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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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 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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