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16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket

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16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket | Thaiger
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Phuket is reporting 16 more infections today. It follows visits from Bangkok and last weekend’s Kolour Beachside parties that have resulted in a number of new Covid infections. The number of new infections has reached 26. But deputy governor Vikrom Jakthee says the province has been successful in containing the new outbreak “due to its quick response measures which now include shuttering bars and nightlife venues.

One of the confirmed cases is a male teacher from Headstart International School in Kathu who, after attending the parties on the weekend, was back teaching students on Monday and Tuesday. The school has sent a letter to all parents advising them of the situation and organising testing for anyone who may have come in contact with the teacher.

The closure order in Phuket comes just as the island province was expecting to get an influx of visitors for Songkran, the Thai New Year. Many bar and club owners were expecting some increased traffic during the holiday week. Phuket officials say they will explain to bar and club owners why they decided to close the venues during the critical week for business.

Vikrom previously cited the start of the island’s Covid vaccine roll-out of Covid starting to head towards a herd immunity in time for the province’s proposed July reopening to international tourists. But he admitted that the sudden appearance of the coronavirus on the island again will force officials to reevaluate the schedule for reopening. He also said that almost all cases were in younger age groups of people in their 20s and 30s.

“Today, the number of infected people reported in Phuket has reached 26, many are from entertainment venues. This figure is relatively high. It jumped from 10 to 26 cases. We will invite operators of entertainment places in for discussions.”

Partygoers who went to any of the Kolour Beachside parties in Phuket last weekend are being asked to visit a local hospital for a Covid test. The parties hosted more than 3,000 people, drawing concern after a musician tested positive for Covid-19, having attended all 3 parties. The Phuket Provincial Government and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released a statement yesterday advising all partygoers to get tested.

“Those who attended the Kolour parties from April 2 to 3 at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club in Patong, Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala and Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Road in Patong are asked to get tested.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals.

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | Thaiger

1,767 new Covid infections were reported this morning, the highest ever daily report of new cases in Thailand. The spokesperson for the CCSA also reported that there were also 128 people in serious condition, with 28 people on ventilators.

608,521 people have now received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine.

Bangkok continues to lead the way in the new infections although the clusters are popping up right around the country now. Bangkok reported 347 new infections, Chon Buri with 229, Chiang Mai with 164, Nonthaburi, just north and west of Bangkok, 100, Prachuap Khiri Khan 66 and Samut Prakan 64. Locally, Phuket officials announced an additional 26 cases today, taking the tally in this latest cluster to 156 infections*.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by ThaigerOnly 2 cases today were imported, everyone else who tested positive were living in Thailand.

The total number of infections in Thailand has now reached 42,352 people. There has been 2 additional deaths reported in the past 24 hours, taking that total to 101 dead from Covid-related disease. 13,569 people remain in state-monitored care.

Some provinces are adding their own restrictions, including demanding negative Covid tests if you’ve arrived from a red zone – Krabi and Trat have announced this already. The only exceptions are if you’ve had full doses of Covid vaccine or have just come from quarantine. Chiang Rai has announced a ‘request’ that citizens stay at home for the next 14 days.

In Phuket, the closure of entertainment venues has been further extended to the start of May.

Expect more provinces to make similar announcements in the next few days.

If you are travelling, or planning to travel, it would be recommended to pre-load the Mor Chana app on your phones and fill out the information. This will help avoid some delays as you arrive in new provinces.

*Readers should also realise that the local provincial health officials report daily as well. Those totals don’t usually find their way into the national daily tally until the next day.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Should International IB schools in Thailand be conducting on-site exams at this time?

Tim Newton

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Should International IB schools in Thailand be conducting on-site exams at this time? | Thaiger

A student has sent The Thaiger this email addressing their concerns about the continuation of exams in the current situation. The government have closed down all schools and any further teaching needs to be online. Except, it appears, for some international schools which seem intent on going ahead with on-site exams. What do you think about this person’s letter? The Thaiger has decided to withhold the writer’s name.

Share your thoughts below.

Verbatim…

Dear Sir/ Madam

I’m currently doing my IB Diploma Programme here in Thailand, it is with great concern that I’m writing this email as such a situation has never happened to me before as Thailand is experiencing a third wave more powerful than the previous waves of the current ongoing pandemic.

44 IB Schools in Thailand have transmissions within the communities of every prominent international school in Thailand, a new strain of covid, record-breaking case numbers, a lockdown being passed through today, and then there is the audacity to act as if it is fine to do exams. Compared to the rest of the examinations such as IGCSE, GCSE, CIE etc. Have all been cancelled, but the IB is still reluctant to cancel theirs. Currently, as per the governmental order in Thailand, all schools, malls and social gathering have to be closed for two weeks with also a limitation of up to 50 people in a room like environment.

Having said that most of the international schools are protesting against this idea as they think it’s perfectly fine to continue with examinations, aren’t we humans? Aren’t we individuals that are vulnerable to such a pandemic? In the end, if we end up getting covid it will be blamed as our fault, will our school take responsibility for it? Would the IBDP take responsibility for each and every single person infected with the virus? Or in a worst-case scenario, we won’t be able to sit exams hence it will be postponed, this is such an absurd concept some of us have been selected into universities, where such an option will keep us in a bad position.

I do not understand how even now the IB is not considering the life of students that will be impacted by this decision. You are placing a group of students who have visited numerous locations outside the school environment who may have interacted with different people outside their family, been to covid-risk areas, in a room with the rest of the students. Isn’t the IBDP thinking about the possible transmission through airborne interactions with peers and teachers? Sitting at the same desk the student has interacted with for multiple tests with different people. Life is at stake, please understand the concept that we are students, we are normal people and some of us do not have a strong financial hold so getting such a virus or even an infection puts us in a vulnerable situation with the existing problem.

Thank you for taking your time to read this email. I hope that you understand that cancelling CIE, IGCSE and GCSE have forced multiple concerns to arise, that being said we are also students just like them, and the IB should realize that soon enough so they can make a change, because at the end of the day if one of us gets infected that’s fully impacting us personally, not the schools making us sit exams. Could you please write something on this please as many of us students are affected by this.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

(Writer’s name withheld)

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Shortage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients worrisome

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Shortage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients worrisome | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Empty beds for Covid-19 patients are getting harder to find.

A shortage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients is spreading throughout Thailand, as the Coronavirus surges through the country, and people are getting desperate to secure a bed for their loved ones. Even celebrities are posting on social media in an attempt to get a space in the rapidly filling hospitals. Government officials say there are enough beds for everyone with Covid-19 but not all beds are in luxury facilities. The National Health Security Office says a 700-person waiting list exists for Covid-19 infected patients to get a hospital bed. The NHSO performs daily check-ups and advice anyone needing help to call 1330 or the Department of Medical Services at 1668.

The president of the Private Hospital Association asserts that the shortage is not as dire as it seems, and a lot of the problem stems from how private hospitals are handling bed allocation. He claims that private hospitals didn’t make proper arrangements and are not referring Covid-19 infected patients out of their medical network in order to charge for treatment even though the government is paying for Covid-19 expenses.

Part of the problem is that hospitals are required to admit all patients as soon as they test positively for Coronavirus to avoid spreading. As a result, some private hospitals have stopped testing for Covid-19 when they don’t have beds to accommodate them.

25,000 extra beds have been requested by the government to beef up hospital capacity along with the quick building of makeshift field hospitals. The Health Minister encourages hospitals to partner with hotels in the recently launched “hospitel” program to handle patients and free up ICU beds for more severe Covid-19 infections.

The Ministry of Public Health is considering self-treatment at home for patients who live alone when hospitals hit capacity. The Health Minister requested Friday a self-care guidebook be created by the Department of Medical Services designed for stay-at-home Covid-19 patients who may need to treat themselves. Asymptomatic patients will be the most likely to be assigned to self-care at home if they live alone and will not spread the virus.

The National Institute for Emergency Medicine and Erawan Medical Centre Bangkok of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are working to create more beds and asking people to stay calm. They say Covid-19 beds are still available in Bangkok though numbers are limited. As of now, 9,183 beds exist in total with 4,244 still available, including new beds added to Bang Khun Thian Geriatric Hospital and field hospitals at Bangkok Arena and Chalerm Phrakiat Bang Bon Stadium.

In the meantime, even celebrities have found themselves scrambling to find hospital beds for Covid-19 infected friends and family. Star Chiang Mai United footballer Boworn Tapla contracted Covid-19 on April 12 and then later discovered his wife and 2 daughters also were infected. After being placed in a long queue by the hospital that diagnosed them, Boworn posted a plea for help on Instagram. After 4 days, they finally found beds for his family at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health in Bangkok, and yesterday Chiang Mai United management and the chairman of Chiang Mai provincial administrative organisation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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