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100s of protesters defy orders, arrests at Melbourne demonstrations

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100s of protesters defy orders, arrests at Melbourne demonstrations | Thaiger

UPDATE: The city’s lockdown provisions have been extended another 2 weeks.

Australian police have arrested protesters in Melbourne as 100s of people joined protests against the various state Covid-19 restrictions. The protests have been particularly large and vocal in the souther city of Melbourne which has been under draconian lockdown provisions for 5 weeks. Some anti-Covid-19 restriction groups also shifted to online events ahead of the Victorian State Government’s “roadmap” announcement today.

But 100s of protesters have gathered at the city’s Shrine of Remembrance, just 1 kilometre away from the city centre, yesterday morning. The demonstrators ignored official warnings on the gathering and called for an end to the city’s lockdown and restrictions.

When the 300 protesters walked from the shrine to Albert Park Lake, about 500 metres away, police made further arrests and tried to disperse the crowd. Many of the protesters were not wearing masks.

Victorian Police reported that they arrested 17 protesters, including 1 who was arrested over the assault of a police officer. 160 infringement notices were issued for breaches of the states’ “stay-at-home” provisions.

Demonstrators told the media they were protesting the state government’s response to Covid-19 with restrictions and lockdowns. They labelled the pandemic a ‘scam’ and noted that it had only killed a million people worldwide (actually the official death toll is 883,000 as of this morning)

“We are in a city where the cure from Daniel Andrews (the Premier of Victoria) is actually worse than what’s happening.” Other protesters chanted “freedom”, others screamed insults at the media for sensationalising the issue.

Australia has recorded over 26,200 cases and 748 deaths in a population of 25 million. Victoria had a 2nd wave of cases nearly 2 months ago causing the government to enter another 6 weeks of stay-at-home lockdowns and community restrictions.

State premier Daniel Andrews had earlier warned people to stay home saying that the gathering “could jeopardise a path out of lockdown”. The state government is announcing its way forward on lockdowns today. Predictions are that the provisions may be extended for a few more weeks in the southern state.

100s of protesters defy orders, arrests at Melbourne demonstrations | News by Thaiger

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BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA

Tim Newton

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BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA | Thaiger

The CCSA has announced its updated restrictions for the 18 ‘red zone’ provinces this afternoon. The new measures start on Sunday, April 18, and will be in place for at least 2 weeks. The restrictions are basically as we published earlier today. There are no ‘lockdowns’ or curfews despite a popular blogger jumping the gun and posting that there were curfews announced.

There’s also no specific travel restrictions imposed although the PM ‘discouraged’ travel to Red Zone provinces. Provincial governors are still able to add their own local restrictions if they deem necessary.

Here are the key points as announced by the CCSA late this afternoon…

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs

• No events can have more than 50 people

Provincial red zones (listed below)…

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace.

The Red Zone provinces are, in no apparent order…

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

Earlier today Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul said that the government is “confident it can overcome the current Covid-19 crisis without needing to impose a nationwide lockdown”.

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update - latest from the CCSA | News by Thaiger

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Friday’s Covid-19 cases, province by province

Tim Newton

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Friday’s Covid-19 cases, province by province | Thaiger

Today’s provincial totals, as reported in the past 24 hours. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (including Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan and Samut Prakan lead the way. Other prominent locations include Phuket with 30 new cases, Surat Thani, which includes the 3 Gulf islands of Samui, Pha Ngan and Tao, with 11, and Chiang Rai with 77. Infographic from NBT World.Friday's Covid-19 cases, province by province | News by Thaiger

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