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  • New Immigration office at Bluport is open/
  • Hua Hin will definitely reopen on Oct 1, tourism minister confirms/
  • Hua Hin: 23 new cases today, 48 more in province/
  • Yesterday’s late Covid report/
  • Thailand: 13,897 new Covid cases, 188 more deaths/SCB EIC sees recovery in mid-2023/How will Thailand’s new tourism chapter be written?/Vegetables grown on abandoned taxis help drivers survive/
  • Reopening: Bangkok’s reopening postponed to Oct 15/Thailand ordered to prepare for tourists/Postpone country’s reopening to Nov 1, Siriraj Hospital prof advises/Sandboxed tourists have spent 524,000 nights at Phuket hotels/Phuket marks 244 news cases, three more deaths/Crisis team sent to Phuket as migrants blamed for infections/No guarantees of entertainment/nightlife opening for Pattaya in October/
  • Vaccine: Government devises jab plan for students/Korat to roll out AZ booster shots on Sept 24/
  • International: Cambodian tourism sector angered as Vietnam and Thailand partially open for tourists/China says has fully vaccinated 91% of students aged 12-17 against Covid/Vaccination efforts geared up in US as Covid kills 1 in 500 Americans/New York says UN delegates must be vaccinated, angering Russia/ASEAN Covid-19 cases, deaths increase/
  • In other news: Boom time coming to Thailand as foreigners lead real estate revival: Sansiri/Elite foreign visa scheme could generate up to 6% of Thai GDP/PTT and Foxconn sign deal to make electric vehicles in Thailand/Female cat burglar evaded capture for nine years/Unesco declares Chiang Mai’s Doi Chiang Dao new biosphere reserve/First all-civilian crew launched into orbit aboard SpaceX rocket ship/Biden’s pivot to Asia must be more comprehensive than Obama’s/

New Immigration office at Bluport is open

Hua Hin now has a new “government services center” at Bluport Mall, including an Immigration office. The new facility is located in the basement next to the Top Charoen shop.

The center will make it easier for people to contact and receive government services in one easily accessible location, and will consist of seven services: Prachuap provincial transport office for car tax payments; Hua Hin municipality office for services including land and building tax collection, tax payment, water bill payment, complain unit and legal counseling on child welfare, families, the elderly, the socially disadvantaged and the homeless; Prachuap province labor office, Prachuap Province Labor Protection and Welfare Office and Prachuap Province Social Security to provide information services on labor, advice on unemployment registration, advice on job registration, accepting requests for compensation fund benefits in all cases, counter service for apply insurers under Section 39 and 40, verifying unpaid contributions of the insured, giving basic advice on legal labor protection and receiving complaints about general labor; administrative divisions of Hua Hin district for civil registration services; revenue office for Prachuap province for online filing services, tax law consulting services, tax document receiving services, VAT registration services, and public relations for electronic services of the Revenue Department; Immigration in Prachuap province for short-term stay, re-entry (but not for a re-enter the Kingdom), 90-day reports, and notifying foreigners to report on residence and stay (TM30); and the post office.

The service center will open daily from 10am–6pm.

Hua Hin will definitely reopen on Oct 1, tourism minister confirms

Thailand Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has confirmed that Hua Hin’s proposed reopening on Oct. 1 will go ahead as planned, regardless of the COVID-19 situation in the province.

There had been doubts that due to the ongoing pandemic, the Thai government may not be able to proceed with its plan to resume inbound tourism.

Earlier this month, key figures from the the local business and tourism sectors urged Prachuap Khiri Khan to postpone its reopening. Continued …

Hua Hin: 23 new cases today, 48 more in province

Prachuap Khiri Khan province reported 71 new COVID-19 cases today, 23 in Hua Hin.

Two more deaths were reported, two Thai men, aged 83 and 93, in Bang Saphan Noi and Mueang district. They both had underlying health conditions and had not been vaccinated.

In the province, 12 cases were found in Pranburi, 1 in Sam Roi Yot, 16 in Kuiburi, 9 in Bang Saphan, 6 found in Bang Saphan Noi, and 3 in Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan.

There were 146 people discharged from hospital or quarantine; 1,062 are in hospital or quarantine, while 45 patients are currently in a serious condition.

Yesterday’s late report:

  • 51 new COVID-19 cases reported in PKK province
  • 7 found in Hua Hin
  • Three more deaths
  • 18 cases in Pranburi, 6 in Sam Roi Yot, 1 in Thap Sakae, 7 in Bang Saphan, 1 in Bang Saphan Noi, 11 in Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • 205 people discharged
  • 1,139 people in hospital or quarantine
  • 45 patients are in serious condition.

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Thailand: 13,897 new Covid cases, 188 more deaths

Thailand logged 13,897 new Covid-19 cases and 188 more fatalities during the previous 24 hours, the Public Health Ministry announced on Thursday morning.

There were 13,503 cases in the general population and 394 among prison inmates.

On Wednesday, 13,527 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals after recovering from the coronavirus. Continued …

SCB EIC sees recovery in mid-2023

SCB Economic Intelligence Center (SCB EIC), the research house of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), has forecast Thailand’s economic recovery would be delayed until mid-2023 because of the impact of the prolonged pandemic.

The research house predicted Thailand’s economy would return to the 2019 level in the middle of 2023, a delay from the beginning of 2023 as previously projected.

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The delayed recovery is mainly due to the continuing infections, said its chief economist, Yunyong Thaicharoen. Continued …

How will Thailand’s new tourism chapter be written?

Thailand’s tourism history makes a dramatic tale of ups and downs. It is strong, having benefited from growth over the past five decades, but also often challenged by devastating forces, such as the Tom Yum Koong financial crisis in 1997, and a series of political unrest that led to airport closures in 2008.

Yet, Thailand is so loved that tourism is able to rebound quickly when problems ebb.

Throughout Thailand’s many tourism crises, authorities would speak of reshaping the industry for resilience against future calamities, and to ensure that everyone can truly benefit from tourism gains when business is back on the rise. Continued …

Vegetables grown on abandoned taxis help drivers survive

Staple vegetables, such as chili, eggplant and cucumber, are now being grown on the roofs, in the tires and in the trunks of abandoned taxis.

This unusual sight can be seen in Bangkok’s Bang Waek neighborhood of Phasi Charoen district, near the Energy Ministry, the Thai Tobacco Monopoly and at the “Talaad Thai” market, as taxis from cooperatives, such as Bovorn and Ratchapruek, have been returned because, since February of last year, they have been of little use, thanks to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an adviser at Bovorn Taxi Cooperatives, the drivers can’t bear the financial burden of 400,000–800,000 baht per car and growing vegetables on them can help the remaining drivers bear the costs. Continued …

New Villas at Sivana Hideaway

Sivana HideAway‘s 42 three-bedroom pool villas set new regional standards with chic, innovative designs and resort-like facilities that include a bar, restaurant, fitness centre, spa, a large lagoon pool and 24-hour security.

These ready-to-move-in residences are just five minutes away from the beach, 10 minutes south of Hua Hin City Centre and less than 200 km south of Bangkok. Each residence features a large open island kitchen with premium-brand built-in appliances pre-installed, as well as a large covered terrace with an infinity salt water system pool, a spacious master bedroom with walk-in closet, large windows and high ceilings.

Soi 126 PhetKasem Road, Nongkhae, Hua Hin, Prachuabkhirikhan 77110; tel: +6691-8199810; email: [email protected]; Web.

Bangkok’s reopening postponed to Oct 15

Bangkok’s reopening for inoculated tourists will be delayed by two weeks as most of the city’s residents are still waiting for their second jabs, while the tourism ministry has pledged to open the city to bring at least one million international tourists this year.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister, said the appropriate time line for Bangkok should be postponed from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, as the capital city is expected to have administered Covid-19 vaccines to 70% of its residents by then.

At present, 37% of the population is fully vaccinated, while another 33% are in the 8-12 week interval following their first AstraZeneca shot. Continued … 

Thailand ordered to prepare for tourists

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered various ministries to speed up preparations for boosting tourism, while keeping in mind pandemic restrictions.

The order comes as a medical expert raised concerns over the possibility of the healthcare system having to battle with another outbreak if the government insists on reopening the tourism industry as early as Oct. 1.

Prayut on Wednesday assigned the Tourism and Sports, Public Health and Interior ministries to prepare for a rise in both Thai and foreign tourists in the fourth quarter of this year, known as the high tourism season, said Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). Continued …

Postpone country’s reopening to Nov 1, Siriraj Hospital prof advises

Thailand is not ready to reopen the country on Oct. 1, as the Covid-19 vaccination rate has not yet reached a safe level, Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Siriraj Hospital’s dean of the Faculty of Medicine, said on Wednesday, suggesting that the reopening be postponed to Nov. 1.

Compared with other countries, it would be too quick if Thailand were to reopen on Oct. 1, he said, as the vaccination rate should first exceed 70% of the population.

Only 38% of the country has been vaccinated so far with a first dose, and just 18% have received the second dose, the dean pointed out. Continued …

Sandboxed tourists have spent 524,000 nights at Phuket hotels

Hotels in Phuket have benefited from more than 524,000 paid room nights since the island province’s sandbox reopening 11 weeks ago, with the largest group of visitors coming from the United States, according to a government spokesman.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Wednesday that the island reopened to foreign tourists on July 1, visitors had stayed for 524,221 hotel room nights – 190,860 nights in July, 176,121 nights in August and 157,240 nights as of Tuesday.

Phuket had welcomed 32,005 visitors and only 91 of them (0.28%) tested positive for Covid-19, with Delta being the dominant variant, he said. Continued …

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Phuket marks 244 news cases, three more deaths

The latest Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) daily COVID situation report has marked 244 new local infections confirmed across the island yesterday, bringing the total number of people recognized as infected with COVID-19 in Phuket since April 3 to 7,826.

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The PPHO report reported two new infections among Sandbox tourist arrivals.

The report also marked three new deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths in Phuket attributed to COVID-19 since April 3 to 43. Continued …

Crisis team sent to Phuket as migrants blamed for infections

Ministry of Public Health official Kiatphoom Wongjarit admitted that a special team had been sent to Phuket after infections on the sandbox island hit 200 a day.

He blamed the infections on migrant workers who have come into the province to work, causing the spread in communities where they live.

He was quick to point out that foreign tourists were not to blame, as they are tested before arrival and during their stay. Continued …

No guarantees of entertainment/nightlife opening for Pattaya in October

Chonburi officials have been non-committal about any potential reopening of Pattaya’s popular bar, nightlife, and entertainment industry in October, despite a proposal to reopen the city to foreign vaccinated tourists similar to the Phuket Sandbox increasingly likely to happen in some way, shape, or form.

The aforementioned proposal from the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Chonburi leaders goes before decision-makers at relevant Covid-19 agencies in Bangkok this weekend.

Although this would be a major step forward for Pattaya, and the first time since early March of 2020 in which tourists would be allowed to roam the area freely without a strict in-room hotel quarantine, they may find that Pattaya’s world-famous entertainment industry is not yet open. In fact, it is not even sure if restaurants would be able to sell alcohol. Continued …

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Government devises jab plan for students

The Education Ministry has laid out a time line for vaccinating students amid reluctance by some parents and students to join the nationwide inoculation campaign.

Senior ministry officials attended an online teleconference on Wednesday where they went over the time line of vaccinations for students aged 12-18 in both state and private schools and institutions nationwide next month.

The Pfizer jabs will be launched in 29 provinces in the dark-red zones, which are hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Continued …

Korat to roll out AZ booster shots on Sept 24

Nakhon Ratchasima plans to begin administering booster shots on Sept. 24 for people who have already received two shots of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, while Samut Sakhon will do the same on Oct. 1.

The launch of booster shot injections in Nakhon Ratchasima will mark Prince Mahidol Day, said Jade Boonyawongvirot, assistant director of Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital.

Sept. 24 of every year is designated as Prince Mahidol Day in commemoration of his contributions to the development of modern medical education in Thailand and his devotion to the health care of Thais. Continued …

Cambodian tourism sector angered as Vietnam and Thailand partially open

Cambodia’s hospitality industry is up in arms after Vietnam and Thailand partially opened for tourists, under strict conditions, but the Kingdom remains firmly shut to such trials despite being more in control of the pandemic.

This comes as news broke that Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island will be open for “fully vaccinated” tourists from the beginning of November for a period of six months as a trial and to boost tourism in the country.

In Thailand, vaccinated visitors will be able to visit five provinces from Oct. 1: Bangkok, Chiangmai, Chonburi, Phetchaburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan, which will follow the “Sandbox” model piloted in Phuket, which has seen a revenue of around $50 million and seen 27,609 tourists from July 1 to Sept. 3. Continued …

China says has fully vaccinated 91% of students aged 12-17 against Covid

China has fully vaccinated 91% of students aged 12-17 against the coronavirus, state television reported on Wednesday, although authorities said schools need to be vigilant.

An outbreak in the southeastern province of Fujian this month that has grown to 152 cases includes infections among unvaccinated students in at least four primary schools and two kindergartens, data from local authorities showed.

China’s two main vaccines have been approved for use in children from the age of three, but authorities in charge of the vaccination roll-out have yet to make children under 12 eligible. Continued …

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Vaccination efforts geared up in US as Covid kills 1 in 500 Americans

COVID-19 deaths and cases in the United States have climbed to levels not seen since last winter, wiping out months of progress and potentially bolstering President Biden’s argument for sweeping new vaccination requirements, media reported.

The federal government of the United States is commanding a strong gear for its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, with new vaccine approval planned and extra pressure exerted on the country’s top businesses and incoming immigrants, as the pandemic has killed roughly one in every 500 Americans.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet on Wednesday with executives from companies, including Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance, to advance his COVID-19 vaccination requirements for the private sector. Continued …

New York says UN delegates must be vaccinated, angering Russia

All leaders and diplomats attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week will have to provide proof of vaccination, the city government said Wednesday, sparking anger from Russia.

Delegates must be vaccinated to enter the debate hall, the mayor’s office told the assembly president in a letter dated Sept. 9, but Moscow queried whether New York had the authority to enforce the mandate.

Attendees must also be vaccinated if they want to eat or exercise indoors, the letter added. Continued …

ASEAN Covid-19 cases, deaths increase

The number of Covid-19 cases in Southeast Asia crossed 11.19 million, with 69,057 new cases reported on Wednesday – higher than Tuesday’s tally of 64,297.

ASEAN also saw 1,440 additional deaths, an increase from Tuesday’s 1,382, taking total coronavirus deaths in the region to 246,907.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday approved vaccinations for 1.9 million children aged 9-12 from Friday to prepare for the reopening of schools nationwide. Cambodia reported 653 new cases and nine deaths on Wednesday, bringing cumulative cases to 101,443 patients and 2,067 deaths so far.

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Laotian health authorities said a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine could be an option in the future to further boost the body’s immunity against new Covid strains, including the Delta variant. The country reported 223 new cases on Wednesday, bringing cumulative cases to 17,905 patients and a total 16 deaths. – The Nation

Boom time coming to Thailand as foreigners lead real estate revival: Sansiri

Comments by the chairman of one of Thailand’s leading real estate developers – Sansiri PLC – represented a stark contract to the doom and gloom assessments of many people online in the wake of criticism of government proposals to attract wealthy foreigners.

Settha Thaweesin said that his company expected a boom time for the real estate market in 2022.

And this boom and injection of cash would be led by foreigners desperate to invest in Thailand. Continued …

Elite foreign visa scheme could generate up to 6% of Thai GDP

Thailand is moving forward with an ambitious scheme to attract one million foreign residents to the kingdom between 2022 and 2026, who are expected to account for up to 6% of the country’s annual GDP by the end of the plan’s final year. The program, which involves significant changes to the country’s labor and property ownership laws, was given the green light this week and is to be monitored by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC).

A Thai cabinet meeting at Government House on Tuesday agreed in principle to a range of measures aimed at attracting up to one million high-income foreigners to live and work in Thailand over the next five years.

The scheme is being pushed by the Center for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), led by Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow. Continued …

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PTT and Foxconn sign deal to make electric vehicles in Thailand

Analysts on Wednesday voiced optimism on a joint deal to produce electric vehicles in Thailand between the kingdom’s largest energy firm, PTT, and Taiwanese leading electronics contract maker Foxconn.

PTT President Auttapol Rerkpiboon informed the Stock Exchange of Thailand late Tuesday that the firm has signed a deal to produce electric vehicles and parts. PTT subsidiary Arun Plus will hold a 60% stake of the joint venture, while Foxconn’s affiliate Lin Yin will hold the rest.

“PTT has a great potential to become a leader in the electric vehicle industry, as it will own a large proportion of market share backed by government support,” said analysts at Land and House Securities. Continued …

Female cat burglar evaded capture for nine years

When it comes to theft and fraud, 29-year-old Monchanok had it all, reported Daily News yesterday.

They used a term about having “18 crowns” in their headline – an expression reserved for the trickiest of thieves.

Monchanok, not surprisingly perhaps, denied everything.

She was named in a warrant issued in Thanyaburi, Pathum Thani, in 2012 for being involved in cat burglary and receiving stolen goods. Continued …

Unesco declares Chiang Mai’s Doi Chiang Dao new biosphere reserve

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday approved Chiang Mai’s Doi Chiang Dao as a new biosphere reserve – the fifth site in Thailand to receive the prestigious listing.

The other biosphere reserves are Sakae Rat in Nakhon Ratchasima, Suan Sak-Huai Nak in Lampang, Huai Khok Ma in Chiang Mai and the Ranong Mangrove Forest.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said UNESCO’s International Coordinating Council on the Man and the Biosphere Program held an online meeting on Wednesday to review 22 international areas, including Doi Chiang Dao, for listing as biosphere reserves. Continued … 

First all-civilian crew launched into orbit aboard SpaceX rocket ship

A SpaceX rocket ship blasted off from Florida on Wednesday carrying a billionaire e-commerce executive and three less-wealthy private citizens he chose to join him in the first all–civilian crew ever launched into Earth orbit.

The quartet of amateur astronauts, led by the American founder and chief executive of financial services firm Shift4 Payments, Jared Isaacman, lifted off just before sunset from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, and the spacecraft roared into the darkened skies.

A SpaceX webcast of the launch showed Isaacman, 38, and his crewmates – Sian Proctor, 51, Hayley Arceneaux, 29, and Chris Sembroski, 42 – strapped into the pressurized cabin of their gleaming white SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed Resilience, wearing their helmeted black-and-white flight suits. Continued …

Biden’s pivot to Asia must be more comprehensive than Obama’s

When U.S. President Barack Obama was first sworn in, expectations that a departure from the Bush administration’s obsession with the Middle East were imminent. The argument was that the United States had paid too much attention to its military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and too little was spent on Asia, where an emerging China was now developing islands by hand and attempting to influence weaker Southeast Asian states to do its bidding.

However, Obama’s pivot in Southeast Asia was inconsistent with espoused American values. U.S. relations with Vietnam significantly improved, particularly in removing the ban on arms sales, but also evidenced by an improved trade relationship and a mutual resolve to check China’s aggression in the South China Sea. The rest of Southeast Asia was not so easy.

Thailand’s May 2014 coup d’etat significantly deteriorated bilateral relations with the United States, as joint military exercises were canceled, military aid was suspended, all of which made the job of popular American Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney more difficult. Continued …

 

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