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Coronavirus cases more than double in South Korea to surpass 150

Greeley Pulitzer

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Coronavirus cases more than double in South Korea to surpass 150 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: South Korea's coronavirus cases doubled in a day to surpass 150 - Yonhap
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South Korea has reported its first death from the COVID-19 corona virus. The government reports that a 63 year old man, who died Wednesday, tested positive for the virus in a post mortem examination. The exact cause of his death has yet to be determined. He died in North Gyeongsang province, where he had been hospitalized for over 20 years, according to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

A 10:30am today, the total number of infected people in South Korea stood at 156, with 70 of them in Daegu and nearby North Gyeongsang Province. Most of the cases have been traced to a church in the city that a 61 year old woman, confirmed as the country’s 31st patient on Tuesday, had attended. Daegu fears becoming Korea’s Wuhan, with largest cluster outside of China: in just 24 hours through yesterday afternoon, the area saw 53 new cases confirmed. Among the new cases, 39 people are linked with the Sincheonji Church of Jesus, a Christian sect to which the 61 year old woman, who tested positive Tuesday, belongs.

KCDC Director Jung Eun-kyeong said 1,001 church members who attended services with the woman are now in self-isolation at home. But the agency is leaning toward the possibility that the woman could have contracted the virus via a secondary infection. She is considered to be a potential “superspreader.”

In a phone survey conducted by health authorities, 90 church members indicated having symptoms so far, although 396 could not be reached.

President Moon Jae-in vowed to mobilise all available resources to Daegu during a phone conversation with Mayor Kwon Young-jin. The central government plans to send medical professionals and facilities to help the city deal with snowballing cases.

Vice Health and Welfare Minister Kim Kang-lip says the country is facing a new situation that requires a different response.

“At this stage, (the government) has judged that COVID-19, which has been flowing in from overseas, is spreading locally with a limited scope.”

He added that cases where the source of infection is unclear are emerging in Daegu and the capital, Seoul. There are at least 20 coronavirus patients whose transmission path is unknown.

South Korea is now one of the countries that has reported the highest tallies outside mainland China, along with Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Former DPM stresses need for more testing, emulating Korean model

Greeley Pulitzer

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Former DPM stresses need for more testing, emulating Korean model | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Former deputy prime minister Dr Surapong Seubwonglee - Prachathai

Dr Surapong Seubwonglee, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand posted on Facebook urging the government to investigate the number of people tested for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Thailand and appeal for wider testing.

He gave several reasons why testing has been sluggish and said that now is the time to expand testing to asymptomatic individuals. Many recently cases confirmed cases have shown no symptoms.

With an improved number of testing labs, the country now has the capacity to do 20,000 tests daily. Labs could now do as many tests as they have done since January in just the next few days.

Surapong’ post said that testing for the virus has been low in Thailand, though it’s higher than reported on worldometers.info, which as of today says 71,860 have been tested, equating to just 1030 per million inhabitants.

He showed data that suggested 71,860 tests had been done from January to April 4th. The great majority of these were in Bangkok with Chula (pink on the graph) and Ramathibodi Hospital (Blue) the most.

Former DPM stresses need for more testing, emulating Korean model | News by The Thaiger

Surapong said that while the testing done in Thailand is just a fraction of that done in South Korea and Germany, Thailand found a greater percentage of people infected because they targeted high risk individuals rather than the asymptomatic population.

He said that tests in Thailand need to be massively expanded so that more people can receive medication early before their symptoms become dangerous. This model has been widely praised around the world after it was adopted in South Korea and Taiwan.

Surapong said there were several reasons for the sluggish approach. There were few testing labs at first and most of those were in Bangkok. But there are now 77 labs nationwide and the capacity for testing daily is now 20,000. There will be 107 labs by the end of the month.

He conceded that there have been problems over the cost of the tests and the lack of uniformity. Now the cost has been fixed at 3,000 baht, and Thais can access a test using their social security or other insurance.

Test, test, test was the former DPM’s message, especially now that the country has the labs to do so.

SOURCES: thaivisa | Sanook

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Visa amnesty announced, awaiting PM’s signature

Greeley Pulitzer

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Visa amnesty announced, awaiting PM’s signature | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter

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

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya commences lockdown from April 9 onwards

Anukul

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Pattaya commences lockdown from April 9 onwards | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Post / The Pattaya News

Today, Chon Buri’s governor Pakkhathorn Thianchai has approved the Pattaya City’s proposal to lock down the town at 2pm from tomorrow (April 9) for 21 days. It is not a new curfew, but a limitation on people travelling in and out of the city region.

Pattaya City will commence a 24 hour lock down where those who are not residents of Pattaya or not working there will not be allowed access to the area until the situation improves. Multiple checkpoints will be set up during the lockdown to prevent people outside coming in, unless they have specific exemptions. Those who are not exempted in the lockdown announcement, but find it necessary to travel, must seek permission from the district offices first.

Exemptions include ambulances, medical supplies, officials and food supplies.

The District Chief Amnart Charoensri says that many of the confirmed cases in Pattaya are foreigners who were visiting Pattaya or who were living here.

“Most of our cases are imported. We have to control the spread of the Coronavirus. This is a difficult measure but we must stop people, especially foreign tourists, coming into the city at this time.”

“The committee has approved to close Pattaya by setting entrance and exit checkpoints.”

Pattaya commences lockdown from April 9 onwards | News by The Thaiger

 

Under the plan, 5 checkpoints will be set up on roads leading into Pattaya to strictly screen vehicles and people.

Entry to the city will be closed at the Krating Rai flyover. Motorists are required to make a U-turn in this area to the railway line road. People entering the town will be screened at checkpoints on the city’s 5 main access routes…

  1. Soi Chaiyapornvithee.
  2. Motorway Route 2 in front of the highway police office.
  3. Soi Pornprapanimit.
  4. Soi Chayaporn.
  5. Sukhumvit Road in front of Na Jomtien temple.

Foreigners will need to have their original passport at all checkpoints and Thais will need their ID card. Temperature checks will take place at every checkpoint, if anyone tests high they will be required to go to a hospital immediately.

People are also required to wear face masks when in public.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Pattayanews

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