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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
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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 Japan

Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay

The Thaiger

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Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more due to Covid delay | The Thaiger

The Tokyo Olympics may cost almost US$2 billion more than its original budget of US$13 billion, after it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympic organisers say they will decide on the increased budget for the Games after communicating with Japan’s government and Tokyo. The Games were postponed by 1 year after Covid-19 spread worldwide, with its opening date set to July 23, 2021. Of all the events postposed because of Covid-19, the Olympics was the biggest and most complex to postpone.

Such a delay has yielded new costs, from retaining the organising staff, rebooking venues and transportation. Not to mention, the question of if the event can actually proceed safely. But Olympic officials are reaffirming that the Games can, indeed, be held following safety measures.

Such covid safety measures are reportedly another reason why the price of the event has increased, although the new estimated cost doesn’t include such measures. Officials say they are expecting the additional costs to be paid for by the Japanese government. Organisers and officials are reportedly considering a long list of possible virus countermeasures that they hope will make the Games possible, even if a vaccine is not yet available.

A dialed-down, lower-cost Olympics plan was announced in September, with banners, mascots, meals, and athlete welcome ceremonies being scrapped along with fewer free tickets to be offered. A senior official has said that Tokyo Olympics test events will resume in March with a decision on fan attendance to be made in the spring season.

Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee Chief says he is very confident that the Games will have attending fans. However, fan enthusiasm has decreased inside of Japan, with summer polls indicating only 1 in 4 Japanese people wanting the Games to happen, with most wanting them to be postponed or even fully cancelled.

So far, Tokyo has reported just over 40,000 cases of Covid, with Japan reporting 145,000 cases since the pandemic began.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus Japan

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

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 (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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