Advance Blog

May 14, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 14 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)
2,256 (2,078+183 from prisons)93,794  1,203/ 408  62,316 (at 64.88%)67,187  1,416,432 (+21,302) (= 2.107 % 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)
2,068 [1,523 (get tested in hospital) + 545 (active case finding)]5 (in SQ)33,186 [12,517 in field hospi-tal]23,561 (+1,087)548 (+30)25,629708,300 (+63,067) (=0.975 % of the population)

The CCSA spokesperson announced two significant things in the daily press briefing today:

  • The surge in Greater Bangkok area has not been subsided, since 1 April, there have been 35,885 confirmed cases in Greater Bangkok. The spokesperson said in some areas of Bangkok the infectious rate is as high as 5 percent.
  • It has been 14 days since the last lockdown measure nationwide, the CCSA is considering an ease to the restriction. The full details on provinces under each categories will be announced in the press briefing tomorrow.
Areas/ activitiesThe use of face masksEventsDine-inConvenience storesEntertainment complexesShopping mallsEducational Institutions
Maximum and strict controlledCompulsoryNo more than 20 peopleAllowed until 9.00pm with no more than 25% of capacity I Take-away until 11.00pm04.00am – 11.00 pmClosedUntil 11.00 pmClosed
Maximum controlledCompulsory  No more than 50 peopleAllowed until 11.00pm04.00am – 11.00 pmClosedUntil 11.00 pmAsk for permission from authority
ControlledCompulsoryNo more than 50 peopleBusiness as usualBusiness as usualClosedUntil 11.00 pmAsk for permission from authority
  • This morning, the PM and the Public Health Minister Anutin preside over the opening of ‘Topaz’ covid care facility at Impact Arena outside Bangkok. The facility is, according to the minister, is not field hospital, but a specialised facility for ‘yellow level’ covid patient who shows some mild COVID symptoms. The facility can fit 1,000 to 5,000 patients.—Matichon
  • Thai authority announced that the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the usage of American Moderna covid vaccine in the Kingdom for emergency usage.—Prachachat Turakij
  • The Justice Minister announced that it is not clear who was patient zero for the Bangkok prisons cluster. Yesterday the CCSA added in almost 3,000 confirmed cases to the daily report, making 13 May the record high of COVID cases in the Kingdom.—Thai Rath

Politics

After the France-based monarchy critic Somsak Jaemteerasakul raised a question resolving the health of the monarch, there have been many developments:

  • Yesterday, the Thai Stock Market plunged by 70 points (the greatest plunge in 5months) before rebounding a bit due to a ‘rumour’.—Inside Thailand, Bangkok Post
  • The official page of the CCSA announced at 7.30 pm that the viral rumour about the health of the Queen in regards to the pandemic is a fake news and ask for cooperation for people to stop sharing it.—CCSA Information Centre
  • A Thai-based Page reporting about monarchy around the world quoted official(s) in the Royal Office saying that “so far, the situation remains normal”. —Royal World Thailand Page
  • Army reporter Wassana Nanuam posted on her FB citing sources in the royal court saying that they majesties are healthy and have been following the news of the pandemic closely with the aims to support government in curbing the pandemic. The source said that the people have already known that the rumour is a fake news, so there is no need for a statement by the Royal Office.—Wassana Nanuam
  • HSH Prince Chulcherm Yugala, a senior member of the greater royal family, posted on his FB saying that the fake news distributor has a vicious intention aiming at manipulating the stock market to gain funds in their political struggles.—Nation TV
  • The main opposition Pheu Thai Party is going to consult with other opposition parties to file a motion of censure debate without casting a vote when the House resume session.—Daily News
  • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin said he does not concern with the Opposition grill, affirming that he has been working for the people’s interests.—Matichon
  • Yesterday marked the 11th anniversary of the assassination of Major Khattiya Sawatdiphon, one of the Red-shirt leaders. A small group of red-shirt protestors gathered in Bangkok CBD where the Major was assassinated with sniper. Until now, there has been no clue of the perpetrator.—Matichon

Economic News Summary:

CPTPP

  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) will hold a meeting on 19 May to establish a stance whether or not it will support Thailand to accede to CPTPP.  The Thai Chamber of Commerce reiterated that its stance has always been to support the Thai government to accede to the trade pact.  TCC reasoned that accession process could take up to 4 years and the government could make negotiations in the meantime.  The National Farmers Council, however, cautioned the government against making such a move.  In their views, FTAs have proven to benefit the rich while making the poor, such as farmers, even poorer.  Source:  Thansettakij, 12 May, 2021

APEC

  • As the host of APEC meetings in 2022, Thailand will be hosting over 100 meetings starting from November this year until the end of 2022.  The theme will focus on rehabilitating the regional economies post COVID-19 through trade facilitation, specifically digital trade platform; promoting MSMEs’ access to financial sources; promoting connectivity, ie: health tourism, green tourism; promoting sustainable growth, ie: BCG economic model; and women’s empowerment.  Source:  National News Bureau of Thailand

Others

  • Board of Investment (BOI) revealed that the value of FDI applications in Q1 of 2021 soared by 143 percent YoY to 62 billion Baht from 25.6 billion, although the number of applications dropped by 17 percent to 191 projects.  South Korean companies topped the FDI value (10.5 billion Baht), followed by those from China (10.4 billion Baht), Norway (10 billion Baht) and Hong Kong (6.27 billion Baht).  FDI applications were mainly for electronics, metal products and machinery and transport equipment sectors. Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The new phase of the government’s domestic tourism subsidy scheme We Travel Together and co-payment scheme Tour Tiew Thai have yet to be approved by the cabinet, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).  It is possible that the schemes will kick off when the third wave of outbreak is under control, likely to be the end of June or early July.  Their validity period might be extended from September to the end of October.  Earlier, TAT had set the target for its domestic tourism at 100-120 million trips with revenue of 550 billion Baht, down from its original forecast of 160 million trips and 870 billion Baht of revenue.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Airlines Association of Thailand submitted a letter to PM Prayut to request for a soft loan for airlines and vaccination for workers in the aviation industry.  The letter reiterates the airline’s request lodged since last year for the government to provide the struggling industry with a soft loan.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Stock markets worldwide plunged yesterday, including Thailand’s SET, as investors panicked over the possibility of interest rates rising after US inflation surged by a whopping 4 percent in April.  Such a rise in inflation increases the likelihood of the FED hiking up interest rates and tapering quantitative easing faster than expected, which in turn may depress the SET.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • At the National New Generation Vehicle Committee meeting yesterday, chaired by DPM and Energy Minister Supattanapong, approval were given to investment privileges for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and battery swapping businesses.  This is in line with the government’s goal of having 30 percent of vehicles made locally be EVs (1.43 million EVs annually) by 2030.  The packages comprise both tax and non-tax privileges and aim to roll out at least 12,000 EV chargers and 1,450 battery stations nationwide.  The DPM has also outlined a 3-phase plan to achieve this goal.  Source:  Khao Sod Naew Na Bangkok Post
  • In response to the Federation of Thai Industries’ request, Ministry of Labour will seek the cabinet’s approval to reduce the social security fund (SSF) contributions of employers and employees to 2.5 percent from 5 percent for 3 months.  Once approved, the measure is likely to be enforced from June – August to help cut down the expenses for those affected by Covid-19.  SSF earlier cut contributions from Feb to March from 5 percent to 3 percent, but it is currently returned to 5 percent.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
Share:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Representing the Chamber on Your Website

Proud Member of

preview logo

Adding AustCham Logo to Your Website​

Proudly present yourselves as a part of Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce by adding AustCham logo to your website.

MEMBER LOG IN