Advance Blog

September 14, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 14 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)
11,786 (271 from prisons); (excluding ATK 783)1,406,542 (last seven days: 98,199)4,080/ 8181,262,896 (+14,738)1,377,67927,540,743  (+237,043) BKK: N/A616,575 (+1,500) BKK: N/A
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)129,025 [91,742 in field hospital]329,139 (+2,788)14,621 (+136) (last seven days: 1,338)40,953,025  (+676,669) BKK: N/A12,795,707 (+438,126) BKK: N/A17.72%
  • Japan said on Tuesday it will donate an additional 1.3 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan and other Asian neighbours, including 300,000 doses to Thailand.—Bangkok Post
  • The MFA spokesperson gave an interview on the Japanese Embassy warning of the potential terrorism and suicide bombing in Thailand that he had reached out to the Thai Ambassador in Tokyo who said that more information is classified and that the content of the warning is the only information that can be made public.—Inside Thailand
    • The Police Chief has ordered the step-up measures in border control following the Tokyo warning of potential suicide bombing. The Police Chief has also ordered to toughen the protective measures for the VIPs and significant locations.—Thai News Agency
  • The prospect of flooding in Central Thailand is looming large as Chao Praya Dam is set to discharge water downstream. The Irrigation Department issued a warning saying that low-lying areas in Ayutthaya would initially be affected.—Bangkok Post

Politics

  • Tomorrow, the main ruling PPRP is going to hold its general meeting tomorrow. It is expected that there will be a big change in the PPRP executives.
    • The Justice Minister and one of the ‘three musketeers’ group siding with the PM during the last censure debate has affirmed that there will not be a change in the party secretary-general of the largest ruling party.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The attorney-general has decided to press charges against the government whip and 86 other people on his allegation on futsal courts in Nakhon Ratchasrima to the Supreme Court. After this, the Supreme Court will set up a committee to decide whether to suspend all the alleged from political positions. The government whip was one of the so-called ‘Four-Deputies’ who was in a ploy to oust the PM during the latest censure debate.—Krungthep Turakij
  • As the draft bill on Prevention & Suppression of Torture & Enforced Disappearances will be deliberated in the Parliament this week, European embassies are signalling their support on the positive development.—United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Luxembourg
  • Ousted and self-exiled former PM Thaksin Shinawatra has tweeted on his personal account saying that he is going reveal what are behind the scenes of the 2006 coup which dethroned him from power and the political future of the younger generations on Club House.—Naew Na
  • The Natural Resource Minister and leader of the ruling Chatthai Pattana Party has come out to reaffirm the relations between the PM and Deputy PM Prawit remains cordial. The fourth largest ruling party leader also dismiss the possibility of a snap election.—Thai Rath
  • After voting against the party resolution in the latest vote of no confidence, the largest Opposition Pheu Thai Party has expelled two MPs from party as a penalty. It is reported that the two MPs will go to side with ruling PPRP and Bhumjaithai Party.—Thai Rath
  • Nine politicians from right wing Action Coalition for Thailand have decided to left the party to return to Democrat Party.—Thai Post This has posted a big question on the political power of Suthep Tuagsubun, former PDRC leader and Deputy PM who led the ACT Party to secure some MPs in the last election.—Inside Thailand

Analysis/opinion

  • During the censure debate, the PM mentioned that there is someone who are claiming that the PM has fallen from the royal grace. Security forces reporter Sermsuk Kasitipradit posted on his social media that after the PM unprecedented order to strip Thammanat from ministerial position, it is a signal that the PM has still got the royal approval. The ‘purge’ against those who claimed that the PM is no longer favourable will not be limited to that of Thammanat.—Sermsuk Kasitipradit
  • The upcoming restructuring in the PPRP is the greatest dilemma for the troika (the PM Prayuth, Deputy PM Prawit and Interior Minister Anupong). PPRP Secretary-General Thammant under Prawit is too risky to keep in the position as he might find a way to sabotage the PM in the next opportunity he got. Meanwhile, the only way to strip Thammant from the position might be to hurt Deputy PM Prawit badly.—Krungthep Turakij  

Economic

  • The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) had attracted investment worth 1.6 trillion Baht in 3 years from 2018 – 2021, which is 94 percent of the 1.7 trillion Baht target set in its 5-year plan.  These consist of investments in infrastructure projects through PPP model and S-Curve industries.  As such, the investment target for the EEC has been raised to 2.5 trillion Baht for the next 5 years, through plans to draw investments to develop the digital hub EECd and aviation city EECa; the latter of which will include a sandbox area to help move Thailand into the top 10 in the Ease of Doing Business ranking.  A plan is also being drafted for the Eastern Fruit Corridor (EFC) from 2023 – 2027.  Sources:  Prachachart Turakij Krungthep Turakij
  • Thailand is considering revising its re-opening model to adopt the One Standard Operating Procedure, One System (OSOS), which will scrap the mandatory quarantine and sealed routes for all pilot areas this year.  Instead, the OSOS will allow tourists to travel freely within designated areas, as well as reduce the price of the 3 RT-PCR tests by half.   The reopening plans for 5 areas – Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Cha-am and Bangkok will be submitted for CCSA’s consideration next week before they reopen on October 1.  Samui Plus will also shift to a quarantine-free destination.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The Bank of Thailand (BOT), Thai Bankers’ Association and Siam Commercial Bank concurred that COVID-19 has made online banking service much more prevalent, noting that mobile-banking service and electronic payment transactions had increased sharply in the past 10 years.  BOT added that digital technology should be used to tackle household debt and enhance SMEs’ accessibility to loans, which would pave way for the nation’s sustainable economic growth.  BOT is also planning to test its Retail Central Bank Digital Currency in Q2 of 2022.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The government is being urged to tackle water supplies to the farm sector in the northeastern region to promote bio-economy development in the North Eastern Economic Corridor (NEEC).  The NEEC, comprising Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Nong Khai, are expected to manufacture products using bio-economy principle to supply to the EEC and China.  Thailand should also capitalize on the high-speed rail between China and Laos (Vientiane), which will start operation in December this year.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Thailand’s household debt had surged from 80 percent of GDP at the end of 2020 to 90.5 percent in Q1 2021.Given the prolonged outbreak, TTB Bank projected that household debt could hit 93 percent of GDP by the end of 2021.TTB is also concerned about the quality of the debt, pointing out that the amount of debt that had entered the restructuring program amounts to around 11 percent of the GDP even if stage 3 debt remains low at 1 percent of GDP.  Household debt must be tackled swiftly, particularly because personal loan is seeing a high proportion of unsecured loan.  Source:  Matichon
  • The Thailand-based Aussie Oil Depot company is rolling out a new petrol station franchise model from Australia under the brand ‘Aussie Oil’, to be launched in September.  The model requires an investment of 5 million Baht and comes equipped with minimart and professional training service.  Source:  Thansettakij
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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