Thailand declares emergency, approves $3.3bn stimulus to ease coronavirus impact

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha wears a protective face mask due to the coronavirus outbreak during a teleconference for a weekly cabinet meeting with his ministers on March 24, 2020. (Thailand Government House via Reuters)
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Updated 24 March 2020

Thailand declares emergency, approves $3.3bn stimulus to ease coronavirus impact

  • Measures include cash handouts, soft loans, emergency loans and tax breaks
  • Thailand reported three deaths and 106 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday

BANGKOK: Thailand will be in an emergency mode from March 26 for a month to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told a news conference on Tuesday.
Thailand’s cabinet on Tuesday also approved additional stimulus measures worth 107 billion baht ($3.25 billion) in a bid to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The measures include cash handouts, soft loans, emergency loans and tax breaks.
The emergency decree will mean the prime minister will have the executive power to declare further measures to contain the virus, including giving extra authority to officials and allowing the setting up of checkpoints to reduce people movements, Prayuth said.
He said details of the measures will be announced later.
Thailand reported three deaths and 106 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The country now has 827 cases and four fatalities since the outbreak began.


Russians face up to five years’ jail for spreading false coronavirus news

Updated 7 min 1 sec ago

Russians face up to five years’ jail for spreading false coronavirus news

  • Proposals are part of a package of draft legislation that also aims to impose tough punishment for people breaking quarantine ruless
  • be higher. Moscow, with its more than 12 million people, went into lockdown on Monday
MOSCOW: Russian lawmakers were set on Tuesday to consider legislation imposing severe punishment — including up to five years in prison — for people convicted of spreading false information about the coronavirus.
If a person were found guilty of inadvertently causing a person’s death or other grave consequences by spreading “intentionally false” information about life-threatening circumstances, he would face a fine of up to 2 million rubles ($25,000) or up to five years in prison.
The proposals also foresee punishment — including a fine of up to 1.5 million rubles and up to three years in prison — for harming a person’s health through spreading false information.
The proposals are part of a package of draft legislation that also aims to impose tough punishment — including up to seven years in prison — for people breaking coronavirus quarantine rules.
The amendments to Russia’s Criminal Code were proposed by Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of the lower house State Duma, and another senior lawmaker of the governing United Russia party, Pavel Krasheninnikov, so are expected to pass swiftly.
Russia, which has a population of 144 million people, has so far reported 1,836 coronavirus cases and nine fatalities but the real number of the infected is believed to be higher.
Moscow, with its more than 12 million people, went into lockdown on Monday and more than a dozen regions moved to introduce similar steps to curb the coronavirus outbreak.