Advance Blog

January 14, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 14 January 2021


  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesProvinces with confirmed casesDischarged from hospitalFrom 18 Dec, total confirmed cases from clusters
27111,262607,660 (at 68.02%)6,602
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field hospital/  quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases from active case finding among migrant workers
78+181 (active case finding among migrant workers) + 1 (entering from Malaysia)11 (in SQ)3,533526 [512 reported by BMA yesterday (*BMA changed the number) + 14 by CCSA today]69 (+2 a British national from London arrived Thailand on 5 December; and a Thai national with Diabetes)3,187


  • Yesterday, there have been some developments on Article 112 lese majeste:
    • Late last night, the police raid into Thammasat University and apprehend ‘New Sirichai’ a 1st year student for violating Article 112. After being told that the student will be transferred to the border patrol police camp, the police told the other protest main figures that he is being held at Long Luang Police Station.—ThaiPBS
    • The Samut Prakarn trial court dismissed the lese majeste and sedition allegations against a person who posted comment in relation to King Rama IX’s dog pet and the alleged corruption plan of the Rajabhakdhi Park. Mr Tanakorn posted a comment saying “feeling very grateful seeing the comments” in a post related to the former King’s pet. The court saw this phrase does not indicate merely a sarcastic intent against the pet, so the case is dismissed.—Prachatai
    • Up until yesterday, iLaw listed the number of people who got charges in the fresh reintroduction of Article 112 is as high as 45 people, including two minors. The full list cane be viewed at iLaw’s.
  • Media interviewed the current Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Asawin who was appointed by the junta under the supreme laws Article 44 whether he eyes to run for the gubernatorial seat. He replied by saying that does the media want him to run? The governor election has not been announced yet but he is keeping himself fit for the run. When asked whether he will send his son who is currently serving as the BMA spokesperson to run, he said his son is not at the minimum age required for the position. The current governor revealed that the former Police Chief Pol Gen Chaktip has made a call to him asking whether Pol Gen Asawin will run, the current governor said he has not made up his mind.—Thai Rath Inside Thailand, Bangkok Post
  • For the former Nation TV big fans, the familiar faces are returning on air from 1 February as the hardline right wing anchors who left the TV channel late last year due to restructuring have finally settled on their new platform. The Top TV will be broadcasting on satellite channel 77 and on online platforms (Facebook and You Tube). The group of anchors said they discussed with Digital TV Channel 18 (owned by Daily News newspapers) and PPTV but could not cut the deal.—Thai Post Isranews Agency, New Na


  • The government plans to continue retaining its price control on 55 products and services.  Among them are items used to combat COVID-19, such as sanitary face masks, polypropylene (spundbond) used in the production of face masks, alcohol for hand sanitizer and recyclable paper.  Originally set to expire on 3 February, the price-control of these 4 items will be renewed for another year, subjected to the cabinet’s approval next week.  Source:  Thai Rath  Bangkok Post
  • Similarly to last year’s 5,000 Baht cash-handout financial assistance scheme, the soon-to-be-implemented 3,500 Baht handout under the government project ‘Rao Chana’ will be given to applicants based on the amount of income reported in their savings account.  For example, high-earning freelancers will be disqualified, whereas informal workers with low income will be eligible.  Other ineligible groups are the civil servants and formal workers entitled by compensation from Social Security Fund.  The criteria will be finalised at the cabinet’s meeting next Tuesday.  TDRI reprimanded the government’s blanket approach; instead urging it to provide cash to those who need it most, at a higher amount and for a longer period of time.
  • Finance Ministry reported that Phase 2 of the ‘Khon La Krueng’ government co-payment subsidy program is used by 12.1 million people, with spending totalling 53.4 billion Baht, of which 27.3 billion Baht is spending by the consumers and 26.1 billion is the government’s subsidy.  The cabinet will take this into account when considering whether or not to extend the third phase of the scheme.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij
  • The state-own Krungthai Bank has revised down its forecast for Thailand’s 2021 GDP; from a growth of 3.5 to 2.5 percent on the condition that the pandemic outbreak is contained in 2 months.  Under this scenario, domestic tourism is estimated to decline to 109.6 million trips, thereby incurring a loss of 110 billion Baht in tourism revenue and causing consumer spending to crease by 167 billion Baht.  If the pandemic takes 3 months (Jan- March) to control, GDP will expand by 2 percent, with  domestic tourism totalling 100 million trips, leading to a loss of 150 billion Baht in tourism revenue and a drop of 239 billion Baht in consumer spending.  If the government’s latest aid package is not implemented, GDP could plunge to 1.5-percent growth.
  • TMB Bank estimated that nationwide, the resurgence of COVID-19 will cause revenue from trade and tourism to decline by 140 billion Baht, since both sectors constitute 22 percent of GDP and employ 6.9 million people.  TMB Bank suggests the government aids the affected people in accordance with the magnitude of impacts in their specific areas.  For example, the Bangkok economy is 33 percent dependent on trade and tourism, thereby it is expected to suffer the highest loss in revenue of 81.4 billion Baht.  Next is Chonburi, with revenue expected to fall by 15.5 billion Baht and Phuket by 2.8 billion Baht.  Sources:  Krungthep Turakij Bangkok Post
  • The Association of Domestic Travel (ADT) said the government’s domestic tourism goal of 200 million trips this year is achievable, if the outbreak is contained in 2 months and the government provides more support through stimulus packages.  ADT proposed a new idea for a co-payment domestic tour programme, with the government subsidising 50 percent of tour packages, capped at 3,000 Baht for 2 million packages.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The government will rev up promotion of the Bio, Circular and Green (BCG) economy to drive economic growth from 2021-2026.  PM Prayut had approved a 5-year strategic plan to promote BCG and identified four target sectors, namely farm and food; healthcare and medical services; energy and biochemicals; and tourism and creative economy.  The government will work with the Board of Investment to adjust privileges to attract foreign investment.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok

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