Thailand approves US$4.5 billion COVID-19 stimulus package
Thailand has approved a COVID-19 stimulus package worth 140 billion baht (US$4.5 billion), aimed at supporting the economy amid its largest coronavirus outbreak yet.
The measures include cash handouts to welfare card holders and special groups, co-payments and cash rebates, and are expected to be implemented from July, according to Anucha Burapachaisri, a government spokesman, Bloomberg reports.
The government’s latest relief package is on top of an 85.5 billion baht (US$2.75 billion) aid that extended two of its cash handout programmes.
Two of its latest packages will be financed from borrowing under a 1 trillion baht (US$32.1 billion) programme that was approved in April last year, said the spokesman.
On Monday, Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said that the economy may not return to pre-COVID19 growth levels until early 2023, which is longer than previously expected.
As of Wednesday, Thailand recorded 3,440 COVID-19 cases, including 1,087 inmates and 15 returnees, and 38 deaths. The country is also currently battling a coronavirus surge in its prisons, where over 22,000 inmates have tested positive.