Thailand discovers 29 new coronavirus infections; government says not enough money for aid program

Thailand’s government said on Thursday that it had discovered 29 new coronavirus infections bringing the total number of infected to 2,672.

It continues a lowering trend of new infections with no increase of three digits in over a week.

There was 3 new fatalities bringing the death toll to 46.

96 more patients have recovered from the virus bringing the total number of discharged patients to 1,593.

“People say that the numbers are encouraging and they’re beginning to ignore our social isolation programs and congregating,” said government spokesman Dr Thaweesin Visanuyothin. “I am reminding you that the reason the numbers are low is because of the moves the government has made.”

“If you continue to congregate, in 14 days we may have an increase in infection numbers.”

Government has no money for the government’s coronavirus aid program

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said on Wednesday that the government has enough budget to pay for only the first month of a 5,000 baht coronavirus aid program.

The cost of the program is estimated to be around 135 billion baht. 

He said the central budget is drying up but the government will be siphoning 10 per cent of the budget of every government agency to come up with the money; however, this will not be available until June.

The cabinet has already approved an emergency loan decree worth 1 trillion baht which should be available around the end of April or the beginning of May.

The PM explained that there are 37 million people in the country’s workforce.

Of that, 9 million people are informal workers, 11 million people are registered within the social security system, and 17 million are farmers. This means that not everyone can be compensated.

“I am sad and I sympathize and I am more anxious than you,” he said.

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