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  • Finally some good news: Thailand tipped to ease 90 day reporting for foreigners


    Image: File photo


    The Thai government is set to revamp its immigraiton rules - including the  90 day reporting requirement - in a bid to attract more investors and retirees.


    According to Bloomberg, the government has set up a task force in order to help make it easier for long term tourists and expats to stay in Thailand.


    “We want to make it easier for foreigners to live and work in Thailand,” Chayotid Kridakorn, 54, a former head of JPMorgan Securities (Thailand) who is now leading the new task force, told Bloomberg.


    The task force will propose a number of measures to the government aimed at boosting investment and tourism.


    Among the proposals include relaxing immigration regulations for visa applications, work permits and 90 day reports.


    Bloomberg’s article echo similar proposals first reported last month, where the Thai government aimed to target so-called wealthy retirees  from Scandinavia, Europe and East Asia including South Korea and Japan, as well as Australia and New Zealand.


    The types of foreign retirees targeted will be those who have a healthy pension pot, with the ability to spend 200,000 - 300,000 baht per month. 


    The government says that if it can attract one million retirees each spending 100,000 baht per month or 1.2million baht per year, that would generate 1.2 trillion baht per year for the economy.


    Meanwhile, a source at the Ministry of Energy who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Thaivisa last week that proposals to ease restrictions on foreigners buying property in Thailand are now at an advanced stage.


    Some of the proposals include amending the Condominium Act to allow foreigners to purchase up to 80 percent of a single condo development. Currently foreigners can only own up to 49 percent of the units in a condo development. 


    The government also wants to attract foreigners to  buy a second home in Thailand. 


    In order to do this, it is proposed that foreigners will be allowed to purchase and own outright a house located on a development valued from 10 million baht, with a land size of not more than 1 Rai.



    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-04-12
    12 April 2021
  • The rise and fall of Saksayam Chidchob, Thailand’s first COVID-positive Cabinet minister



    By Thai PBS World’s Political Desk


    Saksayam Chidchob was previously best known as the “nominee” of his older brother, veteran politician Newin. However, last week he landed himself in trouble by becoming the first Cabinet member and highest-ranking government official to test positive for COVID-19.


    News of his infection sparked public anger amid strong rumours he contracted the virus at a nightspot in Bangkok’s upmarket Thong Lor area. Thong Lor’s nightlife is the epicentre of Thailand’s third wave of COVID-19.


    His decision to hold back details of his timeline also attracted much public criticism. The missing details were filled in by a Public Health Ministry official in his political stronghold of Buri Ram, but further changes and clarifications to his timeline only fuelled public doubt.


    Full story: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-saksayam-chidchob-thailands-first-covid-positive-cabinet-minister/


    13 April 2021
  • Thailand's capital plans 10,000 field-hospital beds as COVID-19 spikes


    Health workers sit inside a field hospital recently set up to fight the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the country deals with a fresh wave of infections after tackling earlier outbreaks, in Bangkok, Thailand, April 10, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha


    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand plans to install 10,000 field-hospital beds in Bangkok, a health official said on Saturday, as the country strains to cope with a third wave of COVID-19 infections.


    At least a dozen hospitals in the capital said they had stopped testing for the coronavirus as of Friday due to a lack of kits or capacity. Hospitals are reluctant to test because they must admit people if they test positive, authorities say.


    "We aim to increase (field) hospital beds to 10,000 in no time, which should give the public confidence that we can still contain this round of outbreak," Suksan Kittisupakorn, director-general of Thailand's Medical Service Department, told reporters.

    The current surge appeared to be the country's worst yet, he said.


    Thailand reported 789 new cases and one death on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 31,658, with 97 deaths.

    So far this month, Thailand has reported 2,697 new domestic infections, including 1,058 cases in Bangkok, the epicentre of an outbreak that has seen cases climb from a few dozen to several hundred a day.



    The outbreak, which includes the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant first identified in Britain, has rapidly spread to 62 of Thailand's 77 provinces, Opas Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control told a briefing.


    Thailand's third wave comes ahead of major national holidays next week and as the country seeks to reopen to foreign tourists.

    Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha asked people to limit the spread. "I'm very worried. If anyone does not need to travel, please stay home," he said in a podcast on Saturday.


    Thailand is aiming to start mass immunisation from June. It has vaccinated more than 530,000 health workers and people deemed vulnerable.


    Thailand, which received 1 million doses of vaccine from China's Sinovac vaccine on Saturday, is to get another 500,000 doses this month, said deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Traisoranakul.


    (Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Juarawee Kittisilpa; Additional reporting by Satawasin; Staporncharnchai and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by William Mallard)




    -- © Copyright Reuters 2021-04-11
    11 April 2021
  • Thailand reports 965 new COVID-19 cases


    REUTERS FILE PHOTO for reference only


    Thailand reported 965 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, a slight reduction from the number of cases reported on Monday.


    Of the new cases, 956 were local transmissions, while 9 were imported from people entering quarantine. 


    Most of the new cases were found in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Samut Prakan, Chonburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan.


    A further 40 people were discharged from hospital having made a full recovery.


    6,190 people remain in hospital receiving treatment.


    Tuesday’s cases bring the total number of COVID-19 infections in Thailand to 34,575 with 97 deaths.


    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-04-13
    13 April 2021
  • Public to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots in June



    BANGKOK (NNT) - In response to a question on the timing of bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to the people who are not medical personnel or in priority groups, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, Dr. Sophon Iamsirithavorn, has confirmed that the Ministry of Public Health will begin registration of the public in May, and inoculations will start in June.


    Dr. Sophon said Thailand has received some two million doses of the Sinovac vaccine. They are being given to frontline medical workers and people who are at high risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.


    Members of the public will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Thailand, in June.


    Between February 28th and April 19th, 555,396 doses were given to people in Thailand, with 485,957 of them receiving their first doses and 69,439 others receiving the second.


    The ministry’s vaccination plan consists of two steps. The first is to inoculate medical and public health personnel in the public and private sectors as well as volunteers, and frontline workers, such as police, immigration and military officers; people with congenital diseases, people over 60 years old and residents in areas where transmission is occurring. In the second step, provincial committees on communicable diseases are to consider ways to distribute the vaccine to hospitals.


    Concerning images of women working at entertainment venues in Thong Lor, Bangkok, receiving vaccinations, the Bangkok Communicable Disease Committee had an urgent meeting on April 5th to discuss the vaccination plan to address the Thong Lor cluster. The committee resolved that 6,000 doses will be given to disease control officials, workers at popular venues in Thong Lor, and those who have had close contact with potential COVID-19 carriers. The vaccinations will be given outside risk areas, such as at Bang Khae Market.


    The doses are not being taken from the quota reserved for medical personnel and frontline workers. They are from the emergency quota, for urgent situations to curb the spread of the outbreak.



    -- © Copyright NNT 2021-04-12
    12 April 2021
  • TAT governor says no plans to change opening of Thailand on July 1st


    Yutthasak Suphasorn. TAT file photo


    The governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said there were currently no plans to change the country's strategy to open up to foreign tourism on July 1st.


    This despite the devastating third wave of Covid-19 infections in the country that has seen numbers near 1000 daily in recent days.


    Yutthasak Suphasorn told the Thai media that vaccination rollout in Phuket was was still key and he expects foreign tourists back in the third quarter. 


    He admitted that only those on the special tourist visa (STV) and others who really needed to return to Thailand were in the country as yet. 


    He finally admitted that few wanted to quarantine even for 7 days and that the situation was very quiet at the moment regarding foreign tourism.


    He said there was no booking data and that tourists were waiting on Thai government and CCSA announcements later this month. 


    As far as local tourists go he thought that figures would show a 20% cancellation of bookings at Songkran as a result of the latest wave.


    People were deciding to travel to low risk areas or not at all, he said.


    He plans to meet with the Tourism Ministry after Songkran to decide what to do next. 


    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-04-13
    13 April 2021
  • Worst case scenario: Thailand faces 28,000 new COVID-19 cases PER DAY


    Picture: Sanook


    Thailand faces the grim prospect of 28,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, if adequate preventative measures are not put in place, public health officials said on Sunday.


    Sophon Iamsirithaworn, the deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) said the worst case scenario would see Thailand 28,000 new cases daily if those infected with the virus do not follow the safety measures.


    According to the mathematical model used by the DDC to predict the numbers of future cases, the best case scenario would see around 1,300 new cases per day, while the middle prediction would see an average of just over 9,000 new cases per day, Sanook reported. 


    Dr Sophon also explained how the number of daily new infections could decline if certain preventive measures were enforced.


    He said that closure of entertainment venues in high risk locations would see cases decline to  7,244 in a worst case scenario, 2,996 in an average scenario and 817 in the best case scenario.


    However, with a greater number of restrictions being enforced such as closing venues in high risk provinces, enforcing change in personal behaviour, banning group activities and making people work from home, cases would be reduced to 484 in a worst case scenario, 391 average scenario and 303 in best case scenario.


    Dr Sophon said that in order to reduce the number of new infections, four measures are needed:


    1. Reduce social gatherings and stop all but essential inter-provincial travel
    2. Pro-active screening and vaccination distribution
    3. Social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and use of ThaiChana and MorChana apps under the DMHTTA guidelines.
    4. Work from home for employees


    The news comes as Thailand on Sunday reported almost 1,000 new cases of COVID-19, it’s single biggest jump in new cases to date.


    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-04-12


    12 April 2021
  • 56 dead, 729 injured in first two days of Songkran travel - 17,000 nabbed for no licenses

    Thailand_motorbike accident.jpg

    Image: file photo


    56 people have died and 729 people have been injured from 705 accidents during the first two days of Thailand’s so-called ‘7 Dangerous Days’.


    The accidents took place on April 10 and 11 following increased traffic on the roads as people travel for the Songkran holidays.


    Figures released on Monday cited speeding as the biggest cause of accidents, followed by people driving under the influence of alcohol.


    A staggering 87 percent of all accidents involved a motorcycle.


    Most accidents occurred between 4pm and 8pm and involved those aged 50 and over. 


    Police said 1,916 checkpoints inspected 330,653 vehicles. 


    Of the vehicles inspected 61,702 drivers face prosecution, with 15,661 found to not be wearing helmets and 17,025 did not have driving licenses.


    Nakhon Si Thammaratt and Roi Et accounted for the most accidents, recording 16 accidents each.


    The province with the highest deaths was Trang and Samut Prakan (3 per province).


    The province with the highest number of injuries was Nakhon Si Thammarat (20 people).


    Typically between 350 and 400 people are killed in road accidents in Thailand during the Songkran holidays.



    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-04-12
    12 April 2021
  • Thailand Live Tuesday 13 Apr 2021

    Finally some good news: Thailand tipped to ease 90 day reporting for foreigners



    File photo


    The Thai government is set to revamp its immigraiton rules - including the  90 day reporting requirement - in a bid to attract more investors and retirees.


    Full Story: https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1213676-finally-some-good-news-thailand-tipped-to-ease-90-day-reporting-for-foreigners/

    12 April 2021
  • Govt. Stockpiles More Medicine for Treating



    BANGKOK (NNT) - The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) is stockpiling medicine for treating Covid-19 with more being bought amid the third outbreak which has infected more than 4,000 people.


    The GPO has ordered the stockpiling of Favipiravir with the drug now reserved for treating Covid-19 sufferers and being distributed to medical facilities to ensure they receive a constant supply. As of Monday, the GPO had 411,200 Favipiravir tablets in its stock with half a million more on order.


    Favipiravir is an antiviral medication used to treat influenza in Japan. It is known for stopping viruses from duplicating and has been used to treat Covid-19. Thailand has been importing Favipiravir, mostly from Japan, to treat Covid-19 patients with moderate to severe symptoms since January last year.


    The GPO is also likely to import the Moderna vaccine, although the vaccine has not yet been registered with the FDA. If and when the registration is complete, it is expected to arrive in Thailand in August.



    -- © Copyright NNT 2021-04-13
    13 April 2021