Advance Blog

March 4, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 2 March 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
20,420
Domestic +22,709 Abroad+118
2,934,544
(since January 2021)
45218,784 
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 1 March )2nd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan -1 March)3rd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 1 March )
123,809,855(+241,185)53,657,591 (+79,567 yesterday)     77.0 %49,770,051 (+31,045 yesterday)     71.5 %20,608,907 (+116,082 yesterday)     29.5%

  Sources : Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and Department of Control 

Covid-19 situation /regulation change 

  • The Public Health Ministry sought public understanding about the newly launched Outpatient under Self-Isolation service on Tuesday as it manages the transition of Covid-19 to an endemic disease.It expects the new service will replace home isolation in most cases Bangkokpost
  • Hotel operators including Minor international call for Thai government to  scrap the RT-PCR testing requirement along with the Thailand Pass because the Russian invasion of Ukraine has darkened the tourism outlook to such an extent that the industry might attract only 10% of the pre-pandemic arrival numbers. Bangkokpost

Movement of Russia-Ukraine conflict in Thailand 

  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted Thailand will maintain its neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The issued was discussed extensively following 25 ambassadors based in Thailand pressuring the government to speak out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Bangkokpost 
  • Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, said to the media yesterday after the meeting of cabinet ministers  Thailand may adjust its stance over Ukrain-Russia conflict emphasizing the way forwards to peace negotiation is the only solution of this prolonged conflict NationTV 
  • Announced on the Facebook page of Thai embassy in Warsaw, the first two sets of Thai workers totalling 96 who evacuated from Ukraine  returned to Thailand today. The first group of 38 Thais  travelled by  Thai Airways International flight in Bucharest, Romania whereas the second group of 58 Thais travelled by Emirate flight.  
  • 96 Thai workers evacuated from Ukraine to Thailand  who are members of the Overseas Thai Workers Fund are eligible for compensation of 15,000 baht per person (about USD 460), the Thai government Thaienquirer 
  • Controversy over the Russian invasion of Ukraine is threatening to tear apart Thailand’s liberal, pro-democracy movement as four progressive leaders of the movement get stuck in tense debate. Thaienquirer 
  • Besides opening bank accounts for donation, The Ukrainian Embassy in Bangkok has posted a notice on its Facebook page appealing to foreign citizens to help Ukraine in fighting Russia’s aggression. BBC Thai then also featured the video interview that almost 200 Thai went to the embassy yesterday to apply.Thaipbs

Economics: 

Cabinet’s Decisions, 1 March 2022 

  • Approved special incentives for 6 economic zones in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) comprising the Eastern Economic Corridor for aviation (EECa); EEC for innovation (EECi); EEC for digital (EECd); EEC for medical hub (EECd); EEC of genomics (EECg); and EEC of high-speed rail (EECh).  The incentives are applicable to investors in each zone’s target industries, with privileges including allowing investors to buy or own properties in the EEC, bring in migrant workers and their spouses; and work permit exemption.  In the future, the incentives would be applicable to all special economic zones nationwide, including the Digital and High Technology Centre in Ban Chang, Rayong province.  Source:  Manager Online  Thai PublicaMCOTBangkok Post   
  • Approved of 2 MoUs between Thailand and Saudi Arabia.  Both MoUs agree for Thailand to send its workers to Saudi Arabia to work in the fields of construction, service and domestic chores, such as chauffeur, housekeeper, nanny and gardener, among others.  The MoUs are valid for 5 years and can be extended for an additional 5 years.  The Saudi government will be responsible for providing the job description including the wage, benefits, protection and other relevant conditions for the Thai workers.  Source:  Manager OnlineMatichon 
  • Approved an air travel bubble with India. Under the agreement, only Thai, Indian, Nepali and Bhutanese nationals and other nationalities originating from either Thailand or India who hold a valid visa to enter either country will be eligible to fly.  It is expected to commence later this month.  Source: Bangkok Post  National News Bureau of ThailandKrungthep Turakij 
  • Approved 1.41-billion-Baht budget for the construction of the Phuket Integrated Medical Services Centre to promote the province as a world-class medical tourism destination.  Upon completion, the centre will serve as an international health/medical hub that provides premium long-term care to  Thai and foreigners.  Construction is slated for completion in year 2026.  Source:  The Nation

Others

  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict has clouded Thailand’s tourism outlook, according to the hoteliers.  To this end, the tourism industry might attract only 10 percent of the pre-pandemic arrival numbers, or around 4 million tourists.  According to Minor Group, Thailand is seeing cancellation from the Russian market than the hotels in Europe.  They urge the government to forgo the RT-PCR testing requirement and lift travel restrictions to boost Thai tourism. Source: Bangkok Post 
  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking are reassessing Thailand’s economic prospect for 2022 in light of the Russian-Ukraine war.  The Thai National Shippers’ Council has cut Thailand’s export growth forecast for Q1 2022 from 5 to zero percent largely due to concerns on rising oil price.  Purchase orders from Thailand’s key trading partners are anticipated to dip by USD4-5 billion, particularly for vehicles, rubber products and electrical appliances.  Sources:  Bangkok Post 
  • Ministry of Commerce (MoC) identified Thai export of rubber products as having high potential during COVID-19 outbreak.  Thailand remains the world’s number 1 exporter of rubber and is also the world’s 4th exporter of rubber products such as automobile parts, rubber gloves and PPE gears.  MoC urges Thai exporters to maximise the benefits of FTAs, such as RCEP that reduces tariffs for Thai exports of rubber to China and South Korea.  Source:  Matichon 

PTT has invested 940 million Baht over 5 years, with revenue from new businesses such as pharmaceutical and Electric Vehicles (EV) expected to grow to 30 percent in 2033.  It insists the Russian-Ukraine war will not affects its oil import.  Among the pipeline is its plan to join FoxxCon in opening an Electric Vehicle factory and sell the EVs by 2024.  Its overarching goal is to tap into the EV value chain.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 2 March 2022

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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