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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

51 new virus cases nationwide, infections among health workers rise

Jack Burton

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51 new virus cases nationwide, infections among health workers rise | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Mainichi.jp
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New confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Thailand fell to only 51 today, the lowest number in weeks. Sadly, the new cases include 13 health workers. The number had trended steadily down until yesterday, when it shot back above 100. 3 additional deaths were also reported today.

Total confirmed infections in the country now stand at 2,220, the cumulative death toll at 26. The number of new cases was exactly half the 102 reported yesterday, and the lowest since March 20 when 50 cases were reported.

27 of the new cases are in Bangkok, 4 each in Phuket and Nonthaburi, 3 in Chon Buri and 2 each in Samut Prakan, Yala, Surat Thani and Phatthalung.

Provinces still remaining free from the virus include Kamphaeng Phet, Chainat, Trat, Kanchanaburi, Phang-nga, Phichit, Ranong, Satun, Sing Buri and Ang Thong. Although most cases have been reported in Bangkok, with a total of 1,051, new infections there are falling, but they are increasing upcountry.

A Health Department spokesman says the 24th death was a 28 year old Thai man who worked at a company in Bangkok. A colleague of his wife had earlier tested positive. The man fell sick on March 27 with a fever, cough and sore throat. He first visited a private hospital in Bangkok and then moved to another hospital in Samut Prakan province.

On Saturday his fever rose to 39.2℃ and his blood oxygen level plunged. He was moved to a private hospital in Bangkok and died late Saturday night.

The 25th death was a 51 year old self-employed Thai man, a diabetic with hypertension and obesity. He fell sick on March 28 and went to a private hospital in Bangkok with coughing, headache and muscle pain. He was admitted on April 1 for muscle pain and breathing difficulties. Doctors diagnosed him with severe pneumonia and tested positive for the virus last Thursday. He too died on Saturday

The 26th fatality was a 59 year old Thai woman, also a diabetic. The woman is reported to have gambled at several locations in Bangkok and fell sick on March 29. She was admitted to a private hospital in Bangkok on April 1 with breathing difficulties, low blood oxygen and severe pneumonia. She tested positive for the disease last Thursday and died on Saturday.

The 3 new deaths were of people under 60. He warned that people should not feel comfortable with today’s lower number, because many suspected new cases are being investigated and could be confirmed later.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | Bangkok Post

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and 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.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai food giant to provide a million meals priced at 20 baht

May Taylor

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Thai food giant to provide a million meals priced at 20 baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CP Freshmart Phetchaburi/Facebook

Thai food conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods says it plans to offer heavily discounted ready-to-eat meals for those facing financial difficulties as a result of the economic fallout of Covid-19.

CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert says a million meals will be distributed to Fresh Mart shops around the country and will cost just 20 baht. There will be a choice of dishes on offer and customers who purchase 5 meals at a time using the TrueWallet app will get an additional 5 baht discount .

“Six ready-to-eat meals will be offered under the campaign – rice with chicken breast in spicy sauce, rice with roasted chicken, rice with spicy chicken, fried rice with Korean-style roasted chicken, rice with garlic and liver and rice with omlette.”

Nation Thailand reports that CPF is also delivering free food to impoverished homes in Bangkok on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and distributing vouchers to village healthcare volunteers around the country so they can purchase items at discounted prices at Fresh Mart branches nationwide.

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited a company of the Charoen Pokphand Group, is an agro-industrial and food conglomerate headquartered in Thailand. Approximately 64% of its revenue came from overseas operations, with 30% from its home market of Thailand, and 6% from export operations. It recently acquired Bellisio Foods, one of the largest frozen food suppliers in the United States, for US$1 billion, as well as Westbridge Foods, a major British poultry producer with turnover of over £340 Million.

The company’s core businesses are livestock and aquaculture. Livestock operations include chicken broilers, chicken layers, ducks, and swine. In aquaculture, the two main marine animals are shrimp and fish – Wikipedia.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Students to wear mask, get temperature checked at school

Caitlin Ashworth

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Students to wear mask, get temperature checked at school | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Students will need to wear a face mask and have their temperature checked before entering school. The Public Health and Education ministries recently put restrictions in place for the start of school set for July 1, according to Nation Thailand.

Schools are categorised as a high risk area for the potential spread of the coronavirus. In general, cold and flu bugs spread fast in schools. Now, with a more serious pandemic, teachers and school officials will need to work extra hard to keep students healthy and somehow find a way to make sure students are social distancing.

“Hand sanitising checkpoints are now required throughout school grounds. Door knobs, toilets and playgrounds must be cleaned often. If a student has symptoms, the school must inform public health authorities.”

Some advisors are saying schools should wait longer to open, while others say children are less likely to show symptoms of the virus. The start date has already been pushed back and students are looking at a so-called “mega term” with little to no holiday break to make up for lost time until next year.

Thailand’s chief virologist, Dr. Yong Poovorawan, from the Faculty of Medicine says reopening schools needs careful consideration.

“If they do reopen in July, class sizes must be reduced to make sure students are seated a safe distance apart. It’s unclear how schools that are at capacity will lower class sizes.”

Distance-learning classes have launched online, but the system has had a few early bugs, with many Thais without internet or some unable to access the classes.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand| Thai PBS World| Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket chef hands out over 2,000 free meals

Jack Burton

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Phuket chef hands out over 2,000 free meals | The Thaiger

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many heartwarming outpourings of charity, with a lot of businesses, both Thai and foreign, handing out free meals and essential goods to those affected by the crisis. The southern province of Phuket is no exception, with many pubs and restaurants joining in. But people in the island’s Bang Tao district might be surprised to learn that their meals were prepared not only by a career chef, but a student and disciple of legendary Chef Paul Bocuse.

Pablo Blattman, owner of Dedos restaurant, and his crew hand out more than 160 free meals a day and have now donated well over 2,500 meals to the community. Blattmann, born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, by a Swiss mother and Bolivian father, says the two cultures gave him insight in different universes of flavours.

At a time when most neighbouring restaurants are shuttered (or crippled by the ban on alcohol sales), Blattman says he wants to “give something back to the community which has given me so much.”

Phuket chef hands out over 2,000 free meals | News by The Thaiger

Although the crisis means Blattman must temporarily close the restaurant (again) at the end of May, he intends to go on giving back to the community.

“Our commitment to our community is still here, and we will keep our efforts up, but in a different way: dry food, going to workers’ camps, going upcountry… be assured that every penny donated will reach people in need. We are keeping a strict accounting on all our expenses and any donor is welcome to check it.”

Those wishing to support Dedos’s charitable efforts may visit its Facebook page.

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