developed in Thailand are due to start human trials by the end of this year. The spray has been developed by the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology anticipating to get the production for wider use in mid 2022.—Reuters
  • The Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin said that the government will order the additional 10 million doses from the earlier announced 20 million doses. The top health official said the vaccine will be delivered to Thailand within the Q4 this year.—Thai Rath
  • The PM, via the government spokesperson, expressed his condolence to the family of the deceased and has expedited the probe.—Krungthep Turakij
    • The Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Don has also expressed his condolences and had made a call to the Swiss ambassador to Thailand.—Matichon
    • The Police Chief, accompanied by a task-force, has went down to Phuket to lead the probe.—ThaiPBS

Politics

  • The last two days witnessed series of protracted and escalated violence from all sides even when the protest has adjourned:
    • The police clashed with protesters for a second successive day on Wednesday, after hundreds sought to rally near the residence of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to demand his resignation. Hundreds of protesters threw paint at a line of riot police who confronted them as they tried to march on Prayuth’s home and police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse them.—Reuters
    • Police spokesperson said on 11 August night, there were eleven police officers injured, eight police cars burnt and have apprehended 17 protestors.—Krungthep Turakij
    •  The Police has also come out to warn the parents of the protestors that they could also be prosecuted if the parents allowed their children to join the protests.—Manager
    •  There was a report of the riot police using LRAD to dispel protestors.—Matichon
    • A 14-year-old protestor, who got severe injury at his hand when he tried to throw a fire cracker against the riot control police, got tested Covid positive. The youth protestor has been hospitalised since last night.—Matichon
    • The organiser of the protest on 11 August is calling for the other gathering at the Victory Monument before walking to the PM Residence on 13 August.—Krungthep Turakij
  •  It is a no-go for the medical amnesty bill as the Deputy PM and legal pundit Wissanu said in the cabinet meeting pushing back the bill and ask the Public Health to think hard enough before proposing again. The government legal pundit said that the way to protect the medical staffs from accidental wrongdoings is to reassign the staffs to be part of the CCSA.—Prachachat Turakij
  •  Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, the secretary-general of the opposition Progressive Movement, posted on his social media his idea on the amendment of Section 2 (regarding monarchy). The amendments include the abolishment of the Privy Council, the oath-taking before the monarch to reign, and the power of the monarch to turn down any laws approved by the House.—Prachatai
  • On 11 August, the Opposition has agreed to submit the names of five ministers to be on grill in the upcoming censure debate, including the PM, Public Health Minister Anutin, Transport Minister Saksayam, Commerce Minister Jurin and Agriculture Minister Chalermchai. They will conclude the nameless before sending to the House Speaker on 14 August. As for the Deputy PM Prawit, he made it without being on the grill as the Opposition said he is Deputy PM without any direct agencies under supervision.—Thai Rath

Economic:

Cabinet’s Decisions, 11 August 2021

Approved of increasing the budget for Social Security compensation to cover the 16 provinces that were recently categorised as dark red zones. 

  • Compensation for employers and employees under Section 33 of the Social Security Act (SSA) was raised by 2.02 billion Baht from 15 billion to 17 billion Baht.  The implementation period is also extended by 1 month to 24 August 2021.   
  • Some 33.5 billion Baht is being allocated as compensation for those insured under Section 39 and Section 40 of the SSA for 6.7 million people.  Source:  Prachachart Turakij

Approved of allocating 12.7 billion Baht for medical workers and 1.88 billion Baht for officials assisting with public vaccination, totaling 14.5 billion Baht.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Approved of the revised law to enable SMEs to enter rehabilitation process without having to declare bankruptcy.  The move is made to assist SMEs with liquidity problems caused by COVID-19 rehabilitate their business.  Source:  Thansettakij

Others

  • Dr Suvit Maesincee, the former Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Minister who conceived of the Bio-Circular-Green economic model, reiterated that the BCG concept will help Thailand survive COVID-19 shocks.  BCG can reduce Thailand’s reliance on foreign investments while bolstering its competitiveness by capitalizing on local resources, such as its bountiful agricultural produce.  PM Prayut had established committees in October 2020 to drive the BCG plans, namely 1) the BCG economy development committee and 2) management committees as well as 9 subcommittees.  Dr Suvit described Thailand’s current BCG development structure as impractical, saying it may fail to boost the economy in the short and medium term.  Instead, Dr Suvit proposed that a strong team be set up to make proposals directly to a special national BCG Strategy Committee, with PM Prayut facilitating their requests.  Source:  Thai Rath Bangkok Post
  • Phuket is seeing a steady rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, especially among Burmese migrant workers in the fishery industry.  The island reported 297 new COVID-19 cases last week, and 328 so far this week due to incoming Delta variant.   Tourism Authority of Thailand plans to launch aggressive tourism marketing campaigns overseas to promote the image of Phuket as a safe destination following the murder of a Swiss woman and as the US placed Thailand on the list of countries with a Covid-19 alert.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Protection for bank deposits is slashed from 5 million Baht to 1 million Baht per depositor since 11 August, according to the Bank of Thailand (BOT).  The move is not expected to have significant impact on the supply of savings.  BOT insists the reduction is not related to COVID-19, but has been in the BOT’s pipeline to achieve its objectives of reducing inequality and make room for the government to allocate more budget for economic activities.  Sources:  The Nation Prachachart Turakij Bangkok Post
  • The foreign business confidence index (FBCI) stood at only 27.7 in the Q2 of this year, down from 33.2 in Q1, reported the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).  The tepid foreign business confidence in Thailand is attributable to prolonged Covid-19 outbreaks, weak consumer purchasing power, low investment, and battered tourism and employment.  The JFCCT and Thai Chamber of Commerce urged the government to expedite vaccine rollout to restore foreigners’ confidence.  Sources:  Bangkok Post Thansettakij
  • Ministry of Commerce had consulted with the public and private sectors about the European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will be enforced in 2023.  MoC expects CBAM to affect Thailand’s export of steel and aluminum to the EU, worth around 145 million USD.  MoC urges exporters to start reducing greenhouse gas emission in their production and will consult with the EU to reduce potential repercussions on Thai trade.  Source:  Thailand Plus TV
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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