- Why Thailand Has Had No New COVID-19 Cases in the Last Month
As China’s infection rate climbed throughout January, the rest of Southeast Asia worried they’d suffer from a high number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths.
But that’s not what happened in Thailand.
As the first country outside of China to document a Coronavirus case, the kingdom immediately implemented partial lockdowns, travel restrictions, and contact tracing (where over 1,000 epidemiological teams tracked every contact and monitored them for 14 days). But the most effective precaution was wearing a mask. With 95% of Thais reporting that they wear masks in public, Thailand’s death rate is 100 times lower than projected at the outset of the pandemic.
Wednesday, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, reported that the country has had no new infections in the last 30 days. “It shows the importance of Thai people-power, which has kept the country free of the disease for one month.”
Full Story: CCInsight
- Chinese jump at ‘elite’ Thailand visas to escape coronavirus
Beijing’s new outbreak prompts wealthy to seek second home, agents say
BANGKOK — China’s initial coronavirus outbreak and the current resurgence in Beijing have driven many Chinese to apply for long-term residency in Thailand as the kingdom enjoys plaudits for its handling of the pandemic.
Thailand Privilege Card, operator of the Thailand Elite Card, has seen a surge in applicants since February, especially in recent weeks, three agents told the Nikkei Asian Review. The card offers a re-entry visa renewable for up to 20 years and other perks for those who can afford it.
“We have received many queries after China saw a potential resurgence of COVID-19 cases” starting in mid-June, said Bobby He, an Elite Card agent based in Bangkok.
The agent said he received seven applications on one day this week.
“It’s strange that some people have never even been to Thailand,” he said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred many Chinese into looking for a second home overseas.”
Thousands of Beijing residents have seen their homes go under lockdown since a locally transmitted infection was found June 12, the first in nearly two months. Within a week, the number of cases surged to 158. Residents of higher-risk areas are not permitted to leave the city, while others must show a negative coronavirus test result to visit other Chinese provinces.
Thailand, by contrast, has reported no local transmissions for 31 consecutive days through Wednesday. The Southeast Asian country has logged just over 3,150 confirmed cases so far.
Elite visa members totaled 9,578 as of Feb. 29, with Chinese making up 20%, an internal document seen by Nikkei shows. British members totaled 6%, while Japanese and Americans made up 5% each. Membership has risen from 6,495 at the end of 2018.
Full Story: AsiaNikkei