Thailand week in review: PM charged for not wearing face mask, school semester postponed, “dark red zones” and other strict measures announced, and more!

Here is a look at the top NATIONAL stories, chosen by our Pattaya News/TPN National team, from last week, April 26th to May 2nd, with some commentary. They are not in any particular level of importance but are listed in the order of date of publication.

1. Thailand’s Prime Minister fined 6,000 baht after being captured not wearing a facial mask during Covid-19 situation meeting

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O’Cha became the first person in Thailand who has violated the recent regulations of the BMA that all citizens in Bangkok must always wear sanitary or fabric face masks when leaving the residence. The Bangkok governor said the complaint was made after a photo of the Prime Minister with a group of vaccination allocation consultants in a meeting at the government house was posted in his own official Facebook account last Monday. He has acknowledged the charge on the same day and paid the fine of 6,000 baht at the Dusit Police station and has apologized for the incident.

Thailand’s Prime Minister fined 6,000 baht after being captured not wearing facial mask during Covid-19 situation meeting this morning

2. Thai Ministry of Education orders school semester postponement to June 1st to more than 10,000 schools nationwide due to the Covid-19 outbreak

All schools under its jurisdiction of the Thai Education Ministry will be opened in June, postponed from May 17th, due to the rapidly increasing cases of Covid-19 infections. Teachers may proceed with online teaching, visit students at home, and organize additional activities in the meantime to avoid educational effects on students due to the postponement. Some schools, especially private and international schools, may not be applied to the criteria. Other schools in the areas that have not been crucially affected by the pandemic situation can proceed and prepare the offline teaching and learning on May 17th as well, according to the Ministry.

Thai Ministry of Education orders school semester postponement to June 1st to more than 10,000 schools nationwide due to the Covid-19 outbreak

3. Thailand’s cabinet committee transfers its emergency powers onto Prime Minister to efficiently manage Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand

The authority and power to implement and announce all laws related to the prevention of the Covid-19 domestic spread in Thailand have now been transferred from the cabinet committee to Prime Minister. Prayut now holds the authority to grant permission, approval, order, and command in 31 different law acts in order to manage the epidemic efficiently, regardless of his current authorities of the emergency decree and the head of the government’s task force, as known as the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) under the Office of the National Security Council, since last year.

Thailand’s cabinet committee transfers its emergency powers onto Prime Minister to efficiently manage Covid-19 outbreak in Thailand

4. AstraZeneca vaccine production by Siam Bioscience officially approved in Thailand, to be distributed in the country and Southeast Asia in June

AstraZeneca Country President revealed that AstraZeneca and Siam Bioscience have been working as a vaccine production hub for distribution in Thailand and in Southeast Asia, following the production approval by The FDA. The first batch of the vaccine produced by Siam Bioscience will be ready for delivery to the Thai government and another eight neighboring countries in June.

AstraZeneca vaccine production by Siam Bioscience officially approved in Thailand, to be distributed in the country and Southeast Asia in June

5. Thai Covid-19 center meeting approves stepped up Covid-19 control measures and readjusts “Dark Red Zones” in six provinces, including Bangkok and Chonburi

The significant measure includes the announcement of “dark red zones” in six provinces, namely Bangkok, Chonburi, Chiang Mai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan, and the prohibition of dine-in services at all eateries in the zone. The measure will last for at least 14 days and will be reconsidered whether to extend or revoke depending on the number of domestic infections. Meanwhile, governors in each province can implement stricter orders if they choose but cannot loosen the restrictions.

Thai Covid-19 center meeting approves stepped up Covid-19 control measures and readjusts “Dark Red Zones” in six provinces, including Bangkok and Chonburi, effective this Saturday

6. Famous Thai comedian ‘Kom Chauncheun’ passes away at the age of 64, weeks after being diagnosed with Covid-19 Coronavirus

The sudden loss of the Thai comedian last week has shocked Thailand last Friday. Kom Chauncheun was proved positive for Covid-19 on April 12th and had been undergoing treatment at private hospitals in Bangkok for about two weeks. However, he began to have severe symptoms and did not respond to any medication last Thursday. He was pronounced dead on Friday morning and became the first famous person in Thailand who was killed by the deadly virus.

Famous Thai comedian ‘Kom Chauncheun’ passes away at the age of 64, weeks after being diagnosed with Covid-19 Coronavirus

And, that is all for this week. Thank you as always for reading the Pattaya News/TPN News!

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National News Writer at The Pattaya News. Born and raised in Bangkok, Nop enjoys telling stories of her hometown through her words and pictures. Her educational experience in the United States and her passion for journalism have shaped her genuine interests in society, politics, education, culture, and art.