Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Anything and everything about Thailand
User avatar
Jun
Posts: 2935
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 391 times
Been thanked: 190 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Jun »

If the data has some kind of relationship with reality and restrictions in Thailand are being observed, Thailand should have a relatively low infection rate in May.
Also, bear in mind, almost no countries or experts are saying the virus can be eliminated by these lockdowns. The consensus seems to be that the pandemic would be ended by herd immunity via vaccine or infection.

So, if there's a low infection rate and a struggling economy, relaxing measures would seem sensible.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 17642
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 900 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Gaybutton »

Virus toll on economy to linger

PM says pain could last for nine months

by Mongkol Bangprapa

May 6, 2020

Thailand will likely continue feeling the economic blow of Covid-19 for another nine months, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

"We expect the impact on the economy to drag on for quite a while, not only three months, but possibly six or nine months," Gen Prayut said during a media briefing after the cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

"We need to prepare measures to cope with that," he added.

Gen Prayut said he is considering asking more wealthy businesspeople to cooperate in addressing the economic fallout from the pandemic, as he did with the country's top 20 moguls last month.

The government has launched a 1.97-trillion-baht package, the biggest relief program for the kingdom ever, to ease the virus' economic toll.

Of the total, one trillion baht is for cash handouts to people hit by the virus, public healthcare expenditure and economic and social rehabilitation.

Five hundred billion baht is for the central bank's soft loan scheme for small and medium enterprises with a credit line of up to 500 million baht, while 400 billion baht is for the Corporate Bond Stabilisation Fund.

In March, the Bank of Thailand forecast a 5.3% GDP contraction this year, compared with 2.8% growth previously predicted.

Gen Prayut also warned that stores that fail to enforce disease-control measures will be closed.

The government has begun to relax state of emergency measures with hopes of rehabilitating the economy.

His warning came after people were seen on Sunday flocking to shops to buy alcoholic beverages after the ban on the sale of alcohol was lifted in most provinces and Bangkok.

Gen Prayut said the government was preparing for the second stage of reopening if the initial stage proves successful.

He said that in the second stage, people would be permitted to visiting shopping malls for two hours at a time to help contain the virus.

The number of people allowed in at one time will also be restricted, Gen Prayut said.

The government plans to take two months to gauge the ramifications of its planned four stages to ease restrictions before deciding whether a full reopening of the kingdom can be considered.

Each stage will be assessed after 14 days.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam on Tuesday said if shops selling alcohol are unable to manage customers, they will be shuttered.

"A warning will be issued first," Mr Wissanu said. "Everyone has been told to take care of themselves."

"Department stores must be careful too because [mismanagement] is dangerous for customers and staff," he added.

Provincial governors, as heads of sub-national disease control committees, have the power to immediately close shops, Mr Wissanu said, adding shuttered stores will need to ask the government if they can reopen.

Mr Wissanu said some reopened restaurants in Bangkok that failed to comply with disease-control measures have been shut down.

The ban on takeaway sales of alcoholic drinks was lifted in most provinces on Sunday. All stores were required to strictly observe disease-control measures, including social distancing and limiting the number of customers allowed inside at one time.

In addition, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, on Tuesday reported one new coronavirus case with no additional deaths, bringing the national tally to 2,988 infections with 54 deaths.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the CCSA, said the new case was a Thai man, 45, in the southern province of Narathiwat. He also suffered from diabetes.

In April, the man fell sick with coughing, a fever, runny nose, a sore throat, phlegm and shortness of breath. He was diagnosed with pneumonia at a local hospital and tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Dr Taweesilp said the man attended religious ceremonies overseas.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... -to-linger

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 17642
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 900 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Gaybutton »

Govt mulls easing more curbs

Malls, large retailers next on reopen list

by Mongkol Bangprapa

8 May 2020

Shopping malls and large retail outlets selling construction materials will be allowed to reopen as lockdown mea­sures are eased further on May 17 if there is no surge in new infections.

China and South Korea will also be the first countries to be removed from a list of the government's dangerous communicable disease zones.

The issues were discussed at a meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Thursday.

Gen Prayut stressed that mea­sures to assist people must be done with care and must not overlook anyone affected.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the CCSA spokesman, said the centre will gather opinions about the next round of disease control relaxation from today until next Tuesday and draft the relaxation measures next Thursday. "The next stage of relaxation will begin on May 17 unless the number of new Covid-19 cases soars," he said.

After the first round of relaxation and reopening of small premises on Sunday, the second round of easing and reopening of bigger premises will depend on cooperation from the public and operators.

"If the situation is brought under control, shopping malls will be allowed to reopen. If each business can maintain [strict social distancing] measures, malls and other businesses can also resume operations. However, this also depends on cooperation from the people," Dr Taweesilp said.

Sukhum Karnchanapimai, permanent secretary for public health, said large retail outlets selling construction materials and furniture may also be allowed to reopen in the next stage because buildings and houses in several provinces have been destroyed and damaged by natural disasters and their owners badly need to buy new materials.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration will meet the Public Health Ministry today to determine which businesses will be allowed to reopen in the second stage of easing.

Moreover, the CCSA agreed with a proposal by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul that countries where the Covid-19 crisis has eased can be removed from the government's list of dangerous communicable disease zones. Mr Anutin told the meeting the proposed de-listing will help normalise Thailand's relations with them.

However, it was also agreed that the de-listing process must be gradual and that people from those de-listed countries will not be allowed to enter Thailand straight away.

The CCSA will need to discuss necessary measures to handle them and prevent the spread of imported infections, Dr Taweesilp said.

The CCSA agreed to maintain restrictions on Thai returnees and efforts to curb crowded gatherings which are the main factors in Covid-19 infections in the country. "Most local infection cases in the country came from infected returnees and people in close contact with them," he said.

"Covid-19 is spreading in other countries and those that ease their disease-control measures experience a new wave of infections," Dr Taweesilp added.

The first group allowed to return home will be those who are ill, stranded at airports or have expired visas, as well as those who are tourists stranded in other countries. The next group will be monks on pilgrimages, students and laid-off workers, he said.

Meanwhile, the CCSA on Thursday reported three new coronavirus cases, all Thais, bringing the total in Thailand to 2,992. No additional deaths were reported, leaving the accumulated toll at 55.

Dr Taweesilp said one new case was a Thai housewife aged 59 in the southern province of Yala. The two other cases were Thai men, workers aged 46 and 51, who had returned from Kazakhstan.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... more-curbs

gerefan
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:33 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 51 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by gerefan »

Bangkok Post wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 4:22 pm
Govt mulls easing more curbs

Moreover, the CCSA agreed with a proposal by Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul that countries where the Covid-19 crisis has eased can be removed from the government's list of dangerous communicable disease zones. Mr Anutin told the meeting the proposed de-listing will help normalise Thailand's relations with them.

However, it was also agreed that the de-listing process must be gradual and that people from those de-listed countries will not be allowed to enter Thailand straight away.
Not much hope for the UK or US then, at the moment!

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 17642
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 900 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Gaybutton »

Tourism levy mulled

Tax could cover pandemic insurance

by Narumon Kasemsuk

12 May 2020

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is considering a tax of 300 baht or less per person for foreign arrivals that could cover pandemic insurance, once inbound flights and tourism activities resume in the country.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister, said the tax would be collected once foreigners arrive by air, land or sea transport.

The scheme is part of the 20-year national strategic plan that requires government agencies to have recurring income to sustain and stabilise the national economy.

The levy will be added to the tourism fund managed by the ministry that aims to rebuild and develop tourism supply chains here, as well as offer safety and security protection for tourists.

He said this idea was initiated last year but was delayed because of the pandemic. Now is the right time to initiate collection, said Mr Phiphat.

The goal is to have tourists entering via air travel charged as a part of their air tickets, but the government has not finalised how collection for land and sea transport would work.

"The pandemic has had a severe impact on tourism confidence, and the tourism fund should set aside a budget for state agencies to carry on when looking after tourists affected by the pandemic," he said.

Mr Phiphat said the ministry assigned Naresuan University to conduct a feasibility study on a reasonable tax burden for visitors. The ministry estimates the maximum should not exceed 300 baht per person.

He said Japan implemented similar measures, commencing a departure tax of ¥1,000 [around 300 baht] per person.

Mr Phiphat favours a levy of 100-200 baht.

After the feasibility study is finished, the ministry will submit it to the cabinet for approval. The ministry intends to announce the new tax before the fourth quarter to let tourists prepare, he said.

"The Tourism Authority of Thailand's [TAT] new target is 16 million arrivals this year, but I'm not optimistic we can reach that goal as international tourists will not come back before the fourth quarter. Compared with the last quarter of 2019, when we had 11-12 million arrivals, the new goal is too high amid these circumstances," said Mr Phiphat.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the amendment of the National Tourism Policy Act at the end of last year allows the ministry to tax foreign tourists. The ministry's measures are part of the long-term tourism development plan.

"As long as Thailand has a clear plan on how to use the fund effectively and benefit international tourists, it should not create any obstacles," said Mr Yuthasak.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/19 ... evy-mulled

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 2935
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 391 times
Been thanked: 190 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Jun »

IF the tax covers a proper healthcare insurance for severe cases of Covid, in a situation where regular travel insurance is difficult to get, this might actually assist tourism. Obviously at 300 baht, it's only going to cover the cost if the hospitalization rate is very low or if the tax is run for years after Covid is cleared (if it is cleared).
I think it's a more common practice to collect taxes for fliers by adding the charge to air fares.

Obviously if they charge 300 for all entrants, without any exemptions, that would include all the workers from Cambodia etc in the building sector, prostitution and so on. Also people doing visa runs, which certainly includes bar workers from Cambodia & Laos. Perhaps increasing the cost of visa runs is part of the plan.
One clear disadvantage is that a lad sitting it out in Laos, Cambodia etc would have to find an additional 300 baht to make his way to Pattaya. Although, since he currently has to find bus fares, initial accommodation costs & so on, the idea of needing some "working capital" to get started is not new.

User avatar
Gaybutton
Posts: 17642
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:21 am
Location: Thailand
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 900 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 3:01 pm
Obviously at 300 baht . . .
There is something else obvious, at least to me. If this insurance will cost 300 baht, and the article says they would like to charge even less, if you have to use it, for some strange reason I don't think you'll have much choice over which hospital they would put you in. Even with very good health insurance that would cover you in Thailand, if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 they will still put you in the hospital of their choosing. You don't get a choice or any options about that.

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 2935
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 391 times
Been thanked: 190 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Jun »

Gaybutton wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 4:01 pm
if you are diagnosed with Covid-19 they will still put you in the hospital of their choosing. You don't get a choice or any options about that.
Yes. Politically, it would look a bit difficult to put all the farang in the better private hospitals, whilst sending all the locals to state ones.

However, any farang who takes the trouble to look into this would have concerns with it.
If that's a high percentage checking it out, they would have to be offering a decent scheme for it to be of any benefit.
My prediction is a low percentage check this out. Of course, if any stories get out about treatment at crap hospitals, there could be some reputational damage.

gerefan
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:33 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 51 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by gerefan »

If you claim under the 300 baht scheme you go into a hospital of their choice.
If you claim on your own private insurance you go into a hospital of their choice.

That’s if a private hospital will take anyone with Covid19 and you are able to even get cover.

It’s all a bit academic as Thailand has a very, very small number of cases and if that was to increase then they will just shut the borders again anyway.

User avatar
Jun
Posts: 2935
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:20 pm
Has thanked: 391 times
Been thanked: 190 times

Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Jun »

gerefan wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 9:18 pm
It’s all a bit academic as Thailand has a very, very small number of cases and if that was to increase then they will just shut the borders again anyway.
That might be the short term plan.
However, as tourism amounts to about 20% of Thai GDP, if that's shut down for a few years, there will be mass unemployment, poverty, riots in the streets & any business with an interest in tourism will also be squealing.

So in the medium & long term, a proper exit strategy is needed.

Post Reply