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Covid-19 update: Spike in cases linked to nightlife in Bangkok and Phuket

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Covid-19 update: Spike in cases linked to nightlife in Bangkok and Phuket | Thaiger
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Bar and club hopping has led to numerous clusters of Covid-19 infections and a spike in the number of daily infections in Thailand. 334 new Covid-19 cases were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Most of the cases are in Bangkok. The steep rise in new infections comes just days before the mass migration of Thais to their homes ‘up country’ for Songkran celebrations.

Most cases are linked to one of 12 “mini clusters,” according to the deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA report in English.

“Most of them are related to clusters at various entertainment venues… Monitor yourself and check whether there have been positive cases coming out of those entertainment venues.”

Over the past 2 weeks, there have been nearly 300 cases linked to “entertainment clusters” in Bangkok and metropolitan areas, according to BBC Thailand. Dozens of people have tested positive for virus after going out in Bangkok’s Thong Lor and Ekkamai areas off Sukhumvit Road. 196 entertainment establishments in Bangkok’s Klong Toey, Watthana and Bang Khae districts have been ordered to close due to reports of Covid-19 infections.

A neurosurgeon tested positive for Covid-19 after he visited pubs in the Victory Monument and Ekkamai areas. Health officials suspect the doctor contracted the virus at a pub in Ekkamai. Non-urgent surgeries at Bangkok’s Rajavithi Hospital are now cancelled.

Thailand’s Transport Minister tested positive for Covid-19, reportedly after coming in contact with a staff member who visited a bar in Thong Lor. Some have been skeptical of the minister’s whereabouts, but he insists he did not visit any bars or nightlife venues in the area.

9 Thong Lor police officers have also tested positive for Covid-19 after visiting the nightlife venues while they were on duty, according to the Royal Thai Police spokesperson. 189 officers have been tested for Covid-19 and 22 officers who are considered to be at high risk of infection are now ordered to quarantine for 14 days.

The Phuket Health Chief also reported 8 cases this morning in Phuket, including a case linked to a nightlife venue in Thong Lor and 4 cases linked to entertainment venues in Phuket. The other 3 cases are being investigated. He also told the media that there are ‘many’ other cases currently awaiting results.

A band member who attended 3 “Kolour” events in Phuket over the weekend tested positive for Covid-19. The patient had also gone to a Bangkok club that reported a cluster of Covid-19 infections.

As of this afternoon, the CCSA reported 1,741 active Covid-19 infections. Cases reported by the Royal Thai Police and Phuket health chief will be included in a later report.

Out of the 334 new cases reported by the CCSA, 221 were detected in Bangkok, 30 in Samut Prakan and 20 in Sa Kaeo. 5 others were detected in quarantine for those travelling to Thailand from overseas.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 29,905 coronavirus infections and 95 deaths.

Covid-19 update: Spike in cases linked to nightlife in Bangkok and Phuket | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: CCSA | Nation Thailand | BBC Thailand

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Glenn

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    “mini clusters,” I thought those were a breakfast cereal or a candy bar with a-nutins in them…

    Get ready folks, this is the windup for ANOTHER psycho-lunatic-control-fest. travel restrictions, curfews, alcohol bans (because the magic virus loves alcohol), track and trace, and more propaganda backed by nothing than you’ve ever heard. Songkran travel will be the excuse because the magic virus loves to travel ya’know.

    Get ready also for the ‘build back better’ phrase to make it’s way into the lexicon of govt loony speak.

  2. Avatar

    dee lee

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    Why is it so hard for the authorities to understand that to STOP the transmissions a total , prolonged closing of ALL bars , clubs , discos such is the solution ? They MUST choose lives over money !

  3. Avatar

    sam

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Sceptics need to take responsibility of their own actions,if they get infected with the virus by ignoring precautions.

  4. Avatar

    Charles Wall

    Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 11:05 pm

    Quite right Glen, a whole new language has been invented by people world wide who are making a fortune out of this and it will only get worse. It beggars belief that so many people are so gullible and are literally terrified of a virus slightly worse than seasonal flu.

  5. Avatar

    Farang Kee Nok

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6:11 am

    Just curious why they are picking on bars but as I boarded my flight to Surat Thani this morning I was bearded onto a bus with about 100 people packed trike the bts at rush hour to drive us to the airplane. People were coughing everywhere and slurping snot back up their noses. Many travelers were wearing their masks below their noses. Even though I could not sit next to people within the airport, every seat around me on the flight was full. I tried to complain and ask why they don’t enforce any social distancing protocols. I was abruptly stopped by the answer the Thai Civil Aviation Authority have approved these behaviors. Seems like they want to keep super spreading and blame it on the lack of morality of those who drink alcohol. I have a video of the bus full of COVID spreaders in case that is of interest to the Thaiger or the Civil Aviation Authority.

  6. Avatar

    Micky

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 8:58 am

    So Phuket News reports phuket now has 8 confirmed casescovid after almost 3 months of nothing hope the stupid muppets who love partying feel good about themselves. I’m happy if they lock down rawai/nai Harn & visit road again. Come on Phuket we can’t open up when its like this.Vaccinating at last after a year of covid & with sinovac which is only around 50% effective for Gods sake has nobody got a brain here, Moderna & Pzifer is 95% effective derrrrget those two approved quickly by the Thai Heath ????? 555555

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Investigations of Covid-19 infected elite rule-breakers demanded

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Investigations of Covid-19 infected elite rule-breakers demanded | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: VIP clubs and their wealthy customers may have violated rules and led to Covid-19 outbreaks

Investigations are being demanded by a corruption watchdog into Thai politicians infected with Covid-19 after allegedly attending venues in the Thong Lor entertainment venues in Bangkok that have now emerged as the ground zero for the Coronavirus third wave in the Kingdom.

The Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand are being asked to investigate the latest Covid-19 outbreak, noting in a Facebook post that the second wave was also linked to illegal activities, spreading through illegal migrants and other visiting gambling dens. This third wave is also angering those who see the wealthy elite and powerful politicians frequenting high-end bars and not following Covid-19 safety protocols.

Mana Nimitmongkol, secretary-general of ACT argues that the ministers visiting these clubs did not behave “ethically”, and it’s part of a larger problem. He is pushing for legal action against not only club owners, but against police, public health officials, and even the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration for failing to enforce laws to protect against Covid-19.

Investigations into whether the code of ethics had been violated were requested to be carried out by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Ombudsman and the committee on ethical standards.

As entertainment venues have been ordered closed for at least 2 weeks, Mana proposes that along with restrictions, a hotline to report rule-breakers should be set up, and all people should be held to the same standard without exception.

The president of the Rural Doctors Society agreed, saying that especially important is the need for Covid-19 infected public officials to disclose their personal timelines to reassure the public and assist in contract tracing. It is feared that little or no action will be taken to investigate and punish powerful rulebreakers.

One controversial infection was that of Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, rumoured to be infected from Thong Lor nightclubs, but later shown to be in another province at the time. The entertainment venue outbreak was not completely innocent though, as details emerged that the minister’s infection was in fact passed to him via an aide who had frequented clubs in Thong Lor.

Chuvit Kamolvisit, a former massage parlour owner turned activist, has been outspoken on the issue, calling for investigations into high-society VIP clubs like Krystal Club and Emerald Club, who allegedly flaunted restrictions and ended up with dozens of Covid-19 infected staff members.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau chief had said that legal action was pending against these clubs for the virus spreading.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Protests

Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests

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Attendance on the wane for Thai democracy protests | Thaiger
PHOTO: Demonstration attendance has been falling in the face of Covid-19, coups and crackdowns.

While protesters against the Thai government are continuing as they have for endless months, attendance is lessening in the face of crackdowns, coups and Covid-19. The throngs of 10,000 plus protesters, mostly energetic youth, that waved The Hunger Games 3 finger salute and demanded change in Thailand last summer have thinned to a few thousand or less these days.

The government isn’t in the clear yet though, as the protester’s calls to replace the current government, lessen the power of the Thai monarchy, and draw up a new constitution are still popular ideas. But a number of factors are causing protester size and vigour to wane.

The second wave of Covid in December quickly curbed the daily demonstrations for fear of spreading the virus. After that, the coup in Myanmar on February 1 has brought massive protests with international attention shifting to the growing humanitarian crisis just across the border. On top of the pandemic and the Burmese coup, the Thai government has taken a much more hardline approach to protesters in recent months.

Police began fighting back against mass demonstrations, dispersing crowds with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. And after 2 years of leniency, the government has begun prosecuting people under the strict lèse-majesté laws, where offending the monarchy can carry harsh punishment including a jail sentence of up to 15 years.

Anon Nampa, a human-rights lawyer, and Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, a student activist, have already been arrested under this law and held without bail. Arrests like these have been demoralising for the pro-democracy movement, and have scared away a lot of Thai protesters. Many have shifted focus to more immediate efforts to demand the release of the detained protest leaders.

Even with the crowds shrinking, the protests have already brought about change, bringing once unspeakable conversations into the national conversation, and keeping pressure on Thailand’s leaders. Opposition is growing, with efforts to push no-confidence votes and amendments to the constitution being constantly proposed and advocated.

SOURCE: The Economist

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