Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, February 8th to the 14th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.
1. No private companies or local governments can purchase Covid-19 vaccinations for local distribution at this time, says Thai Public Health Minister
The statement from the Public Health Minister has turned down several provincial authorities nationwide who had already planned to purchase their own doses of Covid-19 Coronavirus for local distribution, as the vaccines are currently only to be sent to the Thai government to distribute as they choose due to an emergency use agreement. However, many tourism areas, especially Phuket, which had already planned the project was displeased since the minister’s statement had disproved his earlier statement, claiming that the government did not object to the local vaccination distribution. Many tourism industry professionals are now asking for government reconsideration.
2. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration postpones 104-baht BTS Green Line fare adjustment until further notice due to individual financial struggles during Covid-19 pandemic
The 104-baht fare for the BTS green line was proposed and approved by the BMA on January 15th and was initially planned to be implemented a month later. However, it is postponed until further notice due to the national financial difficulties among local people caused by the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus. Despite the postponement, a majority of Bangkok people still consider that the new price adjustment is costly and is not certainly reasonable based on individual’s daily incomes and costs in general.
3. Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health announces Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan, primarily in highest and strictest controlled areas
The first national distribution plan has been launched by the National Vaccine Commission under the authorization of the Ministry of Public Health last week. According to the draft, nearly 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be distributed in the previously-declared highest and strictest controlled areas, namely Samut Sakhon, Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Rayong, Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Trat, and Tak. The number of shots will be varied due to the number of infections found in certain provinces. Public and private hospitals in Samut Sakhon will receive most of the doses of 820,000 as it currently holds the highest number of infections in Thailand.
4. Thailand’s Public Health Ministry advises couples to keep their distance on Valentine’s Day to prevent spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus
As a month of love approaching in the Covid-19 global pandemic, the Public Health Ministry had advised people in Thailand to perform social distancing and reducing intimacy during Valentine’s day as it could be a possible way to spread the Covid-19 Coronavirus. The Ministry also launched a new policy of “New Normal, New Safe SEX”, in which the couples were advised to refrain from sexual intercourse or use a condom as some measures to prevent sexually transmitted diseases also potentially helped prevent the domestic spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus, according to the Ministry.
5. Pro-democracy demonstration staged at Democracy Monument in Bangkok yesterday sees high tension and small clashes with riot police throughout the night
Political tension has returned as a pro-democracy demonstration was arranged by the ‘Ratsadon’ pro-democracy group last Saturday and had multiple clashes with police throughout the evening as they were marching from Democracy Monument to the city pillar shine on Ratchadamnoen road. Explosions were frequently heard and clouds of smoke were also spotted at the protest’s site. A dozen people were arrested for allegedly violating the Emergency Decree and the Disease Control Decree while more than 20 people from both parties were injured during the police dispersal.
And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!