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Boris Johnson ‘stable’ but on oxygen support as he battles coronavirus

Jack Burton

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Boris Johnson ‘stable’ but on oxygen support as he battles coronavirus | The Thaiger
PHOTO: BBC
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Britain’s PM Boris Johnson spent his second night in an intensive care unit receiving supplemental oxygen, as Britain reels under the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic that’s confined its exuberant leader to a bed reserved for the sickest patients.

Johnson is the first world leader to fall sick with the virus. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is carrying out the PM’s duties in his absence, says Johnson is “receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any assistance. He’s not required any mechanical ventilation.”

Covid-19 can inflame the airways and make it difficult to breathe. Some patients develop pneumonia, which can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome, which is sometimes fatal.

55 year old Mr. Johnson has no known underlying health conditions. His official spokesman says the prime minister is not suffering from pneumonia, but persistent cough and fever.

“The prime minister’s condition is stable and he remains in intensive care for close monitoring. He is in good spirits.”

The UK’s Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove says that the government “will ensure the country is updated” on Johnson’s health, Before his transfer to the ICU at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday, officials evaded questions about his condition and what tests and treatment he was receiving.

Later yesterday, Gove said he himself would have to go into isolation at home for 14 days, after a family member began to display mild symptoms of infection.

Asked at a news conference last night who would make tough decisions with Johnson in intensive care, Raab downplayed his role, stressing that “normal Cabinet collective responsibility” will apply.

The foreign secretary said there is “total unity” and “total resolve” among cabinet members, who have been given “very clear instructions” by the PM to continue with their plan to fight the pandemic.

He suggested the country’s lockdown will not be relaxed next week, when the government has scheduled its first formal review of the effectiveness of its order to stay at home.

As of today, Britain has confirmed 55,242 coronavirus cases and reported 6,159 deaths. The country, like the US, expects those numbers to continue to surge for days, perhaps weeks. Johnson’s illness has stunned Britain, sparking an outpouring of support for the PM and fear of what might come next.

Queen Elizabeth II yesterday sent a message Johnson’s family and his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who has been self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms and is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

SOURCE: The Nation |The Washington 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.

Thailand

Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private

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Government in control of Mor Chana app, says user data will be kept private | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

The Thai government is taking full control of the Mor Chana application, which is used to trace Covid-19 infections and alert users if they are in a high risk area. The Digital Economy and Society Minister says the government will still be working closely with the app developers, adding that users can be assured that their data will be kept private.

The Mor Chana Volunteer Team, the app developer, made a post on their Facebook page saying the Mor Chana contact tracing application will be 100% under government management and control from now. The team will be responsible only for the open source programme development. The post has prompted public comments about the reason behind the application handover to the government.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta says the government will take full responsibility for the application management and control measures, but the collaboration with the app developers will continue. The developer team’s announcement is just to inform the public about the app.

He also says some app functions will be redesigned and adjusted to be more friendly to use and won’t violate users’ data privacy. Personal information such as users’ names and mobile numbers for registration won’t be required anymore.

SOURCE: Post Today

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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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