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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

China reports further reduction in new coronavirus cases, down to 397; Korea has a second death

Greeley Pulitzer

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China reports further reduction in new coronavirus cases, down to 397; Korea has a second death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Staff at the workshop of Fusen Pharmaceutical China’s Henan Province. The company has resumed production to ensure the supply of medicines during the fight against the coronavirus - Xinhua
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China’s National Health Commission announced today that the country had 397 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus infections as of yesterday, down from 889 cases a day earlier. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 76,288. The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 2,345.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 106 new deaths, 90 in the capital, Wuhan. New infections in China have been falling for days, although changes in how it counts cases have caused doubts about the true trajectory of the epidemic.

China last week began recording new cases without waiting for laboratory results, causing a significant spike in the number of cases reported. But on Thursday it returned to its original method of counting, and removed some cases from the tally because test results were negative. The changes are sure to aggravate observers who say consistency is key to understanding COVID-19’s path.

South Korea reported 142 more cases this morning, bringing the nationwide total to 346. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional death, bringing the total to two.

Among the latest cases, 92 were connected to a hospital in Cheongdo, a southern city connected to a religious sect. More than 150 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus have now been infected, after a 61 year old woman developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services in the city of Daegu before being diagnosed. Cheongdo, around 27 kilometres south of Daegu, is the birthplace of Lee Man-hee, Shincheonji’s founder. County officials said yesterday that a three day funeral was held for his brother three weeks ago at a hall owned by the hospital, where the 92 new cases were confirmed today.

Iran announced three more infections Thursday, a day after it reported its first two deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

International visitor numbers down 35% January-March, exceeding worst predictions

Greeley Pulitzer

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International visitor numbers down 35% January-March, exceeding worst predictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

International visitor numbers to Thailand from January to March dropped by 8.5 million, or 35.3% year-on- year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. You can be sure the specific numbers for March would have been a lot worse.

The biggest decline, unsurprisingly, was in Chinese visitor numbers, which dropped by 59.4% compared to 2019, to around 2.4 million. China placed a ban on group tours leaving the nation in January as the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic began to spread. Visitors from Japan fell by 28% to 1.6 million, while those from Russia dropped only 0.6% per cent to 1.19 million passengers.

The top 10 sources of travellers to Thailand were China, Japan, Russia, Singapore, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Taiwan, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia.

Tourism accounts for about 16% of Thailand’s total GDP, and has been called the “lifeline” of the kingdom’s already battered economy. Thailand’s tourist industry could be decimated in the wake of the world coronavirus outbreak. Tourism accounts for an estimated 16% of Thailand’s total GDP.

Only weeks ago, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, mourned that, in a worst case scenario, Thailand could bleed 10 million of its projected 40 million tourist arrivals this year.

SOURCE: The Nation

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