Survey shows most Thais seriously concerned about the worsening pandemic

A vast majority of Thai people still have serious concerns about the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. The level of happiness, among people in Bangkok and the newly designated ‘dark red’ provinces, has decreased by 2% from June, according to a survey conducted by the Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living ASEAN (Thailand) in collaboration with Socius.

The latest study, conducted online between 17th and 26th June with 1,200 respondents aged 20 to 59 across Thailand, indicates that Thai people have become less happy as a result of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Thai consumers are, however, spending more, despite the difficult economic conditions. Most consumers accept the need for spending on essential goods, particularly food and other necessities, for themselves and their families.

Some have set aside money to be spent on Thailand’s upcoming Mother’s Day on August 12th, believing it will foster a little happiness and help reduce stress and anxiety, caused by increasing COVID-19 cases, uncertain vaccine delivery schedules, current political turbulence, and everyday social situations.

The Business Director of the Hakuhodo Institute, Chutima Wiriyamahakul, said it is undeniable that the continued increase in COVID-19 cases has negatively affected most Thai people, particularly those living in the maximum and strictly controlled areas. They are forced to stay at home, but many have managed to learn new skills to make money online.

The Strategic Planning Director of Socius, Anunpapa Siriwan, said the survey reflects Thai people’s problems in making a living. As things change, people have to adapt to survive.

Anunpapa said, regarding changes in consumer behavior, people domiciled in the northeastern region of the country have decided to return to their home provinces, following the government’s enforcement of enhanced lockdown measures. They also plan to remain there for some time and that seems to have triggered an increase in spending, adding that people are also tending to spend more on fuel and transport in their daily routines, while probably setting aside some money for home renovation or decoration, Anunpapa added.

The survey also shows that people aged 20 to 39 prefer to buy affordable products, such as home furniture and decorations, to help facilitate their work-from-home routines. While adults aged 50 to 59 are in need of basic necessities, to make their daily lives more comfortable. These people are also willing to spend more on health and beauty products.

Thai consumers are spending their money on five major product groups during the lockdown. 25% goes on food, 17% on daily consumables, 11% on mobile phones, 6% on computer and tablet accessories, and 5% on clothing and accessories.

The survey also revealed the issues on which Thai’s are focusing most attention. They include the overall COVID-19 situation in Thailand (40%), the government’s delayed distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the associated public frustration and lack of confidence (24%), and political issues including parliamentary dissolution and constitutional amendments (8%).

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Thailand’s herbal heroes stand ready to fight against COVID-19

Green Chiretta (Fah Talai Jone) and certain other medicinal herbs are selling like hotcakes now that the public has realized they can help keep COVID-19 at bay.

The Public Health Ministry recently endorsed Fah Talai Jone (also known as Andrographis paniculate) as a medication for mild symptoms of the viral disease.

“Other herbs like fingerroot [krachai] can also be used to fight COVID-19 and boost immunity,” said Dr. Amporn Benjaponpithak, who serves as director-general of the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine (DTAM).

With Thai herbs rising in prominence, traditional practitioners are now playing a more active role in helping doctors in the battle against the pandemic, she said.

As of August 1, Thailand had 205,002 COVID-19 patients, with thousands relying on herbal medicines to treat mild symptoms.

Weapon against COVID-19

Fah Talai Jone has long been a proven remedy for cold symptoms, coughs, and sore throat. Over the past few weeks, people have been queuing outside Abhaibhubejhr Hospital in Prachin Buri province to buy pills made from the herb.

“Green Chiretta contains Andrographolide, which helps fight viral infections,” Amporn said, explaining why this herbal remedy has become so popular recently.

Health authorities say adults with mild COVID symptoms can take 180 milligrams of Green Chiretta per day, divided into three doses taken before meals. A single course of the pills usually lasts five days.

A recent study showed that 90 percent of mild COVID-19 cases improve after taking Fah Talai Jone pills. The results of this research are so encouraging that DTAM is now considering using the herb on patients with more severe symptoms.

“It should be noted that Green Chiretta can also help lower blood pressure and ease lung inflammation,” Amporn said.

COVID-19 patients who want to be treated with Green Chiretta can register via DTAM’s Line account, @fahdtam.

Word of caution

Amporn, however, warns people against hoarding Fah Talai Jone or taking the pills if they don’t have any symptoms.

“Please consider those who need the pills for treatment,” she said.

Though research shows Green Chiretta is safe to use, taking more than the recommended dose can have side effects such as vomiting, headaches and numbness. Doctors say it is also not safe to consume Fah Talai Jone for a long time or for people who are also taking anti-blood clotting medications or drugs to reduce high blood pressure.

Pregnant women and those breastfeeding are advised not to take Green Chiretta, while those suffering from severe bacterial infections should also avoid it.

Patients taking the herb to treat cold symptoms must consume no more than 60 grams daily, and if they don’t improve in three days, they should stop and seek other medical help.

Other herbal heroes

Dr. Khwanchai Visithanon, DTAM deputy director-general, said drinks brewed from fingerroot and triphala are also being handed out to at-risk people as effective remedies against viral symptoms.

Triphala, a mix of Myrobalan wood, Beleric and Indian gooseberry, is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting effects. It also eases coughs and releases phlegm and is useful for people who are starting to develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Fingerroot, meanwhile, has been found to be effective in inhibiting the reproduction of COVID-19 cells.

“We will conduct further studies to determine the appropriate dose for COVID-19 treatment,” Khwanchai added.

He also recommends that COVID-19 patients isolating at home add herbs and spices like ginger, lemongrass, bergamot, galangal, garlic and shallot to their meals. These traditional ingredients are known for their immunity-boosting properties.

“But most importantly, don’t overconsume,” he said.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Thai digital minister to meet media representatives over much opposed gag order

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said today (Monday) that he will invite media representatives for talks, to resolve misunderstandings about recent media gag orders issued by the government and possible cooperation between the two parties in tackling fake news.

He explained that the measures, imposed under Section 9 of the Emergency Decree and deemed by the media as an infringement of free expression and media freedom, are intended to deal with disinformation or distorted information which may lead to public panic or misunderstanding and are not intended to be a gag on the media.

The minister said that he trusts the professionalism of Thai media in the performance of their duties and in the media organizations in regulating the conduct of journalists, in line with the media’s code of conduct.

Chaiwut maintained that the government has always been responsive to criticism in the media which is reasonable and factually based, but pointed out that there have been distorted reports, intentional or otherwise, which may affect the government’s COVID-19 management efforts.

He said that he has always viewed the media as an important tool in guiding Thai society in the right direction and in promoting cooperation among the people during critical moments, so the country can weather crises.

Last week, six media organizations submitted a joint statement to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha demanding the lifting of the restrictions imposed under the Emergency Decree which, they said, maybe abused by authorities to curb the freedoms of the media and the general public.

Meanwhile, lecturers of the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communications at Thammasat University issued a joint statement via Facebook page on Sunday, echoing the call by six media organizations for the lifting of the media gag orders issued by the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

The lecturers pointed out that the wording used in the announcements are vague, broad and prone to abuse by officials to silence all criticism and to penalise those deemed to be disseminating distorted information.

The lecturers argued that the search for truth by the media, such as the actual numbers of those infected and killed by COVID-19 and the presentation of that truth to the public in a straightforward manner is necessary, even if such truth may cause public panic.

The lecturers also pointed out that the defamation law in the Criminal Code is sufficient to deal with so-called fake news, without the need for additional legal measures.

They said that the present circumstances provide an opportunity for the government to educate the public about how to consume media reports intelligently and to use its existing mechanisms to counter fake or distorted news more effectively.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Red Line launch sparks Bangkok’s electric transport revolution

The long-awaited Red Line commuter train service launches with a soft opening today (August 2) – two years behind schedule and more than 14 years since the project got the Cabinet nod in May 2007.

The new suburban rail service could be a game-changer for Bangkok, cutting congestion and pollution for a population of more than 10 million people who are still heavily reliant on cars and buses.

The Red Line uses futuristic white Hitachi electric trains sporting distinctive bright red stripes on both sides. Its dedicated tracks with overhead power gantries are reminiscent of Japanese railway lines.

This is a big change for the 130-year-old State Railway of Thailand (SRT), whose fleets mostly comprise diesel-powered locomotives – and more recently diesel-electric trains.

Virtual launch

On the morning of August 2, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is scheduled to preside over the Red Line’s launch ceremony via video link from Government House.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, SRT Governor Nirut Maneephan and other Transport Ministry executives will be on hand to welcome travellers at Bang Sue Grand Station, where free Red Line rides will run until the end of October.

Red Line trains run on two routes – north from Bang Sue Grand through Bangkok’s suburbs to Rangsit and west to Taling Chan.

The Bang Sue-Rangsit route, called the Dark Red Line, stretches 26 kilometres and has 10 stations. The Bang Sue-Taling Chan route, known as the Light Red Line, is 15 kilometres long and has only three stations.

Aboard the Hitachi trains, which boast an average speed of 120km/h and a top speed of 160km/h, it will take about 25 minutes to ride the entire Dark Red Line and 15 minutes for the Light Red Line.

Commercial operation of the Red Line starts in November. The fares will range from Bt12 to Bt42for the entire route – Bt12-38 from Bang Sue to Rangsit and Bt12-27 from Bang Sue to Taling Chan, according to the transport minister.

First test run delayed

August 2 will not be the first time that passengers have boarded Red Line trains since construction of the project was completed in 2019.

A test ride by Prayut and members of his Cabinet took place last December. Then on March 26 – the 125th anniversary of railway operations in Thailand – Saksayam oversaw a trial run from Rangsit via Bang Sue to Taling Chan for registered media and members of the public.

The Light Red Line’s construction started in 2009and was completed two years later, while the Dark Red Line was begun in 2013 and finished in 2019. The entire project cost Bt88.5 billion, including Bt24 billion in loans from the Japanese government.

However, the Red Line’s first test run from Bang Sue Grand Station had to wait until construction of the new national railway hub was completed late last year.

Bang Sue Grand is the largest railway station in Southeast Asia, with floor space of over 274,000square metres. The central station has 24 platforms including 10 for future high-speed trains. Underground, it also connects with the MRT Blue Line’s Bang Sue station.

When it officially starts operating in November, Bang Sue Grand will replace Hua Lamphong Railway Station as the start point for all long-distance rail services from Bangkok.

Building urban rail network

According to initial estimates made long before COVID-19 struck last year, the Red Line system was expected to serve 131,000 commuters per day after launch in 2019, 262,000 passengers per day by 2029, and 336,000 people a day by 2034.

The Red Line is part of Bangkok’s Mass Rapid Transit Master Plan, which aims to develop an urban rail network to serve Greater Bangkok and its population of over 10 million people. The two lines opening on August 2 represent just Phase I of the Red Line project. Future phases will connect with suburban areas in all directions as well as adjacent provinces.

When the expansions are completed, the north-south Dark Red Line will cover a distance of 185kilometres from Ayutthaya in the north via Bangkok to Ratchaburi in the southwest. The east-west Light Red Line will run from Nakhon Pathom to Chachoengsao for a distance of 124 km.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

NACC Organizes Workshop to Develop Roadmap for Government Contractors

The Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has organized a workshop to develop a roadmap to promote the private organizations that are government contractors, under the “Integrity and Transparency Assessment of Government Contractors (ITAGC)” project for the 2021 fiscal year.

 

The workshop took place on 2 August 2021 via a Zoom cloud meeting at the NACC Headquarters in Nonthaburi province. Apart from developing the roadmap, the meeting was also intended to brainstorm ideas in working out an ITAGC course for capacity-building to provide training for members of the partners in this project.

 

Joining the workshop were representatives from nine public and private organizations, namely (1) Comptroller General’s Department, (2) State Enterprise Policy Office, (3) Department of Business Development, (4) Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, (5) Digital Government Development Agency (Public Organization), (6) Securities and Exchange Commission, (7) Thai Institute of Directors Association, (8) Thai Chamber of Commerce, and (9) Anti-Corruption Organization of Thailand.

 

These nine agencies recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NACC on the ITAGC, which will be used as a major anti-corruption mechanism, in accordance with the National Strategy on the Prevention and Suppression of Corruption.

 

In this MOU, they will work in collaboration to fight corruption and offer suggestions to ensure integrity and transparency among members of both the public and private sectors. This will help promote good governance and create a corruption-free culture.

 

Source: The Government Public Relations Department

Working around Apple’s defi browser removal, $USELESS Crypto creates a tool that renders Pancake Swap Useless

Useless Swap

Send BNB Smart Chain to the QR code and receive Useless in your Metamask or Trust Wallet!

OREM, Utah, Aug. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of attempting to buy alt coins in Trust Wallet with an iPhone, you’ll know the process is lengthy and frustrating, involving a special defi browser and a dApp like Pancake Swap or UniSwap. But the Useless Crypto team has created a “Useless Swapper” contract to cut out the middleman, which is especially helpful now that iOS users have been blocked from using the in-app defi browser option. Instead of the 8 step process, the Useless Swapper allows you to send BNB Smart Chain out, and immediately receive Useless crypto in return. No headache required.

With an average of 4 Million daily transactions on the Binance Smart Chain to buy and trade tokens like Useless Crypto, this is more than double the amount on Ethereum’s network, in part because of BSC’s cost-effective gas fees and smart contracts like the Useless Swapper that are so easily integrated. But Apple’s decision that forced Trust Wallet to disable the dApp browser to comply with App Store Guidelines could hinder existing holders from buying alt coins, and frustrate new buyers out of their intended purchases, limiting the space’s growth.

The creation of the Useless Swapper is unique to the token and the defi/dApp space. By simply sending Binance Smart Chain to the address 0x2d72aAb6d81E8EE681430C13850bD77585F222Cb with enough Smart Chain left in your wallet allocated for gas fees, you quickly receive Useless deposited directly into your crypto wallet. This also works on metamask if you don’t prefer Trust Wallet. With the ability to avoid using a frustrating dApp in the middle of your token swap, Useless and their development of dApps and upcoming app ecosystem is starting to prove the only thing Useless about this token is their name.

$USELESS continues to gain traction with more than 3300 holders since launching in mid June 2021, and was listed on both CoinMarketCap and CoinGecko mid July. Doxxed members of the corporate entity controlling the Multi-Signature wallet can be found on the token’s website, uselesscrypto.com.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/9e3969d9-faab-4f8d-9efa-b9d09512c7fe

Jacqueline Dutton
Marketing Director
jackie.dutton@uselesscrypto.com