Advance Blog

July 29, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 29 July 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)
17,669 (261 from prisons)561,0304,511/ 1,001370,492 (+9,798)532,16712,858,570 (+144,258)19.42% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
17,391 [14,782 (get tested in hospital) + 2,609 (active case finding)]17 (in SQ)185,976 [116,824 in field hospital]145,223 (+3,963)3,811 (+114)16,591,329(+164,270)25.31% of the population3,732,759 (+20,012)5.63% of the population
  • More foreign countries have extended their assistances to the Kingdom in dealing with the pandemic:
  • The UK ambassador-designate has announced that the British government will deliver 415,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccines to Thailand as part of the bilateral arrangements next month.—Gov.UK
  • The Thai-American US Senator Ladda Tammy Duckworth announced in the East-West Centre’s webinar that the US will donate 2.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccines to Thailand. Speaking at the opening remarks of ‘U.S. and Thailand Perspectives on Geostrategic Landscape and Regional Architecture’, the US senator said that the prior announcement of 1.5 million doses was just the first batch.—VOA Thai
  • Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin received the Swiss-donated oxygen ventilator and COVID rapid antigen test kits worth 328 million THB. Swiss Ambassador to Thailand said the donated kits aim at helping Thai people and hospitals.—Prachachat Turakij
  • On Wednesday, the PM discussed with governors from 12 strict and highly controlled provinces on how to curb the spread of the pandemic. The PM said, however, that the situation might be better in four to six weeks.—Matichon
  • The House Speaker has made a call to the Deputy PM and FM Don that the foreign ministry should make a call to the US asking for more Pfizer vaccines.—Thai Rath

Politics

  • The PM stepped in the conflicts between the Bangkok Governor and the Director-General of the Department of Disease Control where the former said that the Public Health Ministry has not provided enough vaccines to the capital administration. The head of DDC said that they delivered the vaccines according to the BMA requests.—Prachachat Turakij
  • In his FB post, the PM has ordered all agencies to look after the fake news situation. The PM said that the agencies should look to prosecute influencers and media outlets, not just only ordinary citizens. The PM said that the Thai agencies should swiftly prosecute the violators of Emergency Decree.—Prachachat Turakij
  • Anti-establishment Free Youth Movement is calling for the other demonstration on 7 August to call for mRNA vaccines and the resignation of the PM.—Matichon

Australia

  • Ambassador McKinnon interview on the National Thai Language Day is published on Krungthep Turakij. The HOM’s inspiration and interests in studying Thai language is also covered.—Krungthep Turakij  

Economic

  • Thailand’s export in June 2021 reported the highest growth in 11 years, by +48.8 percent YoY (value: 23.7 billion USD), while real export (excluding gold, oil-related products and weaponry) soared by 41.6 percent.  The growth is due to the rise in the export of agricultural and food products (vegetables, fruits, rubber, pet food, seasoning); work from home products and home appliances (computers, A/C, furniture and parts), COVID-19 related products (PPE, rubber gloves), manufacturing products (steel, plastic beads) and durable and luxury items (automobile and parts, jewellery).  Import in June 2021 grew by 53.8 percent (value: 22.7 million USD), hence a trade surplus of 945 million USD.  Commerce Ministry said its continuous implementation of export promotion plans with trading partners had fuelled the growth.  In the first half of 2021, export grew by 15.53 percent (value: 132.3 billion USD), import by 26.1 billion USD (129.9 billion USD), with a trade surplus of 2.4 billion USD.  Source:  Ministry of Commerce Press Release Krungthep Turakij  Bangkok Post
  • The cabinet had approved an additional budget to provide education-related assistance.   The budget is likely to be from the 500 billion Baht loan, with the detailed plans to be submitted for the cabinet’s consideration.
  • For students attending primary and secondary school in the Thai education system, the government will provide the parents with 2,000 Baht per child.  State subsidies will also be granted to schools.  The total budget for this scheme is 23 billion Baht and is allocated to the Education Ministry.
  • For state-run universities, a tuition fee discount is implemented in 3 steps: a reduction of 50 percent for the first 50,000 Baht; 30 percent for the next 50,000 Baht and 10 percent for more than 100,000 Baht. The government will subsidise 60 percent of the discounts and the rest will be covered by the universities. For private universities, the government will pay 5,000 Baht for the tuition fee per student.  The total budget for this scheme is 10 billion Baht and is allocated to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.  Source:  Thansettakij  Bangkok Post
  • Commerce Ministry had rolled out 7 measures to facilitate export-import in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.  Among these initiatives include encouraging operators to use electronic certificate of origin (e-Form D) or to use the ASEAN Wide Self Certification (AWSC) for export to ASEAN countries.  The government will also resort to the issuance of electronic import/export documents.  The Paperless initiative is also promoted, with Customs Department promoting the use a centralised database through the National Single Window System.  The government has also allowed for the renewal of import/export license via postal mail service and following up to be done through an online system.  Source:  Commerce Ministry Press Release  Thansettakij
  • President of Krabi Tourism Association (KTA) said the island’s tourism operators are ready to accept 500 tourists from the Phuket sandbox scheme from 10-30 August as part of the “7+7 sandbox’ island extension scheme.  KTA expects this to generate a revenue of 30 million Baht, however, the proposal is still pending CESA’s approval.  Following a 7-day stay in Phuket, foreign guests can travel by boat to spend at least 7 days on Krabi province’s Koh Phi, Railay Bay and Koh Ngai.  KTA also forecasts 70,000 foreigners to visit Phuket by October, of which 10 percent (7,000 visitors) are anticipated to travel to Krabi.  The province is also looking to expand its airport terminal to allow tourists to directly fly to Krabi airport.  Source:  Khao SodBangkok Post
  • Phuket will persevere with its Phuket Sandbox tourism reopening scheme, despite escalating challenges associated with the rise in new Covid-19 infections, mostly infected locals who transferred from other provinces to receive treatment.  Koh Samui recorded 20 Covid-19 cases, the highest 1-day jump since it reopened to tourism on 15 July, although local authorities insisted this will not derail the island’s sandbox programme.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Bangkok Post
  • Kobsak Pootrakool, senior executive vice-president of Bangkok Bank and chairman of a subcommittee on business regulation reform set up by PM Prayut, is urging the government to expedite the regulatory guillotine project.  He suggested that the government eliminate obsolete laws and regulations within 6 months to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness and restore GDP’s annual growth of 4-5 percent.  His subcommittee had recommended the government expand property leasehold rights for foreigners from 30 years to 50 years to attract longer stays in Thailand.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The IMF had maintained its 6 percent global GDP growth forecast for 2021, upgrading its outlook for the United States and other wealthy economies but cutting estimates for developing countries struggling with surging COVID-19 infections. The IMF had lowered forecast for emerging Asia to 7.5 percent this year, down 1.1 percent from the April forecast.  Source:  Reuters
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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