Advance Blog

July 6, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 6 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)
5,420 (37 from prisons)294,653 [last seven days: 40,138]2,350/643227,023 (+3,586)265,7908,022,029 (+217,375) 12.12% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
5,375 [4,070 (get tested in hospital) + 1,305 (active case finding)]8 (in SQ)65,297 [32,391 in field hospital]83,736 (+1,492)2,333 (+57) [last seven days: 363]11,058,390 (+280,642) 16.70% of the population3,036,361 (+63,627) 4.58% of the population
  • The fire at the Taiwanese chemical warehouse in Samut Prakan extinguished at 6.00am this morning. There was one casualty (a 19-year-old volunteer fire fighter) and reportedly at least 33 injured. The industry ministry said as much as 700 million baht ($21.79 million) of assets could be lost in the fire.—BBC Thai, Reuters
    • The fumes of the fire are of concern for the Meteorological Department which issued a warning that should there is a rain the fumes and chemical will contaminate the river or canals, rendering the water hazardous for drinking or using.—Khao Sod
    • However, the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority dismissed the concern saying that the water will be contaminated. The MWA said the source of tap water in Greater Bangkok is 30 kilometres from the factory. The Authority affirmed that the water is safe to use.—Prachachat Turakij
  • It is a change of tide for the vaccine regime in the Kingdom as a Clinical Professor Emeritus from Mahidol University who is an advisor of CCSA held a press conference saying that as the covid virus is evolving, there is a need to use more effective vaccine. Professor Udom Kachintorn said that the Chinese Sinovac has been very effective against the Wuhan strains, but as the virus is changing to that of Delta variant, so does the need to administer mRNA vaccines ( Pfizer and Moderna). The former Deputy Education Minister during junta government listed the immunity boost efficacy from mRNA, to Astra Zeneca and to Sinovac vaccines.—Voice TV
    • The advisor to CCSA said that the centre has a resolution to inoculate the ‘booster dose’ for medical workers who got two Sinovac vaccines. There will be a meeting on the matter on Friday 9 July.—Prachachat Turakij

Politics

  • The Committee on Constitutional Amendment convene on Tuesday and has nominated the Deputy head of the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) as the head of the Committee. The Democrat Party did not nominate the former party leader as announced giving the position to the main ruling party. The government whip said that it will take less than two weeks for the committee to deliberate.—Krungthep Turakij
  • After the House needed to be adjourned as there were not enough participants, the government whip said that the whip has decided to revoke the Hazardous Materials Bill for revision and will propose the bill to the House again in two weeks.–Matichon
  • A group of medical workers are calling for symbolic coordinated gestures on 7 July by wearing black or attaching a black bow to their costume for the ordinary people in defiant against the Covid mismanagement and calling for the mRNA to be the main vaccine in Thailand.—Thai Rath
  • A group of restaurants which are affected by the government abrupt order to ban the dine-in services will hold a flash mob eating food in front of the Government House from Tuesday 4.00pm.–Matichon

Economic:

CPTPP

  • Foreign Affairs Ministry’s International Economic Policy Committee had completed its studies on the prospect of Thailand’s CPTPP accession.  It recommends that Thailand should join CPTPP and will submit this for the cabinet’s consideration soon.  The Committee’s consultations with the state, private sectors and civil society organisations yielded the same results as the studies conducted by Commerce ministry, wherein Thailand’s CPTPP accession will boost GDP by 0.12 percent, investment by 5.14 percent, export by 3.47 percent and create employment worth 73.3 billion Baht.  Thailand could negotiate on issues of concern such as IP, state procurement and UPOV provisions as well as establish FTA Fund to provide remedies for the afflicted.  Source:  Daily News newspaper, 6 July 2021 
  • Civil society organisations objected to the International Economic Policy Committee’s recommendations that Thailand should accede to CPTPP as the country will be at a disadvantage.  CSOs suggest that Thailand explore new FTAs with other countries.  Source:  Thai Rath

Tourism

  • The Samui Plus program for inoculated tourists should open for Certificate of Entry (COE) applications this week as it is still pending CCSA’s approval.  Surat Thani is slated to open 3 islands (including Samui) on July 15.  Meanwhile, the Phuket sandbox scheme is currently under close monitoring.  There should be no infections among inbound travellers for 14 days before authorities will consider reducing mandatory stays on the island to below 14 days.   Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Hotel operators in Pattaya said they are not ready to re-open the city to inoculated tourists on 1 August despite the government’s plan to do so.  Operators said the vaccination rollout in Pattya is slow, with less than 10 percent of its residents having been jabbed.  They prefer not to open up Pattaya until 70 percent of its population is vaccinated and has called on the government to provide them with more vaccines.  Source:  Prachachart Turakij

SMEs

  • According to Bloomberg, Federation of Thai SME forecasted that 80 percent of the 3.13 million SMEs nationwide could go bankrupt at the end of 2021 if the latest outbreak of COVID-19 cannot be contained.  The closure of Thailand’s borders had sent the economy to its deepest contraction in more than 2 decades.  SME Federation noted that bank loans to smaller businesses total 3.5 trillion baht, of which 240 billion Baht are NPL and another 440 billion Baht may turn bad by the end of the year.  The Bank of Thailand’s effort to channel billions of dollars of credit at low interest rates, institute loan-payment holidays and offer credit guarantees have failed to breathe life into the sector.  BOT’s latest debt-relief measures for SMEs include 250 billion Baht soft loan for business restructuring and 100 billion Baht for an ‘asset warehouse’ program.  Since the measures took effect in late April, about 24 percent of the soft loan has been used, and less than 1 per cent of the amount intended for the asset-warehouse plan is used.  Source:  Bloomberg 
  • The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) expects the contribution of SMEs to GDP in Q2 2021 to decline further from the 35 percent seen in Q1.  This is at odds with the government’s lofty goal to raise the contribution of SMEs to 50 percent of GDP under Thailand’s 13th national social and economic development plan (2022-26).  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • PM Prayut instructed OSMEP to assist SMEs that are hard hit by the pandemic.  Among the approved policies is the government’s co-payment scheme for SMEs to promote Business Development Service.  The government aims to subsidize from 50-80 percent of the SMEs’ expenses in entrepreneurship training, product testing and marketing, among others.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij

Others

  • Inflation in June had increased for the third consecutive month, albeit at a slower rate, disclosed Commerce Ministry.  Inflation in June 2021 increased by +1.25 percent YoY and by +0.38 percent MoM.  This is attributable to higher oil and food prices on the back of improving export.   For the first 6 months of 2021, inflation rose by +0.89 percent and core inflation by +0.02 percent YoY.  Inflation in Q3 and Q4 2021 are anticipated to continue increasing due to rising prices of oil and rice, for which MoC expects annual inflation to be at 0.7-1.7 percent in 2021.  Sources:  Prachachart Turakij Bangkok Post
  • The Federation of Thai Capital Market Organizations’s survey revealed that Investor Confidence Index (ICI) for the next 3 months dropped to ‘neutral’ status for the first time in 8 months.  Investors said factors that will boost their confidence are the vaccination rollout, followed by capital inflow in Q2 as listed companies start reporting profits and lastly, domestic economic recovery.  Investors’ confidence is bogged down by the prolonged pandemic, international conflicts and Thailand’s economic recession.  Sources:  Prachachart Turakij Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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