Advance Blog

July 7, 2021
Australian Embassy

Headlines summary as of 7 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)
6,519 (55 from prisons)301,172 [last seven days: 41,871]2,496/676231,171 (+4,148)272,3098,245,297 (+223,268)12.45% of the population
Local transmissionFrom abroadBeing hospitalised/ in field-hospital/ quarantinedConfirmed cases in BangkokDeath tollTotal vaccination (doses)2nd dose vaccine recipients (from 28 Feb)
6,448 [4,958(get tested in hospital) + 1,490 (active case finding)]16 (in SQ)67,614 [33,623 in field hospital]85,285 (+1,549)2,387 (+54) [last seven days: 364]11,328,043 (+269,653)17.70% of the population3,082,746 (+46,385)4.65% of the population
  • The head of a CCSA centre said that if the figures of daily cases are getting as high as it is, there will be an urgent need for the consideration of tougher lockdown measures, including the curfew in Greater Bangkok and four Southern provinces before 12 July as scheduled. The secretary-general of the National Security Council and the head of the Operation Centre of the CCSA said that the lock down will be similar to that of March to April last year, but the measure needs to be weighed with economic damages.—The Reporters
  • The head of forensic pathologist division at the prestigious Mahidol University said that his team has found a large numbers of the deceased who were found to be tested with Covid from post-mortem swab test despite having a different cause of death. He said this indicated that the covid situation is highly critical that there are many unrealised cases and that the actual cases must be much higher than the CCSA announced.—Thai Rath
  • The secretary-general of the Royal Chulabhorn Academy, which imported alternative Sinopharm vaccines, opposed the Public Health authority resolution in inoculate mRNA vaccine for frontline health workers as there are many other people who have not even got a single jab. The call for the ‘booster jab’ has been getting stronger as the two Sinovac vaccines are proven to be less to not effective in preventing the Delta variant.—Prachachat Turakij
  • The cabinet yesterday approved the procurement of more vaccines to inoculate the people in the Kingdom. The spokespersons laid out the procurement plans as followed:
  • Pfizer vaccines:
  • 20 million doses to inoculate people free of charge, expected to be in the Kingdom in Q4 2021 or Q1 of 2022.
  • Acknowledged 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccines from the bilateral agreement with the US.
  • Sinovac vaccines:
  • 10.9 million more doses with budget from the 500 billion loan, expected to arrive by Q2 of 2022
  • Moderna:
  • Approved as an alternative vaccine (citizen has to pay for inoculation) with Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) as the main person of contact.—Thai Rath
  • The PM has decided to extend his self isolation timeframe from seven to 14 days. It is reported that at first the PM want to be on self quarantine only for seven days but decided to extend the duration in order to quell any political drama.—Thai Post
  • With the fire and explosion, including with other disasters, the PM has ordered relevant agencies to hold a national merit ceremony in a pandemic safe way to boost the morale of the people in the Kingdom.—Thai Rath

Politics

  • Prime Minister Prayut is enlisted with 36 other world leaders as a “Predator of Press Freedom” by Reporters without Borders: RSF. General Prayut has been on the list since taking the coup in 2014. Apart from the resumption of draconian lese majeste law, the RSF highlights the PM sprayed journalists with hand sanitiser to make them stop asking questions in March 2021. The PM is on the list with Hong Kong Carrie Lam, Cambodian Hun Sen, Chinese Xi Jin Ping, North Korea Kim Jong-Un and Myanmar Min Aung Hliang.—RSFThai Rath
  • The so-called ‘Fantastic Four’ group under the leadership of former economic tzar Somkid is scheduled to hold a press conference to debut its ‘Thailand Future’ Movement on 8 July. The movement aims to collaborate all generations and occupations to solve post-pandemic economic problems. The group was former Finance, Energy, Higher Education and Prime Minister Office Ministers of the Prayut Government after the election.—Krungthep Turakij
  • Deputy Agriculture Minister and main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) secretary-general denied the speculation that his site visit at the burnt factory is having a political calculation.—Krungthep Turakij
  • The secretary-general of the largest Opposition Pheu Thai Party said that the Opposition will file the censure debate with a vote of no confidence against the government in August.—Krungthep Turakij
  • A group of medical workers has handed over 200,00 signatures of the so-called ‘Mor Mai Thon’ (Doctors tolerate no more) to the Parliament calling for the government to use mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) as the main inoculation for frontline health workers.—Prachachat Turakij

Analysis/ opinion

  • The site visit of Captain Thammanat as soon as there was a fire and explosions at the chemical factory in Eastern Bangkok has made political observers raised their eyebrows. The Deputy Agriculture Minister and the main ruling Palang Pracharat Party (PPRP) secretary-general is reportedly eyed for the Deputy Interior Minister portfolio. The site visit which is the work under the jurisdiction of the Interior Minister has been seen as a signal to pressure to get the post.—Inside Thailand

 Economic:

 CPTPP

  • Government spokesperson Anucha told Thai Rath online newspaper that Ministry of Foreign Affairs had not submitted its studies on Thailand’s CPTPP accession for the cabinet’s consideration at its meeting yesterday.  Source:  Thai Rath 
  • Some 13 organisations headed by the Consumer Council in Prachuab Kirikhan and Nan provinces submitted letters to their respective local authorities, asking the government defer its submission of CPTPP accession letter.  Source:  Khao Sod newspaper, 8 July 2021

Tourism

  • CESA has confirmed that Surat Thani’s 3 islands (Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan) will open to vaccinated tourists on July 15.  Specifically, CESA has approved of Koh Samui’s Samui Plus scheme where tourists will have to stay in ALQ lodging for the first 7 days before being permitted to travel to the other 2 islands through sealed routes from day 8-14.  To this end, Bangkok Airways is introducing special flights to from Bangkok to Samui.  Source:  Bangkok Post  TNN Online 
  • Phuket has welcomed 1,896 international travellers under the sandbox scheme as of 6 July.  Thai Hotels Association (THA) noted that this is the first step for Phuket to rebound to 80 percent of the 2019 tourism figures by 2023.  The first 90 days of the reopening will dictate the success of the sandbox scheme, for which 50 percent of the hotels might reopen in October if international arrivals rebound to 300,000 – 400,000 per month from 1.2 million in the pre-pandemic period.  THA believed booster vaccination shot is essential in the next 6-8 months to maintain herd immunity.  Source:  Bangkok Post

Others

  • The cabinet has agreed to allocate 2 billion Baht worth of Imjai Loan to businesses selling food and beverages to boost their liquidity.  The maximum credit line is 100,000 Baht per applicant, with 3.99 annual interest for a period of 5 years.  The loan is provided through Government Savings Bank and applications open until 31 December 2021.  Some 40,000 businesses are expected to apply for the loan.  Source:  Matichon  The Nation  
  • Federation of Thai Capital Market said government should consider raising public debt ceiling to above 60 percent of GDP, given that the worsening pandemic may prompt the government to borrow more money to stimulate the economy.  Otherwise, economic growth may not meet the state target.  Source:  Bangkok Post 
  • The Thai National Shippers’ Council projected that Thai export could expand by 10 percent this year if the government could speed up the administering of COVID-19 vaccines.  The pandemic outbreaks in factories nationwide are beginning to hit manufacturing process in the export sector, which is concurrently facing shortages in labour, chip, container and high freight costs.  Source:  Bangkok Post 
  • The Thailand Industry Sentiment Index in June declined for the third consecutive month and is also lowest in 12 months, dropping to 80.7 points compared to 82.3 points in May due to COVID-19 outbreak.  Federation of Thai Industries identified the vaccination of 70 percent of the Thai population as the most important factor for the economy to rebound.  It also suggested that the government expedite extending soft loans to SMEs and quickly contain the spread of COVID-19 in the manufacturing sector to save export.  FTI said it can help the government buy other brands of vaccines, possibly through a co-payment scheme.  Source:  Krungthep Turakij  Bangkok Post 
  • FTI suggested that the government relocate factories out of residential areas, following the inferno at Ming Dih plastic factory in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district on Monday.  The explosion and fire have affected at least 80,000 people who lived in communities around the area.  Incentives should be offered to factory owners to relocate, such as a 2 percent reduction of land tax and a reduction of corporate income tax.  Source:  Bangkok Post
The Australian Embassy Bangkok
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