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    • No reason to panic, PM says, as people stock up on supplies



    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Sunday appealed for calm as escalating fears over Covid-19 are driving people to stockpile food and other daily necessities.

    "We are not at a stage where we need to stockpile food," Gen Prayut said after a meeting to address the growing spread of the coronavirus in the country.

    Foods such as instant noodles, sauces and canned food have disappeared from the shelves in many supermarkets as many shoppers seek to plan for shortages.

    The prime minister said additional measures are being implemented, including mobile applications created to monitor the situation. Airports of Thailand Plc has an app for arrivals to contact the government if they suspect they are infected with the virus. Innovators have created an online map to update the virus situation in the country.

    Gen Prayut said he called the meeting of the centre to fight the virus on Sunday to bolster public confidence and find measures to solve problems ranging from mask shortages to monitoring systems.

    Thailand reported 32 new virus cases on Sunday, bringing the total above the 100-mark -- to 114 -- for the first time, amid a warning from doctors that the country was moving to the "third phase" of mass infections.

    Gen Prayut signed an order to transfer Internal Trade Department director-general Vichai Pohanakit to his office after the agency had failed to tackle the mask shortages and inflated prices.

    The government plans to use a newly-built hospital -- which he did not name -- to specifically handle virus cases, and will add the Covid-19 disease to the emergency list for patients under the universal healthcare scheme. The inclusion will allow people infected with the virus to be treated at the nearest private or public hospitals for 72 hours, instead of going to the hospital they have previously registered with under the programme.

    Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul is considering shutting down all entertainment venues to contain the outbreak in the wake of cluster infections involving people drinking together in pubs last month.

    Gen Prayut said on Sunday the government will seek cooperation from entertainment venue operators in high-risk areas to close -- and did not rule out the possibility of shutting all of them if necessary.: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral - https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...ng-virus-fears
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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    • PM leads from the front with cloth face mask for Cabinet meeting


      Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday morning (March 17) arrived at Administrative Building 1 of Government House to preside over a Cabinet meeting, wearing a fabric face mask with the same Thai traditional pattern as his shirt, signalling the mask was made from cloth left over after making the shirt.

      Prayut and Cabinet members as well as followers must go through the screening checkpoint where medical staff provide thermal scanning before letting them into the 501 meeting room.

      As of 11am on March 17, Thailand has confirmed 177 Covid-19 cases. Of these, 41 have been discharged after recovering, 135 are under medical care, and one person has died.: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral
      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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      • Matching mask.
        How fashionable and cliquey.

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        • Saw him on Channel 3 yesterday wearing his Army uniform. Hangs on him like a sack! He lost considerable weight.
          Can you imagine watching CNN on purpose?

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            • Thailand must win the fight against Covid-19, says Prayut



            Thailand will prevail over the Covid-19 pandemic, says Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha via a live national TV broadcast tonight (March 16).

            He said the country could contain outbreak of the virus in a few weeks, citing a strong public health system and collaboration from various sectors.

            However, the surge in the number of infections last week might have resulted from the mass gatherings of people, he said, adding that it has raised public concerns on the course of the virus.

            The constant flows of Covid-19 news and unconfirmed reports startled may people and has led to a run on face masks and consumer goods which is not necessary, the premier said.

            He said people should believe the government could provide them with enough face masks and consumer goods and there was no need to panic.

            The government has never been complacent in dealing with the situation and has worked effectively to identify infected people through screening in line with global standard practice, he pointed out.

            He added that the government has given full support to medical personnel and related staff in terms of equipment, safety and morale as they hold key in the fight against the virus , not to mention bringing the infected back to health.

            The government will also announce more stringent measures to contain the outbreak, including a temporary ban on mass activities and closure of high-risk venues such as sports stadium and entertainment premises. It has already stepped up the screening of both foreign and local arrivals at the ports of entry to the Kingdom.

            He added that Thailand would overcome the crisis via public cooperation, including cancelling plans to go abroad and practise self isolating for 14 days after returning from a high-risk area.

            He also asked for collaboration not to circulate unconfirmed news which might lead to further unease among the people.

            Thais must share a common understanding that the outbreak will continue for a certain period but we must be patient in order to pull through together, the premier said.

            "Thailand must win," he said.: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral
            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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              • PM: Third-stage Covid-19 would justify countrywide lockdown



              The government is making preparations to cope with a third-stage outbreak of the coronavirus, should it come to that - and it would include a countrywide lockdown, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Wednesday.

              "The third stage means disease transmission to a second person, third person and so on. Thailand remains at a controllable stage," he said.

              However, the prime minister said, he had already ordered preparations be made to cope with a third stage should it eventuate.

              "It concerns the preparation of facilities. It includes beds at existing facilities and additional facilities. That can be military hospitals, some private hospitals and even some hotels. They would be used as additional places for quarantine," Gen Prayut said.

              "Information must be collected and preparations must be made beforehand, starting today. If the outbreak reaches its third stage, it will be hectic and the country will be locked down," he said.

              Present disease control measures did not mean a national lockdown, rather the serious examination of people entering and leaving the country, Gen Prayut said.

              He said no one wants a national lockdown, but if the situation requires it, it will be done.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...ywide-lockdown
              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                • PM DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY



                Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday (March 24) declared a state of emergency to contain the escalating Covid-19 pandemic.

                The decree takes effect on March 26. The premier said the decree would be enforced for one month.

                The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the emergency decree on public administration in an emergency situation.

                The existing Covid-19 centre will be upgraded to the centre of state emergency to tackle all Covid-19 issues. Committees will be set up under the centre to monitor results of its announcements.

                On March 26, the centre will announce the government's plan to contain the outbreak and enforce regulations. Stricter measures will be imposed if the situation does not improve, the premier added.

                Whether the government would order the closures of more public venues would depend on the situation at the time.

                Three Covid-19 patients died on Monday while 106 new cases were confirmed, taking Thailand's total cases past 800, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said on Tuesday (March 24).: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral
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                  • Emergency decree in force from midnight



                  An emergency decree will be enforced across the country from Thursday until April 30 as the government steps up the fight against the coronavirus disease pandemic.

                  The period of the emergency decree was announced on Wednesday in a nationwide broadcast by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

                  The emergency decree will be applied to all areas, the announcement said. It is effective from midnight Wednesday.

                  The decree authorises Gen Prayut to chair the centre to fight the virus, with the permanent secretaries of public health, interior, commerce and foreign affairs to help him. The supreme commander of the armed forces has been given responsibility for security affairs.

                  "Only necessary measures will be issued, to prevent the spread of the virus," the announcement said.

                  Gen Prayut said all shops selling food and essential consumer goods can remain open. He warned that anybody taking advantage of the situation for their own benefit will face stern action - an apparent reference to hoarders.

                  More measures are expected to be announced.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...-from-midnight
                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                  • Pity nobody knows what the measures are, and only 95 mins to go

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                      • All doors closed to foreigners/No curfew but public told to cooperate

                      Thailand has banned the entry of foreigners and the government may impose a 24-hour curfew as its next step to tackle the spread of Covid-19 under the Emergency Decree which goes into effect on Thursday.

                      Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Wednesday the country would be under a state of emergency as of Thursday until April 30, as Thailand reaches a turning point in its battle with Covid-19 transmissions.

                      The armed forces will set up checkpoints across the country under the Emergency Decree and 16 first-level instructions have been issued following the prime minister's national address. A curfew is not imposed at this level.

                      However, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who oversees legal affairs, said a curfew might be imposed later if considered necessary.

                      "If a curfew is imposed, it will be without warning, so people will panic and buy up food and basic necessities," he said. He added that if the government does go ahead with imposing a curfew to curb the spread of Covid-19, the order will be different from previous curfews which were only imposed at night to maintain peace and order.

                      "The curfew for Covid-19 is likely to cover 24 hours, with exceptions for individuals seeking medical treatment, those going to court or those working in broadcasting services."

                      Among first-level directives imposed under the Emergency Decree, foreigners are banned from entering the kingdom at all points with the exception of diplomats, shippers, drivers, pilots and others permitted by the prime minister. Thai nationals stranded in other countries will still be allowed to return provided they have a fit-to-fly health certificate.

                      The public, meanwhile, has been urged to refrain from travelling upcountry. Interprovincial travellers are required to install an app for tracking and will have to undergo screening at several checkpoints. Children under five and adults above the age of 70 and those with underlying health problems are strongly recommended to stay home. All public gatherings are banned.

                      Gen Prayut also threatened to take swift and drastic action against those who take advantage of others during these difficult times -- an apparent reference to hoarders.

                      "I want to warn those bent on taking advantage of people's plight and death. Don't think they will get away. I will do everything possible to deal with them swiftly and expeditiously. They will be spared no mercy," he said.

                      Gen Prayut said that as the situation may worsen, more stringent measures will be necessary to stem the spread of the virus and cushion its impact on people and their livelihoods. He also appealed to the public to comply with these measures despite the inconvenience.

                      "From now the measures to be imposed will be more intense and will affect people's lives. I'm asking you to comply and be responsible. Some people may feel their rights are being infringed upon, but all this is being done to protect lives. If we take things seriously, we can get through this," he said.

                      According to the PM, the Covid-19 Administration Centre is upgraded as a special agency under the decree's Section 7 to integrate all efforts to combat the virus. He said he will personally be in charge of tackling the virus and he will report directly to the people. He said the permanent secretaries of Public Health, Interior, Commerce and Foreign Affairs are there to help him, while the armed forces chief will oversee security.

                      In a move to control fake news that may cause panic, the PM has called on media outlets to check the facts with a special communications team, while a team of doctors will hold a press briefing daily.

                      National police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda said on Wednesday that a 24-hour curfew is a possibility, but the situation so far does not warrant it.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...-to-foreigners


                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                      • Originally posted by slandreth View Post
                        Thai nationals stranded in other countries will still be allowed to return provided they have a fit-to-fly health certificate.


                        If you know a Thai in the states that needs a Fit to Fly Health Certificate

                        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...urp=gmail_link

                        It’s updated from time to time
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                          • Emergency could be extended


                          The government, if need be, will extend the state of emergency for another month or two depending on the Covid-19 situation, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said today (March 31) after a cabinet meeting.

                          He said the government is reviewing the situation each week.

                          The premier announced the state of emergency, which took effect from March 26 and goes on until April 30.

                          Prayut said that at the moment the government is unlikely to lift the state of emergency soon.

                          He added that some rules under the emergency can be relaxed if the situation gets better. State agencies will consider tightening some rules in areas that show no improvement.

                          The premier said the rising numbers of confirmed cases over past seven days reflected the fact that the government was ramping up screening and that more people with symptoms were turning up at hospitals nationwide.

                          While many are concerned that more people travelling back to their hometowns will heighten the risk of virus infection and want to see a complete shutdown of public transportation networks, Prayut said the consequence of such an order must be taken into consideration before a decision is made.

                          He has also asked involved state agencies to see if the government should limit the frequency and capacity of public bus service on a daily basis .

                          If most people still failed to shelter in place, the government might have to suspend all public transportation systems.

                          The total number of Covid-19 cases in Thailand rose to 1,651 with 127 new infections confirmed over a 24-hour period while one person died, Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Tuesday (March 31).: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                          • The authorities will take money back from people who are not eligible but have registered for the 5,000-baht financial aid granted by the government to ease the impact of Covid-19, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha warned on Tuesday.

                            Gen Prayut told media that he has instructed the Finance Ministry to explain to the public who exactly is entitled to the aid and how they can protect their right to the assistance.

                            Despite an intensive public-awareness campaign, the premier said many ineligible people have still taken the chance and registered for the aid.

                            "About 20 million people have registered for the assistance, but this does not mean they will all get the money," he said.

                            Artificial intelligence will be used to analyse and screen people to see who meets the criteria set by the Finance Ministry, and money will only be handed over once the information is verified, Gen Prayut warned.

                            Those who are not eligible will be removed from the list, and if they happen to receive the aid, the money will be taken back, the prime minister warned.

                            "Don't deprive those who are really in trouble of the opportunity to access help. However, the government will come up with additional measures to help those who are not eligible for the 5,000 baht aid," Gen Prayut said.

                            The government has rolled out a series of stimulus packages to ease the impact of Covid-19 on workers.

                            Among them is a 50-billion-baht government fund that provides 5,000 baht per month for three months to 3 million affected temporary employees and self-employed workers.

                            Before this, a broad range of financial and fiscal-relief mea­sures was issued to help companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.

                            Deputy army chief Gen Natthaphol Nakpanich on Tuesday instructed all army units to help explain to the public who is entitled to the aid.

                            An army source said that more than 40 fake websites, with names similar to the official one, have been set up to lure people into registering and providing their personal and private information, which will likely be misused by those with ill intentions.:
                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                              • Tourists get automatic visa extensions

                              Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is concerned that foreigners seeking visa extensions are gathering in their hundreds at Immigration offices each day, said the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday (April 1).

                              Deputy ministry spokesman Natapanu Nopakun said the cabinet has responded with a move to grant automatic renewal of tourist visas for visitors who arrived in Thailand after March 1.

                              The proposal was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday (March 31) and is set to be officially announced.

                              People who hold other types of visa still need to go visit the Immigration office for extensions.: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ernal_referral
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

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                                • PM orders security forces to track down any returnees evading quarantine

                                Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha is concerned over the standoff at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday when Thai returnees from overseas refused to be quarantined while some reportedly sneaked out through airport checkpoints, a source from the Covid-19 Administration Centre at Government House revealed.


                                After over four hours of confrontation with airport staff, 166 passengers returning from Japan, Singapore and Qatar finally agreed to go to quarantine facilities at around 2am. They were taken in four buses to Sattahip Naval Base in Chonburi province.

                                “The PM has ordered national security officials as well as military, police and public health staff to compile a list of all passengers causing commotion last night and to track down all passengers who are still unaccounted for,” said the source. “The escapees might face charges for violating the Emergency Decree on Public Administration BE 2548 and Communicable Disease Act BE 2558”.: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/...ium=internal_r eferral
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