Coronavirus: Asia

Thailand sets out $315m plan to compensate workers, businesses

BANGKOK • Thailand will compensate workers and businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions in Bangkok and nearby provinces, the government said yesterday as it reimposed month-long curbs on restaurants, construction sites and gatherings in the capital and its suburbs.

The Thai government has set aside 7.5 billion baht (S$315 million) for the compensation plan, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters.

The government will pay for half the wages of employees affected by the latest one-month ban at restaurants and construction sites, he said.

About 690,000 workers in the social security network will be compensated, along with some outside the system, said Mr Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council.

Thailand has reimposed tight Covid-19 restrictions as it battles rising infections.

For a month starting yesterday, dining in at restaurants and gatherings of more than 20 people in Bangkok and nine other provinces are banned, in addition to previously announced closures of construction sites.

Thailand yesterday reported more then 5,400 new Covid-19 cases, the third-highest daily tally since the pandemic began, raising the country's total case tally to nearly 250,000.

Daily cases have been in the thousands for more than two months since Thailand's third wave of infections began in early April, with Bangkok and its neighbouring regions as the epicentre. Nearly one-third of yesterday's new cases were detected in Bangkok.

Cumulative deaths rose to 1,934, up by 22 yesterday.

Thailand has also been trying hard to accelerate its Covid-19 vaccination roll-out amid limited vaccine supplies.

Inoculations began in February, though a mass nationwide vaccination programme did not take off until this month.

Less than 10 per cent of its nearly 70 million population have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and only about 3.7 per cent have been fully vaccinated, according to data from Bloomberg's Vaccine Tracker.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2021, with the headline Thailand sets out $315m plan to compensate workers, businesses. Subscribe