Advance Blog

September 27, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 27 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)
10,288 (127 from prisons); (excluding ATK 2,306)1,543,063 (last seven days: 82,740)3,341/ 7281,435,401 (+12,494)1,543,06331,548,310 (+62,276 ) BKK: 7,975,762 (+3,667)1,125,675 (+16,586 ) BKK: 260,269 (+ 7,146)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)4th dose vaccine recipients (from 26 September)
10,149 [9,180 (get tested in hospital) + 969 (active case finding)] positive rate: 13.41%12 (in SQ)120,156 [86,397 in field hospital]361,857 (+1,785)16,369 (+101) (last seven days: 900)50,566,651 (+175,926) BKK: 11,967,159 (+3,667)17,891,858 (+97,061) BKK: 3,731,128 (+19,211)808 (+3)
  • On the 134 anniversary of Japanese-Thai diplomatic relations, Japan has donated 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Thailand. This is the third lot and Tokyo has given Thailand 1.65 doses in total.–CCSA
  • The PM chaired the plenary CCSA meeting today and has made the following resolutions. The resolutions will need to be approved by the cabinet.
    • The extension of Emergency Decree for  two more months until 30 November.
    • The reduction of curfew time from 9.00 to 10.00pm, effective from 1 October.
    • Reopening of areas to welcome fully-vaccinated tourists.
    • The ease/ reopening of the following businesses:
      • Nurseries
      • Public, private and community  libraries
      • Museums and historical sites
      • Science & culture centers and art galleries
      • Indoor-sport gymnasiums and fitness centers
      • Nail salons
      • Tattoo parlors (fully vaccinated or customers with proofs of Covid-free)
      • Health spas
      • Cinemas and cram schools in shopping malls
      • Convenience stores open until 9.00pm
      • Live performance in restaurants.
    • The new scheme for quarantine:
      • For fully vaccinated visitors with vaccine certificate: 7 days with two RT-PCR tests required.
      • For visitors who are not fully vaccinated or do not have vaccine certificate: 10 days with two RT-PCR tests.
      • And 14 days for visitors who arrive the Kingdom by land.
  • The Restaurant Association has submitted its open letter to the PM and the Public Health Minister to extend the restaurant operating hours to be until 10.00pm nation-wide.–Matichon

Politics

  • There has been major movements in the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP).
    • It is reported that the Deputy PM and PPRP leader General Prawit will nominate Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, the PM advisor ( widely reported to be very close to the PM) and Somsak Thepsuthin, the Justice Minister as the advisors to the party leader.—Krungthep Turakij
    • Deputy PPRP secretary-general Pai Leeke gave an interview on the potential establishment of a new party split from the PPRP led by retiring Interior Permanent-Secretary that the party will inevitably be a rival to PPRP. He did not deny that the permanent secretary is eyeing to set up a new party. Pai has warned against setting up a new party and said doing so will reduce the possibility of the PPRP be the largest party in the House.—Inside Thailand
  • Krungthep Turakij interviewed major figures in various parties to voice their opinions on the government stability and its future:
    • The Digital Economy Minister and PPRP party-listed MP said that the coalition will remain in power until the end of term and see no cause for House Dissolution. The Minister sees no problem from the intra-PPRP conflict as he believed the Deputy PM and PPRP leader Prawit can be on top of it. He sees the only thing that could topple the coalition that is PPRP conflicts.
    • Second largest Bhumjaithai Party Registrar and MP says he has no comment on PPRP conflicts and does not see the House Dissolution  early next year after the charter rejig is completed.
    • Deputy Interior Minister from Democrat Party says he wishes the PPRP o be able to unite and work for the people in the economic and pandemic crisis. He said regardless of the reshuffle or the dissolution, the Democrat is ready for any change.
    • The main opposition Pheu Thai secretary-general said that he sees no chance of the coalition to be in power until the end of the term as PPRP conflicts have been to deep to restore. He sees the House dissolution to happen  when the PM must place the Communicable Disease Control Decree and Economic Stimulus Decree to the House and fail due to internal conflicts.
    • A party-listed MP from Move Forward Party said he sees no way out from this PM-DPM Prawit clash due to General Prayut personality. The next best available option is to reshuffle the cabinet.
  • Nida Poll has released its 3rd quarter political popularity of PM candidate and political parties having the following findings:
    • The director of the poll said that it is too early to tell whether the popularity of the rising opposition figure Pita is due to his performance in the censure debate. The poll conductor said that people in the age of 18 to 35 years old has shifted their support towards Pita (from less than 10% in the last studies to be more than 20 percent in the latest poll). The other significant supporters of Pita are amongst the university students, single voters, and people working in private sectors. On the PPRP front, the head of Nida Poll said that almost 80 percent of PPRP voters are General Prayut voters too.
Preferred PM candidateQ3 2021Q2 2021Q1 2021
Can’t see anyone who is appropriate32.6137.6530.1
General Prayut-PM17.5419.3228.79
Sudarat Keyuraphan- Sarng Thai Party11.1513.6412.09
Pita Limchareonrat- Move Forward Party11.055.456.26
Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temeeyaves- Seri Ruamthai Party9.078.718.72
Korn Chatikavanij- Kla Party2.333.622.7
No interest7.482.153.25
Preferred Political PartiesQ3 2021Q2 2021Q1 2021
Do not support any party30.8232.6829.82
Pheu Thai (Opp)22.5019.4822.13
Move Forward (Opp)15.1114.5113.48
Palang Pracharat (Ruling)9.5110.716.65
Democrat (Ruling)7.789.547.1
No interest4.860.680.63
Seri Ruam Thai2.682.93.81
  • Krungthep Turakij made a CEO survey asking opinions from top 150 CEOs in various industries on ‘Thai political stability towards business confidence’. The survey showed that a majority of the CEOs suggested the cabinet reshuffle and constitutional amendment, particularly the scrap of 250 Senators and then House Dissolution as the way to dissolve the political conflicts. Here are the findings:
    • On the impacts of political stability towards business confidence: 52% says highly impactful, 39.2% says less impact, 8.1% sees no impact.
    • Secured political stability has effects on economic recovery: 65.1% says certainly, 32.9% says not always, 2.7% says unsure.
    • Confidence that Thailand has political stability: 82.4% says no confidence, 17.6% says highly confidence.
    • What should the government do to solve political instability: 39.6% says House Dissolution and new election, 38.3% says cabinet reshuffle, 24.2% suggests the government to remain in power until the end of the term, 11.4% go for the PM resignation.
    • Which parts of cabinet should be reshuffle most: 44.3% says the entire cabinet, 38.3% go for economic ministers, 30.4% says Public Health portfolios and 10.4% wants to see security-related ministers gone.
    • On whether Thailand is ready to reopen the country for tourists: 50.3% says not ready, 45.6% says ready.
  • On 24 September, Sudarat Keyuraphan, the president of freshly-established Sarng Thai Party met with Republican Senator Mitt Romney and has asked for the American senator cooperation in supplying mRNA vaccines to Thailand.—Prachachat Turakij

Analysis/ opinion

  • Paisal Puechmongkol, former Vice Minister attached to Deputy PM General Prawit, made a rare interview saying that in contrast to what many may believe that the NCPO hand-picked Senators are working in unity, there are at least three groups within them, judging from their votes for the Constitutional amendment. The vocal political commentator unveiled that at first there has been an ‘instruction’ to scrap the charter rejig motion, but the instruction changed right after the PM kicked PPRP secretary-general Thammanat out of the cabinet.  The conservative political figure said there must be a distinction between the defender of the monarchy and the defender of the government and that not all royalist will defend the action of this government.—Thai Rath
  • Matichon interviewed  the head of Thai National Shippers’ Council, deputy head of Federation of Thai Industries and senior academic on political economy on AUKUS and the Chinese intention to be part of the CPTPP.
    • Dr Chaichan Chareonsuk from TNSV said that the Chinese participation is good for Thai export. He has asked the government to be cautious of the other side effects of joining the trade pact, particularly in the agriculture and public health side.
    • Kriengkrai Thiennukul, vice chairman of FTI said he sees AUKUS as a sign of competition between the US-led coalition and Chines-Russia pact. Beijing might not be able to get into CPTPP in the end because it need others’ supports.
    • Associate Professor Dr Somchai Pakapaswiwat said the US-Chinese rivalry has impact on ASEAN and Thailand politically and economically. The professor called for the immediate joining of CPTPP as the Kingdom might face trade barriers for not being part of the high-quality trade pact.–Matichon
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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