Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, October 19th to the 25th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in order of date of publication.
1. 39 Chinese tourists arrive in Bangkok and tested negative for Covid-19 so far, Tourism and Sports minister confirms today
Thailand has now welcomed the first group of tourists from Shanghai, China last week under the Special Tourist Visa (STV) scheme. Most of them had planned for a long-term stay of a maximum of 270 days traveling mostly to beaches near the capital. At least 400 Chinese tourists are expected to visit the country by early November if the scheme has proved successful with the first group, according to Tourism and Sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, claiming they will generate tourism revenue of approximately 800,000 baht per person during the whole trip.
2. Pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok march to Government House to demand Prime Minister resignation within three days
Pro-democracy protesters had increased the intensity of their rallies to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O’Cha and his military government by marching from Bangkok’s Victory Monument to the Government House last week. Protesters submitted a formal resignation letter for Prime Minister Prayuth to police commanders, insisting that they will stop protesting only if he resigns within three days. The Prime Minister later had ignored their demand, resulting in several upcoming planned protests being held this week.
3. Thai government ends declaration of a severe emergency in Bangkok
The Thai government has withdrawn the severe state of emergency in Bangkok following Prayuth Chan-O’Cha’s television announcement during the pro-demonstrators’ march to the Government House that the declaration would be revoked if there were no violent incidents between protesters, law enforcement, or rival protest groups. This notification, however, is not the national emergency decree which had been in effect since March to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
4. French woman tests positive for Covid-19 on Koh Samui shortly after being released from 14-day quarantine
The case is considered the first confirmed local case of Covid-19 infection in the Koh Samui area in roughly seven months. The French woman had reportedly returned from France with her husband and son to Koh Samui and had tested positive for Covid-19 coronavirus twice a few days after 14-day state quarantine. Her family and other high-risk contacts have all tested negative for the virus and remain in quarantine. It is initially believed that the woman was infected with Covid-19 during self-isolation in a Samut Prakan hotel.
5. Thai Prime Minister does not resign, pro-democracy protesters organize more protests
General Prayuth Chan-O’Cha has marked his position as Thai Prime Minister and ignored pro-democracy activists’ demand for his resignation. He was heard saying that he would not quit after the Buddhist prayers at Wat Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram on Sunday, leading to more intense organized rallies by the pro-democracy protesters, including the ongoing march to the German Embassy this afternoon.
That is all for this week, thank you as always for reading the Pattaya/TPN National News!