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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: Bangkok NOT being locked down, sobering forecast for US

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Across the world the total number of Covid-19 cases has reached 858,000 (8am Thai time), registering 42,114 deaths and 177,141 people fully recovered. In the US, the number of cases has reached 187,729 – nearly 24,000 new cases in the past 24 hours and 726 people dying over the past day. Here is our page for all the latest Covid-19 news, 24 hours a day.

Italy and Spain have also had similar daily spikes in new cases and deaths as Europe struggles to ‘flatten the curve’ of the steep rise in cases. Here are the stats from the top 10 countries in the world (the statistics are only an indication and rely on full reporting and vary because of regional testing). worldometers.com

Coronavirus UPDATE: Bangkok NOT being locked down, sobering forecast for US | News by The Thaiger

Here are some snippets of coronavirus news from around the world…

THAILAND

In Thailand, the Department of Disease Control of the Ministry of Public Health confirmed 127 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases in its daily press briefing yesterday. 1 more death was also reported, bringing the national total to 10 since the outbreak began in January. The latest number raises the total number of confirmed infections in Thailand to 1,651.

Meanwhile the Thai government is reported to be mulling the following possible additional preventative measures although NONE of these have been actioned at this stage.

• considering banning alcohol sales (there have been partial bans of sales in some provinces already)

• considering cutting all public transport services

• considering preventing people from moving between provinces

• considering extending the emergency decree by 2-3 months

BANGKOK

Bangkok’s city hall has dismissed as false reports that it is announcing a full lockdown to keep city residents in their home. Pol Capt Pongsakorn Kwanmuang from the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority says that the rumours of a full lockdown could have been triggered by mixed messages from a meeting of BMA executives on Monday. He says that no further measures have been tabled or proposed at this time.

“The BMA executives didn’t discuss any further lockdown measures at the meeting.”

UK

A 13 year old boy in London is thought to be Britain’s youngest known victim of the Covid-19 virus. The teenager died at the King’s College Hospital in Camberwell, south London. The hospital statement expressed its “thoughts and condolences” to the boy’s family.

“Sadly, a 13 year old boy who tested positive for Covid-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time. The death has been referred to the Coroner and no further comment will be made.”

ASIA

The Covid-19 pandemic is “far from over” in Asia, according to a regional spokesperson for the World Health Organisation, Tarik Jasarevic.

“China has slowed transmission of the virus and passed one peak in the outbreak. The challenge now is to prevent a resurgence of new cases. This is going to be a long-term battle.”

China and South Korea have both delayed key national college entrance exams over growing fears of a second wave of coronavirus cases, underlining the difficulties countries face in returning to normal life even after successfully reining in infections.

SOUTH KOREA

South Korea, which was one of the first countries outside China to show a breakout of coronavirus cases, has now “flattened the curve” of new cases. The country how adds an average of 100 new cases a day. South Korea has postponed its annual college entrance exam and cancelled the planned reopening of schools. There are still groups of cases in churches, hospitals and nursing homes flaring up with other cases coming across the country’s borders, according to officials.

UK

Police in the UK have come under fire for some over zealous reaction to the requests for social distancing in Britain – drones filming couples as they take their dogs for a walk through country areas, drivers sent to court after being spotted on the road, person warned publicly on a Twitter feed for dropping in on his father’s 78th birthday. Police have also put black dye in a picturesque lake at Harpur Hill in Buxton to stop people going there to take photos.

There is growing concern in the UK around draconian tactics and alleged “overreach” by police forces since the PM Boris Johnson (who remains confined in his home after testing positive last Friday) announced lockdown measures on March 23.

US

America’s top scientists battling the coronavirus have estimated that Covid-19 could be responsible for killing 100,000 to 240,000 US residents, despite social distancing measures that have closed schools, banned large gatherings, limited travel and forced people to stay at home.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, coordinating the coronavirus response on behalf of the US government, presented the grim projections at a White House briefing yesterday. They described the projections as “our real number” but pledged to do everything possible to reduce it as the US President solemnly watched on.

Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx say the number of deaths could be much higher “if Americans did not follow the strict guidelines vital to keeping the virus from spreading”. The models shown at the over-2-hour media conference showed that more than 2.2 million people could have died in the US if nothing were done to try to stop the spread of the virus. President Trump echoed that message saying that now is not the time to relax.

MALAYSIA

The Malaysia government’s orders to stay-at-home has prevented major daily spikes in coronavirus infections, according to optimistic government projections yesterday. But the World Bank continues to warn that the trade-reliant country’s economy will shrink this year for the first time in more than a decade.

Malaysia recorded 140 new coronavirus cases and six deaths on Tuesday, taking the total number of infections to 2,766 with 43 fatalities. Nearly half of its infections are linked to a religious gathering held late last month.

The country, reporting the highest number of cases in south east Asia, has imposed month-long restrictions on travel and non-essential business that run until at least Apr 14.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

50,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to arrive in Thailand in early February, more ahead

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50,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to arrive in Thailand in early February, more ahead | The Thaiger
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The first 50,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines are scheduled to arrive in Thailand in the first week of February. The upcoming shipment is part of the first lot of 26 million doses on the agreed purchase in October last year. Still, Thailand needs another 35 million doses as the procured vaccines are enough for only 30 million people. The price negotiation for more AstraZeneca doses is currently underway.

According to the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, the vaccine price agreed on the purchase made in October last year is 150 baht per dose. More vaccines are expected to arrive in March and April. He also confirms he would be the first person in the country to receive an inoculation of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Apart from AstraZeneca, Thailand has also ordered the Chinese made Sinovac vaccines, but the delivery might be delayed because the vaccine’s final registration is still pending in China.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Famous Thai actor tests positive for Covid-19

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Famous Thai actor tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger

A famous Thai actor has announced he is infected with Covid-19after posting a video on Instagram. He says both him and his mother were tested, but he was the only one with a positive test result.

Techin Ployphet, aka DJ Matoom, says he met an infected but asymptomatic friend on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

Matoom detailed his timeline in the Instagram video which reveals that on January 7, he was at his condominium in the Ladprao area, but then visited Power-Buy at the Central Ladprao shopping centre at around 8pm.

The following day, he went to GMM Grammy in the morning to work and then visited the Banyan Tree Hotel at around 4pm. Then, he went to the Big C supermarket in the Ladprao area at 6pm.

On January 9, he says he checked in to a hotel at 9am and had dinner at a rooftop restaurant in the evening. It was there that he met his then-asymptomatic friend. The next evening he left the hotel and had dinner at a Korean restaurant in the Ari area before going back to his condo.

On January 19, he was again working at GMM Grammy in the morning, and then went to Central Embassy for work at 12:30pm. He visited the FoodLand supermarket at The Street Ratchada at 5pm. Then, that same day, he was notified that his friend had tested positive for the virus, which prompted him to also get tested at Bangkok Hospital that night at 10pm. He says he received the positive results yesterday.

Celebrities and actors who worked with him have now taken Covid-19 tests. One of them is actress Natapohn Taemeeruk,who says her test was negative, but will enter a self-imposed quarantine for 14 days and then will get tested again.

The Banyan Tree Hotel has issued a statement saying that it has closed its rooftop restaurant, called “Vertigo,” for cleaning and disinfection, and will reopen it this Saturday. The hotel says it will also disinfect the entire floor where the actor stayed, and has urged all employees, who were in contact with Matoom, to get tested and quarantine themselves for 14 days.

FoodLand supermarket also announced its closure for cleaning and disinfection and says it will reopen this Saturday. The air-conditioning system of the entire mall is also being cleaned. Employees deemed to be at-risk have also been tested and confirmed negative for the virus.

The CCSA’s spokesman, Taweesin Wissanuyothin, says that it is too early to determine whether Matoom could be considered a super-spreader, but he thanked him for disclosing his timeline in the public interest.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

13 Bangkok businesses allowed to reopen tomorrow

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13 Bangkok businesses allowed to reopen tomorrow | The Thaiger

Tomorrow, 13 types of businesses in Bangkok are being allowed to reopen but must have strict disease control measures in place. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration made the decision which would undoubtedly give many businesses some relief as well as potential customers.

Such businesses with restrictions include:

  • Banquet venues, which will need authorisation from BMA for events with over 300 participants
  • Amulet shops and markets
  • Beauty salons, tattoo and piercing shops
  • Fitness centers, but personal trainers and communal steam rooms are not allowed
  • Game Arcades; but all points of contact must be regularly disinfected and facemasks worn at all times.
  • Internet shops
  • Senior nursing homes, but with limited activities
  • Sports venues, except for boxing rings and race tracks, but no audiences allowed
  • Spas, Thai massage shops, excluding massage parlours
  • Gymnasia and boxing venues for training only
  • Bowling alleys and ice skating rinks, but no competitions or audiences allowed
  • Dancing academies
  • Martial art schools, but no tournaments or audiences allowed

Playgrounds, night entertainment venues, cock fighting, fish fighting, child care centres, theme parks, snooker clubs, bull fighting venues, massage parlours, tutoring schools and nurseries, however, are still ordered to stay closed.

The announcement comes after Bangkok saw 14 new cases today, joining 128 other cases reported in Thailand by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Meanwhile, plans for Chinese New Year seem to be on the back burner as the upcoming February 12 holiday has yet to see anything concrete to celebrate the new year. Pattaya city has decided to decorate its streets for the holiday, but like many other provinces, Chon Buri remains as a highly controlled zone, which essentially bans domestic and foreign tourists from entering, despite single digit infections being recently reported by authorities.

The lifting of the measures in Bangkok come after PM Prayut urged the publicto stay away from social gatherings, specifically pointing out political gatherings, which have rocked the streets of the nation’s capital for months.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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