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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: 15 Chinese cities are now in lockdown

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PHOTO: 1,396 around the world, mostly in China, have been infected - Forbes.com

Things are moving fast with the Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. Amid dramatic lockdowns of at least 15 Chinese cities, affecting millions, much remains uncertain about the coronavirus and its method of transmission, or the extent of its spread outside central China. International health authorities continue to scrutinise the virus’ spread and effects with the World Health Organisation meeting daily to assess the latest situation.

This is what we know today…

• Dozens of people are now dead in China as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and new cases pop up in all corners of the globe.

• To date the death toll stands at 26.

• Almost 1,396 have been infected across the world (as of 6pm Thai time Saturday), the vast majority in mainland China at this stage.

• Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year, but festivities have been canceled in Beijing, Hong Kong and other major cities to control the spread of the virus.

• UK health officials are trying to track down hundreds of passengers who recently arrived from Wuhan into the UK.

• Three cases of the coronavirus have been “confirmed” in France, the first in Europe. The first case involved a 48 year old patient in hospital in the southwestern city of Bordeaux while the other was in Paris. A third person, also in Paris, who is reported to be a close relative of one of the other two, has also been confirmed to have the virus. All three had recently travelled to China and had now been placed in isolation.

• The cases mark the first confirmed cases of the virus in Europe, after the outbreak began in China.

• 56 Indian students have been trapped in Wuhan for three days, with some afraid to leave their accommodation and fear that they’ll out of food.

• The previously unknown virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003.

• The outbreak emerged in late December in Wuhan, an industrial and transport hub of 11 million people in China’s centre, spreading to several other countries including the United States.

• Australia has now declared 4 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus. The first in the state of Victoria, with the patient hospitalised in a stable condition in a suburb of Melbourne. The Chinese national, in his 50s, arrived from China on Sunday on a flight from Guangzhou. Three other cases are in Sydney who arrived from Wuhan. All patients have been isolated.

• The government of Wuhan City is building a 1,000 bed hospital in six days to fight the recent coronavirus outbreak. As the quarantined Wuhan City’s existing hospitals are overwhelmed, they have turned to social media for medical supplies and have begun to turn away patients.

• The rapid construction project is a reaction to hospitals running out of beds in an effort to better address the coronavirus outbreak.

• Confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been reported in the US, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal and Taiwan.

• On Thursday morning at 10 a.m. local time, the city of Wuhan—a city of 11 million and ground zero for the outbreak of the virus—was locked down. No one was meant to get out of the city. Huanggang, a second major central Chinese city, with a population of 7.4 million, was also locked down. It’s the first time such a radical approach to quarantining a virus in an entire city has been attempted.

• 15 Chinese cities are now in formal lockdown, affecting more than 57 million people. All 15 of the cities are in Hubei Province, central China.

• Lunar New Year holiday in China starts today, which normally leads to hundreds of millions taking to the air and to trains to move around the country. But public transportation between cities is being discouraged and some transit stations across the country now closed.

Hong Kong: 5 cases

Thailand: 5 cases

Australia: 4 cases

France: 3 cases

Japan: 3 cases

Malaysia: 3 cases

Singapore: 3 cases

Taiwan: 3 cases

Macao: 2 cases

South Korea: 2 cases

United States: 2 cases

Vietnam: 2 cases

Nepal: 1 case

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand plans to include 3 million foreigners in mass vaccination programme

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Photo via Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

The Thai government says it is planning on including 3 million foreigners in its mass Covid-19 vaccination programme in an effort to protect the entire population. Opas Kankawinpong, the head of the disease control department, has confirmed the news, saying that anyone can get the vaccine if they want it.

“Anybody living in Thailand, whether they be Thai or foreign, if they want they vaccine, they can get it. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

But expatriates have been voicing their concerns in the past few weeks, about, what they say, is a lack of public information, confusion over private vaccines, and problems registering. The mass immunisation programme hasn’t started yet, but the government is sticking to its previous announcement that major tourism areas will open in July to vaccinated travellers. The plan was contingent upon 70% of local residents being vaccinated in order to achieve a herd immunity to the virus. But 50 million Thais and 3 million foreign residents would need to be inoculated over the next few months.

Anxiety over the massive amount of people who have yet to receive even their first dose is growing, as the country deals with its largest outbreak of Covid since the pandemic began. Reports of only frontline workers as having received the vaccines from the stock of 2.5 Sinovac vaccines, have made critics say the government’s slow vaccine rollout is not helping the latest wave.

Meanwhile, another 1 million Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses from China have arrived in Thailand while another batch of 500,000 doses will arrive next week. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation formally accepted the delivery at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport this morning.

More than 2/3 of deaths in Thailand from the virus have been recorded just in the past month alone. But new, daily infections have been hovering around the 2,000 mark since the middle of April. The Public Health Ministry says it is working on other ways to communicate with foreigners about getting the jabs. Mobile applications or being contacted directly by hospitals are a couple of ideas on the table.

Today, Thailand reported 1,911 new Covid-19 infections and 18 deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Order of 1 million Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses arrive in Thailand

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Photo via Facebook/องค์การเภสัชกรรม

Another 1 million Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses from China have arrived in Thailand while another batch of 500,000 doses will arrive next week. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation formally accepted the delivery at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport this morning.

Altogether, 3.5 million doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, known as Coronavac, have arrived in Thailand to be used to vaccinate people ages 18 to 60. People need to receive 2 doses for the vaccine to be effective.

The Thai Cabinet received approved a budget of 321.6 million baht to purchase 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine. The next order will arrive on May 14.

The vaccine doses were delivered in temperature-controlled containers which kept the vaccines at a temperature of around 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

160 infected in Bangkok’s Bang Kae Covid-19 cluster

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PHOTO: Bang Kae is the latest Bangkok district to see a Covid-19 cluster spreading. (via Wikimedia)

An outbreak of about 160 new Covid-19 infections was identified today in Bangkok’s Bang Kae district, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. 1,413 people were tested by health workers in a Bang Kae department store on three dates – April 28, April 30, and May 1 – after 9 Cambodian employees in the store were confirmed to have Coronavirus infections on April 28. After testing the group, 4.8% of those tested returned positive results, a total of 68 Covid-19 infections.

In neighbouring Ban Khing, a community of about 1000 people, more and more residents are testing positive for Covid-19. On April 28 there were 30 infections identified, and on April 30 another 24 Covid-19 infections were diagnosed. 4 employees of the Route 7 buses were confirmed positive for the Coronavirus on May 2, with 70 more staff members waiting for test results. 25 more cases were identified on May 3. Testing yielded 4.3% infection rates on May 3 and an alarming 7.6% rate on April 30.

Bang Kae, along with Klong Toey and Pathumwan, was identified as urgent Bangkok locations with Covid-19 clusters spreading quickly according to the CCSA. Mass testing is underway to quickly isolate anybody with Covid-19, with locations being maintained by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Bang Kae currently ranks 10th out of Bangkok’s 50 districts, with 241 Covid-19 infections since April 1, but this new spread is worrisome. In the last month, an infection rate of just under 4% was found in Bangkok, with 1,677 infections found in 42,251 tests. This prompted the CCSA to issue a reminder urging people to be vigilant with 2-metre social distancing, and always wear a mask in public to try to slow the rate of infection and spread of Covid-19.

TOP 10 DISTRICTS IN BANGKOK WITH THE MOST INFECTIONS
RANK BANGKOK DISTRICT # OF INFECTIONS
1 Huai Khwang 463
2 Din Daeng 426
3 Bang Khen 357
4 Watthana 330
5 Chatuchak 356
6 Lat Phrao 325
7 Wang Thonglang 300
8 Suan Luang 290
9 Bang Kapi 282
10 Bang Kae 241

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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