Advance Blog

August 4, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 4 August 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)
20,200 (187 from prisons)672,385 (last seven days: 129,024)4,910/ 1,035455,806 (+17,975)643,52214,492,385 (+284,908) BKK: 4,045,031 (+40,304)
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
19,992 [16,284 (get tested in hospital) + 3,708 (active case finding)]21 (in SQ) [211,076 in field hospital]165,849 (+4,118)5,503 (+188) (last seven days: 1,106)18,578,096(+379,271) BKK: 6,286,483 (+53,808)4,085,711 (+94,363) BKK: 1,120,726 (+13,504)

·                     In contrast to earlier online reports that the CCSA is going to reverse its decision and allow take-away for restaurants in shopping malls, the CCSA firmed that they have not reversed the decision as public health staff concerns that allowing take-away from mall restaurants will force people to gather in front of the shop, prone to pandemic.—Matichon

Politics

 Yesterday saw a great conflict within the Opposition between the main Pheu Thai and second largest Move Forward parties:

  • In the budget committee meeting Phue Thai Party agreed with the move to allocate 16.36 billion baht to the central budget under the PM direct control, a move that Move Forward does not agree with. The MF party said that giving the money to the PM direct control is giving a blank cheque. Phue Thai said, however, that there are restrictions on how the PM is going to spend the budget.–Thai Rath
  • Phumtham Wechayachai, advisor to the leader of Pheu Thai Party leader, posted on his FB grilling Move Forward Party and that the quarrel between the two main opposition parties will be beneficial to the government.—Matichon
  • The Supreme Commander of the Thai Armed Force issued a nation-wide ban on gathering of more than five peoples, including political protest. The order has been gazetted with a fine of two year term or 40,000 THB fine.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The order is seen as a preemptive move to curb the protest on 7 August led by Free Youth Movement. The relatively more’ violent’ crack down by the police on 1 August was also read as an attempt to deter the protestors on 7 August.—Matichon
  • Free Youth Movement has called for the protest on 7 August at the Democracy Monument and will march to the Grand Palace.—Free Youth
  • The cabinet has finally nominated Suthipong Chulacharoen as the new permanent secretary of the prestigious Interior Ministry. The nomination of the millionaire state official who has been spearheading the royal project of the Royal Consort has various political ramifications:
  • Krungthep Turakij viewed that the nomination of Suthipong might mean that the much anticipated new party led by the current Interior perm-sec might not proceed. As it is reported that Suthipong is not the best candidate to work with the Interior Minister to push for electoral campaign.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Thai Rath regarded the unexpected nomination as influenced by ‘special signal’ and has disrupted the political plan of the PM to remain in power which has been very smooth so far. The failure to push the PM-DPM Prawit and Interior Minister Minister Anupong’s preferred candidates has made it very difficult for the three to place their ‘men’ in high positions.—Thai Rath
  • It is reported that in yesterday’s cabinet meeting, the PM has ordered the Digital Economy Minister to curb the fake news issues as soon as possible and that he will keep on following-up with the development.—Matichon
  • Yesterday marks one year anniversary of the historic ‘Harry Potter’ speech when anti-government and monarchical reform leader Anon Nampa explicitly touched upon the needs to reform monarchy. He spokes in front of the Bangkok Arts and Cultural Centre in Bangkok CBD on the royal involvement of the vaccine administration and pledged to take part in every demonstration from now on.—Prachatai

Economic:

Cabinet’s decisions, 3 August 2021:

  • Approved for 12 ‘agenda services’ to be digitized into e-service format by FY2022.  These include digital ID verification, online tax payment, employment online service and National Single Window system to facilitate cross-border trade between ACMECS country.  Agenda services are those that involve numerous agencies and make significant impacts on the well-being of the population, or support economic and social recovery from COVID 19 pandemic.  Source:  Manager Online
  • Approved allocating 30 billion Baht to help affected workers and entrepreneurs in the 16 provinces that recently became subjected to lockdown measures.  The relief measures replicate those already enforced earlier in the 13 lockdown provinces, wherein workers and entrepreneurs must be registered with Social Security System to be eligible to receive compensation.  The relief measures for 13 dark red provinces are extended to 2 months (July-August), while the measures for the additional 16 measures would run for 1 month (August).  This brings the total budget for the relief measures up to 60 billion Baht from 30 billion Baht for 29 provinces.  NESDC noted the lockdown on 29 provinces could chip away 1 percent of Thailand’s GDP, or 160 billion Baht.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Thansettakij
  • Approved for taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers over 65 years of age in 29 provinces to subscribe to Section 40 of the Social Security Act in order to receive compensation.  Transport Ministry is working on changing the regulations.  Source:  Thansettakij  Matichon

Others

  • Thai National Shippers Council (TNSC) said Thai exports could fall by 300 billion Baht from August to December if the number of factories hit by COVID-19 doubles to 3,000, particularly in labour-intensive factories such as food as well as auto and electronic parts.  Should this occur, Thailand’s export for 2021 would grow by only 7 percent rather than 10 percent.  The infection has currently spread to at least 1500 factories.  TNSC called out for the government to expedite vaccination in factories as well as accelerate work on e-document management and applications through the National Single Window system.  Sources:  Bangkok Post  Naew Na
  • Investor confidence has plunged to the lowest level in 9 months, according to the Investor Confidence Index conducted by the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations (FETCO) in July.  This owes largely to the worsening COVID situation in Thailan and weakening of the Baht that led to a 17.7-billion Baht outflow from the capital market in July.  FETCO also forecasted that the economy is likely to enter into a recession in the second half of this year, that the lockdown would be enforced throughout August and Thailand will not be able to reopen in October.  Sources:   Krungthep Turakij Bangkok Post
  • Phuket Sandbox tourists left stranded in Phuket after all domestic flights were suspended as part of the measures to curb COVID-19 infection are offered a special bus transfer service to Suvarnabhumi airport.  The bus is available until 16 August, and is applicable only for thos who want to catch a flight from Suvarnabhumi airport to other destinations.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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