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Covid-19 vaccines from private sector importers allowed

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Covid-19 vaccines from private sector importers allowed | Thaiger
Photo courtesy of Thai Government Public Relations Department

Thailand’s private sector will be allowed to purchase and import Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand, according to a government deputy spokesperson today. She declared that the government will not monopolise the vaccination market and that private enterprises can import Covid-19 vaccines for sale. A lot of confusion exists in the public regarding the situation with vaccines and the spokesperson stated that they wanted to attempt to clarify inaccurate information. The production capacity for vaccines in Thailand is far lower than the demand for people awaiting their Coronavirus vaccination.

“According to the Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Ministry, as of April 5, countries had placed orders for up to 9.6 billion doses, and only 658 million doses have been administered so far.”

There are many different Covid-19 vaccines on the market, some of which have blanket approval and others that have been approved specifically for emergency use. More are being tested or undergoing the review and approval process by the Food and Drug Administration currently. Many manufacturers already have contracts for direct government sales, but the government is willing to allow private enterprises to make purchases on their own. This may lead to faster importation and distribution of vaccines.

Currently, the Thai government is importing Covid-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, while they’re eyeing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next. The Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing the American Moderna vaccine as well as China’s second vaccine, Sinopharm, and the Russian Sputnik V. Another vaccine, Bharat Biotech from India, has also just submitted its application. The Thai FDA is ready and willing to allow licensing for private companies to import vaccines as well, the spokesperson confirmed.

The vaccination roll-out underway in Thailand has been slow with a focus on key tourism sectors like Phuket where 100,000 vaccines have been received so far with hundreds of thousands more to come in the following months. There’s no information currently on what companies might import which Covid-19 vaccines and how they will be sold and administered.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    James

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    Would love to see an article on where an expat can actually get a vaccine at this moment. So much talk about plans, but never any practical information.

  2. Avatar

    Ian Bromley

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:20 pm

    So after months of actively preventing the private sector from acquiring vaccines there has been a change. Is this perhaps an indication that the government has realised the imminent disaster they have created by concentration on a single vaccine that is now seen as having serious weaknesses. All the military strategic thinking that they are supposed to have has been exposed as nothing more than logic clouded by short term thinking and the protection of vested interests. The government is rapidly losing the war against Covid.

  3. Avatar

    James R

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    Lets hope the private sector can obtain and administer the drugs a lot faster than the government is doing at the moment as I have had my two vaccines here in the UK, I am waiting to go there in July if they manage to vaccinate 70% of people in time. .

  4. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Yes cash in on the pandemic you low lifes

    The Gov should provide all vaccines as other countries do
    But if Thailand can save not buying vaccine they will love the idea
    The poor cannot afford some of these vaccines anyway …
    So who cares the poor do not count

    Good Luck Thailand

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    I wondered how long the Thais would wait to sell the vaccines.
    Not long.
    I believe the government was holding back the vaccines so that their pals could sell vaccines and kick back to government officials.
    Thai citizens might die waiting for vaccines, but the Thai scum in charge do not care as long as they make money.

  6. Avatar

    Susan

    Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Well for the people who live here like I do, they did not order enough vaccines. We all know that. However if they allow private sector to order that’s a bonus. People will pay who want this quicker. Thailand will still offer free vaccines to everyone else. As they said they are now discussing for more orders from several vaccine companies.
    You can’t look at the UK and Israel they gambled and ordered vaccines a year ago.

  7. Avatar

    Khao Lak

    Friday, April 9, 2021 at 12:00 am

    maybe it’s just water or NaCl from the “private” sector

  8. Avatar

    Kalyanaraman Santanam

    Friday, April 9, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    how do you get vaccine to private entrepreneur, across the world vaccine manufacturers sell to governments only.

    in the name of vaccine private parties may inject distilled water, there are chances of expired and un controlled environment vaccine being inject to people.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Grim milestone: 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide

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Grim milestone: 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide | Thaiger
PHOTO: 3 million Covid-19 deaths recorded around the world.

Today marks a grim milestone as the Covid-19 pandemic officially crosses 3 million deaths around the world, with outbreaks still surging in various parts of the world. Over a year into the pandemic, and we are currently seeing over 700,000 new infections and 12,000 deaths per day, with Brazil, India, and France facing growing crises.

The 3 million figure reflects official numbers, though many suspect that real totals could be much higher, pointing at government conspiracies and early deaths that were not attributed to Covid-19 when little was known about the novel coronavirus in the early days.

Still, the official number is overwhelming enough – equal to the population of Kyiv, Ukraine, or the state of Arkansas in the US, and larger than world cities like Lisbon, Caracas, Dubai, Manchester or Chicago. Imagine nearly one-third of the people in Bangkok wiped out, or the entire nation of Armenia or Jamaica.

Following a steep decline in both new infections and deaths at the start of this year, the graph is again in an upward trajectory, both in terms of new cases and deaths from Covid.

Grim milestone: 3 million Covid-19 deaths worldwide | News by ThaigerThe World Health Organisation laments the dire condition of the world dealing with the pandemic after 16 months and so many opportunities to prevent the spread with basic safety precautions. Brazil has spiralled out of control, racking up 3,000 deaths a day, nearly 25% of all the Covid-19 deaths in the world in the past few weeks. New variants have been spreading like wildfire throughout Brazil as more dangerous strains have wriggled their way into countries around the world.

In India, the distribution of vaccines has been thwarted by swelling Covid-19 outbreaks and deaths. In New Dehli, 13,000 infections were reported in a day amongst the 29 million residents, but the city only has 178 ventilators available as of Wednesday.

Only 1.1% of the Indian populations has been vaccinated, and officials faced criticism of their vaccine exports while so many need jabs domestically. In Thailand, the percentage of people vaccinated is even lower.

700 million vaccines have been distributed worldwide, but they have been shipped disproportionately to the wealthier populations throughout the world. In rich countries, 1 in 4 people have been vaccinated, while in poor countries that number is less than 1 in 500. In fact, 87% of the vaccines distributed worldwide have been to wealthy nations, and the delays in India due to increasing Covid-19 deaths will not help close that gap for many months to come.

SOURCE: Sky

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Thai Hotel Association pushes “hospitels” – hotels as hospitals

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Thai Hotel Association pushes “hospitels” – hotels as hospitals | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Artist rendering of a "hospitel" - a hotel converted to a hospital.

With the third wave of Covid-19 ripping through Thailand, hospitals are rapidly filling up and the Thai Hotels Association has proposed “hospitels” as a creative solution. The portmanteau of “hospital” and “hotel” is the THA’s brainchild for creating more space for the growing number of Covid-19 infections that require treatment or at least observation as Thailand hits record daily case numbers. The idea of turning hotels into temporary hospitals was promoted by association president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi this week.

“The move aims to reduce crowdedness at hospitals and promote continuous care for Covid-19 patients after new cases increased rapidly since late March.”

23 hotels have already registered to be hospitals, with 2,000 patients currently receiving treatment in the 4,900 available beds. The Ministry of Public Health laid out guidelines for hotels interested in participating. Hotels must have a minimum of 30 rooms and pass the alternative state quarantine evaluation. The ASQ-approved properties must have evidence of acknowledgement by the surrounding community to confirm their validity and eligibility. The hotel must be able and willing to take care of hospitalised patients for 5 to 7 days, even with no signs of symptom progression. Conversely, patients checking in must agree to stay in the hotel and be relatively self-sufficient.

Strict medical requirements must be met as well. Each patient must be provided with their own digital thermometer and pulse oximeter, and a portable x-ray machine must be available. The hotels must be staffed like hospitals, with at least one doctor, a clinical psychologist, a pharmacist, a radiologist, and an infection control nurse. There must also be one nurse per every 20 patients staying at the property.

This proposed solution might provide a welcomed supplement to the rudimentary field hospitals the Thai army has been hastily building to accommodate the influx of newly infected patients. While the quick work is commendable, some have hypothesized that at-risk foreigners may be ignoring calls to come forward for Covid-19 testing in part because being diagnosed may land them in these less-than-posh field hospitals for days on end. A more comfortable “hospitel” would allow infected foreigners to be treated in more pleasant surroundings thus encouraging them to come forward for testing.

SOURCE: National News Bureau and Nation Thailand

 

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

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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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