Phuket Sandbox celebrates one month anniversary as it brings in 800 million THB

The Phuket Sandbox scheme, is celebrating its one month anniversary since launch day, generating income of 800 million Thai baht, by welcoming around 14,000 fully vaccinated tourists, and recording 300,000 hotel reservation nights.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), following the launch of the scheme on 1st July 2020, 14,055 tourists have arrived on the island in total, while 32 were found to be infected with the COVID virus.

Tourists have made reservations for 309,719 nights at hotels in total, including advanced bookings until September. 6,857 bookings have been made in advance for October to February 2022.

The top 5 nationalities arriving in Phuket by air, are Americans, Israelis, Thais, British, Germans and French via airlines such as Thai Airways, Emirates Airline, Singapore Airline and Ethihad.

 

Nevertheless, TAT says bookings had declined due to the severe pandemic situation in the country.

Previously, the Governor of Phuket had issued an order to forbid travel into the island by any means, from 11 pm to 4 am, except 12 fully vaccinated groups, including staff transporting medication and food. The order is currently in effect until 16th August, 2020.

Tourism Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says he’s confidence that Phuket Sandbox will continue to move forward. The proposal for booster doses of vaccine has been raised, as well as vaccines for minors aged 12-18 years old, with the Center for COVID-19 Situation’s Administration (CCSA) and with the Prime Minister.

Phuket ranks top in Thailand regarding vaccination. As of 2nd August, 2021, 75.3% of its population had recieved a 1st dose, while 59.2% have been fully vaccinated.

 

Information and Source

Reporter : suchanee rungmueanporn

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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SSO to transfer 2,500 baht to people insured under Section 33

Today (Aug 4), the Social Security Office (SSO) will start transferring financial aid to people affected by the COVID-19 situation. People who are working in nine business groups in 10 provinces classified as dark-red zones under strict enforcement of maximum COVID-19 controls, are entitled to the assistance. Those who are eligible will receive payments into their PromptPay accounts, and funds will be transferred to 1 million accounts per day until August 6th.

The 10 dark-red provinces that are eligible in the first phase of the financial relief scheme are Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla. There are 2.87 million recipients in total.

The nine business groups are construction, accommodation and food services, the arts, entertainment and recreation, other service activities, wholesale and retail, car and motorcycle repair services, transportation and storage, news information and communication, professional activities, science and academic activities, and administrative activities and support services.

The insured will each receive 2,500 baht, which will be transferred into PromptPay accounts that are linked to their national identification numbers, while their employers will receive up to 3,000 baht under a compensation rate of 200 baht per employee in 10 dark-red provinces.

In the second phase, people who are insured under Section 33 in Chachoengsao, Chonburi and Ayutthaya provinces will receive payments of 2,500 baht each on August 9th, including their employers.

In the third phase, people covered by Section 39, mainly former employees of private companies, and those insured under Section 40, mainly freelancers and general vendors, in 13 dark-red provinces will receive payments of 5,000 baht each. The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) will submit the amount of funds required to a cabinet meeting for consideration, and payments should be made on August 24th.

The fourth phase will include people covered by Section 33, Section 39 and Section 40 in 16 dark-red provinces.

 

Information and Source

Reporter : Praphorn Praphornkul

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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IATA confirms 2020 was worst year for aviation

Releasing the annual World Air Transport Statistics publication, the organisation said 1.8 billion passengers flew in 2020, a decrease of 60 per cent compared to the 4.5 billion who flew in 2019.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presents medical equipment to Krathumbaen Hospital and Songkhla Hospital

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has presented medical equipment to Krathumbaen Hospital in Samut Sakhon province and Songkhla Hospital in Songkhla province.

Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn has closely followed the COVID-19 situation, which has escalated in Thailand, and has expressed her concern for medical personnel and COVID-19 patients. The Princess has granted permission for the Chaipattana Fund against COVID-19 (and Other Epidemics) to acquire medical equipment for hospitals.

On Monday (Aug 2), Krathumbaen Hospital arranged a ceremony to receive five high-flow oxygen concentrators and 10 10-liter oxygen concentrators.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn has provided assistance and support to Krathumbaen Hospital. It has included delivery of robots and funds to build more intensive care units (ICUs), isolation units and negative pressure operating rooms. The hospital now has 20 royally-bestowed high-flow oxygen concentrators.

Meanwhile, Songkhla Hospital this week held a ceremony to receive 10 high-flow oxygen concentrators. The hospital now has 20 high-flow oxygen concentrators presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn. Director of Songkhla Hospital, Dr. Sakda Alapach, and medical personnel have expressed their deepest gratitude for the royal kindness.

People, who wish to help hospitals acquire medical equipment and necessities, can make financial donations to the Chaipattana Fund against COVID-19 (and Other Epidemics) via its Siam Commercial Bank account 067-300487-3. For more information, please call 02-447-8585 to 8, with extensions 109, 121 and 259. Their donations will be used to purchase medical equipment and essential supplies needed in treating COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

 

Information and Source

Reporter : Praphorn Praphornkul

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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GPO ramps up domestic antiviral production following shortage concerns

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization is expected to produce Favipiravir antiviral medication for COVID-19 treatment of more than 40 million tablets per month from October onwards, following concerns raised by hospitals on potential shortages.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) has revealed its expected production yield of locally produced Favipiravir is 2.5 million tablets in August, 23 million tablets in September, and at least 40 million tablets per month from October onwards.

Favipiravir is an antiviral drug being used for COVID-19 treatment in Thailand. The GPO has authorization to produce the drug locally under the trade name Favir by the Food and Drugs Administration.

The surge of COVID-19 cases in Thailand has raised concerns over a shortage of this antiviral drug, as local production of it is at an early stage.

Thammasat Field Hospital on Sunday posted on its Facebook page a caution, saying there might be a shortage of the drug in coming weeks, given the current supply.

The post, with reference to a statement from the Pharmacy Council, says local production capacity of 2-3 million tablets per month will not be sufficient to meet the demand for 1 million tablets a day, if the daily case numbers remain around 20,000, as each patient on average takes 50 tablets of the drug over the course of their treatment.

The hospital urges the GPO to increase the production capacity by contracting capable private manufacturers to help produce more of this drug.

The GPO Managing Director Dr Withoon Danwiboon, said today the GPO has put in place a manufacturing capacity increase plan, with a fifth production line for Favir to be opened at the GPO’s plant in Khlong 10, Pathumthani next month.

All five production lines for Favir will be at the GPO’s plant on Rama VI road in Bangkok, and at Klong 10 plant in Pathumthani. The GPO aims to achieve a manufacturing capacity of 2 billion Favir tablets annually, or at least 160 million tablets monthly, with room for expansion.

The GPO is also expected to receive the Thai FDA’s authorization for Favir packaging in medicine bottle this month, which is the GPO’s intended way of supplying the drug in addition to the initial 2.5 million tablets packaged in blister packs.

While local production is growing, Favipiravir tablets will continue to be imported from abroad. Thailand is expected to receive 43.1 million Favipiravir tablets this month, on top of the 13 million already imported.

Favipiravir is an antiviral drug intended for influenza treatment. The drug has been approved as the main medication for COVID-19 treatment in Thailand, as an effective coronavirus-specific cure is not yet available.

 

Information and Source

Reporter : Tanakorn Sangiam

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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Restrictions extended for 14 days; Dark-red provinces up from 13 to 29

With lockdown measures being extended for 14 days, starting tomorrow (Aug 3), the number of provinces, classified as dark-red zones under strict enforcement of maximum COVID-19 controls, increases from 13 to 29. The measures allow stores to sell food for delivery only, while the curfew period remains unchanged. Branches of commercial banks located in department stores will remain closed, while sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages is still prohibited at this time.

A meeting of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has decided to add 16 more provinces to the dark-red zone list. The provinces are: Kanchanaburi, Tak, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Ratchasima, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Prachin Buri, Phetchaburi, Phetchabun, Rayong, Ratchaburi, Lopburi, Sing Buri, Samut Songkhram, Saraburi, Suphan Buri and Ang Thong.

The number of provinces on the red zone list has decreased from 53 to 37. They are Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Khon Kaen, Chanthaburi, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chumphon, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Trang, Trat, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Sawan, Buriram, Phatthalung, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Maha Sarakham, Yasothon, Ranong, Roi Et, Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Si Sa Ket, Sakon Nakhon, Satun, Sa Kaeo, Sukhothai, Surin, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu, Uttaradit, Uthai Thani, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen.

The number of provinces on the orange list has been increased from 10 to 11. They include Krabi, Nakhon Panom, Nan, Bueng Kan, Phayao, Phang Nga, Phrae, Phuket, Mukdahan, Mae Hong Son and Surat Thani.

As a result, no provinces are categorized as being in the yellow or green zones.

The CCSA has adjusted measures affecting each zone. In dark-red zones, people are not allowed to leave home from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Interprovincial transport is prohibited, with checkpoints being set up along provincial borders.

Gatherings or activities that involve more than five people are banned. Restaurants can only sell takeaway food, and are allowed to open until 8 p.m. Sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages are still prohibited.

People can buy food and drinks in shopping malls and department stores, using takeaway services. Since they are unable to shop inside these venues, they can place orders through delivery services.

Pharmacies and supermarkets can open until 8 p.m. Beauty salons, massage parlors, beauty clinics and sports venues will remain closed.

Organizing teaching and learning activities in all educational and tutorial institutions is also prohibited. Public transport services will not be available from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., and interprovincial travel is restricted.

In the red-zone provinces, checkpoints are to screen any travelers. Gatherings or activities involving more than 20 people are banned.

Restaurants can still provide dine-in service. They are allowed to operate until 11 p.m., but sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages inside their establishments are banned. Department stores and shopping malls can open for service during normal hours, but they are required to limit the number of people in their premises. Sales promotion activities are banned.

Beauty salons, massage parlors and beauty clinics can operate as normal. Provincial Communicable Disease Committees’ approval is needed before premises can be used to organize learning or other activities that involve many people. Sports venues and events are allowed to function until 9 p.m., for limited attendance.

In the orange-zone provinces, there are no travel restrictions, but activities involving over 50 people are now not allowed. Restaurants can provide dine-in service, but sales and consumption of alcoholic drinks inside their establishments are prohibited. Shopping malls and department stores can operate normally, but gaming zones will remain closed at this time.

Amusement parks, beauty salons, massage parlors and beauty clinics may open for service as usual. Learning activities in premises must comply with the government’s disease-control measures. Sports venues and events are allowed to open, with limited attendance.

These measures become effective on August 3rd and continue until August 18th. If the situation does not improve, they may be extended until August 31st.

 

Information and Source

Reporter : Praphorn Praphornkul

Rewriter : Tarin Angskul

National News Bureau & Public Relations : http://thainews.prd.go.th

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