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Coronavirus UPDATE: Spark in cases in Italy and South Korea, Air Asia cancels flights

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Coronavirus UPDATE: Spark in cases in Italy and South Korea, Air Asia cancels flights | Thaiger
PHOTO: Italian police monitoring the close down of Venice Carnival festivities - The Independent

Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases have now reached 79,561 around the world, with 77,345 of the cases confined to China. The rise in cases has been principally in China with 409 new cases and South Korea with 161 new cases. 2,619 people have died from the infection.

The major outbreaks, outside China, have been in South Korea, aboard the Diamond Princess (still moored in Yokohama Bay, Japan) and now also in Italy.

Coronavirus UPDATE: Spark in cases in Italy and South Korea, Air Asia cancels flights | News by Thaiger

Here’s some of the key coronavirus updates from around the world…

Italian officials cancelled the annual Venice Carnival, cutting short the event by two days. The situation in Italy is the worst outbreak of the coronavirus in Europe. There are now a57 confirmed cases in Italy with 78 confirmed in the past 24 hours.

Three people have died in Italy. Now Italian officials have imposed strict quarantine restrictions in two northern “hotspot” regions close to Milan and Venice. The cities of Veneto (5 million) and Lombardy (10 million) have virtually quarantined about 55,000 people in sections of the cities for the next two weeks. They will be confined to their homes and prevented from travelling.

Even outside the zone, many businesses and schools have suspended activities, and sporting events have been cancelled.


Thai AirAsia X, the international brand of Air Asia, announced the cancellation of some flights operating to and from South Korea from March 6-27. Passengers are being offered a range of options.

• Passengers can postpone the travel date on the same route for one time within 30 days from the original schedule without additional costs. However, it will depend on seat availability on the flight and the conditions specified.

• Passengers can keep their points in the AirAsia BIG point reward account for travel in future, which must be booked within 90 calendar days from the original schedule. However, passengers can schedule the new travel date after the expiry date if the flight schedule is still available.

• Passengers can request a full refund for all flights to and from South Korea. The airline will inform concerned passengers about the cancellation via email or SMS. Meanwhile, passengers can request offers via Ava Live Chat at support.airasia.com. In case of booking through a dealer or online travel agent, passengers must proceed with the agent that they had booked with. However, the airline will monitor the situation closely and update information periodically.

Passengers can find the latest updates via Twitter: @AirAsia_Thai and Facebook: facebook.com/airasia.


Thai education minister Nataphol Teepsuwan says that the ministry has asked teachers and students who had travelled to six countries, including China, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, to voluntarily remain confined to their homes for 14 days.

“The measure is in line with the Public Health Ministry’s guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Parents of students who travelled to those six countries should also stay at home in order to make sure that they were not infected by the coronavirus.”

The number of virus cases in Thailand remains at 35. Epidemiologists earlier believed that the virus could be transmitted to other people even though those infected may not have fallen ill yet. Recently scientists studying virus cases in China said that the virus incubation period may be longer than 14 days, and perhaps up to 20 days.


South Korean health officials say they’ve decided to raise the alert level over the COVID-19 virus to “highest” in response to the confirmation of hundreds of additional cases over the weekend.

President Moon Jae-in says that the next few days are critical in official efforts to contain the virus.

“The COVID-19 incident has been confronted by a grave watershed. A few days from now is a very important moment.”

It’s the first time that the country, traditionally known for tight quarantine measures, has raised the virus alert level to “serious,” the highest in the four-tier system, in 11 years since its previous step against Influenza A (H1N1).

The president said the government and the local authorities should not hesitate to take “unprecedented powerful” measures to contain the viral disease without being limited by “regulations.”

The President mentioned a minor Christian sect, known as Shincheonji. Its church in Daegu, 300 kilometres southeast of Seoul, is viewed as an epicenter of many infections reported over the past few days. The 31st reported patient infected with the virus, a woman in her 60s, is presumed to have attended lengthy crowded worship services at the church in Daegu before testing positive for the virus last week.

The number of confirmed cases in South Korea, mostly in Daegu and the nearby town of Cheongdo, have since shot up to over 556 as of Sunday morning. Moon pointed out that health authorities are taking “special” steps in connection with the followers of Shincheonji, meaning “new world” in Korean.

Coronavirus UPDATE: Spark in cases in Italy and South Korea, Air Asia cancels flights | News by Thaiger

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Cambodia threatens jail for Covid-19 quarantine violations

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Cambodia threatens jail for Covid-19 quarantine violations | Thaiger
PHOTO: PM Hun Sen imposes harsh Covid-19 restrictions

In the face of expanding Covid-19 infections in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned that violators of quarantine may face prison sentences, and government workers could be fired if they don’t get vaccines. More than 1,000 new Coronavirus cases were diagnosed in the last 2 days along, nearly 25% of the total cases since the pandemic began. The government has forbidden out-of-province travel and implemented evening curfews in the main city of Phnom Penh. They even shut down all the tourist attractions including the world-famous Angkor Wat temple complex.

Face masks are already mandatory now in Phnom Penh, with fines up to US $250 for anyone caught violating the order. But PM Hun Sen, himself having had a close brush with Covid-19 months ago, has imposed a 2-week quarantine and has made it clear that punishment for any rule-breakers will be harsh and swift. The government has already enacted a strict bill to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Cambodia, with prison terms of up to 20 years for serious violators. In an address broadcast on state-run television, he promised a “quick trial’.

“People who break Covid measures must be sentenced, I accept being called a dictator, but I will also be admired for protecting my people’s lives.”

Cambodia began Covid-19 vaccination in February, with a million citizens already receiving at least their first of two injections. In a country of 16 million, that 6% is a healthy start for their vaccination programme. The Prime Minister also declared vaccination mandatory for all state officials and members of the military. He asserted that their job was on the line if they failed to comply.

Cambodia had done well with low Covid-19 infection numbers during the pandemic, but in February, the virus tore through the Chinese ex-pat community, with the outbreak causing a surge in infections proliferating across the country. The situation is worsening now, as hospitals in Phnom Penh are running out of beds and the government is converting large halls and local schools into medical centres for mildly afflicted patients.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave

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Nightlife plays major role in Covid-19 third wave | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Krystal Club Thonglor25 is one of many high-end clubs where Covid-19 spread

The current surge in Covid-19 infections now looks to be spread in large part by Thailand’s colourful nightlife, with more than 500 people contracting the more contagious UK variant (B117) of the Coronavirus. The government responded by closing all bars and entertainment venues in 41 provinces, but it may be too late to prevent a third wave of the pandemic. Many people now are critical, pointing to the first and second wave as harbingers of how the party nightlife can so easily transmit Covid-19.

At the beginning of the pandemic, partiers in Bangkok’s Thong Lor area began testing positive for Covid-19 last March. The Public Health Ministry instructed everyone to follow safety measures to prevent a big outbreak. The area is well known to be a hotspot for Bangkok’s wealthy elite and powerful with its multitude of high-end luxury clubs and bars.

A normal night has thousands of people roaming the streets into the late hours of the evening. But after infections started spreading, all nightlife was closed until July when Thailand overall had gained some control and contained the Coronavirus more successfully than most countries. In fact, it would be months before any new infections were diagnosed in the area.

While it’s commonly known that the next wave of Covid-19 in Thailand started mainly from migrant workers and low wage market workers, even the second round of infections was proliferated by people enjoying the nightlife around Thailand. There was a case of a woman in the North who went to several bars before knowing that she had contracted the virus in January, and, when the details of her bar-hopping were released, many customers of a bar she attended in Chiang Mai had already contracted Covid-19 as well. Meanwhile, in Bangkok, Techin “DJ Matoom” Ploypetch held a lavish all-night party in a luxury hotel in January. Facing criminal charges for violating Covid-19 restrictions, he has recovered from the virus himself but the party became a spreader event. None of these nightlife outbreaks stopped people from pouring back into the club scene as soon as it reopened in February.

Now Thailand is facing a massive shutdown with the threat of a third wave of Covid-19 inescapable. One major factor in the rapidly spreading infections is trendy evening entertainment venues around Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya among other areas. A 35-year-old man who contracted Covid-19 reported he had been partying in Thong Lor the month before. Testing clubgoers from bars and entertainment venues in the area revealed an outbreak of Covid-19 infections.

Krystal Club Thonglor25 gained attention as powerful politicians and the wealthy elite that frequent the club so often it’s nicknamed “Government House 2”. 1/3 of Thailand’s cabinet ministers are currently self-isolating and it was rumoured that the Transport Minister had gotten C0vid-19 from visiting the infamous Krystal Club, though rumours were later dispelled.

But growing anger has emerged towards the upscale party-going set, with the hashtag #thonglorpub trending across social media since Wednesday, and many people complaining as the country closes down entertainment venues for the next two weeks and maybe facing further lockdown procedures.

The bar and club scene is a hotspot for Covid clusters since social distancing and mask-wearing are rarely enforced, in poorly ventilated rooms with throngs of tightly packed people. A list has emerged of high society hot spots where anyone in attendance in the past few weeks is being requested to get Covid-19 tests right away after customers at each has tested positive for covid.

  • Krystal Club Thonglor25
  • Bar Bar Bar,
  • Ekamai Beer House,
  • Emerald Thonglor13
  • Dirty Bar
  • Bottoms up Thonglor
  • AINU Hokkaido lzakaya & Bar
  • the Cassette Music Bar Ekamai
  • 63 Music House Ekamai

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death

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Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: A surge in new infections as people are tested following nightlife clusters.

789 new Covid-19 infections and 1 death were reported today by the CCSA. The death, a 68 year old Thai man from Nakhon Pathom, had died April 4 but was yesterday confirmed as dying from complications from Coronavirus. Only 8 infections were international arrivals, with 522 local infections and 259 diagnosed today through contact tracing.

The international infections were Thai and foreigners and included 3 arriving from Russia and 1 each from the US, UK, Oman, India, and Canada. 33 former patients are now fully recovered from the virus and discharged in the past 24 hours.

Earlier today 17 new infections were identified in Phuket and will go into tomorrow’s official national count. This brings the island’s total new infections this week to 43, almost all of them a result of an influx of Bangkok party-goers to events last weekend.

This new jump in Covid-19 brings the total infections in Thailand to 31,658 – c28,463 local cases and 3,195 internationally imported cases, 17,000+ of those cases were diagnosed from proactive testing. 28,161 have been released as ‘recovered’ with 2,645 people currently undergoing treatment and 97 total deaths.

Thailand is now 113th on the list of most cases globally, with the USA’s 31.8 million infections still more than the next 3 countries combined – Brazil with 13.37 million, India with 13.2 million, and France with 4.98 million. Russia rounds out the top 5 with 4.62 million infections.

The global total is up almost 800,000 to 135.29 million cases with 23.3 million active cases, just over 100,000 of which are considered in critical condition. 108,86 million have recovered from the virus, and 2.92 million have died, including 13,268 today.

Big Covid-19 numbers today: 789 new infections, 1 death | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation Thailand

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