Because of the global nature of the pandemic, hackers are taking advantage of all the attention being paid to the health crisis to lure people into opening malicious emails and links. I wasn't expecting so many people expressing concern," said Alex Guirakhoo, a threat researcher with the security firm Digital Shadows who monitors hacker forums globally. After some reports indicated hospitals had been hit by ransomware, some hacker groups pledged to avoid hitting health care organizations, according to researchers. The security firm Emsisoft, which specializes in ransomware, made an unusual plea to hackers last month to spare health care firms. "Any claims that these ransomware groups make should be taken with a grain of salt," Callow told AFP, noting that ransomware attacks are continuing against health organizations.
April 03, 2020 01:41 UTC
Photos © Netflix ThailandAlong with The Platform, The Occupant is another recent Netflix Original crime thriller out of Spain. The film was written and directed by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor, and stars Javier Gutiérrez, Mario Casas, Ruth Díaz and Bruna Cusí. And through that, he begins to tumble down a path of obsession and madness. Apparently, his motive turns out to be something way, way more sinister. The Occupant may have a few flaws but is still an entertaining watch, especially for a character study on perception, desire, greed and obsession for success.
April 03, 2020 00:22 UTC
The global speculative-grade default rate would rise to 6.5% by the end of 2020 and to 6.8% by February 2021. In such a scenario, the global speculative-grade default rate would increase to 14.2% by year-end 2020 and to 16.1% by February 2021. In the US, the speculative-grade default rate would increase to 16.2% by year-end 2020, surpassing the peak of 14.7% in 2009. The global speculative-grade default rate would increase to 18.3% by the end of 2020 and to 20.8% by February 2021. The default rate would increase to 18.4% in the US and to 21.7% in Europe.
Data usage among customers of the three major mobile operators surged 11.1% in March from a month earlier as more people work from home during the outbreak, says the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC). AIS saw the biggest rise in data consumption at 12.3% growth, followed by True (10%) and DTAC (9.95%). He said the NBTC expects another increase in data usage in April as the government grants mobile subscribers 10 gigabytes of data usage for free to support people working from home for 30 days. In March, the biggest rise of data usage was seen between noon and 5pm, with a jump of 13% from February. The lowest data consumption period was between 8-9pm, a gain of 5%.
Mixed-use projects drive Lat PhraoLocations near Lat Phrao intersection are slated for new mixed-use projects worth a combined 50 billion baht over the next few years. Completion of the skytrain's Sukhumvit Line extension from Kasetsart University to Khu Kot this year should mean increased traffic near Lat Phrao intersection, with developers planning mixed-use projects worth a combined 50 billion baht over the next few years. This mixed-use project will comprise office space, retail areas, a hotel and condos worth a combined 20 billion baht. Near Lat Phrao intersection, Oasis Tower will offer office space worth 3.69 billion baht developed by SET-listed property firm Singha Estate Plc. He said there are three shopping centres with 470,000 sq m of retail space, a transport hub servicing 540,000 passengers daily and 300,000 sq m of grade A office space for 40,000 workers.
Mr Felde says online food delivery continues to grow during the outbreak. "Although online food delivery continues to grow, this still cannot offset revenue loss from offline. Thailand has about 350,000 restaurants countrywide and Foodpanda aims to have 120,000 partners by year-end from 50,000 now, he said. Online food orders tally 700,000 to 800,000 transactions per day, compared with e-commerce, which posts 1.2 million transactions a day. The online food delivery market in Thailand has seen hyper-growth since 2019, rising more last year than between 2012 and 2018, said Mr Felde.
World Bank warns of 5% GDP decline in worst-case forecastCentralWorld and the central business district of Bangkok, usually thronged with locals and tourists, have fallen silent during the coronavirus outbreak. Negative factors include the virus outbreak, declining trade and tourism, supply chain disruptions and weakening domestic consumption. "The baseline assumes a muted spread of the outbreak in Thailand, a significant worsening of global growth prospects in 2020 and structural challenges in disbursing public spending," the World Bank said. Government policies to help households weather the economic downturn, such as relaxing debt payments and targeted social programmes, may help mitigate these negative impacts, according to the World Bank. Thailand's 2021 GDP growth is projected at 4%, buoyed by fiscal and monetary stimulus measures for all business sectors, Mr Kiatipong said.
Hospital probed for 'vendetta'A probe has been launched following a complaint by a medical laboratory scientist who claims he is being victimised by a Trat hospital after going public on medical supply and personnel shortages there, deputy public health permanent secretary, Narong Saiwong said. The hospital has been told to explain the matter as soon as possible, Mr Narong said on Thursday. The probe comes after Somporn Charuekklang, the hospital's head medical laboratory scientist, took to social media recently alleging he was subjected to a disciplinary investigation for complaining about a shortage of medical supplies at the hospital. The scientist also allegedly wrote in the chatroom 'Wipak Muang Trat" (Trat Critique) that members of the team probing him lack the experience to conduct the inquiry. Mr Anutin said on Thursday's donations would not be combined with the central stockpile of similar items donated earlier by other sources.
April 03, 2020 00:04 UTC
Jumbos starve as tourism dries upUp to 75 elephants at a sanctuary in Ayutthaya province are facing starvation as tourists are no longer visiting and feeding them as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sanctuary is running short of food after it closed under the government's Emergency Decree to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Itthipan Chaolamai, manager of the Wang Chang Ayutthaya elephant sanctuary, said yesterday the sanctuary has been closed for at least a week to prevent transmissions among visitors. This has prevented the sanctuary from being able to adequately feed all 75 elephants as food costs around 50,000 baht per day. Each elephant eats around 500 baht of fruit every day.
Absurd disease controls show govt is cluelessAs I checked in for my trip home at Brussels airport last Sunday, I wondered if it would be a once-in-a-lifetime flight. A THAI employee had told me I might end up being the only passenger on the Bangkok-bound plane that afternoon. She said she had to see her doctor twice, because her first fit-to-fly certificate "expired" before her flight's boarding time. I was lucky to get an appointment with my sister's doctor who agreed to see me and -- despite her astonishment -- consented to sign this unusual "fit-to-fly" certificate. I doubt if the 10pm-4am "curfew" imposed by the government will ever work in curbing the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand.
During interrogation, Mr Anonvat allegedly confessed to having ordered face masks from a nai thoon or big businessman. However, he told police he had supplied boxes of face masks which were later sold, according to police. The investigation had linked Mr Anonvat to the "Thai mask'' Facebook page, which had posted messages offering huge quantities of face masks for sale. Mam Pho Dam claimed the posts she captured were from Mr Sornsuvee, whose Facebook account was later closed. Pol Maj Gen Natthasak said the investigators would dig deeper into links between Mr Anonvat and other people involved in the face mask scandal.
Debt relief half-heartedAs tens of millions of Thais are battered by the economic ravages of the Covid-19 outbreak, banks and financial companies have recently come up with "financial relief measures" to help customers going through these hard times. Obviously, they need financial relief in addition to government aid in order to survive both the immediate and long-term financial shocks. A freeze on mortgage and loan payments could offer them genuine relief. For instance, banks are offering three-month deferrals on principal payments for mortgages and loans. Banks and financial institutions in other countries have set good examples for what genuine relief measures can be like.
Varuth HirunyathebThe Ministry of Public Health is eyeing privately-owned hotels suffering financially as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic to join the ministry's scheme to provide isolation space for people at risk of infection. The ministry is exploring this idea after several hotels agreed to convert their space into hospitals for Covid-19 patients. The Department of Health Service Support is going to create criteria for hotel isolation, Mr Satit said. Furthermore, at least 18 hotels with 2,000 rooms have been noted as the department's top priority for use in case of need. A medical team stationed at hotels will be in charge of up to 100 patients.
April 02, 2020 23:48 UTC
(Photo by Patipat Janthong)National oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc is pushing ahead with its plan to list its wholly owned subsidiary, PTT Oil and Retail Business Co (PTTOR), on the Stock Exchange of Thailand by floating shares accounting for 25%. PTT reported to the SET on Thursday it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to start the process for an initial public offering (IPO), offering shares of ownership in PTTOR to institutional investors and retail investors. PTTOR will also allocate up to 300 million newly issued ordinary shares exclusively to existing shareholders of PTT. PTTOR is expected to be PTT's seventh core business to be listed on the SET, following PTT Exploration and Production Plc, PTT Global Chemical Plc, Thai Oil Plc, IRPC Plc, Global Power Synergy Plc and Global Green Chemical Plc. Its main business is oil retail and wholesale with 80% of net profits last year coming from oil, while 20% was from non-oil businesses.
April 02, 2020 23:37 UTC
Govt seeks Myanmar, Laos talks to deal with hazeThailand will seek talks with Myanmar and Laos to lend strength to the fight against haze and smog pollution, according to Jatuporn Buruspat, the natural resources and environment permanent secretary. The government will seek cooperation from Myanmar and Laos authorities to jointly deal with the seasonal smog which has been blown across borders into the North of Thailand, Mr Jatuporn said on Thursday. He said the number of hotspots in Myanmar continues to rise while there have been fewer in Laos and Cambodia. The haze and dust pollution has long affected residents' health. Around 300 firefighter and 100 volunteers have been drafted in to control fires in these areas and water has been dropped by helicopters to help douse the blaze in Mae Wong National Park, he added.
April 02, 2020 23:37 UTC