New COVID-19 wave in Thailand drives over 100,000 out of work hinh anh 1A health worker sprays disinfectant at a market in Samut Sakhon province of Thailand (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
More than 100,000 employees in Thailand have lost their jobs or been suspended from work as over 6,000 businesses in 28 red-zone provinces closed in the wake of the new COVID-19 outbreak.

Thai Minister of Labour Suchart Chomklin said that insured workers left unemployed due to the pandemic could begin applying for compensation payments from January 4.

The payment system has been improved to ensure employees receive compensation more quickly than the first outbreak early last year, he added.

Thai authorities and health workers are racing to curb the spread of a new wave of local infections. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has imposed a new set of restrictions on business activities and gatherings in Bangkok and 27 of its worst-affected provinces from January 4 to contain the outbreak.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) plans to reassess Thailand's economic outlook in 2021 as stronger state measures against the new outbreak have begun to affect employment in at-risk provinces.

A surge in daily infections since late last year, with a record of 745 new cases on January 4, illustrated that several business sectors, particularly restaurants, are suffering.

The situation prompted the JSCCIB to reconsider the impact of the pandemic on the economy, said Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Last month, the JSCCIB said it expected a better economic outlook in 2021, with exports expanding by 3-5 percent, GDP growing by 2-4 percent and inflation to be kept at 0.8-1.2 percent.

As of January 4, Thailand had logged a total 8,439 COVID-19 infections, with a death toll of 65./.