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Japan cruise ship: 14 more crew test positive for Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Japan cruise ship: 14 more crew test positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Photo: covid19data.com
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The Costa Atlantica, the cruise ship docked in Nagasaki, Japan, has had 14 more crew members test positive for the Covid-19 virus. The additional cases come on top of 34 confirmed cases earlier this week.

Thai PBS World reports that the ship has been in Nagasaki since January, when it docked to have maintenance work carried out. It’s believed to have around 600 crew on board, with Japanese officials hoping to complete testing of all crew by the end of the week. The newly diagnosed 14 are reported to be self-isolating in their cabins.

The Covid-19 crisis has been a disaster for the cruise ship industry with high-profile infection clusters fuelling the opinion of the liners as ‘petri dishes’ for viral infections.

The latest Costa Atlantica outbreak comes after another cruise ship in Japan ended up with 700 cases of the Covid-19 virus. The Diamond Princess docked in the Japanese city of Yokohama after a former passenger tested positive. The ship was placed under quarantine by officials, with nobody allowed to disembark. 13 of its passengers ultimately died.

Japan has recently experienced a spike in Covid-19 cases, after a comparatively small number to begin with. The country has had nearly 12,000 cases, with around 290 patients dying. The recent jump in new cases has led the government to declare a state of emergency until at least May 6.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus Japan

Thai Embassy in Japan advises citizens to register for repatriation flights

Maya Taylor

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Thai Embassy in Japan advises citizens to register for repatriation flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bangkok Post

The Thai Embassy in Tokyo is advising citizens who wish to return home to register for two repatriation flights in May. Thai PBS World reports that with the ban on international flights extended until the end of May, the embassy is laying on two special flights for citizens who wish to return to Thailand.

Posting on its Facebook page, the embassy advises citizens who wish to travel to register on the embassy website in order to secure their seats. It also urges those who are not in a rush to get back to postpone their travel plans until the next repatriation flight is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand.

It’s understood that there are just 10 seats remaining on a Thai Airways flight on May 10, while an ANA / JAL flight on May 9 has around 200 seats available.

As all returnees must undergo a mandatory 14 days’ quarantine in a government facility, current regulations limit the number of daily arrivals to no more than 200, to prevent such facilities being swamped.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Thai Embassy in Japan advises citizens to register for repatriation flights | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai embassy in Tokyo

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Japan offers anti-flu drug Avigan for free to fight coronavirus

Jack Burton

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Japan offers anti-flu drug Avigan for free to fight coronavirus | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe says Japan is offering the anti-flu drug Avigan free of charge to countries battling the Covid-19 coronavirus. The drug, developed by a group firm of Fujifilm Holdings, has shown early signs of being effective in helping to treat the virus.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that some 30 countries have made requests through diplomatic channels to Japan for the procurement of Avigan.

“Above all we intend to expand clinical research on Avigan with countries wishing to cooperate.”

Abe says his government will push the development of drugs and vaccines, including Avigan, to fight the coronavirus.

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical said it has started clinical tests to evaluate the efficacy of the drug, also known as Favipiravir, on Covid-19 patients.

Meanwhile Germany’s health ministry says it will seek to buy Avigan for the country’s Covid-19 coronavirus cases. German media say the ministry will buy several million Avigan tablets to treat patients with severe symptoms.

A critical step in the current testing process involves clinical trials in Japan, one of which will conclude at the end of June. And while there are not any detailed clinical reports supporting Avigan’s effectiveness as a Covid-19 treatment, there are reasons for optimism. One of them arrived on March 17, when Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s ministry of science and technology, said that Favipiravir, the generic version of Avigan, had proved to be effective in treating Covid-19 patients at hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China.

South Korea declined opportunities for testing, saying “serious side effects” potentially cause fetal damage.

While Avigan has been manufactured and stocked in Japan as an anti-influenza drug, there is hope it can also help treat other diseases, including Ebola and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE: Tokyo faces climbing case numbers, makers of ‘Corona’ beer suspend production

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus UPDATE: Tokyo faces climbing case numbers, makers of ‘Corona’ beer suspend production | The Thaiger

The international toll has reached 1,097,810 and deaths 59,140 with no sign of a slowdown at this stage (7.30am Thai time). The world will be adding 100,000+ new case every 24 hours within the next few days unless we start to see a flattening of the curve.

The US has had another day of burden for its health system – 32,000 new cases identified and 1,320 deaths. The Covid-19 virus also continues to spread at pace throughout key European countries with Italy and Spain hit particularly hard with with death rates around the 10% mark. Iran stands out amongst Middle East countries with the worst problem by far, having amassed 53,000+ cases and 3,294 deaths. Saudi Arabia still sits at just over 2,000 cases but is seeing a small and steady rise.

Here’s the latest stats from Worldometers.com this morning…

Coronavirus UPDATE: Tokyo faces climbing case numbers, makers of 'Corona' beer suspend production | News by The Thaiger

Snippets of news from around the world…

THAILAND

Covid-19 coronavirus cases in Thailand rose to 1,978 yesterday with 103 new cases confirmed and another 4 patients dying from Covid-19 complications. Total deaths nationwide now stand at 19.

Yesterday’s numbers reinforce a hopeful trend in Thailand of new cases levelling off as restrictions tighten across the country this week. In Pattaya, and the province of Chonburi, provincial leaders are considering a full lockdown to outsiders after the rise of new coronavirus infections this week, almost half of them in and around Pattaya.

Pattaya City is ordering all hotels to alert their guests about the plan and check their numbers in the next three days before the lockdown is announced. Restrictions will include curfews, hotel closures and restrictions on employees leaving the province. Phuket added 13 new cases, reaching 100 cases in total. As with many new cases over the week, most were centred around Patong’s entertainment zone of Bangla Road.

JAPAN

In Tokyo, the daily count of new coronavirus cases has doubled over the past 7 days, from about 40 in the final days of March to 97 last Thursday and 89 yesterday. If the current trend continues, the outlook is bleak, according to an infection control specialist from Kobe University, Kentaro Iwata. He has repeatedly warned that Japan isn’t doing enough to halt the spread of the virus.

“Japan needs to have the courage to change, when we are aware we are on the wrong path. We might see the next New York City in Tokyo.”

US

Health authorities in the US have modified their position on the widespread application of non-medical masks for citizens. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending the general public wear non-medical, cloth masks in public places to help blunt the spread of the virus. The move comes after new research highlights a significant number of people who are not showing symptoms may still have the virus and are spreading it unknowingly amongst the US community.

US President Donald Trump, who remains guarded about the recommendations from his leading Covid-19 scientific advisers, said of the recommendation to wear masks… “So it’s voluntary, you don’t have to do it. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”

Federal emergency workers in New York say they are now working quickly to meet demand for medical supplies in the increasingly deadly Covid-19 outbreak.

MEXICO

Mexico’s largest brewing exporter, Grupo Modelo, says it will temporarily stop brewing Corona beer and other brands exported to 180 countries after its business activities were declared ‘non-essential’ under Mexican government orders aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. The brewer says the suspension will go into place from Sunday.

“If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75% of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer.”

CHINA

A group of Chinese mountaineers have started an expedition to climb Mount Everest while the site remains closed to foreign climbers because of coronavirus. Only Chinese climbers are permitted to join the climbs this spring season because of the pandemic.

The highest mountain in the world straddles the borders of China and Nepal and can be climbed from both sides. Nepal cancelled all expeditions already whilst China has closed its side to all foreign climbers.

Two dozen+ Chinese climbers tackling the Mount Everest challenge are expected to reach the advanced base camp at an altitude of 6,450 metres today. Mount Everest’s peak is 8,848 metres.

ITALY

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Italy continued to rise steeply yesterday with another 766 fatalities . Over 6,000 patients remained in a critical condition. Italy’s overall death toll now stands at 14,681 leaving Italy as the country worst hit by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

But experts believe the real toll from the virus in Italy is likely far higher. Matteo Villa is a researcher at the Italian Institute for Political Studies and author of a new study titled ”Coronavirus: Lethality in Italy, between appearance and reality”. He claims that the death toll may have been underestimated by up to 6,000, or a third of the official total.

“For sure, the figures are wrong.”

Here’s yesterday’s ‘Thailand News Today program…

 

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