Thailand Coronavirus News: Khaosan Songkran Canceled, Health Minister Calls Europeans ‘Dirty’, Free Sim Cards, and More

Recently, PM Prayut Chan-ocha announced that he expects the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Thailand will soon enter Stage 3, which constitutes a full-blown epidemic.

Last Sunday 32 more Thai people officially tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total tally to 147 in the Kingdom.

Last week, the Khaosan Road business guild announced that it would cancel all official Songkran events but said that water fights will most likely still take place on the famous backpacker street.

But just today, the Thai government said it would postpone the entire Songkran holiday–possibly until July–due to the worsening COVID-19 outbreak. It’s not yet clear what this will mean for the street celebrations that traditionally occur during Thailand’s most popular holiday.

Also, in a now deleted Tweet, Thailand’s health minister Anutin Charnvirakul called Europeans “dirty” and said they are more likely than Asians to spread the coronavirus, claiming that farangs–a popular slang term for westerners in Thailand–never shower.

Relatedly, a survey of hospitals in Bangkok found that at least two were charging “farangs” a higher price for testing for COVID-19. The two hospitals–Ramathibodi and Paolo Phaholyothin–charged nearly 40% more for the tests.

Tourists will now receive free SIM cards with internet service upon arriving in Thailand and before passing through immigration. The SIM cards will be used to track individuals in emergency situations for 14 days after arrival.

Finally, a Thai man recently defied a court order against spraying people with an unknown disinfectant which he claims protects against the coronavirus, The man sprayed individuals with the unknown chemical cocktail in Victory Monument BTS.

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