THE Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) today (April 28) called for a 15-day lockdown of some high-risk areas because the current coronavirus wave is as potent as the first one and is leading to at least a month-long economic slowdown but this would drag on if the outbreak is not controlled, Amarin TV said.
Mr. Suphan Mongkolsuthree, FTI’s president, said if the current coronavirus wave is not brought under control quickly it would trigger 100 billion baht a month economic loss and that is why the private sector sees a need for locking down the severest hit areas for 15 days, which is something it can accept.
Once the situation improves then the lockdown could be eased to stringent prevent measures.
” If you don’t lock down at all, it will cause more damage everyday,” he said.
Suphan also urged the government to speed up vaccinating people and if 20 to 30 million doses are injected by June this would help mitigate the economic impact and spur a bounce back.
It is small to medium enterprises (SMEs) within the service sector and some domestic market players that have been the worst hit with most export-based industries having improved. This is so because the global economy has picked up with the US seeing a 6% growth while China is likely to post 8% or even or a double-digit growth.
The FTI’s six proposals to the government are as follows:
– Speed up controlling the current Covid wave by locking down high-risk areas;
– Expedite inoculating people and build up confidence about the safety of vaccines;
– Encourage the private sector to import vaccines that have been registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);
– Take steps to stimulate the economy and also give relief to those affected by this outbreak;
– Quickly tackle the problem of accessing loans, especially by SMEs;
– Urgently sort out the container shortage problem to help exporters.
Top: Downtown Bangkok during the curfew. Photo: Maythee Anegboonlap (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Home Page: Padlock and keys on a white background with coronavirus lockdown text. Photo: Jernej Furman (CC BY 2.0)