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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Cabinet officially extends Emergency Decree until the end of May

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: The Nation Thailand

In a widely anticipated decision, the Thai Cabinet has approved a 30 day extension of the national state of emergency declared in March to fight the spread of Covid-19. The national curfew from 10pm to 4am will also continue. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha spoke briefly to the public after today’s weekly Cabinet meeting to discuss the extension and the possibility of easing some of the restrictions and closures that have put millions out of work nationwide. The extension will take the current April 30 deadline up to the end of May.

The Emergency Decree, and today’s extension, gives the government the ability to more easily manage the Covid-19 crisis and implement (or relax or alter) rules nationwide, based on the severity of the situation. The continuation of the decree does not mean all restrictions currently in place will continue.

Various colour-coded charts and suggestions have circulated on social and other media, but none of these are orders or firm rules on when businesses may reopen. Twitter user Richard Barrow, usually a reliable source, posted this today…

“Local media are reporting that the Bangkok Governor will allow the following 8 places to re-open from Friday if they maintain hygiene & social distancing rules. The meeting to confirm this will be next Wednesday.”

  1. Restaurants, but tables must be 1.5 metres apart & no alcohol
  2. Markets can sell all types of goods
  3. Sports centres for exercise & non-contact sports. Team sports such as football & basketball are not allowed
  4. Public parks for exercise, but not allowed to gather in groups
  5. Barbers & beauty salons
  6. Pet hospital & pet pedicure
  7. Medical services including clinics & nursing homes
  8. Golf courses & driving ranges

“There must be facilities to wash hands, the temperature of customers must be taken, and everyone must wear a mask”

Similar measures are yet to be confirmed in other provinces.

The decision on whether to allow the sale and transport of alcohol remains, for now, in the hands of provincial governors. No national order banning alcohol is in place, but every province has individually banned alcohol sales. Some governors, like that of Nan Province, have hinted they will likely continue the ban as it discourages social gatherings and reduces curfew violations and crime.

The Emergency Decree officially continues the national curfew and extends the inbound flight ban, except for repatriated Thai nationals and a few other exceptions, severely limiting domestic travel and bans mass gatherings.

SOURCE: Pattaya News | Richard Barrow In Thailand

 

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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

Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals

Thaiger

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Photo by PR Phuket

Thailand reported a record high of 9,635 new Covid-19 infections. There are now 43,268 active Covid-19 cases in Thailand, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said at the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Out of the new cases reported today, 6,853 were detected at prisons in Thailand.

“Of course this is a new high that we have never seen before in Thailand, but the majority have been detected in prisons.”

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has confirmed a total of 111,082 Covid-19 infections and 614 coronavirus-related deaths, with the vast majority of infections and virus-related fatalities in the recent wave of infections over the past 6 weeks. Bangkok remains the epicentre of infections and continues to have high daily Covid-19 counts.

The CCSA also reported 25 new Covid-related fatalities today, primarily in Bangkok. Most of the patients who died had high blood pressure for other underlying health conditions.

Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 9,635 new infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 spreads to 12 Thailand prisons infecting 9,789 people

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Chiang Mai prison / Photo via Department of Corrections ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

Over the past week, 12 prisons in Thailand have reported Covid-19 infections infecting thousands of inmates. Out of the 9,789 Covid-19 infections reported by the Department of Corrections, nearly 4,000 cases were reported at the Chiang Mai Central Prison.

Outbreaks at the Bangkok Remand Prison and Central Women’s Correctional Institution were first reported last week after a pro-democracy protest leader announced that she tested positive for Covid-19 a week after she was released from the women’s prison. She had been held in detention for 8 weeks awaiting trial for lese majeste charges which carry an up to 15 year prison sentence for insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

At the Central Women’s Correctional Institution, where 1,039 people are infected, the outbreak started from a new inmate who was infected with the coronavirus, the department’s director general said in an earlier statement. At the Bangkok Remand Prison, where 1,960 people are infected, a department official who was infected with Covid-19 apparently caused the outbreak infecting more than half the prison population.

Following the news of the Covid-19 outbreaks at 2 Bangkok prisons, human rights activists have called on Thai authorities to reduce overcrowding in the prisons, a longstanding problem in Thailand, by releasing inmates who are incarcerated on minor charges or who are being held in court detention for non-violent offences.

In an earlier statement, the Human Rights Watch said that Thai authorities need to act immediately to make sure inmates who are infected with Covid-19 get equal and adequate health care, which is required under international law.

Most of the infected inmates are being treated at field hospitals set up outside the prison, or at the Department of Corrections hospital, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said during today’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration meeting. Those in serious condition have been admitted to hospitals, he said.

Natapanu added that the Thai government is providing adequate health care for the infected inmates in line with legal standards.

Prison Covid-19 cases
Chiang Mai Central Prison 3,929
Bangkok Remand Prison 1,960
Central Women’s Correctional Institution 1,039
Khlong Prem Central Prison 1,016
Thon Buri Remand Prison 1,725
Nonthaburi Central Prison 59
Chachoengsao Central Prison 43
Central Special Treatment Centre 12
Min Buri Prison 2
Narathawit Prison 2
Mae Sot Prison 1
Samut Prakan Central Prison 1

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand to get Moderna vaccine by this October

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Stock photo by Marco Verch for flickr

Thailand is expecting to get the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine by this October as an alternative to AstraZeneca and Sinovac. The secretary-general of the Private Hospital Association, says 5 to 6 million doses will be shipped to Thailand in the second half of this year.

Last week, the Moderna vaccine was approved for emergency use in Thailand by the Food and Drug Administration. It is the fourth vaccine approved by the FDA, after the AstraZeneca, Sinovac and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The price of the vaccine will be set by the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation, but private hospitals allegedly won’t seek profits from administering the vaccine. Officials say private hospitals will offer the 2 shots of the vaccine for a maximum of 3,000 baht total.

The chairman of Ramkhamhaeng Hospital, says private hospitals are monitoring the demand for an alternative vaccine and will inform the GPO. The chairman says, so far, demand ranges from 10,000 doses to 1 million doses, but advises people to get vaccinated regardless of the brand in order to achieve a herd immunity. He also said research has found that after people are fully vaccinated, the booster shot or 3rd jab can be from any brand of vaccine, comparing it to the yearly influenza jabs.

Meanwhile, GPO deputy director Sirinuch Cheewanpisalnukul, recently said that a total of 4.5 million doses of Sinovac’s vaccine have been delivered to Thailand, including 500,000 doses donated by China that arrived last Friday. She says the GPO received another 500,000 doses of the Chinese-made vaccine last Saturday, with another 1.5 million doses to be delivered later this month.

The first batch of 200,000 doses of Sinovac’s vaccine was delivered in February, with 800,000 more doses arriving in March, and 1.5 million more doses arriving in April, and 2 million doses arriving this month so far. As of last Friday, a total of 2,218,420 doses of Covid vaccines have been administered to people nationwide.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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