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CCSA says they won’t deny lawbreakers free Covid-19 treatment

Caitlin Ashworth

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CCSA says they won’t deny lawbreakers free Covid-19 treatment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon Online
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Labour trafficking, illegal border crossings and gambling are considered to be prime factors in the new wave of Covid-19. Recently, the public health minister toyed with the idea of making the lawbreakers and illegal returnees, who are infected with the coronavirus, pay for their own medical treatment.

The idea was shot down by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration who said they cannot choose who to care based on their actions. The CCSA spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin says they cannot discriminate.

“As for medical expenses, we’ll have to follow the ministry’s regulations… We cannot divide or subdivide. For those with health insurance, it depends on the terms. For migrant workers, the matter will be considered on a case-by-case basis.”

Last month, a number of Thais tested positive for Covid-19 after working in Myanmar’s border town Tachileik. Many crossed the Thai-Myanmar border illegally, evading the mandatory 14 day quarantine. Health officials say they were able to contain the cases linked to Tachileik.

A few weeks later, health officials reported an outbreak at a seafood market in Samut Sakhon’s Mahachai area, southwest of Bangkok. Hundreds of Burmese migrants who worked around the fishing hub tested positive for the virus.

As the coronavirus spread, a Rayong gambling den became a so-called “hotspot.” The outbreak related to illegal activities made it difficult to track those at risk of infection. Health officials say the virus spread among gamblers. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is now setting up an investigation committee to crackdown on the illegal gambling dens and prevent Covid-19 from spreading during the unlawful gatherings.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul floated on idea on his Facebook, saying those who broke the law and put the public at risk of infection should pay for their treatment for Covid-19 out of pocket. Many have rejected this idea, including associate professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, Thira Woratanarat.

“On the surface, the idea may sound alright because people who do bad things shouldn’t get help… But it can worsen the outbreak because those people won’t come out and get testing even when they fall ill… The virus might have spread far by the time authorities become aware of the extent of its transmission and this poses risks to medical personnel.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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    Roger C

    Monday, January 11, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    What will they say tomorrow?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants | The Thaiger
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As fear over new variants of Covid-19 had prompted the travel restrictions to tighten worldwide, the United States biotech firm Moderna announced that its vaccine should protect against the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Latest studies on the efficacy of Moderna vaccines confirmed that the vaccines are effective and protective against new variants. The company will continue more tests adding a second booster of its vaccine, bringing to 3 shots in a total.

“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok advertised pre-orders for the Moderna vaccine, which still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA. Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support demanded that the hospital remove the advertisements.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. They also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Health officials say private hospitals will be allowed to administer vaccines that are approved by the FDA. So far, the Thai government has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Frontline health care workers and vulnerable groups in high risk areas will be first to receive the vaccine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Massage workers in Pattaya call for reopening of spas and massages shops

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Massage workers in Pattaya call for reopening of spas and massages shops | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Saeree News

A group of about 50 workers from Pattaya massage shops and spas gathered together to call for the reopening of their businesses after being closed for the past month due to Covid-19 restrictions. The group called themselves the “Pattaya Health Massage” presented a letter signed by 60 massage shops, spas and gyms to Bang Lamung District Sheriff this morning.

Chon Buri is listed as a “high risk” area with maximum restrictions. Many nonessential businesses in the province have been closed including massage shops, spas and gyms.

Now that Chon Buri has gone 5 consecutive days without a local Covid-19 infection, the workers say it’s time for businesses, like massage shops and spas, to reopen.

The workers also raised the point that other provinces and districts across Thailand are loosening restrictions as the number of active cases continues to drop. The workers also said that there are no Covid-19 clusters or major outbreaks related to massage shops or fitness venues.

Bang Lamung District Sheriff Amnat Charoensri met the protesters and collected the petition and says he understands that many people need to get back to work to earn income. Local officials are expected to hold a meeting within the next week to potentially loosen restrictions.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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