Thai motor show underway in first big event since coronavirus outbreak

By Jiraporn Kuhakan BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand opened its twice-postponed annual auto show to the public on Wednesday in the country's first large-scale event since coronavirus restrictions eased, with nearly all attendees wearing masks and face shields. Thailand is a major regional car production hub and its previous motor shows booked over a million people in attendance. Thermal scans were at the entrance to the 41st Bangkok International Motor Show and temperatures were measured as people visited booths, where waiting spots were prepared to ensure physical distancing

Reuters July 16, 2020 00:11:43 IST
Thai motor show underway in first big event since coronavirus outbreak

Thai motor show underway in first big event since coronavirus outbreak

By Jiraporn Kuhakan

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand opened its twice-postponed annual auto show to the public on Wednesday in the country's first large-scale event since coronavirus restrictions eased, with nearly all attendees wearing masks and face shields.

Thailand is a major regional car production hub and its previous motor shows booked over a million people in attendance.

Thermal scans were at the entrance to the 41st Bangkok International Motor Show and temperatures were measured as people visited booths, where waiting spots were prepared to ensure physical distancing.

Guests were also required to check-in and out with their cellphones to allow for contact tracing.

"I don't come to the event every year, but I think for the first day of the event amid a pandemic, people are in quite large numbers," said Suriya Thanakorn, 50, who was on the lookout for a new car.

Motor shows around the world have been forced to cancel or delay due to the pandemic.

But Thailand has pressed ahead having gone nearly seven weeks without local transmission of the virus, which has infected just over 3,000 people, most of which have recovered.

Chief organiser Prachin Eamlumnow said eyes will be on how Thailand handles one of the first big global shows since the pandemic started.

"No country can arrange an event on this scale, so the other event organizers will be watching," he said. "We have succeeded in controlling COVID-19."

There are 25 car brands including Nissan and BMW and 22 motorcycle manufacturers on show at booths with specific entry and exit points to prevent crowding.

Ramesh Narasimhan, president of Nissan Thailand, said the stringent measures should be maintained to ensure good attendance throughout the 12-day event.

"It's really important for us to keep it for the entire show, but the first signs are very, very positive, so I'm pretty excited about that," he said.

(Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Martin Petty)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.