Advance Blog

February 7, 2022
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 7 February 2022

News

Newly confirmed casesTotal CasesDeath tollHospitalised/ intensive care patients
10,470 Domestic + 10,300 Abroad+166 Prison+42,507,4711292,784
Total vaccination1st dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan -6 Feb)2nd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan -6 Feb)3rd dose vaccine recipients (28 Jan -6 Feb)
117,094,785 (+216,538)52,506,813 (+11,063  yesterday)   75.5 %48,928,007 (+15,217 yesterday)   70.4 %15,649,965 (+190,258 yesterday)   22.5%

Source :  COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)

Covid-19 situation/change regulation

  • The Public Heath Ministry today kicked off  the vaccination program to children aged  from 5 to 11 and those who have 7 chronic diseases. At least 20,000 children at this age  have been vaccinated so far   Prachachart TheStandard
  • Bangkok’s Suwannabhumi airport apologized its misleading of the previous advisory that only 30 certified masks could be carried to the plane. It emphasized that passengers can carry unlimited number of masks ThaiPBS Amarin
  • Public Heath Minister said  that in the upcoming  The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)   11 Feb , it  is likely that there will be no regulation change to relax the reopening of the clubs and karaoke places. Mathichon

The controversial lower-house meetings and the possible parliament dissolution

·        Repeated collapses of the Lower House’s meetings have prompted several parties to call for Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha to dissolve the Lower House amidst his leadership manoeuvres.

 Last Friday’s session of the House of Representatives came to an abrupt end when the body failed to attain a quorum, prompting Parliament President Chuan Leekpai to adjourn the session closed.

·        The lack of quorum has posed questions over the Lower House’s ability to push through important legislation.

·         Suppachai Jaisamut, Bhumjai Thai Party’s list MP, blamed opposition leader Dr Chonlanan Srikaew for failing to identify himself although he was present in the House’s session on Friday. Suppachai called for Dr Chonlanan to explain to the public to justify his reason.

·         However, Yutthapong Charassathien, deputy leader of the Pheu Thai Party, came out to defend the opposition leader and said the key reason for the lack of quorum that forced the House’s meeting to came to an abruption was caused by the 21 exPalang Pracharat Party (PPRP) MPs led by Captain Thammanat Prompao who failed to be present in the chamber. Yutthapong said the House collapsed for 16 times, the highest in the Thai parliamentary record.

·        The sharp-tonged opposition MP said Gen Prayut now has 2 choices. One is to reshuffle his cabinet during the recess from March 1-May 21, 2022 and the other is to dissolve the House of Representatives before a new parliamentary session starts on May 22.

ThaiPBS   TheNation  ThaiPost

 Palangpracharat member leaving

·        Another signal that the ruling Palangpracharat party (PPRP)  is collapsing after Seksakol Atthawong, an aide to the prime minister decided to leave the PPRP  along with another party member, Poraphol Adireksan, former PPRP MP for Saraburi, to join the Ruam Thai Sang Chart Party.

Ruam Thai Sang Chart formed in March 2020 is rumoured to be set up as the PPRP’s spare party.  Meanwhile, Ekrarath Changlao, who is among 21 PPRP party-list MPs expelled from the party, confirmed on the weekend that he would apply for Setthakit Thai (Thai Economic) Party’s membership.  PPTV  Komchadleuk

Akara Mine

  • The Primary Industries and Mines Department (PIMD), Ministry of Industry has issued a press release in response to The Network of People Who Own Mineral Resources who pointed out 4 flaws in the processes that led to Akara reopening its gold mine in Pichit province.  Sources:  Krungthep TurakijManager Online  Thansettakij  Prachachart Turakij  Daily News  Thai PBS   Bangkok Post
  • Some 200 protesters comprising the Gold and Natural Resource Reform civic group and representatives from 5 provinces (Pichit, Phitsanulok, Phetchabul, Lopburi and Saraburi) waved the Thai flag in the middle of a paddy field in Phitsanulok province to protest against the reopening of the Akara gold mines.  They urge the government to use Thai law to prosecute Kingsgate and not to give away gold – Thailand’s national asset – to a foreign company for the sake of national security.  
  • Over the weekend, Akara Resource’s representatives had invited leaders from communities located within a 5-km radius of the gold mines in Phichit, Phitsanulok and Phetchabul provinces to discuss about the re-opening of the Akara gold mines.  Source:Kom Chad Luek  Thai Rath
  • The supporters and protestors of Akara gold mines totalling over 100 congregated in Phichit province to submit their respective letters to the parliament’s Anti-Corruption Committee representatives who were on site to investigate the impacts of the gold mine reopening on the villagers.  The protestors voiced the concerns of representatives from 29 villages on the environmental damages caused by mining.  The supporters comprising the gold mine’s former employees and pushcart sellers demandee for the gold mine’s reopening to regain their revenue, while dismissing claims of environmental damages.  Sources:  Matichon  TNN Thailand
  • The Committee is also convening meetings with other stakeholders related to the gold mine reopening.  The committee will today (7 February) visit the mining sites to investigate claims of environmental pollution.   
  • A villager revealed that he used to protest against Akara gold mine because he wanted the company to buy his land.  He admitted to staging protests for several years until Akara decided to buy his land for 27 million Baht as well as paid for the demolition cost of 800,000 Baht.  He used claims of environmental pollution as a pretext to pressure Akara to buy his land.  Source:  Manager Online

Others

  • Thailand’s inflation in January 2022 rose 3.23 percent, accelerating from a 2.17 percent growth in December 2021.  Factors accelerating inflation included: energy price that surged by 19.2 percent YoY, while prices of fresh food (pork, chicken and eggs) contributed to 0.67 percent inflation. vegetable oil and food items.  As such, core inflation for Jan 2022 was up by 0.52 percent YoY.  On a monthly basis, headline inflation rose 1.13 percent.  Commerce Ministry expects inflation in February to continue increasing, but not at a high level, in line with the economic situation on both demand and supply side.  Source:  Bangkok Post  Krungthep Turakij
  • The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) has vowed to tighten its supervision to restore public confidence in the insurance industry, which has been hit by cash crunches during the prolonged pandemic. The non-life insurance industry has been heavily tested by a continual surge in lump-sum claims for Covid insurance.  The case in point were the Asia Insurance and The One Insurance companies that were forced to close in 2021 because of liquidity crunches induced by losses from Covid claims, which spiked during the third wave of the pandemic.  Source:  Bangkok Post
  • Finance Minister Arkhom is confident of that Thailand’s economic growth in 2022 will reach 4 percent, concurring with forecasts made by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Thailand Development Research Institute and the Bank of Thailand.  However, GDP growth has yet to recover fully as tourism remains sluggish, with a total of 7 million tourists anticipated for 2022 compared to 700,000 last year.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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