Tokyo Olympics to open July 23 next yearYoshiro Mori, President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organising Committee, faces an unprecedented challenge. (AFP photo)TOKYO: The Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 next year, organisers said on Monday, after the coronavirus forced the historic decision to postpone the Games until 2021. The Paralympics will be held from August 24 to September 5," Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori told reporters at a hastily arranged news conference. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were due to open on July 24 this year and run for 16 days, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the first peace-time postponement of the Games. "But I believe it is the mission of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee to hold the Olympics and Paralympics next year as a proof of mankind's victory" against the virus.
March 30, 2020 12:00 UTC
(Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)Almost 20 million people registered for Covid-19 financial aid in less than 48 hours, almost seven times the number estimated by authorities. Some 19.8 million have registered as of 2pm on Monday, the Finance Ministry announced on its Facebook. Despite the high number, registration remains open to ensure all affected workers have access to the relief, Mr Uttama said. “The applications will be vetted and screened thoroughly to ensure that they meet the criteria and those in need get it. If all the applications as of Monday are approved, the government will need almost 300 billion baht.
March 30, 2020 11:14 UTC
Gen Y and Z lead climbing online hours in surveyAverage daily internet use jumped up to 10.22 hours last year. The survey showed the LGBT segment spent an average of 11.20 hours per day on the internet, more than the 10.25 hours spent by males and 10.17 hours by females in the overall sample population. This is the first time online payment entered the top five online activities. When considering online activity growth over 2018-19, food delivery showed the strongest growth of 15.1%, followed by online payment (11.4%), delivery service (11%) and music and movie consumption (10.5%). For communication channels, Line ranked first with 98.5%, trailed by Facebook Messenger (89.9%), FaceTime (13.7%) and WhatsApp (7.8%).
March 30, 2020 10:52 UTC
Inquiry into Buri Ram prison riotAbout 250 inmates from Buri Ram prison arrive at Khon Kaen central prison on Monday, transferred there after Sunday's riot. (Photo: Chakkrapan Natanri)An investigation is being launched into the riot at Buri Ram prison on Sunday, during which 11 inmates escaped, Corrections Department deputy director-general Pol Lt Col Prawut Wongsrinil said on Monday. The 2,106 prison inmates had since been transferred among 18 other nearby prisons in the Northeast, he said. Pol Lt Col Prawut said the inmates who took part in the riot would be questioned. Pol Lt Col Prawut said a rumour that spread in the prison, that an inmate was infected with Covid-19, was not true.
March 30, 2020 10:30 UTC
THAI may cut some plane types for good after grounding jetsThai Airways aircraft are parked on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on March 25, 2020 after the airline suspended international flights due to the Covid-19 coronavirus. Thai Airways is grounding 69 of its 82 jets following a drop in passenger volume and route cancellations from the increased border restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the state-owned airline said in a statement earlier on Monday. Thai Airways was already facing financial trouble, reporting losses since 2017. The flag carrier had cancelled nearly all of its international routes after its president resigned amid the outbreak. Budget carrier Thai AirAsia is hibernating its fleet after suspending its international and domestic flights, its largest shareholder, Asia Aviation Plc (AAV) said.
March 30, 2020 09:22 UTC
Myanmar man self-isolates in tree houseThe tree house where a Myanmar man who returned from working in Thailand is living, after his home village in Hpa-an province of Karen State refused to allow him in unless he first spent 14 days in isolation, to prove he is not bringing back Covid-19 disease. The man, who was not named, was among the workers who returned to their hometowns in Myanmar across the 2nd Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge in Mae Sot district. But when he arrived at his village in Hpa-an province in Karen State, the people there refused to allow him in. The residents were determined to prevent workers from Thailand and other countries entering the village, unless they had undergone 14 days of self-isolation. So the man built a house in a tree and has been living in it, like a bird in a nest.
March 30, 2020 09:00 UTC
Cambodia shuts casinos as SE Asia cases riseA motorbike drives past a closed casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia Feb 16, 2020. (Reuters file photo)Cases of coronavirus have risen in Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia, where Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered all casinos to close. Indonesia confirmed 129 new coronavirus infections on Monday, taking the total to 1,414, said a health ministry official. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered all casinos to close to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The industry took a hit late last year when Hun Sen banned online gambling, resulting in thousands of layoffs and dozens of casinos closing.
March 30, 2020 07:07 UTC
2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport: Thai prices and specsRevisions include mid-life design tweaks, new interior electronics and first-ever plug-in hybrid option. A heavily revised version of the Land Rover Discovery Sport has been officially announced by Inchcape Thailand, the distributor of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles. As a result, the Discovery Sport now accommodates a new plug-hybrid option. As the D180 is priced at 4.4 million baht, all of its diesel-powered competitors ask for less than four million baht. The plug-in Discovery Sport is in a better position, however, with a 3.799 million baht price tag.
March 30, 2020 06:56 UTC
China slashes rate, pumps $7bn into market to counter virusThe global spread of the coronavirus has dampened hope of a quick recovery in export-dependent China, where the pandemic first erupted in December. The People's Bank of China (PBoC) said it launched a 50-billion-yuan reverse repurchase operation on Monday and lowered the seven-day reverse repurchase rate from 2.40% to 2.20%. It was the "largest cut since 2015 and takes the 7-day reverse repo rate to its lowest on record", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics. ANZ Research economists Xing Zhaopeng and Raymond Yeung said in a note that the PBoC's rate cut "is intended to lower Chinese corporates’ funding costs". They expect it will be followed by cuts in the medium term lending facility rates and loan prime rate.
March 30, 2020 05:37 UTC
Phuket confirms 9 more casesA barricade blocks entry to Soi Bangla in Phuket's Patong area, where entertainment venues have been ordered closed to stem the Covid-19 outbreak. The new cases were included in the confirmed cases summary announced earlier by the Public Health Ministry. The nine new cases - the 54th to 62nd - are:- A Canadian man, 35, a teacher at an international school in Phuket. She had close contact with a Thai man, the province's 47th coronavirus case, and many foreign tourists. She became sick on March 24; and,- A 44-year-old Thai woman who worked as a masseuse in Patong area.
March 30, 2020 05:37 UTC
US virus death toll 'could hit 200,000' as Lagos locked downUS President Donald Trump warned that the virus crisis would continue to get worse for some time. Trump warned that the US crisis, which has seen a doubling of infections in only two days, would continue to get worse for some time. "The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks," he said, announcing an extension of social distancing guidelines until April 30. She said measures to contain the virus would be reviewed every three weeks, "probably over the next six months" or even longer. In Benin, President Patrice Talon said his country could not enforce public confinement because it lacks the "means of rich countries."
March 30, 2020 05:26 UTC
136 new local coronavirus cases, 2 deathsA transparent partition was installed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 at the Wattana district office's service outlet on Thong Lor Road in Bangkok on Monday. (Photo: Apichart Jinakukl)The government on Monday reported 136 new local cases of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), raising the total to 1,524, with two more deaths - and asked people to put more effort into staying home. No new deaths were initially reported, but it later emerged that two more patients had died. The other was a Thai woman, 56, who had suffered pneumonia and been admitted to a private hospital in Bangkok. Nine new cases were reported in Phuket on Monday.
March 30, 2020 05:03 UTC
Women wearing masks wait for customers at a food stall during the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Bangkok's Chinatown on Friday. (Reuters file photo)Thailand saw 136 new coronavirus cases on Monday, raising the total number of infections to 1,524, said the spokesman of the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). Infections in Thailand are likely to keep rising, and recently new cases have been reported more in the provinces than in the Thai capital, Bangkok, spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin said. No new deaths were reported, and the overall death toll is currently seven since the outbreak began in January. -- More to follow --
March 30, 2020 05:03 UTC
Thai, Asian markets resume losses as stimulus joy fadesWith billions of people around the world in lockdown for the foreseeable future, there are increasing worries about the impact on the global economy, which is already expected to fall into recession. While the disease ravages populations and the global economy grinds to a halt with 40% of the planet in lockdown, experts are struggling to get a grip on the scale of the crisis that is forecast to cause a worldwide recession. Meanwhile, senior US scientist Anthony Fauci issued a tentative prediction that Covid-19 could claim up to 200,000 lives in the US. This is the big unknown and it suggests markets are likely to remain volatile until this uncertainty is resolved." The oil market remains in turmoil, with the Saudi-Russian price war adding to the impact of battered demand caused by the virus.
March 30, 2020 04:52 UTC
This aerial handout photo taken on March 18, 2020 and released by Thai volunteer group Jit Arsa shows smoke rising from fires in Mae Rim district in northern Chiang Mai province, where the blazes have severely impacted air quality. (AFP PHOTO / JIT ARSA)Air pollution across the upper North remains at critical levels with authorities monitoring almost 400 active hotspots in Chiang Mai alone on Sunday. The air quality did not improve on Monday morning, with IQAir recording "very unhealthy" air quality and hazardous, PM2.5 dust levels at 170.1 microgrammes per cubic metre (μg/m³) at 10.30am in Chiang Mai. Government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said fires have undoubtedly affected air quality, with 17 provinces in the North reporting an increase in levels of PM2.5 pollutants on Sunday. Chiang Dao district in Chiang Mai reported the highest PM2.5 reading in the North on Sunday at 360μg/m³.
March 30, 2020 04:41 UTC