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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE – sharp increase in cases, UK officials battle to contain a new threat

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus UPDATE – sharp increase in cases, UK officials battle to contain a new threat | The Thaiger
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There’s been a sharp spike in new cases of coronavirus, principally in the central Chinese province of Hubei. There are now 60,373 world cases, 59,805 in China. 1,369 people have died and over 6,000 recovered.

242 new deaths were recorded yesterday, the deadliest day since the start of the outbreak. So what’s behind the big rise? It’s not actually a spike in the disease, but it reflects a change in the way statistics are collected and reported. Hubei health officials are now using a broader definition to diagnose people – which accounts for the vast majority of new cases. Until yesterday, the number of people diagnosed was stabilising.

Hubei province – which accounts for more than 80% of Chinese infections – now includes “clinically diagnosed cases” in the number of confirmed case statistics. Earlier this week, a number of leading provincial health officials and party leaders were side-lined from their jobs.

Other key Coronavirus news from around the world…

• Economists are already factoring in the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Different banks and research institutions estimate that China’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for Q1 this year could be less than 4%. Whilst that’s still laudable and would be welcomed by most western economies, it’s a sharp drop from the usual 6% plus annual growth rate. The problem is that China’s economy represents more than 20% of the world economy.

Business research agencies in Japan estimate that Japan’s GDP growth could slide backwards 0.2% if the outbreak lasts more than three months, or by nearly 1% if the outbreak lasts for a whole year.

• Thailand will also be highly affected by China’s (and to a lesser extent, Japan’s) economic slumps due to its close economic ties with China through tourism, business and exports. Some international economic research houses are cutting Thailand’s projected GDP growth for 2020 from 2.7% to 2%, or less. One even forecast the possibility of negative growth for the south east Asian Kingdom.

• Several international cases of the coronavirus, from the UK and South Korea, can be traced back to Singapore. As a result, some countries are now advising against travel to the south east Asian business hub. The tiny city-state now faces unique challenges, whilst generally being commended for its management of the crisis.

Changi Airport remains one of the most interconnected hubs in the world. With a flight taking off or arriving every 80 seconds, it’s more connected than JFK in New York or San Francisco in the US, and Dubai in the UAE. Now, dozens of thermal scanners and staff wearing face masks are dotted around the terminals, automatically checking temperature, cough and other symptoms of passengers as they enter and exit Singapore.

• 12 days separate the man’s departure from Singapore after a business conference, and finding out he had been infected with the new coronavirus. When UK citizen Steve Walsh was tested he had no symptoms. But his case has now set in train a series of events leaving UK health officials battling to stop the coronavirus from spreading across the UK.

Complicating the issue, the 53 year old had a four day stopover at a French ski resort on his way back from the Singapore conference. He didn’t know it, but he was spreading the virus as he went.
By the time he alerted the British health system, the NHS, after being contacted by Singaporean authorities about the spread of coronavirus at that conference, he had unwittingly passed it on to 11 other UK citizens at the ski resort. Five of them were already back in the UK, two were GPs.

Between the six people, they had come into contact with hundreds of others around Brighton and East Sussex before being isolated. The situation is fluid as UK health officials continue to track down and test anyone who may have come into contact with the group.

• South China Morning Post reports that the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is the latest sports event to be caught up in the city’s battle against the virus outbreak and will likely be moved back to October. This year’s 45th edition of the rugby tournament, was scheduled to take place at Hong Kong Stadium from April 3 – 5. Earlier organisers said the event was “all systems go” despite the battle against the virus, but have had to shelve the World Rugby Sevens World Series stop for at least six months.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Beaches in Phuket closed until further notice

Greeley Pulitzer

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Beaches in Phuket closed until further notice | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Scandasia

The world famous beaches of the southern resort island of Phuket are now closed indefinitely in another effort by provincial officials to fight the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Governor Phakkhaphong Thawiphat, who is also heading up the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, made the announcement yesterday. The closures extend to zoos and all venues offering animal shows for tourists. Bangla Road in Patong is also closed.

“The decision is part of an effort to better control and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. By the governor’s authority under sections 22 and 35 of Communicable Disease Act, these places will be closed temporarily until further notice.”

Those who violate the order could be jailed for up to one year and/or fined up to 100,000 baht.

All nine Thai airlines have suspended flights, and many, if not most hotels in the province have closed and say they will not receive new tourists. Management are trying to figure what to do with all their staff and are asking the Thai Finance Minister and workplace authorities for clarification over employee salaries and leave entitlements during the crisis.

The governor “sought cooperation” from both locals and foreigners staying in Phuket to remain indoors from 8pm to 3am beginning yesterday until further notice, effectively placing the province under a virtual curfew, except in cases of URGENT matters.

The Public Health Ministry reported 143 new cases across the country in the past 24 hours today, bringing the total confirmed cases in Thailand to 1,388. One more patient died, bringing total deaths to 7 nationwide.

As of today, confirmed infections in Phuket stand at 53, the highest among southern provinces. 7 have recovered and returned to their homes, 46 are under treatment – none of them is considered ‘critical’. Test results are pending for 97 other people.

A total of 944 people are “under scrutiny” while 794 have tested negative, according to the Phuket provincial health authority.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand confirms 143 new coronavirus cases, 1 more death

Greeley Pulitzer

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Thailand confirms 143 new coronavirus cases, 1 more death | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health and its Department of Disease control announced 143 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus at their daily press briefing today in Bangkok (March 29), up from yesterday’s 109 new cases. There has been 1 additional death, bringing the national Covid-19 toll to 7.

The latest figures brought the total cases to 1,388 across 57 Thai provinces – 1,032 of the patients are Thais. Bangkok has a total of 515 cases, followed by Nonthaburi with 58 and Phuket with 53.

A state of emergency has been in effect nationwide since Thursday and travel heavily restricted, with checkpoints along major roads to prevent a mass migration to the provinces as newly unemployed people try to return home.

Thailand confirms 143 new coronavirus cases, 1 more death | News by The Thaiger

The Public Health Ministry stresses the need for people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus.

“People should stay at their places and stop social activities for a week. A 24 hour curfew may have to be imposed if people continue to ignore our warnings.”

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket

Greeley Pulitzer

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6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Khaosod English

Phuket island officials have reported 6 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus as of today (Sunday, March 29), bringing the total to 53 on the southern island. The details as known at time of publication are…

  • Case 48: A 42 year old Thai woman, a gift shop owner in Patong.
  • Case 49: A 32 year old Ukrainian woman who runs a health clinic in Karon.
  • Case: 50: A 27 year old Thai woman who has had close contact with foreigners.
  • Case 51: A 37 year old Thai man, a bouncer in Patong’s Bangla Road.
  • Case 52: A 36 year old Thai woman, a massuese in Patong.
  • Case 53: A 22 year old Thai woman who had close contact with another confirmed case, in Patong’s Bangla Road.

Since January 5, 944 people in Phuket have gone to hospital for testing. Of those 794 have tested negative and were sent home.

6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

 

6 new coronavirus cases in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Newshawk Phuket

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