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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, 1,200+ patients now fully recovered

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Coronavirus UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, 1,200+ patients now fully recovered | The Thaiger

As of Thursday afternoon, World Health Organisation officials have raised the death toll to 565, with a total of 28,299 cases identified around the world. The number of full recoveries now exceeds 1,200 and rising fast as many of the earlier cases progress to full recovery.

Below we’ve catalogued a lot of the latest news from around the world from the past 24 hours as The Thaiger brings you up to date with coronavirus news.

Coronavirus UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, 1,200+ patients now fully recovered | News by The Thaiger

• South Korean electronics giant LG has pulled out of one of the largest tech shows in the world. LG has cancelled its appearance at Mobile World Congress, held each year in Barcelona, Spain. MWC is set to open on February 24 and is the world’s largest mobile-focused tech show. China’s ZTE has also dropped plans for a media conference at the event but will still host a stand.

Meanwhile Sony says “coronavirus could negatively affect production in its factories”, which make components for Apple and Huawei.

• Hong Kong will impose a mandatory 14 day quarantine on all visitors from mainland China as it battles to prevent the spread of a coronavirus outbreak. (Not good if you were going on a three day holiday!) The policy will come into effect from this Saturday but officials refused to close the border entirely. The demands to close the borders 100% by medical authorities, and the HK government’s refusal to do so, has caused the territory’s medical staff to go on strike.

Hong Kong has 21 confirmed cases and one fatality from the current coronavirus outbreak. It suffered 300 deaths from the SARS outbreak in 2002/2003.

• Hong Kong’s legacy airline, Cathay Pacific has sent a memo to staff asking them to take three weeks of unpaid leave as it struggles to cope with the impact of the coronavirus. The HK carrier had already been hit by the effect on passenger sentiment after months of anti-government protests.
Cathay has offered a voluntary special leave scheme to all employees starting March 1-June 30.

This week Cathay also announced it intended to cut services by about 30% over the next two months, including a cut of about 90% in flights into mainland China.

• The UK government has chartered a final flight to bring British nationals back from Wuhan, the city in the centre of the current outbreak. The plane will depart this Sunday and land at RAF Brize Norton. UK citizens in mainland China are being urged to leave China after the outbreak claimed more lives. More than 100 UK nationals have already been repatriated.

• The novel coronavirus has infected more than 28,000 people but relatively few children appear to have developed severe symptoms at this stage. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, says that cases in children remain rare.

“The median age of patients is between 49 and 56 years.”

The paper, compiled from extensive statistics gathered by the WHO and Chinese authorities since the beginning of the outbreak, asks why more children aren’t getting sick?

Dr. Malik Peiris, chief of virology at the University of Hong Kong, has developed a diagnostic test for the new coronavirus.

“My strong, educated guess is that younger people are getting infected, but they get the relatively milder disease. Scientists may not be seeing more infected children because we don’t have data on the milder cases.”

In one case, a 10 year old visited Wuhan with his family. Once heading back to their home in Shenzhen, near the border of Hong Kong, the other infected family members, aged 36 to 66, developed fever, sore throat, diarrhea and pneumonia.

• The most cases of coronavirus confirmed in a single day were reported in the past 24 hours, according to the World Health Organisation.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, told a news conference in Geneva yesterday of the large number of new cases. He also noted, statistically, that the rise in sheer numbers doesn’t mean the disease is spreading any faster than in the past.

“In the last 24 hours we had the most cases in a single day since the outbreak started.”

Health officials reported coronavirus infections in mainland China rose sharply yesterday with 3,887 additional cases and 65 new deaths reported.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports

Maya Taylor

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Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will chair a meeting on Monday, in which a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles will be discussed. Anutin says those who’ve been inoculated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

“The Public Health Ministry is making preparations to bring life back to normal, restore businesses and revive the Thai economy.”

A number of groups and industry representatives have added their voices to growing calls for a vaccine passport policy. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is urging the government to implement the scheme without further delay, while also calling for private companies in Thailand to be allowed purchase and distribute vaccines.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also pushing for a vaccine passport policy, while the Tourism Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to approve one. Meanwhile the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the Foreign Ministry to carry out a study on vaccine passports, adding that the jury is still out as to their effectiveness. They also have their critics, primarily among rights’ groups and doctors, who argue that there is not yet enough evidence that vaccination prevents transmission.

At Monday’s meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Committee, the Anutin-led panel will also discuss the idea of travel bubbles. Thailand has been considering entering into reciprocal travel arrangements with countries with a high take-up of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Anutin says the public must continue with the practice of mask-wearing, noting that the number of Thais doing so has recently slipped. He says that recent data shows the number of people wearing masks has dropped below 80%, compared to 90% last month.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Medical News

A hospital in the northern province of Tak has had to shut its doors to visitors after 2 patients treated at the facility subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that Mae Sot Hospital is now closed to visitors until Monday.

It’s understood that 19 staff members have had contact with 2 patients who tested positive for the virus. Hospital director Thawatchai Setsuppana says the closure is to facilitate a deep clean of the facility and confirmed that a number of medical workers are self-isolating.

“3 doctors, 11 nurses and 5 patient assistants have been ordered to undergo 14-day quarantine.”

Officials are now questioning both patients, in an effort to trace others who may have had contact with them. Tak province is on the border with Myanmar, which has had 142,000 cases of the virus, with 3,200 deaths.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Sukothai, the provincial Public Health Office has confirmed that a Thai national who returned from working at a casino in Myanmar has also tested positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the woman developed symptoms prior to entering Thailand at the border town of Mae Sot on March 1, before taking a bus to her home in order to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

The provincial health office has issued a statement to confirm the timeline of the woman’s movements. It’s understood 17 people had contact with the woman, with 7 of those considered “high-risk”.

“On March 2, she took a Covid-19 test at Sukhothai Hospital and went shopping in Muang district before heading home. She was admitted to Ban Dan Lan Hoi Hospital on March 3 after her test came back positive.”

It is unclear how the woman managed to evade the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Border officials have stepped up patrols in recent weeks, amid fears that Burmese nationals fleeing the violence in Myanmar may attempt to cross illegally into Thailand, bypassing health checks and quarantine.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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