Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, November 9th to the 15th, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in order of date of publication.
1. South Korean soldier tests positive for Covid-19 after performing military planning session in Rayong, Thailand for Cobra Gold last week
A military soldier has tested positive for Covid-19 three days after returning from Thailand for Cobra Gold military training in Rayong with hundreds of Thai and foreign soldiers. All of them are required to self-quarantine for 14 days and have tested negative at the moment. It has not been confirmed where he might possibly be infected from as the infected soldier had not reportedly been out of his hotel and training grounds during his four-day stay. Officials are still investigating the case and asking residents of Rayong not to panic.
2. Thai Immigration Bureau says multiple yachts have applied to dock in Thailand under Special Tourist Visa, including in Pattaya
Following the CCSA’s announcement of permitting more foreign tourists to travel in Thailand by international yachts in early November, at least 10 yachts have now applied to dock in Thailand’s border, according to the Immigration Bureau. Most of the yachts are reportedly from Malaysia and Singapore and they are planning to dock mostly in Pattaya and Phuket. All of the tourists aboard are required to hold authorized Special Tourist Visa and reportedly must attach tracking bracelets to prevent the spread of Covid-19 when traveling in the country after the 14-day quarantine on a yacht. It has not yet been said in the conference when the registered groups will officially begin traveling to the country.
3. Proposal to lower quarantine to ten days for very low risk countries returns, says Public Health Minister
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has brought back a proposal of lowering the state quarantine period to 10 days for low-risk countries with low to no cases of Covid-19 such as Taiwan, New Zealand, Vietnam, or China. While some doctors do not agree with the on-and-off proposal, the Minister said today that the idea was introduced accordingly with academic statistics and research done by the Ministry of Public Health. The plan is now under consideration of the CCSA and will be proposed to the big Cabinet meeting this coming Wednesday.
4. Three core groups of pro-democracy activists organize “Mob Fest” demonstration yesterday to promote social diversity and call for significant reforms in Thailand
Pro-democracy protesters had staged a big rally with more lively events and full of political satire being performed on two major stages. The protest was run for approximately six hours with food, music, dances, and performances to promote liberty, freedom of expression, and social diversity in the country. Peaceful as it may seem, the police authorities had declared charges against the protesters yesterday for allegedly physically assaulting a couple of police officers and for violating the Archeology Site Act and the Cleanliness Act after wrapping the Democracy Monument with a giant white cloth.
5. Thailand agrees to form world’s largest free trade pact with fifteen Asia-Pacific countries today, Deputy Prime Minister confirms
Thailand has signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement with fifteen other Asia-Pacific countries to create a mutually beneficial economic partnership and become the world’s biggest free-trade bloc in the world, accounting for 30 percent of the global GDP. Deputy Prime Minister Jurin Laksanawisit believes that the agreement would significantly benefit Thailand’s economy, exports, and business investment for the long term. However, the pact has not yet been officially applied among the country members until at least six of the government’s ASEAN countries and three FTA groups have ratified the agreement.
That is all for this week, thank you as always for reading the Pattaya/TPN National News!