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Surge in Thai Covid cases causes slump in markets

The Thai market sees a slump as the cases of covid infections surge in the Kingdom.

The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) Index fell by 7.96 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 1,533.16 in the morning session on Friday as the market reopened after the Songkran holidays.

A Krungsri Securities analyst forecast that the SET would fall between 1,530 and 1,535 points before rebounding after Covid-19 cases in Thailand increased by over 1,500 on Thursday. He added that this negative sentiment had affected the country’s economy in all aspects.

“However, the rising oil price in response to Opec’s new forecast that fuel demand would increase this year, together with falling US bond yield, would help the SET rebound,” he said.

The SET Index had closed at 1,541.12 on Monday, down 25.22 points or 1.61 per cent. Total transactions amounted to Bt78 billion with an index high of 1,562.07 and a low of 1,539.24.

The stock market was closed from Tuesday to Thursday for Songkran.

Massive surge in cases

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Thursday reported 1,543 new cases, with only three overseas.

The new confirmed cases were found in 62 provinces. Firstly, the highest number of cases in Bangkok at 409. Secondly, in Chiang Mai, there are 278 cases. Finally, a total of 98 cases each in Chonburi and Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Over the past 24 hours, 61 patients had recovered and were discharged.
As of Thursday, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand had risen to 37,453. Of them, 34,229 were contracted locally, including 19,095 who were found via proactive testing, while 3,224 were returnees. So far, 28,383 have recovered and been discharged, 8,973 patients are still in hospitals, and 97 have died.
According to Worldometer, as of 11 am on Thursday, the number of confirmed cases globally had risen to 138.85 million (up by 803,194) – 111.83 million have recovered, 24.23 million are active cases (106,506 in severe condition), and 2.98 million have died (up by 13,513).

Protests to blame?

While the local media and news outlets have blamed the surge in cases on the lack of government intervention, some speculate the blame solely lies on the resurgence in protests in March.

“Every time protest. Then cases go up,” said “Daeng”, a taxi driver from Bangkok who did not want to be named. “Government should stop giving them money”, he continued. He was most likely referring to the stimulus packages given by the Thai government last year and this year.

Above all, there could be truth in his sentiments.

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