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How Businesses in Thailand are Adapting to the Covid-19 Crisis

Just a few months ago, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was unknown to most of the world. Now, the news cycle is dominated by the exponential rise in infections and the impact of the virus on the global economy, business, and everyday life.

People around the world are anxious and confused, leading to counterproductive behaviors like panic buying, spreading false rumors, and in some cases initiating fights and unrest. To bring a little positivity to your feed, let’s take a look at how a few local brands and organizations in Thailand have adapted and used their creativity to protect their customers and community amid the coronavirus crisis.

Thai state workers receive free internet 

Six telecom operators (Advanced Info Service (AIS), True Move H Universal Communication (TUC), Total Access Communication (DTAC), TOT, CAT Telecom and 3BB) are now offering Thai state employees free internet access, and they are also collaborating with Google Thailand, Microsoft Thailand, LINE Thailand and Cisco Thailand to offer online platforms including Microsoft Teams, Webex by Cisco, Hangouts by Google and LINE for free. These platforms and digital infrastructure will support people’s work-from-home and e-document procedures during the coronavirus outbreak while acknowledging the decrease in available money for many.

Seat Rearrangements at Major Cineplex

Major Cineplex adjusted their seat arrangements to comply with social distancing recommendations, limiting cinema-goers to every other row and at least two seats away from each other, unless they came as a couple, with a maximum occupancy of 50 people per cinema per screening. The plan was not to last, as it was announced shortly before the Thai government decided to temporarily close various entertainment venues up until the 12th of April 2020, but the effort is nonetheless commendable. 

GrabFood’s ‘Contactless Delivery’

It’s safe to say that self-quarantines and working from home have led to a boom in the food delivery business. Out of concern for the possibility of infection from even minimal contact, GrabFood has introduced “contactless delivery” to ensure the hygiene and health of customers during the crisis.

Drivers let customers know when they arrive, place orders where instructed, and wait for customers to come out and collect them. Both parties maintain a minimum two-meter distance. For added safety, Grab also announced drivers will be wearing face masks as they follow customers’ delivery instructions via in-app chat, and customers are advised to make payments via GrabPay to reduce the risk of transmission.

New Elevator Etiquette

Practicing social distancing in tight spaces like elevators is almost impossible. The best thing to do in such spaces is to simply not face each other. A majority of Hospitals, hotels, apartments and condominiums nationwide have divided elevator cars into mini-zones using stickers with instructions for people to stay within their zone, with their backs facing each other. It may look like elevator riders are in a timeout, but it reduces the chance of them passing anything on to each other. 

However, it’s understood that the virus is more easily passed through touching something and touching one’s face than it is through the air, and it can last several days on metal surfaces. WIth this in mind, some elevators have begun offering hand sanitizer just outside, while others are using more unique methods. In an idea adopted from China, social media users have posted photos of office and apartment building elevators with toothpicks stuck in styrofoam boards on the wall, which guests can use to press buttons without touching them.

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