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The Ministry of Labour has issued orders prohibiting migrant workers from leaving high-risk areas in an effort to prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections. According to the ministry, those who contravene this order will be charged with violating the Communicable Disease Act and the emergency decree. The ministry has ordered employers to screen all migrant workers and ensure that preventive measures such as social distancing, temperature taking, and the provision of hand sanitising gels are observed. Employers are also required to inform public health personnel immediately in the event of any employees exhibiting symptoms of the novel virus. (24/12/2020)
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is asking residents -- including migrant worker communities -- who recently visited a shrimp market linked to a new COVID-19 outbreak in Samut Sakhon province to perform self-assessments online in order to determine if they need to be tested. The BMA said those who visited the shrimp market since December 1st must perform a self-assessment screening on the website bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th. The office said the online assessment will help determine an individuals risk factor while allowing tests to be arranged for those determined to be at risk. For more information, the City Hall Department of Health can be contacted by calling 02-245-7597 or 094-386-0051. (24/12/2020)
Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has presided over a Board of Investment (BOI) meeting, where he urged the BOI to explain to foreign investors why Thailand has to impose strict COVID-19 prevention protocols. The meeting also discussed economic stimulus measures for the last weeks of 2020, as well as investment promotion packages for Thai and international investors. (24/12/2020)
The air quality index in Bangkok is expected to stay within healthy levels over the next two days, with the next period of severe pollution levels likely to last from December 24th to 29th. The government has been urging members of the public to prepare themselves for a rise in accumulated airborne particles. (24/12/2020)
Health officials in Samut Sakhon province are now actively testing local and migrant worker communities for COVID-19, with the number of new cases currently at over 1,000. Three royally bestowed biosafety mobile units have been deployed to Baan Euar Arthon Tha Chin housing estate to collect samples from residents, most of whom are foreign workers. Locals who were not residents of the Tha Chin housing estate were also encouraged to get tested at a separate facility. Additional biosafety units are slated to be built to improve capacity and reduce wait time. (24/12/2020)
The Prime Minister has presided a project for electric-powered boats with smart pier project along the Chaopraya River aiming to provide more convenience in transportation. The smart piers have automated ticket machines. The electric-powered boats are eco-friendly, help to reduce pollution, and also increase the quality of life in the city. During the first phase, six boats are in service free of charge until 14 Febuary 2021. The Prime Minister also stated that these smart vehicles are gifts for Thai people in this New Year. (24/12/2020)
The Cabinet has approved a draft amendment of the Communicable Diseases Act in order to enhance the legal measures necessary to help control the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as any future diseases. The new draft includes penalties for persons who purposefully withhold information on their symptoms and diseases to health officials. This draft amendment gives more authority to the government sector to enable more effective operations to control diseases. After being approved by the Cabinet, the draft amendment will be fast-tracked to the Council of State for consideration, after which it will be voted on by the House of Representatives. (23/12/2020)
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The Cabinet has approved to extend the period of stay for some categories of foreigners who travel to Thailand from 30 days to 45 days. Since all travelers who enter Thailand are required to quarantine for 14 days, they might not have enough time to proceed with activities that they are committed to. The extension will be ended on 30 September 2021. For more information, please contact the Thai embassy in your country for advice. (23/12/2020)
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The weather on Doi Inthanon this morning is cold, especially at Kew Maepan and on the top of the hills, where it was as low as 0 degrees Celsius. Morning dew drops froze into frost. When the frost was bathed in sunlight, making it glitter, to the amazement of visitors. The sea of fog around the hills makes the view even more memorable. Doi Inthanon is expected to see more cold weather through to the end of the year. The authorities suggested that all visitors should prepare themselves for the cold and wear appropriate outfits. Vehicles should also be checked before driving up the hills. (23/12/2020)
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The Prime Minister has emphasized in the 2/2020 meeting of the Board of Investment (BOI) that economic and investment promotion and activities must be continued, in parallel with close monitoring of the COVID-19 situation. He reiterated the importance of further promoting domestic investment and outward foreign investment, as well as capacity enhancement in digital technology, particularly the "cloud" or data centers, in a bid to lift national competitiveness in manufacturing and service industries. (22/12/2020)
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has stated in a press conference that Thailand has proceeded with the prevention measures against the new COVID-19 cluster in the Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon province, in accordance with the Singapore model. People in the area are not allowed to go out. A field hospital with 100 beds is ready to admit the people in the area who are sick. People outside the area are not allowed to go in, except authorities who wear protective suits and equipment. The situation is expected to take weeks to be normal. The public is advised to wear masks and follow good hygiene. (22/12/2020)
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The Ministry of Public Health has raised six new policy measures because of COVID-19. Members of the public are also encouraged to cooperate and follow guidelines to prevent the disease together. The measures are as follows: 1. Actively determining infected persons in all risky areas; 2. Monitoring patients who received treatment from hospitals, clinics, and drug stores, and actively monitoring patients who are foreign workers; 3. Preparing medical equipment and supplies; 4. Building public health consultant administration in all provinces; 5. Determining roles and responsible positions in every province; 6. Checking and improving measures in control the infection risks, especially in hospitals and medical institutions. (22/12/2020)
The Ministry of Commerce has instructed officials to ensure that the retail price per mask does not exceed 2.50 baht. Vendors found over charging, refusing to sell or distorting the market will face a seven-year jail term, a 140,000-baht fine, or both. The Director-General of the Department of Internal Trade, Wattanasak Sur-iam, said more personnel have been added to its 1569 hotline to receive public complaints. Sellers violating price-control regulations will face immediate prosecution. (22/12/2020)
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His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua has graciously granted biosafety mobile COVID-19 testing units to collect samples from the public in the Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon province. The testing units are helping the authorities to do the active finding test and find the infected patients faster. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Health has set stricter measures to tackle the spread of the virus promptly. (21/12/2020)
Samut Sakhon governor has announced at a press conference that the province is ordered to close some establishments, as follows: sports stadiums, boxing stadiums, boxing schools, children's playgrounds, educational institutions, and child care establishments. Food and beverage shops are allowed only take-away service, except restaurants in hospitals and hotels. The convenience stores must be closed from 22.00 to 05.00 hr. The department stores are closed between 19 December 2020 and 3 January 2021. Migrant workers are not allowed to travel in or out of the province. Local people can travel to other provinces but have to report their destination to the authorities. (21/12/2020)
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The Department of Disease Control (DDC), Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners to launch the COVID-19 Migrant Hotline in three languages, providing COVID-19 information to migrants in Thailand. This hotline can be reached at 1422 (Department of Disease Control Hotline), then dialing 81 for Cambodian, 82 for Lao, and 83 for Myanmar. (21/12/2020)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is preparing for the challenge of hosting APEC 2022, highlighting the opportunity to revitalize the Thai economy after the spread of COVID-19, to distribute income, and promote the country's potential. The Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, referring to Thailands preparations for hosting the meeting, said that the key is to have discussions with as many stakeholders as possible. The expected benefit that Thailand will receive from hosting the APEC meeting is that it will gain economic benefits from welcoming visitors, which will help restore the Thai economy and distribute income to many sectors, especially the service sector, which has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (19/12/2020)
The Government will continuously implement the measures to tackle the PM2.5 situation, for instance, restricting stubble burnings and use of personal vehicles, promoting use of public transportation, tightening law enforcement against black smoke emission and traffic violation, etc. Additionally, the PM2.5 particulates often intensify during the close weather, while stubble burnings, construction, transport and traffic condition have added fuel to the fire. Concerned agencies have been ordered to inspect and take action to minimize public health hazard. (18/12/2020)
The Ministry of Public Health (MPH) has indicated that New Year events can be held, but they must have well-prepared protection measures in place. Firstly, the organizers must request permission and apply stringent measures in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Secondly, all event attendees must register themselves by using the ThaiChana application and be screened before getting into the event. Thirdly, hand sanitizers must be placed all over the area. The MPH has discussed the issue with operators and experts on preventing COVID-19 spread and confirmed that the appropriate measures also be apply for stores, restaurants, educational institutes, and other crowded areas during the New Year holidays. The most important measures include wearing a face mask at all times, screening at entrances, practicing social distancing, and frequent cleaning of commonly touched areas. (18/12/2020)
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The Government has set PM 2.5 as part of the national agenda. The Cabinet approved the 2020 Action Plan for Air Pollution on 23 November 2020 to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of area-based dust pollution management, with relevance to the respective situation and context, and to prevent and reduce pollution at the sources, including vehicles, industries, stubble burning, construction, etc. The public can follow up on the daily PM 2.5 conditions at https://www.facebook.com/airpollution.CAPM. (17/12/2020)

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