Advance Blog

April 22, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 22 April 2021

News

Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesProvinces with confirmed casesDischarged from hospitalFrom 1 April, totally confirmed cases (third wave)1st dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
1,47048,1137729,848(at 62.64%)19,250746,617 (1.13% 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)
1,470 [1,370 (get tested in hospital) + 100 (active case finding)]0 (in SQ)18,148 [3,593 in field hospital]4,775 (+446)117 (+7)20,914118,223 (0.18% of the population)
  • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin gave a media interview saying that the public health ministry is going to discuss with the Pfizer vaccine producer. The minister said he is hoping to hasten the timeline to get the American vaccine earlier than the discussed timeline which was at the end of the year. He also said that the price of the vaccine is not as significant as the safety of the people.—Inside Thailand
  • It is reported that fully dosed US military personnels will visit the resort city of Pattaya for leisure in August. It is expected there will be at least 1,000 to 2,000 US troops to visit Thailand.—Inside Thailand
  • Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin is under a great pandemic scared as he is seen being in a close contact and a party with the Covid confirmed case.—PPTV
  • A hospital in the Northern city of Lam Pang has seized the roll out of SinoVac vaccine after almost 40 recipients have shown symptoms resemblance that of paralysis.—Matichon

Politics

  • During the weekly cabinet meeting, the PM has issued a new arrangement for 29 ministers to look after the implementation of the government policies nationwide. Each minister is assigned to cover a couple of provinces.—all media outlet
  • This move seems to have political implications, as the timing of the designation is right after the Democrat Party secretary-general issued a press release to media informing that the party is ready for any political accident or dissolution.
  • The fact that the government main campaigner Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat is assigned to look after Songkla, Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Phuket, which are Democrat political capital provinces was seen as a power grabber from the Democrat party.—Prachachat Turakij
  • Democrat Party leader, Deputy PM and Commerce Minister Jurin declined to comment nor analyse on the PM new arrangement.—Matichon
  • The attorney-general has decided not to press charges to the former leader of defunct Future Forward Party on the allegation of violating the organic law.—Khao Sod, Prachachat
  • Royalist Thai Bhakdhi Party launched a campaign collecting a million signature calling for not amending the constitution. The party leader claimed that the rejig will open door for former PM Thaksin party to return to power.—Krungthep Turakij

ASEAN-Myanmar

  • A deputy government spokesperson informed the press that this morning PM Prayut had a telephone call with the Indonesian President regarding the upcoming ASEAN Summit on situation in Myanmar. The PM expressed concerns over Myanmar as a Thai close neighbour and realise that the situation in Myanmar is a challenge to peace and stability in the region. The PM apologised for sending Deputy PM Don as his special envoy due to the pandemic situation.—Krungthep Turakij

Economic:

  • Krungsri Research revised Thailand’s GDP growth this year to 2.2 from 2.5 percent due to the impacts of the latest Covid-19 outbreak as well as the drought.  It slashed the forecast for public investment (+7.8 percent), but revised upward the projections for export (+6 percent) and private investment (+3.3 percent) as well as consumption (+2.9 percent), bolstered by the government’s stimulus measures.  Krungsri Research expects Thailand’s economic recovery will be delayed, noting that infection cases could peak between late April/early May and will be reined in by July.  Source:  The Nation
  • The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) anticipates that the third wave of pandemic outbreak will dampen domestic tourism and demands for at least 3 months.  It foresees that the government’s plan to reopen Phuket to foreign arrivals will be delayed.  As such, it has trimmed its 2021 GDP forecast to 1.5-3.0 percent from 1.5-3.5 percent.  JSCCIB’s forecast is made based on the assumption that Thailand will meet its vaccination target and will pump in fiscal package worth 200 billion Baht to nurse a K-shape recovery.  JSCCIB emphasizes the importance of speeding up the vaccination because it will restore confidence and boost demands, while the fiscal package will fuel GDP growth.  It projects that inflation will expand by 1-1.2 percent from 0.8-1 percent and also raised export growth to 4-6 percent from 3-5 percent as global economies recover.  Sources:  Thansettakij Bangkok Post
  • According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, the number of international arrivals in the first 2 months of this year dropped 99.77 percent YoY, from 5.9 million in 2020 to 13,435.  The Association of Thai travel Agents (ATTA) hopes for Thailand to reopen by Q4 as the tourism industry faces another setback due to a new wave of infections.  Unless the number of infections drops to double digits in the next two months, the launch of Phuket’s sandbox model is likely to be postponed from its original date of July.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Minister Jurin noted that while tourism is badly affected by the pandemic, export is picking up.  For March, he anticipates export will expand by 8 percent due to the MoC officials who served as the “salesmen” in organising online business matching between Thai exporters and foreign buyers, which last year was valued at 14.4 billion Baht.  For 2021, the goal is set at 16 billion Baht.  Sources:  Matichon The Standard
  • In March 2021, Commerce Ministry (MoC) reported that there are 8,841 new companies with registered capital of 19.4 billion Baht, mostly in building construction, real estate and restaurants.  Month on month, March’s figure is the highest in 15 years, with more businesses operating in internet retail, pharmaceutical and medical devices in response to COVID-19 outbreak.  The number of new businesses in Q1 2021 totalled 23,389, which is a 20 percent increase YoY.  New foreign businesses in March was 63, with investment value worth 9.98 billion Baht, or an 85 percent increase from the previous month.  In Q1, new foreign business totalled 147, with investment value worth 24.5 billion Baht.   Source:  Spring News
  • Hotels, restaurants and tourism operators who joined the previous phases of the government’s Rao Tiew Duay Kun (We Travel Together) domestic tourism campaign can register for the project’s third phase until 30 April.  The third phase has added an additional 2 million subsidised room nights and tighter regulations to address corruption.  Source:  The Nation
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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