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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

40 new coronavirus test clinics coming in April

Jack Burton

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40 new coronavirus test clinics coming in April | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Medical News
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Getting tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Thailand will soon be a lot easier, as 40 more labs are expected to be given approval to run tests nationwide within a month. A spokesman for the Department of Medical Sciences says there are currently 57 labs being certified to run tests, with 40 more awaiting assessment before they can begin testing.

Once all 97 labs are up and running, they’ll have a combined capacity of 10,000 tests daily in Bangkok and surrounding provinces, and another 10,000 a day in the other provinces.

The department’s director-general Opart Karnkawinpong said the tests are largely either intended to detect traces of the virus, or evaluate a patient’s immune system. The virus detection tests can show a positive result 5-7 days after an individual contracts the disease, while the immune system test can only register a positive after 10-14 days of infection.

The department chief stressed that people should seek a test only if they have a fever, cough or sore throat, or have been in contact with a confirmed case, or frequented places where infections have occurred.

He says the test kits and solution liquids are reserved for use by medical clinics and hospitals, as permitted by the Food and Drug Administration. They are banned from retail sale. The tests must be carried out and results interpreted by professionals.

Opart’s comments are in line with the government’s continued ban of online sales of “home Covid-19 test kits,” which experts have confirmed “are not effective”.

Opart said one of the fastest, most reliable test methods currently is the real-time polymerase chain reaction, recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It’s possible to get the result as quickly as three hours and it’s accurate even if there is only a small amount of virus present in the body. Samples are collected from body fluids in the person’s respiratory system. This method is suitable for early diagnosis of the symptoms.

The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation reported on its Facebook page today it has taken delivery of 40,000 Favipiravir tablets ordered from Japan.

40 new coronavirus test clinics coming in April | News by The Thaiger

The antiviral drug is for treating lung infections is to be distributed to hospitals in and outside of Bangkok. Of the tablets, 18,000 will be given to state-run regional hospitals which form the medical nerve centres of the clusters of infections in the provinces.

The GPO said it expects an additional 100,000 Favipiravir tablets from China on Friday and another allotment of 200,000 from Japan later in April.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results

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Visitors to Phuket from “highest risk” areas must show Covid-19 test results | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

People arriving Phuket from the “highest risk” areas are required to take a swab test by the staff at emergency operation centres (EOC) or show the test result document endorsed by the EOC staff made within 72 hours of their arrival. The revised order is effective from now until January 31, according to the Phuket Governor.

Those people who are on a brief business trip to Phuket need to show certificates from their employers describing the reason and necessity of their trips. If they want to leave their accommodations, they have to make a request to the EOC and clearly explain the reason as well as the time and destination. Visitors are also asked to avoid going to the community areas to avoid crowded gatherings.

It is noted that the revised order by the governor has not been officially promoted by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department. However, all visitors are still asked to register online via the Mor Chana contact tracing application and via www.gophuget.com according to the order re-issued on Friday.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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High demand for health insurance due to Covid-19 worries, premiums expected to rise

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High demand for health insurance due to Covid-19 worries, premiums expected to rise | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Daily Targum

With the increasing demands for health insurance due to people’s worries over Covid-19, health insurance premiums are expected to grow 1.59% this year, according to the Insurance Commission.

Commission secretary-general Suthipol Taweechaikarn says total premiums will see 101 billion baht revenues this year, an increase from 99 billion baht last year. He adds that the Covid-19 situation is a major factor in higher demand for health insurance policies as medical expenses are likely to increase every year.

Some insurance companies in Thailand have also found an increasing demand for health coverage policies among their customers, especially those with high purchasing power.

Deputy CEO of Tokio Marine Life Insurance Thailand says the company will offer annual premiums starting at 15,000 baht.

“The company aims to increase health insurance premiums to 50% this year from 40% last year.”

Cigna Insurance CEO says the company will use digital technology for product and service development to meet customers’ demands in the new normal lifestyle.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha considers legalising gambling

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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha considers legalising gambling | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Business News

In the midst of a nationwide crackdown on gambling, an effort driven to contain Covid-19 by stopping the illegal gatherings after an outbreak at a Rayong gambling den, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says now he will consider the legalisation of gambling. He says he’ll start by staging discussions about the pros and cons.

In the recent wave of Covid-19, major clusters of the virus infections have been reported at illegal gambling dens. Elusive gamblers have been problematic for health officials who have been trying to track down those who may have come in contact with the virus. Some health officials have also been concerned with compulsive gamblers who are known to frequent many different venues.

PM Prayut says it is time to begin discussing the possibility of legalising gambling in Thailand, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. The prime minister says the key question is whether legalised gambling will be considered acceptable by most Thais, adding that some may say it is immoral.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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