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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: President Xi addresses “grave situation of the rapid spreading epidemic”

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The Novel Coronavirus that infects the respiratory tract and gives patients flu-like symptoms, is now responsible for at least 42 deaths in central China (40 in Hubei), with 15 new fatalities reported yesterday, and more than 1,409 cases in total. At this stage the spread of the virus outside China has been extremely isolated with overseas authorities quarantining any confirmed cases detected. Confirmed cases outside of China remain at 38 this morning (below).

China’s President Xi Jinping chaired a meeting with top officials of the ruling Communist Party on the prevention and control of the outbreak yesterday. Xi made it clear that in facing the “grave situation of the rapid spreading epidemic” of the new coronavirus, it is necessary to strengthen the centralised leadership team”.

Meanwhile, in France, where 3 cases were detected on Friday, a leading doctor treating two Paris patients says that the illness “appears less serious than comparable outbreaks of the past and that the chance of a European epidemic appears weak at this stage”.

• Yesterday, the trade association of Chinese travel agencies announced it would suspend overseas tour groups and flight/hotel vacation packages for all Chinese citizens, effective tomorrow (Monday).

• Chinese President Xi has ordered officials in the Hubei Province (where Wuhan is the capital) to take more rigorous measures to prevent the virus from spreading and to locate all patients in centralised quarantine. He is urging the country’s party committees and governments at various levels to fully implement the decisions and policies made by the Party’s Central Committee, and make all efforts to mobilise resources to curb the spread of the virus.

• President Xi called for “strengthening the protection of medical staff, ensuring the market supply of materials in need, intensifying disclosure of related information to guide the public opinion as well as the mobilisation of social forces to uphold the overall stability of society”.

• All Chinese domestic group and packaged tours were stopped on Friday.

• The Chinese central government says it is sending more than 1,200 health workers, along with 135 People’s Liberation Army medical personnel, to Wuhan. The announcement is an unprecedented effort to control the spread of the virus.

• The US government has announced a charter flight for diplomats in Wuhan, according to CNN. The French government has also chartered a bus to transport its citizens out of the city.

• Videos and witness accounts from Wuhan indicate packed hospitals and overworked staff. A new, 1,000 bed hospital is being built on the city’s outskirts, which will be ready by February 3.

• In the US, the first two cases of coronavirus were confirmed this week – a man in his 30s who is under observation in Washington State and a Chicago woman in her 60s.

• Confirmed cases of coronavirus in China and around the world now stand at more than 1,400 globally. China has already restricted travel for more than 30 million people, a move considered unprecedented. Medical facilities are struggling in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, as authorities race to build a new hospital for those affected.

• US President Trump has tweeted his thanks to President Xi and China’s efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus.

• A Hong marathon running event marathon, due to take place in a couple of weeks, has been cancelled amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak. Organiser assured the event’s 70,000 participants that they will receive refunds. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has raised its response level “emergency,” and the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam has cancelled the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival events for Chinese New Year.

Cases outside mainland China…

Hong Kong: 5
Thailand: 5
Australia: 4
Taiwan: 3
Malaysia: 3
Japan: 3
France: 3
Singapore: 3
US: 2
Macao: 2
Vietnam: 2
South Korea: 2
Nepal: 1

SOURCE: CNN

 

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    bruce

    Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 11:50 am

    the chicoms were getting ready to launch this virus in HK so they could invade under the auspices of humanitarian aid. Someone fumbled! Since the “peoples liberation” army engineered it, hopefully they have the cure!

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Family sues prime minister, CCSA after Covid-infected relative dies

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Photo from Kunlasub Wattnaphon's Facebook.

The family of a man who died while infected with Covid-19 is demanding the prime minister, as well as other government officials, pay millions of baht in compensation, citing “negligence” after calls to Covid-19 hotlines went unanswered or were not of help.

35 year old Kunlasub Watthanaphon died on April 23. Kunlasub is said to have contracted the virus from a cluster in Bangkok. Many of the clusters of infections early in the recent outbreak were concentrated in nightlife districts in Bangkok including Thong Lor and Ekkamai.

When Kunlasub developed Covid-19 symptoms, he called the hotline numbers for those who think they make have contracted the virus. If he had received proper treatment quicker, the family says he might still be alive.

“The CCSA announced telephone helplines – 1330, 1422, 1668, 1669 and 1323 – for people who suspected they had contracted Covid-19. When my brother developed Covid-like symptoms he called these numbers. However, they were either busy or someone picked up but did not send help right away.”

Kunlasub had documented his illness on Facebook, posting updates, as well as photos and videos, up until the day of his death.

The death of the 35 year old man, who is well known in the esport, or video competition industry, sparked controversy. One person wrote on Facebook after Kunlasub’s death “My friend didn’t die because of a congenital disease. He died because he wasn’t treated in the early days.”

The case was filed at the Administrative Court today. It demands compensation of 4.53 million baht from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration as well as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, his secretary and the prime minister’s office.

The family is also suing Thong Lor entertainment venues, where the first clusters were reported in the recent outbreak, for negligence.

“Had the CCSA imposed a strict lockdown on entertainment venues and banned travel during the Songkran holiday, the latest wave of Covid-19 with over 2,000 new infections daily would never have happened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Inmates in Thai prisons to get vaccinated against Covid-19 next month

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Bangkok Remand Prison / Google

All inmates in Thai prisons will be vaccinated against Covid-19 starting next month. The announcement of the nationwide prison vaccination campaign follows this week’s outbreaks infecting nearly 3,000 inmates at 2 Bangkok prisons. There have also been outbreaks at prisons in Chiang Mai and the southern province of Narathiwat.

At the Central Women’s Correctional Institution in Bangkok, more than 1,000 inmates are infected with Covid-19. The outbreak started from a new inmate who was infected with the virus, according to the Department of Corrections director-general. At the Bangkok Remand Prison, where more than half of the prison population has tested positive for Covid-19, the virus was brought into the prison by a department official who was infected.

With Covid-19 spreading and infecting inmates at Thai prisons, human rights activists have called on Thai authorities to tackle the longstanding problem of overcrowded prisons and release inmates that are in court detention for minor or nonviolent crimes.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 at Thai prisons, the Department of Corrections also plans to conduct rapid Covid-19 tests on new inmates before they are placed in the general prison population. The tests results come back in 20 minutes and inmates will no longer need to quarantine for long periods waiting for a result.

Many officials who work for the Department of Corrections, like guards who are in close contact with inmates, have already been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The department will start vaccinating inmates once another order of Covid-19 vaccines arrives in June. Those who are at high risk of a severe infection will be vaccinated first.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand urged to join in reducing global prisoners for Covid-19

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PHOTO: Overcrowding plagues the Thai prison system and has created a Covid-19 crisis. (via Youtube)

After it was revealed that nearly 3,000 inmates in Thailand’s prison system have Covid-19, criticism and calls are mounting to follow the global trend of reducing the total number of prisoners in the country. Human rights groups are calling for the release of inmates held on minor charges, with Amnesty International Thailand requesting those in “unnecessary custody to be minimised” in an open letter sent to the Supreme Court president and Justice Ministry on Tuesday.

Covid-19 outbreaks in prison have been a problem for many countries, with the United Kingdom identifying 12,000 infections and considering plans to prioritise vaccinations for those incarceration facilities. The United States, a country with one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks and the largest prison population in the world, saw 612,000 prisoner infections.

Amnesty International argued that over 600,000 inmates had been scheduled for release in 100 countries to minimise Covid-19 risk by reducing overcrowded prisoners. In New South Wales, Australia 14,000 non-felony inmates are scheduled for release, and in New Jersey in the US 1,000 releases are being considered. Even in Iran, prison populations were thinned with the March release of 85,000 prisoners.

In Thailand, plans for reducing the number of incarcerated prisoners by freeing more than 50,000 inmates are being enacted. Suspending sentences, requesting Royal pardons, and even amending laws to free those serving on drug offences are avenues being pursued, according to Thailand’s Justice Minister. He also denied rumours of a Covid-19 cover-up, saying that the Department of Corrections just received complete data on Wednesday and released it then.

Only six staff members of Thai prisons have been infected while 1,795 prisoners at Bangkok Remand Prison and 1,040 prisoners at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution now have Covid-19. Inmates have reported dire conditions, with symptomatic prisoners found in nearly every holding cell. Field hospitals have been set up within prisons to treat mild infections and those more seriously afflicted have been moved to hospitals.

Overcrowding is a major problem for prisons in Thailand, a country with one of the highest incarceration rates worldwide. The maximum capacity for Thailand’s 143 incarceration centres is 217,000 people but the World Prison Brief reports that Thailand’s prison system now houses over 377,000 inmates, highlighting the need for reducing the number of prisoners in the country.

Authorities at these institutions say that prisoners returning from attending court hearings are responsible for bringing in infections. But prisoners have reported that all inmates returning on any given day are held together for their 14 day isolation period instead of separated to avoid Covid-19 spread.

Vaccines are expected to arrive in prisons next month where, just like the general population, they will first be given to those with chronic diseases and other high-risk inmates. The Department of Corrections expects to receive enough jabs for the entire prison population.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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