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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world.

The Thaiger

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Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world. | The Thaiger
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As of this morning the number of cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus has reached 169,552. The number of deaths related to the virus is now 6,516, representing a death rate of around 3.8%, up from 3.4% two weeks ago, and up from the earlier days when it hovered around 2%. But the number of people that have fully recovered has now grown to 77,753.

Thailand reported 32 new cases yesterday. Read about the new cases HERE.

In the last week the spikes have been in Italy, USA, Iran, Spain, Germany and other European countries. More outbreaks will occur. As the number of cases mount and treatment is becoming more nuanced with a larger sample size, across the globe, some key factors are emerging.

Firstly, the virus is statistically more contagious than the flu or common cold, whilst the death rate is higher than seasonal flus. A lot higher. Like 60-80 times higher (when compared to annual US influenza statistics). Statistically that isn’t hugely significant when there are 100,000 cases. But it would be if there were 100 million, or a billion cases.

Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world. | News by The Thaiger

Covid-19 also has a higher potential to overwhelm health care systems with the sudden influx of new cases and be a high risk for people with other illnesses.

Influenzas and the common cold are already global and have been floating around the global community for thousands of years, mutating and evolving. Covid-19 has been around for just over 2 months, and only a month or so beyond China’s borders (in any significant numbers).

For example, just two weeks ago Italians were going about their daily lives with a few isolated cases being reported in the north of the country. Now the entire country is in complete lockdown and their hospital system overwhelmed with cases. 17,660 confirmed cases as of today and a death rate of 7.1%.

Still, the ability for governments, generally, to contain the spread of the disease has been swift at this stage and the education about prevention continues spread quickly through the internet (as does the misinformation).

It should also be noted that many of the people who have sadly succumbed to the virus have been in the older demographics, in China and beyond, and many with reported underlying diseases as well. In fact, as you get older your chances of dying from a Covid-19 infection increases, in a completely predictable linear fashion. The message here is clear – be young and remain healthy.

Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world. | News by The Thaiger

Secondly, the virus’s incubation period, where it can remain contagious with the carrier showing few or no symptoms, is an ongoing concern. Biologically, it behaves differently than the flu.

Viruses are genetically destined to survive, evolve and thrive. The insidious beauty of the Covid-19 virus is that the symptoms in its human hosts can remain dormant for up to 4 days (current estimates), during which time the host can be highly contagious, milling around in close contact with other humans, oblivious to their role as a ‘spreader’.

This relatively unique dynamic of the Covid-19 coronavirus will continue to remain the disease’s main advantage, and the biggest challenge for world health authorities.

Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world. | News by The Thaiger

Thirdly, we are still in the very early phases of this pandemic. Whilst the containment has been swift in most cases, and with many locations in almost total lockdown (parts of central South Korea, Italy, some New York suburbs) we’re still seeing a wide spread of the virus.

It’s also clear that our mobile, gregarious and jet-setting lifestyle – more people are flying from continent to continent than any time in human history – is a perfect mechanism to spread the disease, faster and more efficiently.

In the last week we’ve seen a serious escalation of cases in disparate locations around the world, most Europe and the US at this stage. But be assured that these ‘outbreaks’ will pop up in other locations in the coming weeks and months. Consider that places like India, South America and Africa are still to report large outbreaks at this stage. That could currently be due to inadequate testing or mis-reporting.

Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world. | News by The Thaiger

Finally, whilst we’ve learned a lot as we follow and analyse cases in the digital age, there’s still much we don’t understand about this novel coronavirus. As its original designation suggests, it’s novel, or new. New information, scientifically verified, is creeping out each day giving global authorities better information to initiate better procedures to try and contain the spread and care for patients.

That all bodes well for the future although, at this stage, the increased knowledge hasn’t turned into a drop in the numbers of new reported cases. Responsible media remains core to communicating the latest, most accurate information.

The best we can all do is be prepared, informed and keep up to date with reliable news on the matter.

So, why should we be taking the Covid-19 outbreak seriously?

In the next few months there will surely be some reliable, proven vaccine produced. But it could take up to a year, or more, to test and then ramp up the manufacture to a point where medical authorities could usefully start vaccinating large sections of the community. Even so, the early days of manufacture will be used on the most serious cases, in the richest countries. It’s roll-out to a wider world population could take many more months.

The best long term solution is going to remain preventative which will fundamentally change so many aspects of our lives, compared to the pre-coronavirus days (pre-2020).

Travel, events, gatherings of people, greetings, wearing of face-masks (whether they provide any barrier or not), tourism industries, airlines, business sentiment, etc, etc.

Even this week we’ve seen a substantial reaction from the business world with share markets dropping around the world. We’re likely to see more knee-jerk investor reaction as the business world fully digests the impact of the virus spread. At this stage the effects to business will probably be profound and medium to long-term, maybe up to the end of this year. But no one really knows.

Many things will change and a new post-Covid-19 world may emerge, where our community and contact with each other may be played out in a whole new way; the hand shake, the cheek-kiss greeting of the Europeans, protocols at large events, the idea of centralised ‘offices’ – we’re already starting to see habits modified to cope with the new paradigm.

New general behaviours will emerge which will profoundly change the way we communicate and go about civil discourse.

The big winners will be some medical companies and private hospitals, home delivery services, businesses that can operate with its workforce working remotely, and probably a few churches (for those that prefer a ‘divine’ solution rather than a medical one). There will also be a boom in fake-cures, pseudoscience-related information, scams and politicians who will use the turn of events to their own benefit. Turn your bullshit-detector dial up to ‘high’.

Be informed, be aware. Prevention and precautions in a Covid-19 world. | News by The Thaiger

So when people post about world influenza figures, compare the Covid-19 outbreak to the issue of global starvation or even the road toll, they forget that ALL these issues are separate and unique situations that bear no resemblance. The issues should not, and cannot, be compared. We are in the very early phases of Covid-19 and we already know enough to confirm that this in NOT just another influenza with an extremely low mortality rate.

We remain floundering in the early days of this world pandemic and, statistically, there are no positive signs of the situation being brought under control in the immediate future.

“We are in unchartered territory. We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures.” – WHO Chief

Remain alert and informed, but not alarmed.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza. Having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have Covid-19, and in the vast majority of cases, it won’t be. But symptoms include…

  • fever
  • coughing
  • difficulty breathing

Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible respiratory problems, a lung infection or pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

We don’t yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected, but current World Health Organisation assessments suggest that it is 2–10 days, even up to 14 days.

If you have these symptoms, or have recently been to a country or area of concern, or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with Covid-19, or in an area with a lot of other people, please contact your nearest public hospital to register your situation, and go to the hospital if you start to display symptoms.

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent the latest coronavirus (Covid-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place. However, here are some everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including…

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick (probably good advice at any time).
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if Covid-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Maintain high standards of hygiene.
  • Stay home if you are sick and inform your family or workplace if you are unwell.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • Follow medical recommendations for using a face mask…
    • The US Centres for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation do not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including Covid-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of Covid-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility)
    • Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
    • Note: The flimsy, cheap, paper face masks will do almost nothing to help anyone.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • As an alternative, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket migrant workers permitted to return home

Sean Kelly

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Phuket migrant workers permitted to return home | The Thaiger

Some migrant workers were allowed to leave Phuket to return to their homes yesterday, as the provincial administration agreed to temporarily lift the travel ban so they could rejoin their families.

One worker who hails from the nearby province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, told Thai PBS that he has been out of work for 2 months, and his family could no longer earn a living in Phuket. His wife was also out of work because the hotel she was employed with was recently ordered closed , along with other hotels on the island, by the governor.

Now both out of work, the unemployed husband and wife asked Phuket administration if they may return to their home province where they would at least have free accommodation and food to eat, plus be back with their families.

Since the provincial administration restricted the movement of people in and out of the province to slow the spread of Covid-19, unemployed migrant workers have not been permitted to leave until now.

Before leaving Phuket yesterday, a senior official explained to the workers about the need to restrict travel, and after their departure, they will not be allowed to return until at least the end of this month. The workers insisted that they was willing to enter mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: Visa amnesty signed by PM

Greeley Pulitzer

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UPDATE: Visa amnesty signed by PM | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter

UPDATE: PM Prayut Chan-o-cha today signed an executive order granting visa amnesty to foreigners left stranded in Thailand by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The order, released by the Ministry of Interior, grants “special permission for some classes of aliens to stay in the Kingdom.”

It was signed by Prayuth and head of the Ministry of Interior, Anupong Paochinda.

ORIGINAL STORY:
With many flights cancelled, entire fleets grounded and hotels ordered closed, thousands of tourists and expats across Thailand are in a state of limbo… unable to leave, not allowed to stay. To make matters worse, social distancing requirements are creating chaos at crowded immigration offices nationwide, and onerous new requirements have been added for visa extensions. The situation has put foreigners and immigration officials at additional risk.

But the Immigration Bureau has announced that the Cabinet has approved a plan to offer automatic visa extensions for foreigners, though it will not come into effect until it has been signed by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha.

An immigration spokesman says a set of new rules, which also includes visa amnesty, has been approved by the Ministry of Interior Affairs and is due to be inked by the PM soon. The measure follows complaints of overcrowding and risk of virus infection at immigration offices across the country.

“It will be signed by the PM soon. Please wait for official announcements and don’t fall for online rumours.”

Details of the new rules emerged yesterday after local blogger Richard Barrow wrote on his social media platforms that the bureau has proposed plans to give every foreign national an automatic 30 day stay extension, citing sources within Immigration.

Richard also noted that the 90-day reporting will be temporarily suspended and those who have obtained permanent resident status will not lose their status if they are not able to return to Thailand within a one year period.

Visa amnesty will be granted to every foreigner, but the post did not elaborate on how it will be enforced.

“This is ready to be implemented straight away, but the Immigration Bureau cannot start until it has been signed by the PM. From what I understand, it’s already in the prime minister’s office. They are optimistic he will sign it very soon.”

“I just got off the phone with another Immigration official. So, it looks like the photos that I tweeted of long queues have caught the attention of the right people.”

But immigration officials said that concerned foreigners shouldn’t rely on online rumours…

“Who is he? He is not the Immigration Bureau. How could he come out to say something like that?We will make official announcements when it becomes effective.”

SOURCE: Khaosod English | thaivisa

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket officially announces restricted travel between districts from April 13

Anukul

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Phuket officially announces restricted travel between districts from April 13 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TheThaiger

Phuket prepares to close off every district on April 13, for 14 days. Phuket officials have already ordered the closure of more than 6 sub-districts includes Patong, Kathu, Rawai, Karon, Kata and Pla Klok Districts.

Pakpong Thawiphat, the Phuket Governor has given a live interview on MCOT, explaining in-depth that Phuket will close all the remaining sub-districts from April 13 for 14 days. He stressed that it is not a new curfew as people will still be able to travel within their own district.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee have also agreed that the remaining sub-districts should be shut down and all 17 districts will have a screening point along roads into their areas.

The reduction of movement from the locals will allow officials to help prevent further spread of the disease.

The announcement say that you are allowed to leave your house for important errands (including shopping for food and supplies, or medical care) but you must follow the 10pm – 4am curfew and not to travel between the districts. The Communicable Disease Committee Phuket say they hope that the situation would have improved by April 30.

🔴 #ด่วน❗️ #ภูเก็ต #ปิดทุกตำบลเริ่ม 13 เม.ย. นี่ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัดภูเก็ต ให้สัมภาษณ์สดช่อง 9 MCOT เมื่อสักครู่ว่า ภูเก็ตมีทั้งหมด 17 ตำบล สั่งปิดไปแล้ว 6 ตำบล อีก 11 ตำบลที่เหลือ จะถูกสั่งปิดทั้งหมด ภายในวันที่ 13 นี้ (วันสงกรานต์คือ วันปิดเกาะโดยสมบูรณ์) เป็นเวลาทั้งสิ้น 14 วัน ผู้คนยังคงออกนอกเคหะสถานได้ แต่ออกนอกเขตตำบลไม่ได้ ให้อยู่แต่ในตำบลของตนเอง และภูเก็ตจะเป็นจังหวัดแรกในประเทศไทย ที่ใช้มาตรการนี้

Posted by เสียงประชาชน คนภูเก็ต Phuket People’s Voice on Tuesday, April 7, 2020

SOURCE: Phuket People’s Voice

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Thailand Covid-19 Stats

  • Total Cases: 2258
  • Active Cases: 1407
  • Recovered: 824
  • Deaths: 27
  • Last Updated: 2020-04-08 at 17:15
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