Advance Blog

January 22, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 22 January 2021

News

  • Updates related to COVID-19:
Newly confirmed case(s)Total CasesProvinces with confirmed casesDischarged from hospitalFrom 15 Dec, totally confirmed cases from clusters
30913,1046110,224 (at 78.02%%)8,867
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollAccumulated cases from active case finding
80+217 (active case finding) 12 (in SQ)2,809648 [635 reported by BMA yesterday + 13 by CCSA today]714,384
  • The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has announced the easing of lockdown in the capital for 13 businesses and recreational activities effective as of today. The list of reopening is as followed: 

1. Gaming centers 

2. Internet cafes

3. Healthcare for the elderly

4. Sports stadiums/fields except for boxing stadiums and horse racing tracks

5. Banquet facilities but with no more than 300 people are allowed otherwise special permission is required

6. Trading venues for Buddha images

7. Tattoo parlours

8. Fitness clubs and other public areas for exercise, except personal training and classes

9. Thai traditional massage and spa facilities

10. Gyms and boxing camps, but no competition are allowed

11. Bowling and skating rings, but no competition are allowed

12. Ballroom dancing schools, but no competition are allowed

13. Martial arts schools, but no competition are allowed–National News Bureau of Thailand

  • The Thai Food and Drug Administration’s secretary-general said the regulator has approved the Astra Zeneca vaccine to be used in Thailand. The first batch of 50,000 doses will arrive in Thailand in February. The vaccine provider will continue sending the second and third lots of 150,000 doses in March and April, consecutively.–Thai Rath
    • For background, only Astra Zeneca and Chinese Sino Vac have filed the documents asking for approval from Thai FDA.–Reuters

Politics

  • The so-called ‘Ratsadorn’ group is scheduled to gather in front of the Parliament at 10.00 am, then the Ministry of Finance today from 1.00 pm to call for the reallocation of the budget for the monarchy and the armed forces to be transferred to help people in the economic hardship from lockdowns.
  • It is reported that the House Speaker has filed the request from Opposition Seri RumThai party to the Constitutional Court to ditch vocal main ruling Palang Pracharat Party MP Sira from his representative status. There was an attempt by the Opposition to send the motion, but failed to secure the adequate number at first. MP Sira threatened to sue anyone putting their names on the motion.–Thai Rath

Economic

  • Thailand has cemented its position as the world’s third top exporter of rubber products after China and Germany during the COVID-19 period, according to Commerce Ministry.   From January – November 2020, Thai export of processed rubber products surged by 7 percent YoY to total 10.9 billion USD.  Specifically, the export of rubber gloves, synthetic rubber and pharmaceutical rubber products rose by 83, 17 and 2 percent, respectively.   FTAs also contributed to this growth.  From January – November 2020, Thai rubber product export to its FTA partners grew 5 percent YoY to total 4.9 billion USD, making up 45 percent of all exported rubber products.  Export to China saw the highest growth of 22 percent and Australia by 6 percent, South Korea by 13 percent and Peru 26 percent.  Source:  Department of Trade Negotiations Press Release
  • Finance Minister Akhom expects GDP in 2020 to contract by 6 percent and is confident that growth will reach 4-5 percent in 2021, supported by the vaccine rollout and fiscal stimulus packages.  The same forecast is made by World Bank through its “Restoring Incomes; Recovering Jobs” report.  World Bank commented that Thailand’s fiscal and monetary support accounting for 13 percent of GDP is considered to be high in the region, particularly the fiscal measures where 6 percent of GDP is spent on COVID-19 relief and stimulus measures.  However, the slow budget disbursal and potential under-disbursement will hamper economic recovery.  Sources:  Krungthep Turakij The Nation Bangkok Post
  • The new wave of Covid-19 will delay Thailand’s economic recovery to pre-crisis levels, possibly until late next year and also affect the working hours and income of 4.7 million workers, according to the Bank of Thailand (BOT).  Recovery is anticipated to be a K-Shape, with tourism-related industries suffering the most since they have not recovered from the first wave.  Krungsri Bank added that the government does not have adequate policy tools to handle the COVID-19 fallout, in which the pandemic has struck the urban poor the most.  Source:  The Nation
  • Tour operators have floated the idea of luring inbound travellers with vaccination tour packages after the first batch of inoculations are distributed to high-risk groups in February.  The idea is in the early stage of discussion and requires more deliberation.  A 1-month tour package is anticipated to cost 150,000 Baht, comprising the vaccination cost and a 14-day quarantine in an ASQ or alternative local quarantine facility.  If implemented, the package will be launched in major tourism destinations that rely heavily on international tourists.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Thailand’s exports to the US look more promising thanks to the friendlier trade policies of the new US President Joe Biden.  Commerce Ministry targets Thailand’s export to the US to see a 4 percent growth this year.  It also expects Thailand to benefit more from exports substituting for products from China, where the US still maintains tariffs for imports.  Source:  Bangkok Post  The Nation Naew Na
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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