Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, March 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. Chiang Mai ranked most air-polluted city in the world for three consecutive days after level of PM 2.5 dust particles reaches higher than 200
Northern provinces of Thailand, particularly in Chiang Mai, have been suffering from thick smog since last week. The situation has not yet been resolved as of today. There has been no clear explanation from the government of what causes the air pollution, although most residents blame illegal burning. The level of PM 2.5 dust particles in downtown Chiang Mai has reached 247 µg/m3 on Tuesday and has been reaching between 100-200 since, causing damage and sickness to many local residents.
2. Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister visits Phuket to congratulate success of Villa Quarantine pilot at Sri Panwa Hotel last month
The Villa Quarantine that had been launched at the end of February was a huge success as none of the 58 foreign tourists were found with the Covid-19 Coronavirus. The tourists are now leaving a villa quarantine at Sri Panwa hotel to travel safely across the country, including Phuket, Phang Nga, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Chiang Mai for one month. The success of Villa Quarantine is believed to be the first step to potentially boost the tourism business in Thailand during the global pandemic.
3. Thai Government aiming to October to “open the country” but will depend on many factors, say Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration
The promising statement, although was not made to be clear, was made during a CCSA daily press briefing. The government said that it initially aimed to reopen Thailand’s border in October, however, many factors have to be considered at the present time. According to the CCSA, the relaxation of Covid-19 is expected to be implemented in Phase 2 and a complete re-opening, with no quarantine, would be expected in Phase 3 hopefully in October of this year. The overall timeline, however, was set to be more like a general goal that was planned out for the government. It will be officially announced in advance if implemented.
4. Thai Prime Minister and Cabinet postpone AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 inoculation following blood clot reports in several patients in European countries
The sudden postponement was made after several European countries suspended the use of AstraZeneca shots over blood clots reports on Friday. The delay, not cancellation, was meant to wait for a complete investigation and reports from European Health officials. The plan will continue to proceed this Tuesday after WHO confirmed that there is no relation between AstraZeneca vaccinations and blood clots report in vaccine receivers.
5. Thai government plans to purchase 5 million more doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines to help prevent local transmission
The Thai government is planning to purchase an additional 5 million doses of Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccines to potentially help control the local transmission of the virus in the country. The number is excluded from the arriving 800,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be arriving in Thailand in March and another 1,000,000 shots in April. The Public Health Minister believed that all purchased vaccines through the rest of the year will be sufficient for the 69 million people of the Thai population.
And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!