Long lines and crowds as people flock to Pattaya area banks for “we win” financial aid for Covid-19 from Thai government

Pattaya, Thailand-

The last several days have seen long lines and crowds across the country as large numbers of residents who, for one reason or another, could not or did not register online for financial aid from the Thai government and appeared in person to claim the right to collect funds.

The Thai government officially opened up registration to collect the funds to people who could not register online, primarily the elderly who don’t have internet access or a smartphone or could not understand the process, on Monday, February 15th.

Since that date, Pattaya has seen long lines at Krung Thai banks in the area which is the official bank handling the registration.

The financial aid is part of a plan to distribute 7000 baht (Around $200 USD) in total, broken into separate payments, to qualifying individuals who are classified as “informal” workers and do not qualify for formal aid under social security. In Thailand, this is a significant number of people, such as market vendors, service staff, taxi drivers, bar staff, farm and construction workers, fishermen, and many other fields. The payment is under a plan called “We Win” and is due primarily to the fact that Thailand has been dealing with a second round of Covid-19 that in many areas, including Chonburi, saw weeks of business-related restrictions and closures.

Qualified formal workers (primarily, but not limited to, those in “white-collar” occupations), including qualified foreign nationals with work permits, get financial aid under a different program utilizing Thai social security.

Bank management stated that they utilized measures the best they could to require masks, social distancing, temperature checks, and other Covid-19 related precautions despite complaints from some residents on Thai social media that the process was “flawed” and forced many disabled people and even those who are bed-ridden to have to come in person and go through a confusing and lengthy in-person registration process.

The payout of the compensation is set over the next two months to those who proved they were qualified for the aid.

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