Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: More Chinese cities restrict travel, Thailand checking land borders

The Thaiger

Published 

 on 

Coronavirus UPDATE: More Chinese cities restrict travel, Thailand checking land borders | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

The death toll from the novel coronavirus has grown to 80 today. The entire Hubei Province is now in the largest health ‘lockdown’ ever mounted in modern medical history with tight controls of who or what is inbound or outbound from the central Chinese province, plus severe restrictions on movement in place in several other Chinese cities.

The number of deaths from the flu-like virus in Hubei province climbed from 56 to 76 overnight with four deaths elsewhere in China. The total number of confirmed cases in China had risen to 2,744, but that number is sure to rise in the next days and weeks.

In Thailand, the Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has come out to assure the Thai public that current preventive measures are sufficient to control the spread of the novel coronavirus within the Kingdom. He says the Ministry is coordinating with the World Health Organisation to keep up-to-date with the evolution of the virus in China, as well as the limited cases in Thailand involving Chinese visitors.

In a livestreamed video at midnight last night, the minister said that Thailand “had been through similar crises before and is making use of the experience”, with updated technology and tracking to suit the current situation.

Anutin announced that there have been eight confirmed cases in Thailand, all of them tourists who had flown in from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicentre of the current outbreak.

“Five of these have already returned home with the remaining three clear of the virus with their condition steadily improving.”

“I can assure you that, for the time being, the situation is under control.”

The Minister confirmed that 84 Chinese tourists remain under observation in Thailand, including 24 who were detected with a “fever” at airport screening on their arrival. 60 other voluntarily admitted themselves to hospital after developing symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

“45 of them, however, have been discharged and have returned to China, leaving 39 still under observation.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, claims that person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus is “not easy”. He made his comments after following the recovery of 40 patients, including medical personnel who had been working in close contact with infected patients without becoming infected themselves.

Apart from screenings at all international airports, Chinese nationals entering Thailand over the Cambodian border point in Aranyaprathet district are also being given thermal health scans for signs of the coronavirus. About 500 Chinese in tour groups passed through the checkpoint this morning. They were all screened and none were detected with any symptoms. All were allowed to enter Thailand, according to the Bangkok Post.

The side-effects of the global concerns include international markets. The US S&P500 futures fell more than 1% in Asian trade this morning on mounting worries the outbreak of the virus could severely disrupt the Chinese economy.

China’s cabinet says it is extending the week-long Chinese New Year holiday to ten days, to February 2 in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. And Beijing is calling for full transparency in managing the crisis, after losing public trust following a cover-up of the spread of SARS, a similar coronavirus that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002 and 2003.

The World Health Organisation has stopped short of designating the outbreak a “global health emergency”, but some international health experts question if China can contain the epidemic.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrived in Beijing over the weekend to meet government officials and health experts dealing with the outbreak.

Meanwhile, France, Italy, Japan, Thailand and the US have all announced evacuation plans to repatriate their citizens from Wuhan. France said it expected to repatriate up to a few hundred of its 800 citizens living in the Wuhan area. The French government says the evacuees will spend 14 days in quarantine to avoid the spread of the virus when they return. In Thailand the government has also announced plans to use civilian and Air Force planes to bring Thai citizens, including students and massage spa workers, home.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

Health officials say 2 people in state quarantine tested positive for Covid-19, apparently catching the virus for a second time. A 42 year old Thai man recently tested positive for Covid-19 while in Chon Buri state quarantine after returning from Singapore. He first caught the virus a few months ago while in Singapore. He didn’t need hospital treatment and quarantined until he was declared clear of the virus on June 11.

In another apparent reinfection, a 58 year old Thai man tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from Kuwait. Health officials say the man first came in contact with the virus in Kuwait. He was hospitalised and recovered before coming back to Thailand.

Thailand currently has 3,519 confirmed coronavirus cases with 59 reported deaths and 3,360 recoveries. The majority of recent cases have been detected in the mandatory 14 day quarantine for those entering the country.

Health officials are still investigating apparent local transmissions. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a reported local transmission. Health officials say he tested positive for the G-strain of the virus which is more infectious, but less severe. They say the G-strain is typically detected in state quarantine from people returning to Thailand rather than in local cases.

In another apparent local transmission, a Uzbek football player for the Biriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He tested negative for the virus multiple times in quarantine after arriving to Thailand from Uzbekistan. He was released from quarantine and later tested positive for the virus. Some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Total cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Daily cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Thailand’s Covid-19 task force is advising the government to extend the country’s state of emergency by a further month… again. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration plans to discuss the matter next Tuesday and put it to Cabinet for consideration on Wednesday.

The state of emergency, or emergency decree, which has been extended several times since its introduction in March, is due to expire at the end of this month. It has been extended, on a month by month basis, many times this year since it was introduced to short-circuit the process of implementation of Covid-19 preventative measures. However, the CCSA says an extension is vital to ensure various government agencies can work speedily to combat any threat from Covid-19, particularly as neighbouring countries experience a spike in infections.

Thailand has already taken steps to seal the porous border with Myanmar after a surge in cases means that country is now recording over 500 new infections a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Tourism

Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds | The Thaiger
Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says the mandatory quarantine period for those arriving from overseas could be reduced to 7 days if there is no spike in Covid-19 infections after the border re-opens to limited arrivals from October. For the minister’s part, the 7 day quarantine is merely speculation at this stage.

Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says more details on the planned Special Tourist Visa will be made available following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The STV is expected to grant entry to long-stay arrivals from October 1. Visitors can then extend their stay by 90 days twice, meaning a stay of nearly 9 months in total will be possible. Each extension will cost 2,000 baht, under the current STV proposal.

The government is currently being extremely cautious with its plans to re-open the borders to international arrivals. However, in a Bangkok Post report today, Phiphat says that if the first 2 groups of arrivals, 300 foreign tourists in total, fulfil the 14 day quarantine period without testing positive for the virus, it may be possible to increase the number of visitors granted entry to the Kingdom. And reduce the length of the mandatory quarantine.

“Only 300 tourists per week will not be enough to fill up the whole supply chain and help operators (not even close!). However, the figure has to comply with the capacity of the healthcare workforce from the Public Health Ministry to prepare swab tests.”

It’s understood the Tourism Ministry has been in talks with private hospitals about supplying additional manpower to facilitate the testing being carried out at airports. Another option is to test arrivals at quarantine facilities, in order to avoid holdups at airport arrival terminals. Currently, the Phuket Provincial Health Office has the ability to conduct 1,000 tests a day.

Should the gradual re-opening in October pass without a significant spike in Covid-19 cases, Phiphat says the government may consider halving the 14 day quarantine period from mid-November. Visitors will still be required to be tested prior to arrival, several times while in quarantine, and again before being released.

“In the event there are 5 positive cases from 300 tourists, the plan to welcome foreigners has to move forward anyway. But we will set up new alternative plans to cope with the situation.”

A reduction in the quarantine period may succeed in attracting more visitors, particularly given the high cost of staying at certain alternative state quarantine facilities, which tourists must foot the bill for themselves. An increase in foreign arrivals is seen as essential to the recovery of the tourism sector in areas currently struggling to survive since the border shutdown 6 months ago.

The Tourism Council of Thailand has visited places such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Udon Thani, and Rayong, to talk to local business owners. In presenting its findings to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, TCT president, Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, says the government must find a solution to help the tourism sector.

The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts that once the global Covid situation is brought under control, foreign arrivals to Thailand should reach the 60 million mark and contribute 25% of the country’s GDP by 2023. The prediction of 60 million tourists per year would be a more than 50% increase on 2019’s published arrival numbers, optimistic at best, and against the trend of international travel consultants that say the world’s travel industry could take up to a decade to recover to pre-covid numbers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending