Advance Blog

October 26, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 26 October 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)
7,706 (128 from prisons); (excluding ATK 2,304)1,866,863 (last seven days: 63,929)2,414/ 5441,749,848 (+9,532)1,838,00040,346,281 (+ 346,589) BKK: 8,299,860 (+9,065)2,177,335 (+ 43,756) BKK: 593,249 (+5,382)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb) 
7,568 [7,234 (get tested in hospital) + 334 (active case finding)]11 (in SQ)98,150 [56,254 in field hospital]395,518 (+901)18,865 (+66) (last seven days: 458)71,237,520 (+ 731,718) BKK:  14,708,522 (+ 45,465)28,713,904 (+ 341,373) BKK: 5,815,413 (+31,018) 
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has barred Thammasat University from importing the Hungary-donated Moderna vaccines, citing the University is not a state entity. In a clarification letter, the Ministry has asked the university to contact with the Department of Disease Control as the donation was not conducted by the state-to-state basis and that the Ministry has not received the notification through diplomatic channel.–ThaiPBS, Nation Thailand
    • Earlier, Thammasat University has issued a university order to allow itself to import ‘alternative’ vaccines (other than the state-sponsored vaccines) in the same way as the Royal Chulabhorn Institute has imported the Sinopharm vaccines.—Thai Post
  • The Department of Disease Control announced that the authority has detected a case of Delta Plus variant but has informed the public not to over-concern on the new variant. The man had been working in Ayutthaya province.—Khao Sod
  • A survey conducted by the Department of Health has indicated that some 94 percent of the Thai people are still concerned about the Covid-19 situation once the country reopens from November 1. The survey showed, however, that only 28% are confident with the current disease control measure.—Nation Thailand
  • The Defence Ministry spokesperson said that there has been a spike in numbers of Myanmar migrant workers into Thailand after the political situation has turned to be more violent.–Matichon

Politics

  • The main-ruling Palang Pracharat Party is in the other great wave of change as it is highly expected that the more than half of the party executives will resign rendering the fallen-from-grace secretary-general out of position.
    • The potential putsch is reportedly from the secretary-general idea of conducting a poll to determine who can be the MP candidate. But the party leader said that he did not order conducting the poll.
    • On 25 October, seven PPRP ministers reportedly convened with the PM at the Government House.–Matichon
    • The government whip and the PPRP MP said that the rearrangement of the party executive is the matter of the party leader and the secretary-general. He said that there will be a meeting within this week to sort out the disagreement.–Matichon
    • The party leader said that he is thinking about restructuring the party, but did not reply whether he will kick out the secretary-general.–Matichon
    • The party spokesperson announced that the party is set to restructure the party management, but the process is yet to be finalised.—Krungthep Turakij
    • It is expected that the Labour Minister and a party main figure is set to become the party next secretary-general when the current one is out.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The main opposition Pheu Thai Party is expected to hold its annual convention on 28 October 2021. It is expected that the party will indicate MPs recruitment committee and nominate vacant executive positions.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Sombut Boonngam-anong, the leader of the car mob protestor said that he is eyeing to call for the other car mob against the PM in November. He said that he will not join the student-led protest on 31 October as he will be in other provinces.–Matichon

ASEAN/ World

  • The Thai PM attended the 38th ASEAN Summit via teleconference. The government spokesperson said that the PM has said that Covid-19 has shown the fragility of the region against threats. PM Prayut said that there should be a lesson-learned from the pandemic to strengthen ASEAN community. The PM has expressed his support for the Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model as a key instrument to realise sustainable development.—Bangkok Post The full speech can be found at Thai PR Department

Economic

  • CPTPP
    • Academic Dr Somchai Pakapaswiwat prompts the Thai government to accede to CPTPP or risk losing out to other ASEAN countries that are CPTPP members such as Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore.  If Thailand does not join the trade pact, he said it could be subjected to trade barriers as other member countries seek to establish high-level CPTPP trade standards.  Foreign investors will also choose to invest in Vietnam and Malaysia over Thailand.  If China, Taiwan and the UK successfully accede to CPTPP, Thailand will lose its trade advantages with Taiwan the most since it as does not have any trade agreement with Taiwan.  He noted that the pros of Thailand acceding to the CPTPP outweigh the cons, but at the same time the government must negotiate to ensure that Thailand has sufficient transition period and minimise the impacts on the people.  Source:  Matichon
  • RCEP
    • Ministry of Commerce revealed that it recently convened a meeting to finalise the RCEP Form-R in preparation for its enforcement on 1 January 2022.  RCEP Form-R allows importers to benefit from preferential tariffs under RCEP agreement and is expected to be enforced through an online system.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij newspaper, 25 October 2021
  • Tourism
    • PM Prayut has set aside funds for COVID-19 rehabilitation and schemes to spur the economy.  Of this budget, 100 million Baht will be spent hiring Thailand-born K-Pop singer Lisa Manobal of Blackpink and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli to perform in Thailand for New Year’s Eve celebration. The extravagant spending on such event came under fire after critics said the funds is better spent on supporting SMEs.  Source:  Bangkok Post
    • Tourism Authority of Thailand will replace the Certificate of Entry with Thailand Pass in order to boost tourism during the high season and to coincide with the 1 November reopening of Thailand to tourists without quarantine from 26 countries.  Thailand Pass is a web-based system developed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DEPA, wherein documents must be submitted through the website www.tp.consular.go.th.  To this end, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will launch a guidebook on the application of Thailand Pass for tourists.
    • Tourists from other countries are permitted only to travel through the 17 ‘Blue Zone’ provinces.  For travels beyond the Blue Zone provinces, they will be to undertake a 7-day quarantine. 
    • As of 24 October, the Phuket Sandbox scheme has reported room bookings throughout July-September of 541925 nights and 55,772 tourists.  For October, its bookings totalled 233,866 nights and it expects forward booking for November and December totalling 134086 nights.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij
    • The newly-launched Tour Teaw Thai domestic tourism campaign, which sees the government subsidising 40 percent of tour packages of up to 5,000 Baht for 1 million people, received lukewarm participation from travellers and tourism operators.  From 8 -20 October, only 383 tour packages were sold from the total of 255.  This is in contrast with the popularity of another domestic tourism scheme, We Travelled Together, which saw over 170,000 room nights booked.  Travellers prefer the latter’s hotel subsidy scheme, which is more flexible than the tour packages offered by the former.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Others
    • PM Prayut has instructed DPM and Commerce Minister Jurin to investigate CNN’s report that tens of millions of counterfeit medical gloves are imported into the US from Thailand.   The CNN news touched on 2 cases of counterfeit medical gloves from Thailand.  The first involved unauthorised production and repackaging of medical gloves and unlawful usage of 2 trademarks into the US.  The second case revolved around the production of counterfeit nitrite medical gloves by Athip Chumphon.  Source:  Bangkok Post
    • Finance Ministry (MoF) aims to cut import tariffs on Electronic Vehicles in 2022 in a move to meet the government’s goal that 30 percent of all cars produced in Thailand will be EVs by 2025.  In addition to tax incentives, MoF will also introduce other non-tax incentives through a comprehensive package, to be implemented on 1 January 2022.  Currently all imported EVS are subject to an 80 percent tariff, with the exception of EVs from China that are exempted from tariff under the ASEAN-China FTA. 
    • NESDC was reported to have convened a meeting yesterday to consider Finance Ministry’s guidelines on the implementation of tariff cut on wine, alcoholic beverages and cigarette as part of the Long-Term resident visa package.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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