Infoquest (March 3, 2020) -- Thailand's economy, especially businesses related to tourism, has been hit hard by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the number of infections is still rising in several countries, including Thailand.Therefore, based on the current situation, the Government Housing Bank (GHB) has prepared additional measures to help alleviate the difficulties facing customers affected by the outbreak, including customers who are still paying regular installments and those who have been overdue since January 2020, according to GHB President Chatchai Sirilai.
The bank will roll out relief measures worth 10 billion baht to assist customers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures include a reduction in installment payment for up to four months and cutting the annual interest rate to 1.00 percent, to mitigate the installment burden on borrowers for all purposes.
The relief measures will target customers whose monthly income was affected by the COVID-19, including tour guides, hotel staff, self-employed operators selling goods at tourist sites visited by tourists from high-risk countries, or those who can provide evidence to the bank that they are affected. The evidence includes certificates of reduced working days, reduced monthly salary or employment costs, dismissal issued by relevant agencies, as well as business license or store lease contract, etc. The bank will also waive fees for changing loan rates and other related fees.
"From now until June 30, 2020, affected customers can submit relevant documents to GHB branches across the country to participate in the program.If the credit limit approved by the bank is met early, the bank reserves the right to terminate the program before the deadline. As the funds are limited in amount with some use restrictions, customers who submit applications first will receive relevant benefits first," said Mr. Chatchai.
To get more detailed information, customers can visit GHB branches across the country or call the GHB call center (0-2645-9000) or browse its Facebook fanpage.
Speaking of the precautionary measures for the epidemic taken by the bank, Mr.Chatchai said that the bank will use digital thermometers to test the temperature of customers and employees, and place alcohol-based gels at its headquarters and branches, especially at the entrance of branches located in eight provinces under key monitoring, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Samut Prakan and Chon Buri. If someone is found to have a temperature of more than 37.5 degrees, the bank will provide surgical masks to him and direct him to a special service area for separating him from others to avoid risks.
The bank will require employees to work from home for seven days after they return from high-risk countries. Even they do not show any symptom, they still must continue to be monitored and keep reporting conditions to their supervisors for up to 14 days. The bank has issued a guidance manual for staff during the outbreak, including the suspension of seminars, inspections and other events involving many people. Moreover, it has prepared relevant implementation guidelines for possible risky travel behaviors. On March 2, 2020, the bank arranged a team of doctors and nurses to screen all senior executives and staff working in the headquarters, companies renting offices in the headquarters building, and any outsource working in the building.
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