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Covid-19 outbreak in Bangkok could take months to control, health official says

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Covid-19 outbreak in Bangkok could take months to control, health official says | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

It could take more than 2 months to control the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Bangkok which is concentrated around bars and nightclubs in Thong Lor. Health officials suspect the faster-spreading UK variant of the virus has spread at the bars and entertainment venues in Bangkok.

The outbreak has reached around 20 provinces. While it may take 1 to 2 months to get the coronavirus situation under control throughout Thailand, it will take longer in Bangkok where most of the infections are, according to the permanent secretary for health Kiatiphum Wongrajit.

“The main source of the infections is in Bangkok’s entertainment venues, which could take longer to contain, depending on measures.”

Several hospitals in Bangkok have stopped Covid-19 testing due to a shortage of beds. The Royal Thai Army is now setting up field hospitals with 3,000 beds in 10 army bases.

Health officials confirmed that the highly contagious B.1.1.7. variant of the virus has reached Thailand. The mutated strain was first detected in Britain. Thailand’s top virologist Yong Poovorawan says the UK variant may have come into Thailand from Cambodia where the strain has also been reported.

Thailand started its vaccination campaign in late February and so far, around 300,000 people have been vaccinated, according to Reuters. The country’s mass immunisation campaign is set to start in June when the locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine is ready.

SOURCE: Reuters

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Friday, April 9, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    Well if it has come from Cambodia it is proving not to be very dangerous.
    About 2000 out of 3000 have recovered.
    Only 26 have died and most, if not all, were old, fat, and sick already.

  2. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7:02 am

    MMM recovered to be carriers?
    2000 to 20,000
    20,000 to 2,000,000
    2,000,000 to 20,000,000
    Australia recently had 1 UK variant test positive on a flight in Qld The whole state closed its borders for 2 weeks and the city in full lockdown for 3 days.WE didn’t treat Uk virus as a joke mate
    ASK BRAZIL IF THIS IS A JOKE THEY JUST HAD NEARLY 5000 DEAD IN ONE DAY

    GOOD LUCK Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals.

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | Thaiger

1,767 new Covid infections were reported this morning, the highest ever daily report of new cases in Thailand. The spokesperson for the CCSA also reported that there were also 128 people in serious condition, with 28 people on ventilators.

608,521 people have now received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine.

Bangkok continues to lead the way in the new infections although the clusters are popping up right around the country now. Bangkok reported 347 new infections, Chon Buri with 229, Chiang Mai with 164, Nonthaburi, just north and west of Bangkok, 100, Prachuap Khiri Khan 66 and Samut Prakan 64. Locally, Phuket officials announced an additional 26 cases today, taking the tally in this latest cluster to 156 infections*.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by ThaigerOnly 2 cases today were imported, everyone else who tested positive were living in Thailand.

The total number of infections in Thailand has now reached 42,352 people. There has been 2 additional deaths reported in the past 24 hours, taking that total to 101 dead from Covid-related disease. 13,569 people remain in state-monitored care.

Some provinces are adding their own restrictions, including demanding negative Covid tests if you’ve arrived from a red zone – Krabi and Trat have announced this already. The only exceptions are if you’ve had full doses of Covid vaccine or have just come from quarantine. Chiang Rai has announced a ‘request’ that citizens stay at home for the next 14 days.

In Phuket, the closure of entertainment venues has been further extended to the start of May.

Expect more provinces to make similar announcements in the next few days.

If you are travelling, or planning to travel, it would be recommended to pre-load the Mor Chana app on your phones and fill out the information. This will help avoid some delays as you arrive in new provinces.

*Readers should also realise that the local provincial health officials report daily as well. Those totals don’t usually find their way into the national daily tally until the next day.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Should International IB schools in Thailand be conducting on-site exams at this time?

Tim Newton

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Should International IB schools in Thailand be conducting on-site exams at this time? | Thaiger

A student has sent The Thaiger this email addressing their concerns about the continuation of exams in the current situation. The government have closed down all schools and any further teaching needs to be online. Except, it appears, for some international schools which seem intent on going ahead with on-site exams. What do you think about this person’s letter? The Thaiger has decided to withhold the writer’s name.

Share your thoughts below.

Verbatim…

Dear Sir/ Madam

I’m currently doing my IB Diploma Programme here in Thailand, it is with great concern that I’m writing this email as such a situation has never happened to me before as Thailand is experiencing a third wave more powerful than the previous waves of the current ongoing pandemic.

44 IB Schools in Thailand have transmissions within the communities of every prominent international school in Thailand, a new strain of covid, record-breaking case numbers, a lockdown being passed through today, and then there is the audacity to act as if it is fine to do exams. Compared to the rest of the examinations such as IGCSE, GCSE, CIE etc. Have all been cancelled, but the IB is still reluctant to cancel theirs. Currently, as per the governmental order in Thailand, all schools, malls and social gathering have to be closed for two weeks with also a limitation of up to 50 people in a room like environment.

Having said that most of the international schools are protesting against this idea as they think it’s perfectly fine to continue with examinations, aren’t we humans? Aren’t we individuals that are vulnerable to such a pandemic? In the end, if we end up getting covid it will be blamed as our fault, will our school take responsibility for it? Would the IBDP take responsibility for each and every single person infected with the virus? Or in a worst-case scenario, we won’t be able to sit exams hence it will be postponed, this is such an absurd concept some of us have been selected into universities, where such an option will keep us in a bad position.

I do not understand how even now the IB is not considering the life of students that will be impacted by this decision. You are placing a group of students who have visited numerous locations outside the school environment who may have interacted with different people outside their family, been to covid-risk areas, in a room with the rest of the students. Isn’t the IBDP thinking about the possible transmission through airborne interactions with peers and teachers? Sitting at the same desk the student has interacted with for multiple tests with different people. Life is at stake, please understand the concept that we are students, we are normal people and some of us do not have a strong financial hold so getting such a virus or even an infection puts us in a vulnerable situation with the existing problem.

Thank you for taking your time to read this email. I hope that you understand that cancelling CIE, IGCSE and GCSE have forced multiple concerns to arise, that being said we are also students just like them, and the IB should realize that soon enough so they can make a change, because at the end of the day if one of us gets infected that’s fully impacting us personally, not the schools making us sit exams. Could you please write something on this please as many of us students are affected by this.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

(Writer’s name withheld)

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok is now a red zone. Government gives people today to get back from Songkran break.

Tim Newton

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Bangkok is now a red zone. Government gives people today to get back from Songkran break. | Thaiger

…. before the next round of restrictions come into force at midnight tonight.

Bangkok and 17 other Thai provinces (there are 77 in total) are now declared maximum control areas. These “red zones” are the feature of the Thai Government’s new restrictions to get a grip on its rising Covid infection numbers since the start of April. The restrictions will last for at least 14 days.

From tonight, at midnight, some new restrictions are in force, not only in the red zones but every where else.

Think nightlife, think gatherings of more than 50 people, think restaurants. These are the area the government has generally targeted. The CCSA spokesperson yesterday, and the Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, went out of their way to portray the new restrictions as NOT curfews and NOT lockdowns. But, if you live in a red zone province, including Bangkok, then the new set of restrictions are a lockdown in just about every sense without outright telling people to stay at home.

Everything will have to be closed from 11pm – 4am in the morning, including all convenience stores. Hope you’ve paid your Netflix subscription!

The government is also advising businesses in Bangkok, and other red zone provinces, to allow employees to work from home, or have adequate precautions in place if they need to work in the offices.

Unlike the last two outbreaks of Covid within Thailand, this cluster has emerged from the indulgences of Bangkok’s hi-sos, celebrity and look-at-me culture. The trendy clubs around Thong Lor and Ekkamai are the destination for people that want, or need, to be seen, including some politicians who have either ended up infected or knew someone in the club and pub scene and have had to self-isolate.

The late evening sojourns, with nary a care for masks or social distancing, small spaces, lots of people… it has proven the perfect breeding ground for a new Covid cluster.

Bangkok’s legendary shopping centres and community malls will have to shut their doors by 9pm, a situation now across the board for all Thai shopping centres including places like your local Tesco mall.

But convenience stores, supermarkets, community markets can stay open until 11pm.

At this stage people are being advised not to travel to Bangkok, or any other red zone province, for the next 2 week (after midnight tonight). The travel advisory isn’t an order at this stage, more of a hurry-up-and-get-back-from-your-holidays request.

Last weekend saw the mass exodus out of the city. The same return from the provinces is happening today and tomorrow. Even though the official Songkran holiday ran from Tuesday to Thursday this week, plenty of people have take the Mondays and Friday off last week to end up with an extended 9 day holiday. The government was hoping the longer Songkran break would be a boon for the shattered hospitality and tourism businesses. But last weekends sudden climb of new Covid infections caused some people to cancel or postpone their bookings.

The annual Songkran road toll, usually a national disgrace, was cut by over 50% this year due to the lack of traffic and people deciding to wait it out and catch up with their families later.

Thailand recorded 1,547 new infections around Thailand today, a slight drop from yesterdays’ 1,585 reported new cases. But the last 4 days have revealed the largest list of daily infections since the first case was detected in Thailand on January 13 last year, a 61 year old Chinese passenger on a flight from Wuhan to Suvarnabhumi – the first known case of the novel coronavirus outside of China.

2 leading police from the Thong Lor police station have already been sidelined into inactive posts, a face-saving measure to show the government were being pro-active in reacting to the sloppy enforcement (or non-existent enforcement) of Covid precautions in the district’s active nightlife. Officials are also tracking down the owners of the nightclubs and bars for potential prosecution, principally around Bangkok and in Phuket where parties, promoted and run by a group called ‘Kolour’ ended up becoming Covid spreader events.

Here’s a list of the red zone provinces.

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

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