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Coronavirus UPDATE: World total passes 1 million cases, Covid-19 vs Flu

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus UPDATE: World total passes 1 million cases, Covid-19 vs Flu | The Thaiger
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Case numbers have passed through the 1,000,000 mark, whilst world deaths have now reached over 50,000 as we wake up on the final day of the week in Thailand. Just after 7am the total around the globe has now reach 1,015,000 cases since the outbreak started and over 53,000 people have nw died as a result of the Covid-19 virus.

717,000 of those cases are still ‘active’ cases and over 37,000 of the patients are considered serious or critical.

Bottomline, we’re still in the early days of this pandemic and the world has a lot more pain to endure, and action to take, before we see a levelling out of the curve and, eventually, a drop in cases. For now there is no cure whilst labs around the world are racing to develop a reliable and safe vaccine. Clinical trials are underway but scientists warn that the final results are probably a year away.

Again, it’s the US, which added 29,317 cases in the past 24 hours, that is contributing nearly 25% of the world’s current cases. Italy, Spain and Germany, all with populations of 46-82 million each, now lead China’s total number of cases. China yesterday added 35 new cases and 6 deaths as it grapples with a steady re-opening of services.

Here are the world’s 14 leading countries with coronavirus cases…

Coronavirus UPDATE: World total passes 1 million cases, Covid-19 vs Flu | News by The Thaiger

worldometers.com

THREE MONTHS AGO

Back on January 6 The Thaiger published an article about Thai arrivals being checked at four international airports after early cases of a mysterious virus were emerging in Wuhan, China. At that stage 59 patients had been placed under observation. Just three days later a case of the ‘Chinese pneumonia’ was detected in Chiang Mai.

DAILY TV NEWS REPORT below

THAILAND

Last night Thailand’s PM announced a nationwide curfew between 10pm – 4am starting from today (Friday) to try to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the Kingdom.

There will be some exceptions to the new measure, including the transport of medical supplies, movement of people into quarantine, patients and travel of medical personnel, according to the statement presented this afternoon.

Also announced in the past 24 hours is a total ban on all foreign arrivals until at least April 15.

Thaveesilp Wissanuyothin, spokesman of the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says that PM Prayut Chan-ocha has ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a new directive prohibiting any new arrivals.

COVID-19 vs SEASONAL FLU

Covid-19 and influenza vary drastically. 80% of Covid-19 infections have so far been relatively mild or even asymptomatic, 15% are severe (requiring oxygen and hospitalisation) and 5% are critical (requiring ventilation). These figures are considerably higher than what is typically observed in flu, a LOT higher.

Covid-19 is also more deadly than seasonal influenza. The raw data for mortality rates for Covid-19, based on cases to date, is currently estimated by the World Health Organisation (and all the available statistical data) to be between 3-4%, with seasonal influenza sitting well below 0.1%.

US

The US has now reported more than 244,000 cases, and the number of deaths has reached 5,900, 795 of them just yesterday. And 6.6 million people in the US filed for unemployment last week, the highest number of initial claims in history.

The government’s appointed task force’s response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, says she can tell by looking at the US curve of coronavirus cases that not every American is following the guidelines set out by the administration for people to stay home and be vigilant about washing their hands.

“Just to everybody out there across the country, when we say no gatherings of 10, we want to be clear, if you have a family of 10, we don’t want you to be split up. The guidelines mean people should be having no dinner parties, no cocktail parties.”

“I know you’ve seen the slope on the US versus the slope in Italy, and we have to change that slope. What it means in the US is not everyone is doing it.”

With more than 1,000 cases added in one day, there are now 9,191 people in California with coronavirus and 203 have died. New York City has a total of 49,707 coronavirus cases and has recorded 1,562 deaths.

BRAZIL

For third day in a row, Brazil’s health authorities have reported a consecutive spike of more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day. 1,074 new cases were announced yesterday, bringing the South American country’s total number of cases to 7,910 and 299 deaths. The rapid spike, over the past week, is an indication of the country’s starting of mass testing.

SPAIN

Spain announced 961 people had died in the previous 24 hours. The number of confirmed Spanish cases rose from 102,136 on Wednesday to 112,065 – an 8% rise that is similar to the rate recorded in previous days. Authorities believe the virus is now peaking and say they expect to see a drop in figures in the days ahead. Spain, the second-worst hit nation in terms of deaths, has also lost nearly 900,000 jobs.

María José Sierra, from Spain’s health ministry’s emergency co-ordination unit says… “We continue with an increase of around 8%. This points, as we have already seen, to a stabilisation in the data that we’re registering.”

CHINA

The Chinese city of Shenzhen, sharing a border with Hong Kong, is banning the eating of dogs and cats as part of a wider clampdown on the wildlife trade since the start of the new coronavirus.

Scientists speculate the coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a popular wildlife market in Wuhan, central China, where bats, snakes, civets (small cat-like mammals) and other animals were sold.

TRACKING

If you want to track the growth of Coronavirus, and hopefully the eventual dropping of case numbers, here are some websites you can go to for the info…

Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering

The map aggregates data from 17 sources, including the World Health Organisation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and several individual governments.

COVID Tracking Project

These statistics lay out the cases numbers and stats around all US states.

Worldometer

It’s a general reference site that aggregates case numbers and lays statistics out in an orderly, numerical fashion.

91-DIVOC

If you want to track the ‘curve’ we’re watching for the ‘flattening of the curve’, here it is in stark daily upsets.

SOUTH KOREA

How did South Korea contain, but not eliminate, Covid-19?

“A multi-prong approach was key”, explains South Koreas Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. She says the country worked quickly and identified “super spreaders,” those who pass the virus to multiple people. Key, however, was taking an all-government approach, mobilising government ministries as well as regional and city governments.

“That strategy paid off, especially when it came to limited health care resources.”

“When one region ran out of hospital beds we asked other provinces to open up beds in their hospitals. When it ran out of doctors, we asked doctors in other regions to help.”

The Thaiger’s daily ‘Thailand News Today’ below…

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

5 Thai students test positive for Covid-19 after returning from Saudi Arabia

Maya Taylor

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5 Thai students test positive for Covid-19 after returning from Saudi Arabia | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Needpix

5 students, who returned to Thailand from Saudi Arabia via Malaysia, have now been confirmed as being infected with the Covid-19 virus. The students are part of a group of 39 returning citizens who arrived back in the country via the Padang Besar road checkpoint at the Malaysian border.

All 39 are reported to be in mandatory state quarantine at hospitals in the southern provinces of Songkhla, Yala and Pattani. While most are students who were studying under scholarships provided by the government of Saudi Arabia, Thai PBS World reports that 2 of the repatriates are a woman and her 14 month old baby.

A further 6 Thai nationals attempting to return from Saudi Arabia failed the health checks and were refused permission to travel. Thailand has strict fit-to-travel documentation required for all Thai citizens returning to the Kingdom. They are also required to go into mandatory 14 day quarantine when they arrive, no matter where they are returning from.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bank report predicts extended timeframe for Thai tourism recovery

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bank report predicts extended timeframe for Thai tourism recovery | The Thaiger

As the severity of the current situation facing Thailand’s lucrative tourism industry starts to sink in, Kasikorn Bank Research Centre have released a report with some stark predictions.

Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industry faces losses of 1.69 trillion baht in 2020 and recovery “may not be clearly evident” next year. The report also foreshadows strict ‘new normal’ procedures as government measures will control the entry and exit of foreign tourists, actually all foreigners, to prevent further outbreaks of Covid-19.

It has been clear, as restrictions continue whilst the number of new daily cases hovers in single-digits, that Thailand will paint itself as the zero-risk destination. Exactly how that may unfold, and the list of restrictions imposed, has not yet been announced. But the immigration doors are unlikely to be thrown open any times soon.

The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand and the weak purchasing power of future tourists has Kasikorn Research Centre predicting difficult times ahead for the country’s key tourism industry that contributes up to 18% of Thailand’s GDP.

“Even in 2021, recovery will probably not return. Therefore it will be a difficult period for businesses in the chain of the tourism sector.”

“Until a vaccine is found, tourism and hospitality operators will need to adjust their services and the content they offer to ensure they deliver safe distancing and comply with strict health measures.”

The research paper goes through a number of other key points…

• Health regulations will dictate the travel experience

• Touch-points will have to be removed as much as possible

• Safe distancing will need to be practised at popular tourist spots as well as when travelling or staying in hotels or transferring to and from airports

Tour operators face the challenge of offering safe bus transportation throughout Thailand guaranteeing social distancing, which will be required on all transfers. This will increase the cost of transfers and tours, and more buses will be required to transfer tour groups.

For tour groups visiting water or theme parks, flower gardens and museums will need to be carefully managed to prevent further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Even on planes, the option to reduce passenger load, in efforts to impose socially-distant seating, will make it impossible for airlines to operate profitably unless air fares prices substantially increase.

The entire tourism supply chain will be radically different if the ‘risk-free’ Thailand model is to be rolled out effectively. The report suggests that hotels will be invited to join certification schemes.

Tourist-fed economies like Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui will be the hardest hit and have a number of years ahead with a long timeframe for recovery reaching beyond the end of next year.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26)

Anukul

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3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26) | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: reuters.com

Today, in the Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily press conference, Dr. Taweesilp confirmed 3 new cases of coronavirus in Thailand, of which all were recorded as quarantined overseas repatriates. This brings Thailand ‘s total of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 3,045. The death toll remains at 57 fatalities with no additional deaths reported today.

Dr. Taweesilp says from the new cases all 3 patients either had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic. They are all in quarantine and under supervision.

“The first case is a 51 year old Thai masseuse, who had previously returned from Russia on May 12 and was quarantined in Chon Buri province. She had no symptoms but tested positive for the disease yesterday.”

“The two others are Thai men who returned from Kuwait on May 24 after a business trip and were quarantined in Samut Prakan province. They were coughing and tested positive yesterday.”

Of the total accumulated cases, 2,929 have recovered, including 1 patient who was released in the past 24 hours and 59 patients remain in hospitals.

Dr Taweesilp said that, in the past 4 weeks, in most of the country (65 provinces), no new Covid-19 cases have been recorded.

“The situation is improving thanks to public cooperation. Now we are heading towards the third stage of easing business and activity that were closed during lockdowns. It is likely to cover some higher-risk businesses and activities. They may resume with strict disease control measures.”

Chonburi, where Pattaya is located, has had no new confirmed cases in over a month. Phuket has also reported 0 new cases today but with 9 patients still receiving medical care.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News| Bangkok Post

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