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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok schools, nurseries, close for 12 days in bid to curtail Covid spread

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok schools, nurseries, close for 12 days in bid to curtail Covid spread | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sajja News
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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has closed all 437 municipal schools and 292 nurseries in the capital, amid confirmation of an additional 121 cases of Covid-19 in Samut Sakhon. The central province has become a hotspot of local transmission, with infection primarily concentrated on its migrant worker population.

BMA spokesman Pongsakorn Kwanmuang adds that most city officials have been ordered to work from home, calling on private companies and other government agencies to follow suit.

“We only have 4 weeks to control the disease. Global statistics show that 88% of outbreaks spread to become more severe. But if we can control the Samut Sakhon outbreak in 4 weeks, we may join the 12% that snuffed out the threat. Hence the meeting passed a resolution that 437 BMA-run schools and 299 child centres will be closed for 12 days to reduce social mixing, starting from December 24.”

Thai PBS World reports that Surasak Pholyoungsong, deputy governor of Samut Sakhon, has confirmed that total infections in the province now stand at 1,184. Of those, 55 are Thai nationals and the remainder are Burmese workers. 76 people, including 4 migrant workers, are receiving hospital treatment. To date, 9,417 people have been tested for the virus, with 5,292 results returned. Officials plan to test at least 10,300 people.

Migrant workers are currently being quarantined in the fish market where they worked, in a bid to prevent any further community transmission. Surasak says healthcare workers from Bangkok’s Bumrungrad Hospital are working with local officials to arrange accommodation and food for the workers.

Meanwhile, a Korean food outlet in the Siam Centre shopping district has had to close for 3 days for deep cleaning and disinfection after a staff member tested positive for the virus. According to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, the employee had visited Samut Sakhon in the days before the outbreak. Other staff members have all tested negative but have been placed on leave for 14 days and asked to monitor their health in that time.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | Nation Thailand

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Friday, December 25, 2020 at 1:13 am

    10,300 tests is a joke number. In any other country this would be blasted on media and social media. BUT, I can see why. “We test 10,000 and find 1,100 infected cases. Do you really expect us to conduct 100,000 tests so we can find 11,000 cases? Or dare we say 1 million tests and find 100,000 cases? And be labeled the new COVID disaster in Asia? No, it’s better if people don’t know, it’s better to live in a make-believe land.”

    • Avatar

      preesy chepuce

      Monday, December 28, 2020 at 10:47 pm

      Even testing 60,000,000 is only ever a snapshot… what happens when you’re half way through your sample, and someone you tested before catches it?! You’d have to have everyone permanently wired up to test rigs to monitor their temperature and other vital signs to really have a chance of knowing.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

State Railway of Thailand furloughs 57 locals trains from Tuesday

The Thaiger

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State Railway of Thailand furloughs 57 locals trains from Tuesday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Baolau

Thailand State Railway governor says that cancellations will affect 13 local services on the northern line, 18 on the northeastern routes, 12 in the southern region and 14 eastern trains.

“Most of the cancelled trains will start at Hua Lamphong station, including trains that are popular with tourists, including services to Kanchanaburi and Hua Hin.”

Niruj Maneepun says the move is to support the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s effort to curb the virus’ spread by maintaining travel restrictions.

“Already all sightseeing and most long-haul trains have been temporarily cancelled due to Covid-19.”

Thailand has logged 13,500 confirmed infections and 73 deaths since the start of the pandemic in January 2020. The current outbreak that began on December 20, with the epicentre centred around seafood markets in coastal Samut Sakhon, has spread to 63 Thai provinces.

Recently, Bangkok has allowed the reopening of 13 types of businesses as long as they follow strict guidelines surrounding safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Businesses allowed to reopen under these measures…

  • Banquet venues, which will need authorisation from BMA for events with over 300 participants
  • Beauty salons, tattoo and piercing shops
  • Fitness centers, but personal trainers and communal steam rooms are not allowed
  • Game Arcades; but all points of contact must be regularly disinfected and facemasks worn at all times.
  • Internet cafés
  • Senior nursing homes, but with limited activities
  • Sports venues, except for boxing rings and race tracks, but no audiences allowed
  • Spas, Thai massage shops, excluding massage parlours
  • Gymnasia and boxing venues for training only
  • Bowling alleys and ice skating rinks, but no competitions or audiences allowed
  • Dancing academies
  • Martial art schools, but no tournaments or audiences allowed
  • Amulet shops and markets

Other provinces in Thailand, such as Chonburi, are waiting for the green light to reopen businesses and travel. Chonburi has reported 0 cases of Covid for 3 days in a row, prompting locals to become frustrated with the strict measures that won’t ease up until at least the end of the month.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Phuket lifts mandatory quarantine restrictions for ‘high risk’ arrivals. But were they ever applied?

The Thaiger

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Phuket lifts mandatory quarantine restrictions for ‘high risk’ arrivals. But were they ever applied? | The Thaiger

Culminating 2 weeks of mass confusion over the apparent mandatory self-quarantine for arrivals to Phuket from Bangkok and other high risk provinces, Phuket’s provincial communicable disease committee has agreed to lift the mandatory 14 day quarantine “to help boost the local economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

But for the vast majority of arrivals from Bangkok (DMK and BKK) to Phuket there wasn’t even any mention of quarantine. Over the past 2 weeks, since Phuket’s Governor released a 3 page announcement about new restrictions for the island, people have mostly been coming and going as usual. The only additional impediments were all arrivees having to download and fill in the Mor Chana app and registering with gophuget.com.

In 2 weeks not a single person has reported to The Thaiger that they had been forced to self-quarantine. Last night, when checking in at Suvarnabhumi airport for a Thai VietJet flight to Phuket, the person at the Check-In counter told the passenger (we’ll call them Mic to protect their identity) they would have to serve 14 days in state quarantine upon arrival in Phuket. Mic, surprised, asked for some sort of confirmation of this from airline management or information from the Phuket Provisional officials. None was forthcoming. Nothing more was said or communicated to the passengers.

When the plane landed in Phuket officials checked that passengers had completed the Mor Chana app and scanned their phones after they’d completed the gophuget.com registration. And that was it. No mention of quarantine.

The situation has been repeated by other Thaiger staff over the past 2 weeks as well, but without any mention of quarantine during the check-in or boarding procedures with various airlines. In all cases they flew from Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airports.

Phuket’s Governor Narong Woonciew says the decision to ease the Covid-19 restrictions for visitors followed calls from the business community seeking to lure visitors to Phuket. (The Thaiger wonders if any of these officials had actually travelled over the past 2 weeks)

Local businesses met with provincial authorities on Friday proposing an end to the mandatory quarantine period “for people travelling from certain high-risk areas” in the hope of “stimulating the tourism industry”. The proposal was less about stimulating and more about raising the industry from its current flatline.

But whatever mandatory quarantine they were asking to be lifted appears to be have been, at best, loosely applied anyway.

Phuket has has a triple hit. The first when the borders were closed in April and the international airport closed. The second was when December arrived, the start of the busy tourist high-season. The third was the new restrictions added 2 weeks ago in response to the 2nd wave of clusters that started on December 20, tripling the total number of Covid infections in the country in just over a month.

According to Bangkok Post, Sarayuth Mallum, president of the Phuket travel industry council, says… “strict disease control measures remain necessary to protect local people and tourists from contracting the virus”.

Somehow, the mandatory quarantine requirement instructions never reached the airport officials. But, for now anyway, the “restrictions” have been lifted anyway. What was you experience arriving in Phuket over the past week? Were you asked to conduct a mandatory 14 day self-quarantine?

In the meantime the struggling domestic airlines have been forced to massively cancel or reschedule flights. Over the past 2 days most airlines only had 1 or 2 flights to and from Phuket and Bangkok, down from the 4 – 10 daily flights some airlines were offering.

More about the Mor Chana App here…

More about the direct effects on the island of Phuket…

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Courteous thief apologises to Bangkok convenience store: Sorry I’ve a kid

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Courteous thief apologises to Bangkok convenience store: Sorry I’ve a kid | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

A young man armed with a knife allegedly robbed a convenience store in Ladprao district of Bangkok, stealing 1,800 baht. Before fleeing on a motorcycle, he apologised to the staff, saying “Sorry. I’ve a kid”.

It’s really hard to find a thief with good manners these days.

The female staff who was in the store when the man came in told the reporter that she saw the man in a cream shirt with short sleeves, walking in the store and carrying a bag. He suddenly pointed the knife to threaten the staff for money. The terrified staff walked to the cashier counter and gave him money.

After checking CCTV cameras, police say the thief is between 25-30 of his age, and was not wearing a face mask. He was seen parking his motorcycle in front of the store before entering. He appeared to be carrying what looked like a fruit packing knife. The police are now tracking him down.

SOURCE: Thai Visa| Sanook

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