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Thailand announces new measures against COVID-19 spread from arrivals

Strict screening of people entering Thailand by land, air and sea is enforced in order to control the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with particular emphasis being put on people arriving from China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

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The Royal Thai Police has announced strict screening of people entering Thailand by land, air and sea in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Particular emphasis is being put on people arriving from the major threat countries of China, South Korea, Italy and Iran.

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The Deputy Commander of Immigration Police Division 2, Pol Col Choengron Rimpadee, elaborated that measures being put in place will include inspection of aircraft seats, and includes the division of individuals by risk with the first group to be those who overstayed their visas, who will be questioned and checked for symptoms before being released to return home and monitored for 14 days.

The second group is Thai tourists returning home and foreigners, who will have to leave contact information. If any individuals later show symptoms, those sitting near them on the arrival plane will also be tested.

On why police have not requested South Korea to quarantine Thais who overstayed before releasing them for the trip home, Pol. Col. Choengron said it was up to the discretion of the country.

He said the embassy has been asked to accommodate those being quarantined and airlines have been urged to help in separating risk cases. Passengers later found to be ill will incur a fine payable by the airline.

Pol Lt Gen Witoon Nitiwarangkul, a lead physician at the Police Hospital, says that of 31 people who sought testing for COVID-19 at the facility, only one tested positive, a Chinese citizen from Wuhan province. The patient has been cured and allowed to return home. Medical personnel have been told to exercise strict precautions, and plans have been set for a third phase of the spread.

Deputy police spokesman Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen urged people returning from COVID-19-risk countries to have a sense of social responsibility and observe a 14-day quarantine period at home. They can protect others by wearing a protective mask. He believed social pressure will make them more responsible.

Police officers have been working actively to screen and monitor passengers arriving in the country and arrest vendors hiking the price of masks. So far, more than 50 vendors have been arrested.

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Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024

In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.

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Recent years have seen evolving awareness of systemic inequities including racism, sexism and pro-Western chauvinism.

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Ecommerce

Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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Business

Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry

Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp leaves from its list of banned narcotics (seeds and buds remain banned).

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Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry over the next five years, but farmers stand to make little from growing the herb, experts say.

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