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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: Bad 24 hours in UK and US, Panama comes up with novel prevention

The Thaiger



Coronavirus UPDATE: Bad 24 hours in UK and US, Panama comes up with novel prevention | The Thaiger
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World totals surged in the past 24 hours to reach 935,287 cases since the start of the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus in late December (totals read at 7.50am Thai time). The case numbers will likely move through the 1 million milestone in the next 24 hours.

47,192 people have died as a result of the Covid-19 virus and 194,000 have recovered. Whilst the worldwide reporting and testing remains ‘lumpy’, the trends indicate where the world’s main hotspots are. Everyone is looking for a ‘flattening of the curve’, a graph that is still heading almost almost straight up with little sign of a short-term respite, at least globally.

Coronavirus UPDATE: Bad 24 hours in UK and US, Panama comes up with novel prevention | News by The Thaiger

The US has had both its worst day of new cases and sad deaths. 214,836 people are now infected in total, 26,306 new cases added in the past 24 hours. 1,046 people have died in the US in the last day. European countries and Iran also continue to struggle with containment of the virus.

Here is a list of 14 countries with the largest amount of cases in the world…

Coronavirus UPDATE: Bad 24 hours in UK and US, Panama comes up with novel prevention | News by The Thaiger

Here are snippets of other coronavirus-related news from around the world….


Florida state is telling their residents to stay at home on the day the number of US coronavirus cases skyrocketed past 200,000. Meanwhile, the debate revs up in the US whether all Americans should be wearing a mask and taking a lead from most Asian countries where the wearing of a mask has been a popular preventative measure.

More data, showing people without any symptoms of Covid-19 is fuelling the spread of the disease, has US medical officials rethinking whether the general public should be wearing masks. But the World Health Organisation, while it says it is reviewing its advice, maintains its stance that there is no need to keep your mouth covered if you are not a patient or health worker.


If it wasn’t published in The Guardian we would likely gloss over this news. But cat owners may need to be more cautious about contact with their fluffy pets, after a Chinese study has revealed Covid-19 can be transmitted between cats.

The team at the Veterinary Research Institute in Harbin, China, found that cats are “highly susceptible to Covid-19 and appear to be able to transmit the virus through respiratory droplets to other cats”. On the plus side, dogs, chickens, pigs and ducks were found to be unlikely carriers of the infection.

The findings followed reports earlier this week of a pet cat in Belgium being infected with the coronavirus. About a week after the cat’s owner started showing symptoms, the cat also developed breathing difficulties, diarrhoea and vomiting, and subsequent tests at the University of Liège showed the cat was infected with coronavirus.


Thailand’s now has 1771 cases, with 120 new cases confirmed over the last 24 hours and 2 more patients dying.The government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration made the announcement this morning (April 1). The cases are divided into three groups…

The first group of 51 are connected to cluster cases. One person joins the boxing match cluster,” 11 had worked at or visited entertainment venues, one had attended a religious ceremony in Malaysia, and 38 had had close contact with other confirmed cases.

The second group is made up 39 people, of whom 23 recently returned from overseas (6 Thais and 2 foreigners from travelling, and 16 who attended a religious ceremony in Indonesia). 14 were working in crowded areas or had close contact with foreigners, and one medical staff.

The path of infection for third group, of 30, is being investigated.


Panama has introduced a new measure to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus – separating the sexes. It started yesterday. Only women can leave their homes to buy necessities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Panamanian men will be allowed to do the same and run errands on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Everyone has to stay home on Sundays. The restrictions will last for at least 15 days, according to government officials in Panama.


Another corporate pivot where a cigarette manufacturer is turning to something much more useful. The makers of Camel, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall cigarettes is turning its attention to the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

British American Tobacco announced that their biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing, is working on a possible vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus that, they claim, could be cultured in lab-grown plants closely related to tobacco.

The biotech firm, which helped develop an experimental Ebola treatment in 2014, is one of dozens of companies around the world racing to develop a vaccine for Covid-19.

The development of vaccines typically takes years, but scientists and government authorities are hoping to fast-track the process to prevent the second and third waves of outbreaks of the virus. Many experts caution that a vaccine is at least 18 months away.


The UK government is facing growing pressure to ramp up coronavirus testing and restrictions on movement, as Britain reported its biggest daily increase in deaths. Some 2,352 virus patients died yesterday, up 563 in a day.

PM Boris Johnson, himself having tested positive and in isolation, says testing was “massively increasing” and it was “the way through” the pandemic.

Yesterday’s announcement marked the first time the UK has reported more than 500 deaths over 24 hours from Covid-19.


A third death in Queensland overnight brought Australia’s national toll of coronavirus-related deaths to 23 as the CSIRO (Australia’s scientific research organisation) begins to trial two potential Covid-19 vaccines in Geelong, Victoria, where they are testing on ferrets before hopefully moving to human trials a few months later.


Philippines awaits Chinese expert team as cases rise to more than 2,000. An Police lock up ‘curfew breakers’ in dog cage in Philippines.


Boom time for golf in Singapore with courses full; spending time outdoors seen as ‘safe’


Indonesia declares health emergency. President Joko Widodo announces $24.7 billion package to minimise virus’ impact


Vietnam has announced a national lockdown to fight COVID-19, with nearly 100 million people ordered not to go outside except for food and medical needs. And the state-run Vietnam News Agency stopped printing English-language newspaper until April 15, after one of its reporters tested positive for Covid-19


The Malaysian government urged women to ‘dress up and stop nagging husbands’ during lockdown, then apologises for post.

Stay up to date with all the latest news at Covid-19 coronavirus. And here is the latest Thailand News Today daily update…

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai food giant to provide a million meals priced at 20 baht

May Taylor



Thai food giant to provide a million meals priced at 20 baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CP Freshmart Phetchaburi/Facebook

Thai food conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Foods says it plans to offer heavily discounted ready-to-eat meals for those facing financial difficulties as a result of the economic fallout of Covid-19.

CEO Prasit Boondoungprasert says a million meals will be distributed to Fresh Mart shops around the country and will cost just 20 baht. There will be a choice of dishes on offer and customers who purchase 5 meals at a time using the TrueWallet app will get an additional 5 baht discount .

“Six ready-to-eat meals will be offered under the campaign – rice with chicken breast in spicy sauce, rice with roasted chicken, rice with spicy chicken, fried rice with Korean-style roasted chicken, rice with garlic and liver and rice with omlette.”

Nation Thailand reports that CPF is also delivering free food to impoverished homes in Bangkok on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and distributing vouchers to village healthcare volunteers around the country so they can purchase items at discounted prices at Fresh Mart branches nationwide.

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited a company of the Charoen Pokphand Group, is an agro-industrial and food conglomerate headquartered in Thailand. Approximately 64% of its revenue came from overseas operations, with 30% from its home market of Thailand, and 6% from export operations. It recently acquired Bellisio Foods, one of the largest frozen food suppliers in the United States, for US$1 billion, as well as Westbridge Foods, a major British poultry producer with turnover of over £340 Million.

The company’s core businesses are livestock and aquaculture. Livestock operations include chicken broilers, chicken layers, ducks, and swine. In aquaculture, the two main marine animals are shrimp and fish – Wikipedia.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Students to wear mask, get temperature checked at school

Caitlin Ashworth



Students to wear mask, get temperature checked at school | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Caitlin Ashworth

Students will need to wear a face mask and have their temperature checked before entering school. The Public Health and Education ministries recently put restrictions in place for the start of school set for July 1, according to Nation Thailand.

Schools are categorised as a high risk area for the potential spread of the coronavirus. In general, cold and flu bugs spread fast in schools. Now, with a more serious pandemic, teachers and school officials will need to work extra hard to keep students healthy and somehow find a way to make sure students are social distancing.

“Hand sanitising checkpoints are now required throughout school grounds. Door knobs, toilets and playgrounds must be cleaned often. If a student has symptoms, the school must inform public health authorities.”

Some advisors are saying schools should wait longer to open, while others say children are less likely to show symptoms of the virus. The start date has already been pushed back and students are looking at a so-called “mega term” with little to no holiday break to make up for lost time until next year.

Thailand’s chief virologist, Dr. Yong Poovorawan, from the Faculty of Medicine says reopening schools needs careful consideration.

“If they do reopen in July, class sizes must be reduced to make sure students are seated a safe distance apart. It’s unclear how schools that are at capacity will lower class sizes.”

Distance-learning classes have launched online, but the system has had a few early bugs, with many Thais without internet or some unable to access the classes.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand| Thai PBS World| Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket chef hands out over 2,000 free meals

Jack Burton



Phuket chef hands out over 2,000 free meals | The Thaiger

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many heartwarming outpourings of charity, with a lot of businesses, both Thai and foreign, handing out free meals and essential goods to those affected by the crisis. The southern province of Phuket is no exception, with many pubs and restaurants joining in. But people in the island’s Bang Tao district might be surprised to learn that their meals were prepared not only by a career chef, but a student and disciple of legendary Chef Paul Bocuse.

Pablo Blattman, owner of Dedos restaurant, and his crew hand out more than 160 free meals a day and have now donated well over around 2,500 meals to the community. Blattmann, born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, by a Swiss mother and Bolivian father, says the two cultures gave him insight in different universes of flavours.

At a time when most neighbouring restaurants are shuttered (or crippled by the ban on alcohol sales), Blattman says he wants to “give something back to the community which has given me so much.”

Phuket chef hands out over 2,000 free meals | News by The Thaiger

Although the crisis means Blattman must temporarily close the restaurant (again) at the end of May, he intends to go on giving back to the community.

“Our commitment to our community is still here, and we will keep our efforts up, but in a different way: dry food, going to workers’ camps, going upcountry… be assured that every penny donated will reach people in need. We are keeping a strict accounting on all our expenses and any donor is welcome to check it.”

Those wishing to support Dedos’s charitable efforts may visit its Facebook page.

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