Advance Blog

March 9, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 3 March 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
22,073 Domestic +21,981 Abroad+923,088,873 ( since 2020)                                69221,585
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 8 March )2nd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 8 March)3rd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan – 8 March )
125,199,011 (+162,439)54,039,149 (+55,280 yesterday)     77.7 %49,986,606 (+18,227yesterday)     71.7 %21,263,256 (+88,932 yesterday)     30.6%

  Sources : Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and Department of Control 

Covid-19 situation and change regulation

  • Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients (UCEP) Plus scheme  will be kicked off this March 16 after the cabinet approved yesterday. The program  will make the patients can seek treatment at any medical institution for three days, after which they will be sent to a hospital that is registered with their state welfare and/or health insurance scheme  Thairath
  • Songkran celebrations will go ahead next month after a two-year hiatus due to Covid according to the government spokesperson. However, the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)  will discuss the measure on Covid-19 prevention for a week-long holiday  this coming March 18. The areas to discuss, includeing group gathering, event organization and  water splashing water practice  Krungthepturakij  Prachachart  Bangkokpost
  • A specialist in pulmonary disease at Thailand’s Vichaiyut Hospital, Dr. Manoon Leechawengwongs, has reiterated his recommendation that those infected with COVID-19, who have no or mild symptoms, isolate at home.He  explained that the Omicron variant has a short incubation period. In this regard, he advised the patients to take medication to address their symptoms, without the need to take Favipiravir, and that there is no need to be admitted to a hospital. ThaiPBS  ManagerOnline
  • The Director-General of the Medical Sciences Department Dr. Supakit Sirilak said the BA.2 sub variant of the COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading rapidly across Thailand and is replacing the BA.1 as the dominant sub variant. Medicine which is effective against the Delta variant and BA.1 is not as effective against the BA.2. In addition, Omicron variant now represents 99.6% of all COVID-19 cases in Thailand and is now spreading in every province, adding that of 1,898 cases tested last week. ThaiPBS

Russia-Ukraine conflict

  • Ukraine Embassy to Thailand today posted the details of Thai volunteers who wants to join the military service  Dear citizens of Ukraine who are in the Kingdom of Thailand:

“ In connection with the numerous requests for assistance in the extension of the stay in the Kingdom of Thailand due to the temporary closure of Ukraine’s airspace, we inform about the following:

1) citizens who arrived in Thailand under visa-free mode for 30 days tourist (passport stamp) and citizens who received tourist visa in Thai consulate abroad, for now, until at least 25 March 2022 may This is the opportunity to personally contact the relevant Department of Immigration Bureau of Thailand and extend his stay in this country for 60 days (continued t. Contact. “covid is a stamp”). In this case, no letters of support from the Embassy of the Thai Immigration Bureau are NOT required!

2) Citizens who have expired/expired long-term visa of any type (Non-B, ED, O, O-A, etc) should apply to the Immigration Bureau of Thailand with the original letter of the Embassy or Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Pattaya.

For further consultation, please contact the “hot” line of the Embassy +66970107760.    “

  • To   support about 7,000 stranded Russian and Ukrainian tourists amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in suspension of Russian credit card payments and flight cancellations, The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will discuss four proposals with the cabinet as follows ;
  • Those aids include a waiver of visa extension fees up to 1,900-baht, accommodations, seeking alternative payment channels, and solving problems on travel insurance.
  • The majority of Russian and Ukrainian tourists are currently in Phuket, followed by Koh Samui, Krabi, and Pattaya, according to TAT.
  • Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said that the government has yet to estimate the budget for these assistance measures, adding that he will also discuss arranging repatriation flights for tourists who wish to return to their home countries.  Thaienquirer

Political news

Bangkok and Pattaya elections

  • The Cabinet yesterday approved the elections of Bangkok governor, Bangkok city councillors, Pattaya city Mayor and Pattaya city councillors, 60 days from now which expects to be on May 29, 2022. Details of the respective elections will be clarified by the Election Commission. Krungthepturakij

Government’s dinner meeting

  • The PM yesterday had a dinner party with the coalition parties’ leaders to bring the members of the coalition closer ahead of the planned no-confidence debate in May of this year. He said it was a great opportunity boosting relations of the coalition parties, saw Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, as the Palang Pracharat Party leader, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-acha, as Chart Thai Pattana Party leader, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, as the Bhumjai Thai Party leader, Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit, as the Democrat Party leader, Deputy Interior Minister Niphon Boonyamanee, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, also also the Bhumjai Thai secretary-general, and Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda attended.
  • Jurin Laksanawisit, Democrat Party leader said the  dinner party with other ministers last night did not discuss about cabinet resolution but only on Russia-Ukraine conflict. He also affirmed that the coalition parties still united and are ready for the centure motion in Mid-May Thairath

Economic news

Cabinet’s decisions ( 8 March 2022)

  • Approved cutting excise tax on diesel and bunker oil used to generate electricity to zero to lower electricity bills for 6 months, until 15 September.
  • Approved loans of 25 billion Baht for Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to improve its liquidity from 2022-2024.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Approved 2 royal decrees that enables 1) Finance Ministry to waive the 7 percent VAT on cryptocurrency transactions from 1 April 2022 – 31 December 2023 and 2) Bank of Thailand (BOT) to waive VAT on the transfer of digital currency issued as part of BOT’s trial Retail Central Bank Digital Currency from 1 April 2022 – 31 December 2023. 
  • Approved Finance Ministry’s regulations that allow traders of digital assets to pay tax based on their net profit – (allowing them to deduct the losses before paying tax based on net profit).  This is a shift from the current regulation that subject all profits earned from digital trading to 15 percent withholding tax per transaction.  Source:  Bangkok Post Prachachart Turakij
  • PM Prayut instructed all agencies to propose their plans in tackling the soaring energy price since global oil price has surpassed USD120 per barrel due to the Russian-Ukraine crisis.  The National Energy Policy Committee will convene today to discuss measures to address the issue, as well as ways to maintain the cap on diesel prices at below 30 Baht per litre.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • The PM also ordered government agencies to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent and oil by 10 percent such as by working from home and taking public transportation.  He also encouraged the public to take similar measures.  Source:  Prachachart Turakij  

Others

  • The value of Thai export soared by over 200 percent in the 2 months since the world’s biggest trade pact, RCEP, came into effect.  In January, export through RCEP certificate of origin (COO) totalled 277.84 million Baht and in February it surged by over 200 percent to 887.67 million Baht, bringing total export value to 1.165 billion Baht.  Most Thai exports using RCEP privileges went to Japan, followed by China and South Korea. Vegetables and fruits were the biggest category of Thai exports.  Although Thai exporters already enjoyed tax privileges under other FTAs, they chose to utilise the RCEP privileges because it is easier for them to apply for the COOs.  Source:  The Nation  The Journalist Club 
  • Commerce Ministry reiterated that it will continue fixing the prices of 18 categories of domestic goods, called price-controlled items, in the face of spiralling inflation exacerbated by the Russian-Ukraine crisis.  MoC does not allow manufacturers to raise prices of their items and will make considerations on a case-by-case basis if requests were made.  The Thai Chinese Chamber of Commerce warned that manufacturers will inevitably raise the prices of their goods in 1-2 months as they can no longer shoulder the burgeoning costs. Source:  Thai Public Relations Department News  Krungthep Turakij  Bangkok Post
  • Finance Ministry expects the Thai GDP may grow slightly less than the 3.5 – 4.5 percent projection this year due to the impact of the Russian-Ukraine crisis that will dampen tourism, trade and domestic spending.  Tourist arrivals to Thailand could also miss MoF’s projection of 7 million this year.  The MoF, the Bank of Thailand and NESDC will soon convene to reassess the impacts of the conflict on Thailand’s economy.  Sources:  Thansettakij Channel News Asia 

The quarantine-free “vaccinated travel lane” (VTL) entry is planned for air travels between Thailand and Malaysia, with at least 10 daily return flights starting from mid-March.  The VTL scheme, currently under discussion, was agreed to at talks during the Malaysian Prime Minister’s official visit on Feb 25.  Source:  Bangkok Post

The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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