Will Thailand’s Lifting Of Pre-arrival COVID Test Attract More Indian Tourists?

Singapore, March 21 (ANI): Last week, Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) approved the lifting of the pre-travel testing requirement for international arrivals beginning April 1, 2022. This will reduce the testing requirement for visitors to the kingdom to just an on-arrival PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test and a self-administered ART (antigen rapid test) on day five.

This is a significant development since many travel experts have argued that excessive testing, and the associated cost and inconvenience, is discouraging many people from travelling.

Pre-COVID, Thailand was a very popular destination for Indians as it offered beautiful pristine beaches, nature reserves, rustic countryside and hillside towns, fascinating cities with stunning temples, delicious food, exciting nightlife and high-quality accommodation, all at very affordable prices.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), citing a survey by British travel group, Thomas Cook, Thailand was among the top three most desired destinations among Indians. The other two are the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Maldives.

Based on Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports data, almost 2 million Indians visited Thailand in 2019 making them the third-largest group of foreign nationals to visit the “land of smiles” that year. Just a year before, in 2018, Indians made up the sixth-largest group of foreign visitors. It is a massive jump from 2008 when 537,000 visited and Indian arrivals was ranked 11th.

The tourism industry in Thailand accounts for about a fifth of its GDP and since borders closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, about 20 to 25 per cent of Thais have been put in financial peril. A United Nations report titled “COVID-19 and Tourism”, said Thailand could stand to lose USD 47 billion due to the contraction of this sector.

Many in the tourism sector have been lobbying the Thai government to reopen the country to visitors as quickly as safely possible.

Thailand has two vaccinated quarantine-free travel schemes. The “Test & Go” scheme and the “Sandbox Programme”. The main difference is that no on-arrival testing is required for visitors entering under the Sandbox Programme.

However, Sandbox Programme visitors can only enter Thailand through Chon Buri, Krabi, Phangnga, Phuket, Surat Thani and Trat and must stay at an approved hotel in those areas. Currently, they must stay at their port of entry for seven days after arrival before being free to travel to any part of Thailand. Effective April 1, with the implementation of the new policy, they only need to stay at their port of entry for five days.

The new policy also increases the approved arrival airports from seven to eight, adding HatYai airport to the existing Don Mueang, Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Chiang Mai, and U-Tapao.

Both Test & Go and Sandbox visitors have to register for a Thailand Pass at least seven days before arrival (the Pass takes three to seven days to process), buy travel insurance with a minimum coverage of USD 20,000 and book at least a one day stay at an approved hotel (seven days for Sandbox visitors, reduced to five from April 1). Test & Go visitors must isolate in their hotel until the PCR test results are known.

With the more relaxed entry requirements, airlines are ramping up flights between the two countries.
On March 15, IndiGo airlines said it will start to operate Thailand flights under the air bubble agreement till March 26 and thereafter the flights will be part of its scheduled commercial operations. This will be the first commercial flights by IndiGo to Thailand since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out.

It will operate flights connecting Phuket with Delhi and Mumbai and Bangkok with Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru.

Thai Airway, Thailand’s flag carrier had on March 1 announced the resumption of flights between the two countries starting with flights under the air bubble transport agreement. Flights will connect Bangkok with four Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.

Earlier, in February in response to the news of an air travel bubble arrangement between India and Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) outlined a marketing strategy to recover one of Thailand’s important visitor source markets.

In line with the “Visit Thailand Year 2022: Amazing New Chapters” marketing campaign, TAT intends to focus on re-building the Indian market with a particular emphasis on special interest groups with high spending. These include weddings and honeymoons, golf, millennials, and digital nomads. Among the activities are familiarisation trips for travel agents and wedding planners, and business events.

TAT will also head up the Thailand presence at India’s largest tourism promotion event – South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE) 2022 – scheduled for May 18-20 in New Delhi.

Thailand hopes to attract at least 500,000 Indian visitors during the current fiscal year, which will end in September.

Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing – Asia and the South Pacific, said, “Thailand was a very popular destination for Indian travellers before the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is every indication this appeal will continue.”

Thailand Adds 3 More Beach Destinations To Tourists Amid Covid Spike

Thailand added three popular beach destinations to a visa program that allows foreign visitors to bypass a mandatory isolation, throwing a lifeline to its Covid-hit tourism industry seen as key to a nascent economic recovery.

Starting Tuesday, vaccinated foreign tourists can enter Krabi, Phang Nga, and Koh Samui in addition to Phuket under the so-called sandbox program that won’t require them to go through quarantine, provided they spend at least a week in these destinations.

The relaxed visa rule is yet another attempt by Thailand to restart its travel industry as the emergence of the omicron variant triggers a new wave of Covid infections. The tourism-reliant nation indefinitely suspended a wider quarantine-free program last week to quell a flareup in new cases, though it helped attract some 350,000 travellers in just two months.

While the tourist arrivals under the sandbox program are likely to be 50% less in Samui, “it’s still better than zero, still better than a total travel ban,” said Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui. “The suspension came during the peak travel season so the impact on the sector is quite significant.”

Faltering Strategy

The faltering reopening strategy is set to weaken Thailand’s growth outlook as the tourism sector contributed almost a fifth to the nation’s economy before the pandemic, with 40 million foreign tourists generating more than $60 billion in 2019.

“The emergence of new variants and subsequent border controls, both in Thailand and elsewhere, poses a risk” to Thailand’s tourist arrival estimates and growth, Juliana Lee, an economist with Deutsche Bank AG, said in a report Monday. “It may take years for a full normalization of global tourism, in fact. It will take time for tourists to gain confidence in travelling overseas – people will be loath to travel to faraway and unfamiliar places until they are confident about the efficacy of treatments.”

The resort island of Phuket, which was the first Thai province to waive mandatory quarantine for immunized travellers from July 1, is currently grappling with its biggest surge in daily cases since the pandemic began, with about 60% of its hospital beds occupied. But local officials have vowed to keep the program going, saying the island’s healthcare system can cope with the resurgence.

“The outbreak situation in Phuket is no different than many other countries. We’re now adding capacity for travellers to isolate in hotel rooms,” said Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association. “What Thailand did with the suspension and the adjustment showed that we were quick to make a call to limit the damage, and made changes as we learned more.”

Covid infections have been surging across Thailand after the New Year holiday and celebrations, and omicron cases now account for the majority of new infections detected upon entry and among local clusters. On Tuesday, Thailand reported 7,133 new cases.

Omicron cases spike in Thailand during Christmas, New Year holidays

Bangkok [Thailand]: Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health said on Tuesday that a total of 2,062 Omicron cases of COVID-19 have been detected in the country.
Supakit Sirilak, medical sciences director-general from the Ministry of Public Health, noted that omicron cases in the country had spiked up quickly from around 700 before the Christmas and New Year holidays to over 2,000 cases currently. According to the official, out of the Omicron infections, 1,105 were among foreign arrivals and the remainders are local transmissions. Nevertheless, the Delta variant is still the prevailing variant in Thailand, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of the new infections.
Supakit warned that Omicron cases will continue to rise rapidly, as more testing and close monitoring of the situation are required to control the potential spread.
Six provinces – Bangkok, Kalasin, Roi Et, Phuket, Chonburi and Samut Prakan – have reported around 70 percent of these Omicron cases detected in the country.
As of Monday, Thailand has vaccinated 64 percent of its population with two doses, while around 10 percent had already received a booster shot, government data showed.

Omicron: Thailand Restricts Direct Entry, Indians Can Only Travel Via Phuket

After Singapore, Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) ordered a temporary suspension of the Thailand pass for all new ‘test and go’ and Sandbox applications from 22 December 2021, citing the rising number of Omicron variant cases in the country.

Sandbox plan is a new model that allows travellers who are fully vaccinated to enter Thailand without quarantine. However, due to these new restrictions, travellers will be able to travel to Thailand only via Phuket.

Since Phuket has not yet imposed restrictions, it will be open for Indian travellers under the Phuket Sandbox scheme.

Under this scheme, travellers will only need to do a PCR test and wait in the hotel until the result is received. If test negative, they will be able to move around in Phuket. The second RT PCR test will be done on the fifth or the sixth day after which they can travel to other parts of Thailand on completing seven days of stay in Phuket (no quarantine required), or can return to their home country within seven days.

“Flights to Phuket from India will be from Delhi by MakeMyTrip. If one plans to arrive in Phuket, then he/ she will have to select Phuket ‘Sans Box’. After seven days in Phuket, one can go to other destinations in Thailand” read a statement from the spokesperson.

Cholada Siddhivarn, director, Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “We are happy to welcome Indians to Thailand. However, we have just altered the entry rules for people entering our country from different entry points except for Phuket. The step comes in after the rise in new variant cases. We believe it is better to take necessary precautions while we still are ready to welcome travellers from different parts of the world.

She further added, “Travellers wanting to travel to Phuket can register for Thailand Pass under the Phuket Sandbox program and Happy Quarantine.” The process of quarantine at government-approved AQ hotels in Thailand at the traveller’s own expense.

Singapore too has imposed restrictions on air travel and said that airlines will not be allowed to sell new flight tickets for travel to the country from December 23 until January 20, 2022. However, eligible travellers who earlier bought tickets will still be allowed to travel via the quarantine-free travel scheme: Vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme allows fully vaccinated travellers from selected countries to enter Singapore without being quarantined.

Thailand Eyes Reinstating Quarantine As First Local Omicron Case Reported

Thailand is considering reinstating mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors due to concerns over the spread of Omicron, as the health ministry reported on Monday the country’s first case of local transmission of the coronavirus variant.

The public health ministry will propose scrapping a quarantine waiver for vaccinated visitors and revert to hotel quarantine and a “sandbox” programme, which allows free movement in specific locations, minister Anutin Charnvirakul said.

The proposal was driven by worries over the spread of Omicron, Anutin told the Inside Thailand television show, adding it will be made to the government’s Covid-19 taskforce “soon”.

The minister’s remarks come after Thailand reopened to foreign visitors in November, ending nearly 18 months of strict entry policies that contributed to a collapse in tourism, a key industry and economic driver that drew 40 million visitors in 2019.

Thailand had detected 63 people infected with the Omicron variant so far, Anutin said, with one case of local transmission and the rest imported cases.

The first locally transmitted case was found in a Thai woman who tested positive to Omicron after contracting the virus from her husband, a Colombian who returned to Thailand from Nigeria in late November, a health ministry official told a daily briefing.

“She is potentially the first in Thailand to get Omicron from an overseas traveller, her husband, and the first locally transmitted case,” said Chakrarat Pittayawonganon, an official from the Disease Control Department.

Both the husband and the wife had been fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said.

The couple had one high-risk contact, a taxi driver, who was being quarantined and pending a second coronavius test due on Wednesday, Chakrarat added.

India thrash Thailand 13-0 in Asian Champions Trophy opener

Donghae [Korea]: Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur scored five goals as Indian Women’s Hockey team registered an emphatic 13-0 win over Thailand in their first game at the Donghae Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2021.
Gurjit gave India the lead in the second minute of the match after an infringement from Thailand in their defensive third awarded India a penalty stroke. Gurjit, who scored four goals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, kept a cool head and put the ball in the back of the nets to give India a 1-0 lead in the second minute. Conceding an early goal put Thailand on the back foot straight away, and Vandana Katariya, the only Indian women’s player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics, scored the second goal five minutes later.
By the time the first quarter ended, Lilima Minz added another field goal in the 14th minute, while Gurjit Kaur and Jyoti scored two more from penalty corners in the 14th and 15th minute, giving India a 5-0 lead.
The second quarter started much the same way as India kept most of the possession giving no room to Thailand to cause any danger. Within the first minute of quarter 2, Rajwinder Kaur, who made her International debut today, scored a field goal in the 16th minute, and in the 24th minute, Gurjit scored her third goal and Lilima scored another from a PC also in the 24th minute.
The Indian team demolished the Thai defence as they struck another PC in the 25th minute through Gurjit, thus giving India a massive 9-0 lead at the end of the second quarter.
Returning from the 10-minute half-time break, India dominated by continuing to make threatening circle penetrations from the left flank. But Thailand dug in deep and defended well for the first six minutes in the third quarter. But Jyoti broke the threshold, scoring another field goal in the 36th minute to exceed India’s lead by 10 goals.
Returning from the 10-minute half-time break, India dominated by continuing to make threatening circle penetrations from the left flank. But Thailand dug in deep and defended well for the first six minutes in the third quarter. But Jyoti broke the threshold, scoring another field goal in the 36th minute to exceed India’s lead by 10 goals.
A defensive error four minutes later from Thailand gave India another PC, but this time Gurjit’s powerful flick was deflected by the opposition. A well-constructed move from the middle late in the 43rd minute caught Thailand’s defence napping as Sonika struck in her first goal in the match.
The fourth quarter, which was a mere formality by the time it started, saw Navneet Kaur threatening Thailand’s defence with penetrating runs from the right flank. But Thailand’s defensive troops managed to keep the danger at bay, preventing any further damage to the scoreline.
In the 55th minute, Monika managed to get her stick on a long pass inside the circle, as she deflected the ball into the back of the nets to exceed India’s lead by another goal. Three minutes later, Gurjit Kaur scored her fifth goal in the match from a late penalty corner, adding in the 13th goal for India.
This was India Women’s team’s first match since the historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics. In the absence of Captain Rani, who has been rested from the tournament, India was led by veteran goalkeeper Savita.
Indian Women’s Team Vs Malaysia scheduled for December 6 will not be able to play due to covid-related issues, as officially stated by the Asian Hockey Federation.
India will play the hosts Korea on December 8.

Thailand Sees Slow Tourism Recovery After A Month Of Reopening

Thailand was among the first countries in Asia to reopen for foreign arrivals, and it is seeing a slow recovery, including new hotels touting longer stays for individual travellers.

In the first 10 months of 2021, Thailand saw 106,117 foreign tourists, a drop from 6.7 million in 2020. Before the pandemic, Thailand saw about 40 million visitors a year.

Hospitality firms like Asset World Corporation Pcl, which opened its 19th property this month, saw the majority of its bookings come from Western countries and the Middle East.

“About 70% of total bookings came from Europe, including Germany, UK, Scandinavian countries, followed by the US, Middle East, and Asia,” chief executive Wallapa Traisorat told Reuters, adding that domestic travel helped. “For November, we should see 30% occupancy, and in the fourth quarter we hope to see better momentum from the reopening.”

Thailand, one of the region’s most popular destinations, is heavily dependent on tourism. In 2019, 40 million arrivals spent 1.91 trillion baht ($57.3 billion).

Centara Hotels and Resorts is moving ahead with plans to open a 1.1 billion baht hotel on the island of Samui in December.

Initially the property expects most guests to be locals on longer stays, said Centara Hotels chief financial officer Gun Srisompong.

“Demand patterns have changed. Individual travellers on longer stays and ‘workations’ need more personalisation,” Srisompong said.

Thailand expects only 200,000 foreign tourists this year, and 5 million in 2022.

Thinner crowds and discounts made for a more pleasant experience, said German tourist Markus Klarer.

“It’s a good time to come back to Thailand again,” Klarer said.

Despite the reopening, some businesses said Covid rules still made some things hard.

“Tourists are not fully confident and still confused with government regulations,” said Chitchai Senwong, a restaurant manager in Bangkok, citing a government rule that prohibits alcohol consumption after 9 p.m.

INS Karmuk takes part in India, Singapore, Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX – 21

New Delhi [India]: Indian Naval Ship (INS) Karmuk has participated in the third edition of India, Singapore and Thailand Trilateral Maritime Exercise SITMEX – 21 in Andaman Sea, according to an official release on Monday.
INS Karmuk, an indigenously built Missile Corvette is participating in the trilateral maritime exercise, from November 15 to November 16 in Andaman Sea. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Defence, Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) is being represented by RSS Tenacious, a Formidable Class Frigate and Royal Thai Navy (RTN) by His Majesty’s Thailand Ship (HTMS) Thayanchon, a Khamrosin Class Anti-submarine Patrol Craft.
SITMEX is being conducted annually since 2019 with an aim to enhance mutual inter-operability and imbibing best practices between Indian Navy (IN), RSN and RTN. The maiden edition of SITMEX was hosted by IN off Port Blair in September 2019. RSN hosted the second edition of the exercise in November 2020. The 2021 edition of the exercise is being hosted by RTN in Andaman Sea, the statement read.
The exercise is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of COVID-19 restrictions and highlights growing synergy, coordination and cooperation in the maritime domain between the three friendly navies. The two days of maritime drills will witness the three navies engaged in a various tactical exercises including naval manoeuvres and surface warfare drills, according to the Ministry of Defence.
It added that SITMEX-21 will fortify the long-standing bond of friendship and further enhance the cooperation between the participating navies towards augmenting the overall maritime security in the region.

Thailand allows quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travelers from 63 countries

Bangkok (Thailand) : Thailand will allow fully vaccinated tourists from 63 low-risk countries to enter the country without quarantine from Monday, the media reported.
On October 21, the government announced that from November 1, fully vaccinated travelers from 47 countries and territories will be allowed to enter Thailand without quarantine, provided that they pass a COVID-19 test upon their arrival, later adding 17 more countries to the list. “I’m confident the reopening will greatly benefit the country, especially in the tourism high season that normally lasts into early next year. TAT [Tourism Authority of Thailand] is now expecting over 1 million tourists to come in the next six months, or about 300,000 per month,” the authority’s governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said, as cited by the Bangkok Post.
The governor of TAT also added that these numbers amount to about 10% of the pre-pandemic level recorded in 2019.
The original list included 46 low-risk countries exempt from quarantine: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bhutan, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
As of Monday, the government added 17 more countries to the list, including Croatia, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Laos, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, the Philippines, Romania, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam, according to the media.
At the same time, the country still faces COVID-19 restrictions, as it is registering about 10,000 COVID-19 infections a day. As of October 29, there have been almost 1.9 million confirmed cases and over 19,000 deaths reported in the country, according to the World Health Organization. The infection rate has halved since August, when the highest daily average of more than 20,000 new cases was reported.

French Open: PV Sindhu beats Thailand’s Ongbamrungphan, storms into semis

Paris [France]: India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu on Friday stormed into the semi-finals of the ongoing French Open after defeating Thai badminton player Busanan Ongbamrungphan in straight sets.
The Indian shuttler defeated Ongbamrungphan 21-14, 21-14 in the quarter-finals to move into the next round. Sindhu started the match on a high and took the opening game Ongbamrungphan 21-14. Riding high on confidence, the Indian shuttler started the second game with a lead of 4-2.
Sindhu continued her fine form and won the second game 21-14 to seal the match.
Earlier in the day, shuttler Lakshya Sen faced a defeat in the quarter-finals of the ongoing tournament.
Playing at Court 2, Lakshya lost in straight sets against South Korea’s Heo Kwanghee 15-21, 17-21.
On Thursday, Sameer Verma got retired hurt and bowed out of the tournament despite winning the first game with a scoreline of 21-16, 12-21.

Thailand Prepares Airports For Quarantine-Free Travellers

Thai government officials on Wednesday inspected the readiness of the country’s airports to welcome quarantine-free travellers, due to return next month after almost two years of strict Covid-19 rules that halted vital tourism.

From Nov. 1, the country will allow vaccinated arrivals from low risk countries to return to its popular destinations like Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Tourism before the pandemic was a leading driver of the economy, accounting for 12% of GDP. But the tourism authority has forecast foreign arrivals will drop to just 100,000 this year, down from 40 million in 2019 before the pandemic struck.

“November 1 is the first step,” Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob said during a visit to Bangkok’s Don Muang airport on Wednesday.

“Foreign tourists and investors from at least 10 countries which are in health-safe zones, as well as doing great financially, can come to visit and spend in the country.”

Thailand piloted reopening earlier this year in its resort island of Phuket, allowing fully vaccinated tourists to skip Thailand’s mandatory two-week quarantine provided they remained on the island.

But Saksiam said the wider reopening would be even simpler for travellers, as testing on arrival could be done at hotels and other accommodations rather than at the airport.

“The entire time a visitor will spend from getting through the terminal gates to leaving the airport would take no more than 25 minutes,” Saksiam told reporters.

Thailand has recorded nearly 1.8 million cases and 18,486 fatalities since the outbreak began, the overwhelming majority of which have been in the past seven months.

7 dead, 1 missing as typhoon triggered flood hits Thailand

Heavy floods caused by tropical storm Dianmu have severely impacted almost half of Thailand’s provinces with at least seven people dead and one missing, the country’s disaster control authorities said Thursday.

Bangkok [Thailand], September 30 : Heavy rains swept across 31 provinces of the Southeast Asian country, so far affecting more than 220,000 households, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM). The DDPM also noted that the situation in 13 of the affected provinces has improved, but it remained critical in the other 18 provinces.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) warned Thursday that the water level of the Chao Phraya River is forecasted to rise over the next few days, demanding 11 communities in seven districts along the river be prepared for potential floods.
Local media quoted Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang as saying that the level of the Chao Phraya River is currently well below the top of the flood embankment across the capital, without any damage to nearby residences.

Thailand To Reduce Quarantine Period For Visitors

Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies caused a collapse in tourism, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors in 2019.

Thailand’s disease control committee has proposed a halving of a two-week hotel isolation requirement for vaccinated arrivals, amid delays in plans to waive quarantine and reopen Bangkok and tourist destinations from next month.

Thailand is keen to welcome back foreign visitors, after nearly 18 months of strict entry policies caused a collapse in tourism, a key sector that drew 40 million visitors in 2019.

“Reducing the quarantine is not only about tourism, but will help business travel and foreign students,” senior health official Opas Karnkawinpong told a news conference, adding tests would also be required.

Under the proposal, to be presented to government on Monday, those without vaccination proof would be isolated for 10 days if arriving by air, and 14 days if by land.

Authorities this week delayed to November plans to grant vaccinated visitors entry without quarantine, due to the country’s low inoculation rate.

Only Phuket and Samui islands currently waive quarantine for vaccinated tourists, as part of a pilot scheme.

Less than a quarter of the estimated 72 million people living in Thailand have been fully vaccinated.

The country is still fighting its most severe wave of infections, which has accounted for about 99% of its 1.5 million cases and 15,884 deaths.

Mission SAGAR: INS Airavat arrives in Thailand with COVID relief supplies

Bangkok [Thailand]: As part of the ongoing Mission SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region), INS Airavat arrived at Sattahip, Thailand with COVID relief material on Friday. The ship is delivering 300 oxygen concentrators based on the requirement projected by the Government of Thailand in its fight against the ongoing COVID19 pandemic.
According to the Defence Ministry, INS Airavat has been deployed to deliver COVID relief to friendly foreign nations in South East Asia which are battling the COVID19 pandemic under the aegis of ‘Mission SAGAR’ initiated by the Government of India. In the current deployment, the ship has delivered COVID relief material to Indonesia, Vietnam prior to arriving in Thailand.
A Landing Ship Tank (Large) class of ship, INS Airavat, is a part of the Eastern Fleet at Visakhapatnam under Eastern Naval Command. The ship is indigenously designed and built to induct military vehicles and cargo onto the adversary shores.
Her secondary role includes HADR. Thus, she has been a platform of choice for this mission. The ship has taken an active part in the nation’s effort to battle COVID19 since April 2021.

Tokyo Paralympics: India’s Tarun Dhillon beats Thailand’s Teamarrom in men’s singles SL4 group stage

Tokyo [Japan]: Indian shuttler Tarun Dhillon on Thursday began his Tokyo Paralympics journey with a 21-7, 21-13 win over Siripong Teamarrom of Thailand in men’s singles SL4 – Group B match.
Tarun defeated Thailand’s shuttler in two straight sets to complete the win in 23 minutes. The Indian para-badminton player won the first round easily but was made to work harder in the second essay. He will lock horns in his next match on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Noida District Magistrate and para-badminton player Suhas L Yathiraj defeated Jan Niklas Pott of Germany 21-9, 21-3 in men’s singles SL4 – Group A.
Suhas, who has become the first civil servant from the country to represent India in the Tokyo Paralympics, dominated the proceedings and completed the match in 19 minutes with a straight-set victory.
Niklas Pott had no answers to Suhas’ shots. Suhas will lock horns in his second group stage match on Friday.
Meanwhile, shuttlers Palak Kohli and Parul Parmar went down 0-2 against second-seeded Huihui MA and Hefang Cheng of China in their first Group B match.

Thailand : Highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, deaths

Bangkok [Thailand]: Thailand reported a record number of 21,379 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, including 4,700 in the capital Bangkok, taking the national tally since the pandemic began to 714,684.

Daily positive cases have been widely rising in Thailand for a couple of months mainly due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant. The single-day infections have been over 20,000 for three consecutive days, according to the Center for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
The CCSA also reported a record of 191 coronavirus-linked deaths Friday, pushing the national death toll to 5,854.

Currently, 212,926 patients are receiving treatment, of which 4,999 are in critical condition. The high caseload and the excessive burden on the medical infrastructure have also been enhanced by the slow vaccination progress.

As of Thursday, Thailand has administered around 19.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with roughly six percent of its nearly 70 million population having been fully vaccinated.

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