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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 UPDATE: US records nearly 10,000 new cases, Thailand total 827 cases

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Covid-19 UPDATE: US records nearly 10,000 new cases, Thailand total 827 cases | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Panic buying kicked off yesterday following the Thai PM's announcement of an 'Emergency Decree'
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Today the world’s numbers of cases surge past 400,000. Two days ago the numbers were 50,000 less. The current hotspots are the US and Europe where the pandemic is still spreading swiftly. The US had the largest batch of new cases in the past 24 hours, adding nearly 10,000 new cases to its 53,609 total – 9,875 cases in the past 24 hours.

All our Covid-19 coronavirus news HERE.

Thailand has recorded 827 cases since January, 106 people identified yesterday (Tuesday). 4 people have died in Thailand as a result of Covid-19 infection. The Thai PM yesterday announced an Emergency Decree which comes into effect tomorrow (March 26) which includes curfews, closures, travel restrictions and strict controls on the media and social media, regarding the dissemination of “fake news” and “conspiracy theories”.

This morning the number of cases across the world is 421,413 as of 7.30am (Thai time). The number of deaths, too, continues to rise with 18,810 at this time. Over 108,000 patients are are recorded as ‘recovered’.

Top 10 countries as of this morning (7.30am Thai time)…

Covid-19 UPDATE: US records nearly 10,000 new cases, Thailand total 827 cases | News by The Thaiger

  • Stay at home
  • Apply rigorous social distancing, about 2 metres, at all times
  • Wash your hands regularly and be vigilant with your personal hygiene
  • Stock up now on vital medications
  • Keep abreast of all your local news and restrictions

Snippets of news from around the world…

Why are more men dying than women from Covid-19?

Smoking, drinking, general poor health? Clinical researchers believe these are some of the factors that could explain why more men appear to be dying from Covid-19 than women.

A team of researchers at the Italian National Health Institute say that in countries, such as Italy, men represent nearly 60% of people who tested positive for the virus and more than 70% of those who have died. Even in countries like South Korea, where the proportion of women who have tested positive for the virus is higher than that of men, about 54% of the reported deaths are among men.

Australians banned from leaving country

Australians have been banned from travelling overseas. Aussie PM Scott Morrison’s wide-ranging new restrictions also include a shutdown of all weddings, funerals, and birthday parties. He says the coronavirus had forced one of the “toughest years” on Australians, adding: “these are heart-breaking events in our nation’s history and story.”

There have been 2,317 confirmed cases and 8 deaths.

“The decision to ban overseas travel is aligned with Australia’s upgraded Level 4: do not travel and comes under the Biosecurity Act of 2015.”

London Mayor under criticism for letting crowded Tube to keep running

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has responded to government criticism over London’s tube network running a reduced service amid the Covid-19 outbreak. He has told the media that “Transport for London is operating the maximum number of tube services it can, while maintaining safety”.

“We’re running the maximum tubes we can, as safely as we can. That roughly means that there are 55% of the tubes running.”

Videos have emerged of London’s crowded tube services and packed train stations, despite the virtual lockdown imposed by the UK government on Monday.

Turkey’s toll continues to rise

Turkey’s coronavirus death toll has reached 21, an increase of 12. The number of confirmed cases has also risen by 277 to 947. A total of 2,953 tests were conducted in the previous 24 hours, according to the Turkish Health Minister.

First known juvenile death from Covid-19 in the US

A person under 18 has died from coronavirus in the Los Angeles County, USA, becoming the first known juvenile in the US to die after contracting the coronavirus. The LA County Department of Public Health says the cases was one of three new coronavirus deaths in the county.

Infectious patient flees from hospital in Spain

Spanish coronavirus patients are escaping from hospitals before being cleared by doctors to go home. Officials say the inpatient patients are putting many peoples’ lives at risk. Police say officers were having to be sidelined from the frontline to hunt down the absconders, pledging to hunt them down and force them back into quarantine.

Two month old baby contracts Coronavirus in Australia

A 2 month old boy in Australia has tested positive for coronavirus. He was tested after coming into close contact with a confirmed adult case. He is believed to have minimal symptoms and is isolated at home.

Mexican in US immigration detention tests positive

A 31 year old from Mexico has become the first person in a US immigration detention centre to test positive for coronavirus. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed he was being held at Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, when they tested positive. T

“They have been quarantined and are receiving care at an undisclosed location.”

New York clears streets to make “safe spaces” for exercise

New York City is initiating a pilot program of closing two streets per borough (district) for outdoor exercise and for people to get fresh air.

NY Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city is aiming to get these sites closed to traffic and open to city residents by Thursday.

“Every site will have authorities who will enforce social distancing policies. For now, playgrounds and parks remain open in the city, but the city is working with state and local officials to maximise education and enforcement.”

Officials say they will monitor the situation until Saturday evening, and then decide whether residents are adhering to social distancing policies well enough, or if they will need to close playgrounds.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand eyes first half of 2021 for production of AstraZeneca vaccine

Maya Taylor

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Thailand eyes first half of 2021 for production of AstraZeneca vaccine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Lex18

Thailand hopes to begin production and administration of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine during the first 6 months of 2021. As part of a technology-transfer agreement signed by the Thai government, Siam Bioscience will be provided with the information for vaccine production. It then hopes to register the vaccine with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration within the next 6 months.

The pharmaceutical group hopes to manufacture sufficient doses for Thailand and its ASEAN neighbours during the first half of next year. Nation Thailand reports that the initial plan is to produce 26 million doses for 13 million Thais. It’s understood the company has the means to manufacture 180 – 200 million doses a year, or 15 million a month. Opas Karnkawinpong from Thailand’s Disease Control Department says the country will need around 2 million doses a month, with the rest being exported to neighbouring countries.

Next month, the Vaccine Board is expected to confirm the priority groups who will receive the vaccine first. They are thought to be the elderly and those with underlying conditions, the same categories prioritised for the flu vaccine, and those most at risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19.

Research released this week shows that the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in conjunction with Oxford University in the UK, has an efficacy rate of 70%, which increases to 90% if it’s administered first as a half-dose, then a full dose. The pharmaceutical giant is now in the process of submitting its results for approval by the Food and Drug Administration, both in the UK and Europe. The company says it wants to be able to distribute the vaccine to the world, at a rate of 3.1 billion doses a year.

Meanwhile, Australian carrier Qantas has confirmed it will require passengers to show proof of vaccination, once international travel resumes.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No vaccine, no entry – the world’s next travel challenge

The Thaiger

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No vaccine, no entry – the world’s next travel challenge | The Thaiger

OPINION

UPDATE: Australia’s national airline has already said it will impose “proof of vaccine” on all inbound and outbound international flights, a situation that IATA says they are likely to follow. Read more HERE.

ORIGINAL POST: With the announcements this week about several vaccine candidate trials, either being completed or at the end of their Phase 3 testings, and the applications to government bodies for ‘emergency approval’, we now have to face the next question.

What restrictions will be imposed on those people who don’t have the vaccine, or even actively choose not to have the vaccine?

And more locally…

Will Thailand allow people to enter Thailand without first having the Covid-19 vaccine?

Given the Thai Government’s low-risk strategy, well almost zero-risk strategy, and reluctance to take any chances with a second wave of Covid 19, it is highly likely there will be a stipulation that anyone entering Thailand will need a vaccine certificate or stamp in their passports.

Couple this with the Thai population’s continued fear of allowing foreigners back into the country at this time, in poll after poll, and it’s a safe bet there will be a “no vaccine, no entry” restriction imposed.

On a positive note, the Thai government may drop the 14 day quarantine for people that have had the vaccine (but not in the early days).

At this stage we know that most of the vaccine trials have had a 95% efficacy. We also know that the leading BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine needs an original jab plus a booster and has to be transported at extremely low temperature.

To complicate matters, there is not yet sufficient evidence that having had a bout of Covid-19, whether asymptomatic or not, guarantees you immunity. Or, if it does, for how long?

All these factors will mean that some level of quarantine will probably be in force as the Thai government slowly re-opens its borders to a wider groups of vaccinated travellers. This would remain in force until the world has a better knowledge of both the proven efficacy of the vaccine, or vaccines, and the re-infection rates.

So, even if we start getting groups of the world’s populations vaccinated before the end of the year, and that’s still a very big IF, there’s a lot more water to pass under the bridge until a coherent, reliable vaccine strategy can be understood and implemented.

Then there will be a rump of people, either hard core anti-vaxxers, or others who are at least skeptical of a new vaccine, who will want to wait or not want the vaccine at all. Public education, some strong science and a successful roll out of the early vaccines will be a key to winning over a lot of the world’s population.

Somehow governments and health authorities are going to have to wind back much of the disinformation floating around the internet about vaccines that is so factually out of whack with reality, it’s going to be one of the greatest public health challenges of all time, to reassure people about the science of vaccines and vaccination.

All this, in the middle of a pandemic that, for now, is still on the ascendency as far as new cases and deaths are concerned.

But there is little doubt rejoining the world of international travel, even local travel, could become restricted to only those who are vaccinated. The rest will be stuck roaming around their own countries, or states, for… years with a raft of restrictions on their lives. Who knows.

Will shopping centres or public buildings also impose a “no vaccine, no entry” policy? Hotels? Public buildings? Job applications?

On top of the economic stress which has fallen on a lot of the world, with so many governments now facing the headwinds of deep recession, the vaccine ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ will add even more public disquiet.

At this stage nobody is sure how the vaccine will be rolled out in Thailand. The Thai government has already signed up for several of the leading vaccine candidates and will most likely provide the vaccine for free to citizens under its public health system.

What does that mean for foreigners living here? If you are covered, with a work permit, under the country’s public health, are you able to get the vaccine for free too? Will the thousands of foreigners on private health insurance be covered?

Surely the insurers will want its customers to be vaccinated. Sick customers cost them money. So, will insurance renewals be limited to only people who have been vaccinated? Will visas be renewed only if you have been vaccinated?

At this stage there are no firm answers to any of these questions.

Added to all this confusion, there is more than one vaccine, and some of the vaccines work in a different way than others. So do airlines and governments and shops and hotels and bowling alleys allow one vaccine through their doors but not another?

We’re certainly now entering a new phase of this pandemic. New challenges, new questions. The rising numbers of cases throughout 2020 is only the first chapter of a book that will be many more years in the making.

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Thailand

Thailand may have to wait for US vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna

The Thaiger

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Thailand may have to wait for US vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna | The Thaiger

As news that US may acquire its first shipment of Covid vaccines in mid-December, Thailand may have to wait to share the vaccines as they will likely be made available to the US and Japan first, before the rest of the world. Pfizer and Moderna recently announced their vaccines were about 95% effective, with some countries starting to preorder the vaccines despite shipment challenges that include maintaining a low temperature during transport.

Already, the US and Japan have preordered 300 and 120 million doses respectively, according to Kiat Ruxrungtham, the director of Covid-19 vaccine research and development project of the Faculty of Medicine at Chulalongkorn University. But Thailand may have other options as Kiat said 11 other pharmaceutical companies are developing the vaccine that could be distributed on a large scale. Out of Thailand’s 7 potential Covid-19 vaccines, 2 have successfully completed the animal testing stage and will proceed to human testing starting in April 2021.

However, Kiat says BioNet-Asia Co’s vaccine may be lagging behind due to the short supply of vaccine precursors, as many have been bought by bigger companies. He adds that a team has been testing Cu-Cov19, an mRNA vaccine, on macaques at Chulalongkorn University’s National Primate Research Centre in Saraburi with BioNet-Asia being the centre’s partner.

He said the project does not had sufficient funding from the government, but the state is finding ways to preorder vaccines from Covax, a company working with the World Health Organization and cooperating with AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Today, Thailand’s CCSA reports 2 new imported cases of Covid, 1 of which is a 5 month old Indian baby girl, bringing the total number of cases to 3,922 with 0 new deaths. The Centre for Covid Situation Administration reported that the girl arrived on November 11 on the same flight as 2 previously confirmed cases. The baby tested positive 5 days later, while displaying symptoms such as a fever and vomitting.

 

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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