Advance Blog

September 13, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 13 September 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)
12,583 (163 from prisons); (excluding ATK 6,436)1,394,756 (last seven days: 100,234)4,096/ 8351,248,158 (+16,304)1,365,89327,303,700 (+109,213) BKK: 7,350,114615,075 (+106) BKK: 184,874
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)Average positive rate in the last seven days
12,409 [11,232 (get tested in hospital) + 1,177 (active case finding)]11 (in SQ)132,113 [161,577 in field hospital]326,351 (+3,329)14,485 (+132) (last seven days: 1,443)40,276,356 (+215,889) BKK: 10,258,74712,357,581 (+106,570) BKK: 2,723,75918.03%
  • The deputy PM and Public Health Minister said that on 29 September, there will be 2 million more of Pfizer vaccines reach the Kingdom. This is part of the overall ordered 30 million doses. The top public health official said that the authority is discussing on the reduction of quarantine days.—Khao Sod
  • After the Chinese Embassy fierce Facebook post against the people who has been questioning the efficacy of the Chinese vaccines, a former Thai diplomat has argued that the post has went too far and might be read as a threat against the Thai people. The anti-Prayut vocal diplomat has also questioned the Foreign Minister who instead of protecting the Thai people from such threat, is reiterating the Chinese message.–Matichon
  • On 12 September, the Japanese Embassy has sent out emails warning its citizen in Thailand of the high possibility of a terror attack and has warned their citizen to avoid crowded areas, tourist spots, and areas where there are connections to Japan or Western countries. The warning also outlined restaurants, mosques and churches.
    • The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has later outlined that the email was not only sent to Japanese nationals in Thailand, but all over the Southeast Asian region.–ThaiPBS, Nation Thailand

Politics

  • After there was a blitz by the PM to remove Deputy Agriculture Minister and PPRP secretary-general and the Deputy Labour Minister and PPRP treasurer from ministerial positions on Thursday, there have been various developments since:
    • It is reported that the two PPRP main figures went to see Deputy PM and PPRP leader General Prawit calling for the party leader to strip them from position, so that they could seek out new party to work with. The party leader was reportedly advised against that and has asked them to help the party.–Matichon
    • It is argued that the PM might have an incentive to become the PPRP leader in a bid to consolidate his political capital in the next election.—Krungthep Turakij
    • It is reported that the PPRP has called for the meeting of its MPs at the Parliament on 15 September. The party leader is expected to join the meeting.—Thai Rath
    • With the two-minister gone, there have been speculations on who will fill in the vacant portfolios. Here are some of the speculations: The Nation Group executive editors have come up with this formula:
NameFromTo
Songsak ThongsriDeputy Interior MinisterDeputy Public Health Minister
Sathit PittutechaDeputy Public Health MinisterDeputy Interior Minister
Chatchai PromlertInterior secretary-general (retiring)Deputy Interior Minister
Southern PPRP MPsMPsDeputy Labour Minister
  • The Parliament has passed the third reading of the Constitutional Amendment to return to that of two-ballot system.
    • Of the total 467 MPs, 323 voted in favour, 23 against and 121 abstained. Of the total 225 senators, 149 voted in favour, 10 against, and 66 abstained. The bill will be forwarded for royal endorsement in 15 days.—Nation Thailand
    • This is unexpected for many political observers as it is seen as giving opposition Phue Thai a magic wand to compete in the electoral system they are competent of.–ThaiPBS
    • The Nation Group viewed however that this move is well-calculated with the ultimate aim of dwarf the progressive Move Forward Party to have more than 50 seats in the Parliament for the upcoming election.—Than Settakij
  • NIDA Poll revealed the results of a public survey entitled “Political Possibilities of Big Three (Prawit Wongsuwan, Anupong Paochinda, and Prayut Chan-o-cha)”. Nearly one-thirds of those surveyed believed that this could be General Prayut Chan-o-chas last term as prime minister.—Nation Thailand

Economic

  • Ministry of Finance (MOF) is working on plans to borrow an additional 72.3 billion Baht through government bonds and promissory notes by 30 September, which marks the end of Fiscal Year 2021.  With this additional borrowing, MOF would have borrowed 98 percent of the 1 trillion Baht loan as stiuplated by the executive decree.  Once borrowed, the loan must be disbursed by the end of the calendar year.   As for government’s recent 500 billion Baht loan, to date the MOF has borrowed 74 billion Baht.  Sources:  Thai Rath  Prachachart Turakij
  • The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has categorised 10 export sectors into 4 groups based on the advantages they will gain from different stages of the global economy.  Of the 10 industries, food and auto exports will pick up with global economic recovery; home appliance and furniture will flourish with work-from-home guidelines; medical equipment and food supplement will rise with healthcare trends; and Thai handicrafts as well as cosmetic products will benefit from the pandemic.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • At the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting from 8-9 September, the Ministers agreed on a number of issues to boost the region’s post COVID-19 recovery.  These include the framework for BCG development, digitization plans and regional e-commerce plans, among others.  The Ministers also agreed to cement trade connections through ASEAN Single Window and each member agreed to expedite the internal processes of their respective country to ensure RCEP enforcement in January 2022.  Sources:  Manager Online Naew Na
  • Ministry of Agriculture has designated Durian as a ‘special agricultural product’, aiming to promote it as the key fruit in upscaling green innovation in the agricultural sector.  The government has set sights on developing green and sustainable value chains for special agricultural products to help small scale farmers.  Durian is Thailand’s top agricultural product exports with 94.8 billion Baht in value; or 2.5% of GDP.  Its export grows at 40 percent each year.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Somjai Phagaphasvivat, an independent political and economic analyst, urged the government to roll out a national strategic blueprint to address the changing economic structure such as technologies, geopolitics, global warming, health and inequality management.  For example, he suggested Thailand have a Covid-19 charter with ASEAN to prepare for future outbreaks.  Without a strategic blueprint, it could affect Thailand’s competitiveness in the next 5-10 years.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Minister Jurin presided over the re-opening of Khao Lak district, Phang-Nga province on 12 September as part of the Andaman Sandbox model.  He also witnessed the signing of an MOU between the Public Health Ministry and 6 hotels in Khao Lak that will be developed into Andaman’s medical and wellness hub, which earn revenue of 1 trillion Baht for the country.  Source:  Matichon
  • Chiang Mai’s reopening was scheduled for Oct 15, although the date may be delayed depending on the rate of Covid-19 infections nationwide.  Chiang Mai’s reopening sandbox model will be different from Phuket’s and Samui’s versions as the latter are islands.  For Chiang Mai, 3 tourism programmes are offered to foreign visitors.  A short visit of 5 days is for visitors who play golf; a medium-length visit is for to 14 days with an itinerary to see specific places in Chiang Mai.  A third type of visit is for people from the Phuket sandbox who have spent 6 days in Phuket and travel onward to Chiang Mai where they would tour for another 7 days.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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