The biggest and most read stories in Thailand from the last week: Universal Coverage scheme cancellation postponed, Thai actress found dead in Chao Phraya River, and more

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, February 21st, to the 27th with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

PHOTO: Matichon

1. Thai Cabinet postpones Public Health Ministry’s cancellation of Universal Coverage scheme for Covid-19 emergency patients

Following the cabinet’s decision, the Universal Coverage for Emergency Patients or the UCEP would continue to be available for Thai nationals or foreigners with work permits who are infected with the Covid-19 Coronavirus to receive free treatment regardless of the severity. Previously, the Public Health Ministry had proposed the scheme cancellation, only allowing Covid-19 severe infections to receive free treatment from the UCEP while other infections with mild or asymptomatic symptoms would be only allowed to use their medical rights to access health care services for free. The Public Health Ministry confirmed that the cabinet decision is only to delay, not to cancel the whole proposal as the daily infection cases are still considerably high. When cases are reduced, the proposal will likely resume.

2. Pro-democracy student activist, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, granted temporary bail by Bangkok South Criminal Court this afternoon

One of the prominent detained protest leaders “Penguin” was released after 200 days in prison. However, the Bangkok South Criminal Court had denied bail for lawyer/activist Arnon Nampa although lawyers of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) had also requested for temporary bail. Both of them were previously denied bail on Wednesday but the Court stated that they would reconsider Penguin’s case if the university’s documents to prove Penguin is in school were presented, resulting in a temporary release on Thursday.

3. Body of missing Thai actress who reportedly fell from a speedboat at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok found

A most tragic yet suspicious case in Thailand this week. Thai actress “Dtangmo” allegedly fell from a speedboat into the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok on Thursday night and her body was found on Saturday. However, her family as well as the Thai public have raised questions regarding what actually happened on the speedboat, why her ‘friends’ did not show up for interrogation following the police’s request, and why they had given different and ambiguous statements to the press and the officials. The investigation by Nonthaburi police is still ongoing to prove society’s question of whether it was really just an accident.

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.