The Professional Crane Association (PCA) yesterday called on the government to accelerate the roll-out of relief efforts to help construction companies affected by Covid-19 restrictions.

PCA President Sutthichai Piyarattanaworasakul said the 30-day suspension of non-essential construction has had a negative impact on more than 1,000 crane operators and 10,000 workers, with financial damage estimated at 1 billion baht.

He said the association would launch a petition to government agencies this week calling for financial relief for operators and eligible workers, adding that the PCA will also call for a six-month debt moratorium and interest rate cuts.

According to Mr. Sutthichai, many members of the association are working on infrastructure and transportation projects for the state, including three electric rail projects owned by the Thai Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA).

The head of the National Security Council, Natthapol Nakpanich, who heads the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) operations center, said yesterday that the relaxation of Covid-19 rules for major construction works came at the request of several organizations.

He said the CCSA approved the request after reviewing the proposal and finding it appropriate.

Four types of construction were allowed to resume, including projects that, if delayed, could damage existing structures or endanger the public.

Other projects that received the green light included road safety, traffic lights, traffic barriers, and the construction of field hospitals, hospitals, and other medical facilities to help contain Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Working Network for the Rights of the People (LNPR) gathered outside the government building yesterday and urged the government to provide enough high quality Covid-19 vaccines to the public by the end of October.

The group said the Social Security Office (SSO) should be empowered to source vaccines directly from manufacturers through the state budget, while urging the government to allow private companies to buy vaccines directly for distribution.

The LNPR also called on the government to provide financial aid to both Thai and foreign migrant workers affected by the pandemic.