BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin on Friday said in a press briefing that the total number of unemployed people in Thailand was at around 2 to 3 million, instead of 7 to 8 million previously predicted.
The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) did the calculation, it cannot be wrong, as the latter is Thailand’s economic planner, said Suchart.
The labour minister said that the COVID-19 pandemic had created fear amongst the Thai workforce and businesses.
“I will myself will monitor the situation of unemployment among new graduates,” said the minister, adding that job seeking during the pandemic will be disheartening for freshly graduates.
“What I will do is to set up a national labour center in my ministry,” said Suchart, ” the center will unemployment by matching unemployed workers with industrial firms.”
He also said he will encourage businesses in industrial and farming sectors to take on Thai workers rather than migrant workers where possible.
The center will also arrange re-skilling and up-skilling of workers in factories and combat human trafficking in the fishery sector.
New Cases Found in Quarantine
Thailand on Friday reported a whopping 17 new COVID-19 cases, all now under state quarantine, with 15 of them being Thais who have recently returned from India.
According to the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the cases from India include nine men and six women.
All the 15 tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 12, while they were in state quarantine in Thailand’s eastern province of Chon Buri, and were all asymptomatic, said Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin, the CCSA spokesman.
The other two were a Thai returnee from the United States and a Thai student who returned from Australia.
Taweesin said the government’s Travel Bubble Plan is now shelved as second wave infections are sweeping across many countries including New Zealand.
“It is very costly to treat patients diagnosed with COVID-19, it costs the health and well-being of citizens as well as the Thai economy,” said Taweesin, “Our Thai skies will remain closed for now.”
The Ministry of Education on Thursday granted full resumption of class attendance in all schools across the nation.
The ministry, however, admitted that it is eyeing the situation with a tinge of anxiety and caution.
The ministry said it will see if any infection will occur after two to three weeks of schooling.
Cumulative infections in Thailand, to date, are 3,376, with 3,173 recoveries and 58 deaths, while 145 others are still being treated in hospitals.