Covid-19 outbreak ‘could kill 10m Thai jobs’

Covid-19 outbreak ‘could kill 10m Thai jobs’

Staff of Grab, a food delivery service company, wait for orders, after government shut down all the shopping centres in the country due to the coronavirus disease outbreak, inside the Central World mall in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2020. (Reuters file photo)
Staff of Grab, a food delivery service company, wait for orders, after government shut down all the shopping centres in the country due to the coronavirus disease outbreak, inside the Central World mall in Bangkok, Thailand, March 22, 2020. (Reuters file photo)

Thailand's job losses may reach 10 million if the coronavirus outbreak continues for a few months, a business advisory council said on Monday.

 The kingdom’s economy is being hit hard by the virus outbreak and is heading into a recession.

"We think about 7 million jobs have been lost already, and the figure will hit 10 million if the outbreak drags on for 2-3 months," Kalin Sarasin, a council member and the head of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, told a briefing after a meeting.

The country has a workforce of about 38 million.

The council of government and business agencies discussed requests for support measures before proposing them to the government, said council chairman Thosaporn Sirisumphand.

They included soft loans, tax breaks and financial support to retain jobs, he said.

Thailand, which has recorded 2,579 cases of infection and 40 deaths, has imposed a nationwide night curfew, having closed malls and discouraged activities to limit the spread.

The central bank has forecast the economy will contract 5.3% this year, which would be the weakest performance since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

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