Thailand seeks additional 15.94 bln USD to support COVID-19 response

A woman in Hua Hin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. File photo.

(Xinhua) — Thailand is looking for a maximum of 500 billion baht (about 15.94 billion U.S. dollars) in loans to support the country’s response to COVID-19, a royal gazette said Tuesday, as the country strives to contain the worst outbreak.

The Ministry of Finance will be authorized to borrow up to 500 billion baht to fund economic and social COVID-19 relief measures, according to the royal gazette. The new debt, raised as loans or via sales of other securities, has to be wrapped up by September 2022, it said.

It did not give a breakdown of how the money will be used.

According to a proposal made by Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith last week at a cabinet meeting, 30 billion baht will be used for purchase of medicine, vaccines, medical equipment and treatment of COVID-19 patients, 300 billion baht for reducing the cost of living of people affected by the pandemic, while 170 billion targeted at the recovery of economy and the society by promoting employment, investment and consumption. (1 U.S. dollar equals 31.33 Thai baht)