THAILAND EXPRESS – NEWS: What to remember from Thai news from March 14th to 20th?

Gavroche has selected for you some important news from Thailand over the past week. An essential news review for anyone interested in this Southeast Asian country.

COVID-19

Record 27,071 new Covid cases, 80 additional deaths. The Thai Ministry of Health reported on the morning of March 18 that there were 80 additional Covid-19-related deaths, the highest for a new wave, and a record 27,071 new confirmed cases. These figures should be compared with 77 coronavirus-related deaths and 25,456 new cases reported on Thursday, March 17, in the morning. These figures do not include 23,157 positive antigen test results. Thus, the total number will be 50,228 people.

The first batch of Molnupiravir antiviral capsules for the treatment of COVID-19 has arrived in Thailand and will be distributed by the Department of Medical Services (DMS) to hospitals starting this week.

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Management (CCSA) on Friday (March 18) reduced the number of Covid-controlled provinces classified as orange zones and declared two other provinces as pilot tourism zones where disease control measures are relaxed with immediate effect . CCSA spokesman Tawisilp Visanuyotin said the number of controlled provinces (orange areas) has been reduced from 44 to 20, the number of strict supervision provinces (yellow areas) has increased from 25 to 47 respectively, and the number of tourism pilot provinces (blue areas) has increased from eight to ten. .

Politics

Thailand may hold parliamentary elections in November 2022 after hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Deputy Prime Minister and former army commander Prawit Wongsuwan said on Tuesday (March 15). He responded to reports that on Monday, March 15, he met with some leaders of a 17-party coalition to propose the dissolution of the Thai parliament after a mid-November summit.

Bangkok Police Governor-General Aswin Kwanmuang has announced that he will run for re-election as an independent candidate in the 2022 Bangkok gubernatorial election.

The Thai Energy Ministry said on Friday (March 11) that Thai oil companies have been ordered to increase their reserves from 60 to 70 days to ensure enough fuel for domestic consumption in the context of the global crisis caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine. .

UN Women, an organization that supports women’s empowerment, is seeking policies to support gender equality in Thailand’s business sector for sustainable economic and social growth. On Wednesday, March 16, UN Women organized a seminar in Bangkok on the theme “Inclusive Policies Means Sustainable Growth”.

Thailand is still ranked “Not Free” in Freedom House’s 2022 World Freedom Report, which has dropped from 30 out of 100 last year to 29 as the report notes a global threat to freedom and democracy and the expansion of authoritarian regimes. The points are based on 2 categories. Thailand scored 5 out of 40 for political rights and 24 out of 60 for civil liberties.

Economy

The Thai government recently approved a capital gains tax exemption for private investors in start-ups in 12 industrial sectors (notably smart electronics, tourism, agribusiness and robotics). Domestic and foreign venture capital and private equity funds should be fully exempt from taxation of profits from the sale of shares of local start-ups.

The Department of Commerce has approved fertilizer price increases on a case-by-case basis to mitigate the impact of rising fertilizer production costs.

Thai Minister of Commerce Jurin Laxanavisit said on Tuesday (March 15) that he did not approve of price hikes for essential goods, although some manufacturers have filed appeals to raise prices due to rising costs due to the aftermath of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The Ministry of Commerce has determined that producers of 18 consumer goods and services cannot raise prices without the approval of the Ministry of Internal Trade.

Society

Bangkok’s governor boasted on Monday (March 14) of ending the capital’s chronic annual flooding problems thanks to the construction of a second pair of underground water tanks due to be completed within the next two years. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) chief Aswin Kwanmuang said the project was launched in 2018 when construction began on the first two underground storage tanks, with the goal of building four in total capable of holding up to 100 millimeters of rain each day.

The Department of Inland Trade (DIT) has announced that free-range eggs can now be sold for up to 3 baht, 20 satang per egg, allowing poultry farmers to continue operations without overburdening consumers.

Fake cosmetics worth 70 million baht have been seized from a warehouse in Bangkok’s Suan Luang district. In total, 18 brands were imitated, and all counterfeit goods were made in China.

In Thailand, workers are suffering the consequences of rising prices for alcoholic and energy drinks. Since February, the price of Ruang Khao white liquor has risen from 120 to 130 baht (large bottle) and from 60 to 70 baht for a small bottle.

Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-Ocha has ordered investigators to arrest the perpetrators of the Thursday (March 10) bombing in Yala as violence has surged in the south of the country, hit by insurgents.

On Tuesday, March 15, a court in Phuket found Tiravat Totip guilty of the murder of Swiss citizen Nicole Sauven-Weiskopf and sentenced him to death, but the defendant confessed to his deed, and therefore his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Teerawat, also known as Bang Fari, killed 57-year-old Sauvein-Weiskopf at a waterfall in the Muang area of ​​Phuket on August 3 last year.

Thai national actor and entertainer Sorapong “Ek” Chatri passed away from lung cancer at Bumrungrad Hospital on Thursday afternoon March 10 after years of battling the disease. His family announced that the funeral will take place at Wat Thep Sirintrawat in Bangkok’s Pom Prab Sattru Phai from Friday, March 18.

Tourism, culture, sports

Prayut Chan-o-cha opens Thailand’s new international airport in Betong. The government will develop Betong into a model city for tourism and cross-border trade in the south, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-Ocha said after the opening of Betong International Airport in Yala province on Monday (March 14).

Thanyaburi Mini Zoo, spread over 300 hectares in Rangsit, Fatum Thani, opened its doors to the public on Sunday, March 13th. The zoo will be the home of Bangkok’s famed Dusit Zoo, which closed in August 2018 after 80 years of operation.

Trat police on Tuesday (March 8) launched an official investigation into the fire that devastated a villa at Soneva Kiri Resort and Residences on Koh Kood island two days earlier. An official investigation was launched following a fire at a million-dollar resort on Koh Kood. A fire broke out at Villa 63 at the six-star luxury resort, leveling it to the ground and causing damage of around 22 million baht.

The Thai Maritime Authority on Tuesday (March 15) held a seminar on the development of a terminal for large cruise ships on Koh Samui, Surat Thani province. The workshop was held at the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel. The project will be a public-private partnership (PPP) for the construction of a cruise terminal at Hin Khom Cape in the Taling Ngam sub-district of Koh Samui, said Wanchai Burthongdi, chief technology officer of the department.

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