Thailand News Today | Bangkok is preparing for an endemic phase
Authorities in Bangkok are preparing to transition their Covid strategy to an “endemic phase”, as Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health acknowledges a sharp drop in infections and deaths.
According to a report by Nation Thailand, Kiattiphum Wongrajit of the Ministry of Health says that the deployment of the vaccine, together with home isolation programs and outpatient programs, has contributed to the significant improvement of the Covid situation. in the capital.
Before Songkran, doomsday predictions claimed that daily Covid cases would exceed 100,000 infections. But back on planet Earth, the daily numbers have actually headed in the opposite direction and have been below 10,000 for 3 days now. Daily deaths also tend to drop rapidly.
Nearly everyone in Bangkok has now received 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, with around 60% of residents having had at least 1 booster dose. Kiattiphum says this high vaccination rate means the capital is ready to handle Covid as an endemic disease.
Nation Thailand reports that the Ministry of Health is currently working with various agencies in Bangkok on a gradual easing of Covid-19 restrictions. During the shift to endemic, the focus will remain on managing high-risk areas such as pubs, bars, public transport and public parks, with Kiattiphum expressing hope that the shift to endemic will will do it smoothly.
And here’s the comment many have been waiting for: Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Dr ป่านฤดี มโนมัยพิบูลย์ says the mask mandate may soon be lifted in some public spaces and entertainment venues may be allowed to reopen if they follow strict disease prevention measures.
Thailand’s prime minister says he expects 20 million tourists to visit the kingdom next year, about half the number in pre-pandemic years.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says that prediction is still based on the Covid-19 situation not deteriorating. According to a report by the Bangkok Post, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the number of tourists had increased significantly since the relaxation of some restrictions.
However, “significant” is still well below 10% of the number of tourists arriving in 2019.
The PM said that although there has been a slight slowdown in economic growth, an increase in exports due to a weaker baht, added to the increase in the number of tourists, is a reason for being optimistic. The Prime Minister also referred to a plan to impose a 300 baht tourist tax, but said the “tourist tax” plan had not yet been implemented and would require further discussion on the collection and the distribution of the new source of income.
According to Prayut, economic growth looks more promising than in the last quarter of 2021. However, Russia’s war in Ukraine, coupled with the lingering pandemic, could still hamper the recovery. As a result, the government is lowering its 2022 GDP forecast from 4% to 3.5%.
In 2021, the Thai economy grew by 1.6%, recovering from a contraction of 6.2% in 2020.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister said that the government plans to introduce measures to combat high oil prices.
Sticking to the Thai prime minister, Prayut dismissed claims that MPs would be bribed to overthrow the government in an upcoming no-confidence debate.
The claims were made on Facebook by former Deputy Prime Minister Tritong, who says a spider told him that between 5 and 30 million baht had been offered to MPs from smaller coalition parties, in the purpose of persuading them to overthrow the current administration.
According to the Bangkok Post, a group of 16 MPs from small parties have already said they will vote for whatever is in the country’s best interests, even if it opposes the government.
Chonlanan, the leader of the main opposition party, Pheu Thai, said his party planned to table a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and his administration, with a debate likely to take place in late June or early July.
Meanwhile, government ministers joined the prime minister in downplaying allegations of corruption and vote-buying. Public Health Minister and leader of the Bhumjaithai coalition party, Anutin Charnvirakul, dismissed the allegations and said the coalition parties support the government to continue working smoothly.
The Royal Thai Police said they would remove the criminal records of anyone who has been cleared of previous criminal offences.
Deputy Chief Surachate Hakparn says this will remove the need for people to formally request their records be deleted.
Currently, even when a case has been cleared and a person has been cleared, investigation files remain on file with the Criminal Records Division. They are only deleted when the data subject so requests. According to Surachate, the Royal Thai Police will now adopt a new policy of doing this automatically.
The Bangkok Post reports that many government agencies and private sector companies will conduct background checks on potential employees, including criminal record checks. If investigative records remain on file, even after a person has been cleared, it could unfairly hamper their chances of being offered a job.
According to information from the Royal Thai Police database on April 28, the investigation files of 12.4 million people remain on file. Of these, the cases against 7.8 million were concluded, either by prosecutors or by the judicial system.
Authorities will now begin to sort through the 7.8 million, identifying those whose cases have been dropped or whose charges have been terminated by order of the prosecution, as well as those whose cases have been dismissed by a court or who have been found not guilty by a court. , without appeal.
Business owners and staff along Pattaya’s popular Walking Street are ready to welcome visitors after more than 2 years of waiting.
Pattaya Police visited the street in a media stunt to declare that the street is now ready and safe for returning visitors.
They set up checkpoints and urged security guards at “bars” and shops to monitor “inappropriate incidents” and report them immediately to the police.
The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration has canceled the Test & Go and Sandbox programs and relaxed the measures and conditions for entering Thailand, which began May 1…no Covid-19 testing or quarantine is now required for vaccinated travelers . Unvaccinated or under-vaccinated travelers can now enter
Thailand but require a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. Additionally, the “official” alcohol curfew is now extended to midnight from the old 11pm limit.
Thai media have reported that various businesses on Pattaya’s Walking Street are now dusting off bars and preparing to welcome more tourists after being ordered to close 2 years ago. A business owner has told Thai media that she has revamped her store, in line with Covid-19 prevention measures – opening as a “restaurant” that can serve alcohol. Tables were now set at a “safe” distance and ATK tests would be offered at the door. She said she was looking forward to the arrival of tourists and restarting her business.
Last Sunday, the local tourist police chief, along with other authorities, visited the popular walking street to invite the media and signal that the famous Pattaya Street was once again ready for visitors.