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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Containing the misinformation virus – social media platforms race to remove ‘Plandemic’

The Thaiger

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Containing the misinformation virus – social media platforms race to remove ‘Plandemic’ | The Thaiger
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The rush is on to remove a viral video entitled ‘Plandemic’, a conspiracy theory program which has been as viral as the actual virus it spreads false information about. The world’s leading social networks are taking down the video, edited in the style of a highly-produced documentary. But new ‘infections’ keep popping up as people with copies of the 26 minute video keep trying to re-upload it.

The program is full of twisted misinformation about the origins of the Covid-19 coronavirus, how it is transmitted, false ‘cures’ and dangerous advice. Since the video first appeared earlier this week, it has exploded across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other websites, prompting an attempt to remove it.

Some of narrative includes the following unverified medical and scientific claims…

• the virus must have been released from a laboratory environment

• it could not possibly be naturally-occurring situation

• using masks and gloves actually makes people more sick

• closing beaches is “insanity” because of “healing microbes” in the water

• the number of deaths is being deliberately falsified, to “control” populations

In another part of the video interviewer Mikki Willis interviews Judy Mikovits, a discredited virologist, best known for her anti-vaccine activism. The video touches on a number of favourite topics among online conspiracists, mostly centering on the theme that vaccines are a “money-making enterprise that cause medical harm”.

Containing the misinformation virus - social media platforms race to remove 'Plandemic' | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Judy Mikovits, a discredited virologist, best known for her anti-vaccine activism

Other people in the video pass themselves off as experts, and the public’s vulnerability, and lack of education in many cases, becomes crucial in the success of spreading false claims. The slick production values means the program has a veneer of credibility and the producers pass off completely unverified ‘facts’, often passed on by ‘experts’ with fancy credentials that are often not even real.

The mixture of helpful sounding ‘advice’, cleverly constructed arguments, along with a mixture of truth, is then peppered with misleading medical myths – a blancmange of propaganda for the gullible wading through the muddy sea of social media.

The problem is that these misinformation videos often get more traction than real videos from trusted health bodies and authorities. Now it’s a game of cat-and-mouse for social media sites like YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and others, since the same content can be uploaded again and again by different users. As quickly as the items are removed and accounts blocked, new accounts are made and the video resurfaces again.

All these efforts have emboldened the film-maker who continues to urge viewers to download the video and re-post it elsewhere, “in an effort to bypass the gatekeepers of free speech”.

The social media platforms, still smarting after being outwitted in the pivotal Brexit and 2016 US Presidential votes, are having to quickly show their willingness to remove clearly misleading content whilst also remaining bastions of democratic and free speech.

YouTube said it removes “medically unsubstantiated diagnostic advice”. About the ‘Plandemic’ video, YouTube says it was removed for making claims about a cure for Covid-19, even though it is not backed by health organisations. Twitter says it would remove “unverified claims” that could prove dangerous. Facebook has brought in new tools to point users towards reliable sources of information.

A search for “Plandemic” on YouTube now, mostly, reveals content debunking the video’s many false claims, but plenty of clips from the video itself still make the first wave of search results.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bank report predicts extended timeframe for Thai tourism recovery

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bank report predicts extended timeframe for Thai tourism recovery | The Thaiger

As the severity of the current situation facing Thailand’s lucrative tourism industry starts to sink in, Kasikorn Bank Research Centre have released a report with some stark predictions.

Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industry faces losses of 1.69 trillion baht in 2020 and recovery “may not be clearly evident” next year. The report also foreshadows strict ‘new normal’ procedures as government measures will control the entry and exit of foreign tourists, actually all foreigners, to prevent further outbreaks of Covid-19.

It has been clear, as restrictions continue whilst the number of new daily cases hovers in single-digits, that Thailand will paint itself as the zero-risk destination. Exactly how that may unfold, and the list of restrictions imposed, has not yet been announced. But the immigration doors are unlikely to be thrown open any times soon.

The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand and the weak purchasing power of future tourists has Kasikorn Research Centre predicting difficult times ahead for the country’s key tourism industry that contributes up to 18% of Thailand’s GDP.

“Even in 2021, recovery will probably not return. Therefore it will be a difficult period for businesses in the chain of the tourism sector.”

“Until a vaccine is found, tourism and hospitality operators will need to adjust their services and the content they offer to ensure they deliver safe distancing and comply with strict health measures.”

The research paper goes through a number of other key points…

• Health regulations will dictate the travel experience

• Touch-points will have to be removed as much as possible

• Safe distancing will need to be practised at popular tourist spots as well as when travelling or staying in hotels or transferring to and from airports

Tour operators face the challenge of offering safe bus transportation throughout Thailand guaranteeing social distancing, which will be required on all transfers. This will increase the cost of transfers and tours, and more buses will be required to transfer tour groups.

For tour groups visiting water or theme parks, flower gardens and museums will need to be carefully managed to prevent further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Even on planes, the option to reduce passenger load, in efforts to impose socially-distant seating, will make it impossible for airlines to operate profitably unless air fares prices substantially increase.

The entire tourism supply chain will be radically different if the ‘risk-free’ Thailand model is to be rolled out effectively. The report suggests that hotels will be invited to join certification schemes.

Tourist-fed economies like Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui will be the hardest hit and have a number of years ahead with a long timeframe for recovery reaching beyond the end of next year.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26)

Anukul

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3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26) | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: reuters.com

Today, in the Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily press conference, Dr. Taweesilp confirmed 3 new cases of coronavirus in Thailand, of which all were recorded as quarantined overseas repatriates. This brings Thailand ‘s total of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 3,045. The death toll remains at 57 fatalities with no additional deaths reported today.

Dr. Taweesilp says from the new cases all 3 patients either had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic. They are all in quarantine and under supervision.

“The first case is a 51 year old Thai masseuse, who had previously returned from Russia on May 12 and was quarantined in Chon Buri province. She had no symptoms but tested positive for the disease yesterday.”

“The two others are Thai men who returned from Kuwait on May 24 after a business trip and were quarantined in Samut Prakan province. They were coughing and tested positive yesterday.”

Of the total accumulated cases, 2,929 have recovered, including 1 patient who was released in the past 24 hours and 59 patients remain in hospitals.

Dr Taweesilp said that, in the past 4 weeks, in most of the country (65 provinces), no new Covid-19 cases have been recorded.

“The situation is improving thanks to public cooperation. Now we are heading towards the third stage of easing business and activity that were closed during lockdowns. It is likely to cover some higher-risk businesses and activities. They may resume with strict disease control measures.”

Chonburi, where Pattaya is located, has had no new confirmed cases in over a month. Phuket has also reported 0 new cases today but with 9 patients still receiving medical care.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News| Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Dozens of plastic containers per person in state quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Dozens of plastic containers per person in state quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/Henryandpartners

…and the rest of us haven’t been helping the plastic problem either.

Thailand started the year eco-friendly by banning single-use plastic bags. All good, but with “stay at home” orders and mandated quarantines, plastic waste has been increasing. One Thai artist, who stayed in a state quarantine facility, added up all the plastic containers and bottles he used during his isolation. He had more than 100.

“I thought of this trash being multiplied by the thousands of people that had to go in state quarantine,” Henry Tan told Khaosod English.

“Just my flight alone resulted in 200 people in quarantine.”

If all 200 used just as much waste as Tan, that’s more than 20,000 pieces of plastic waste.

Tan had to be quarantined after arriving back to Thailand from Japan. He stayed at the Palazzo Bangkok hotel. Meals were left outside his door 3 times a day, usually in a plastic box with plastic cutlery and condiments in plastic. Han took photos of the plastic containers and bottles laid out on the floor, as well as many of his meals served in plastic containers, and posted the photos on Facebook.

Plastic waste has been increasing since the pandemic, with a surge in delivery and takeaway orders. The director of Thailand Environment Institute said last month that the amount of plastic pollution has increased to 6,300 tonnes per day, Coconuts Bangkok reported last month that it was 1,500 tonnes per day before the pandemic.

SOURCES: Khaosod English | Coconuts Bangkok

คนบ้ากักตัว 14 วัน

Posted by Henryandpartners on Sunday, 24 May 2020

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