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Coronavirus Thailand

54 Covid-19 deaths compared to 26,000 road deaths

The Thaiger

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54 Covid-19 deaths compared to 26,000 road deaths | The Thaiger
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OPINION

by Brian Hull, long-term expat

From time-to-time The Thaiger adds some different perspectives from guest posts. Expat Brian Hull gave us permission to repost his social media rant about the road deaths in Thailand, comparing them with the death toll from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Thailand, with a population of 67 million, has done a good job to date in keeping Covid-19 deaths to just 54. This begs the question of why nothing serious is ever done to tackle the annual road carnage of 26,000 deaths, which gives Thailand the distinction of being in the top six of the worst countries in the world.

Every accident is a tragedy but the biggest tragedy of all is that most of these could be prevented with proper police control.

I don’t know where the buck stops in the Thai bureaucratic blame game but it should be obvious to even a blind man where it starts – with the traffic police who are noted by their absence from the roads.

During six years of living in Thailand, not once have I seen a motor bike cop or police car stop anybody for anything. Their activities are confined to roadside checks for motorbike helmets and drivers’ licenses. While it is laudable, it does not require trained policemen to perform this function, it could be done by retired school teachers or librarians, and does nothing whatsoever to reduce road accidents.

For years, I have expressed my frustration, and fumed about Thailand not having proper road rules but to my surprise, when I did a test for a Thai Driver’s License, I discovered that sensible traffic regulations, similar to those in the West, are in place. The problem is that they are not enforced.

I think a basic road rule that applies in nearly all developed countries, including Thailand, is that a vehicle (whether car or motorbike) cannot pass another vehicle that is travelling in the same lane. So, all those motorbikes and scooters that are passing cars on either side of them, and snaking in and out of traffic, are breaking the law and creating mayhem.

This, and drink driving or speeding, are the major causes of accidents. If the police were to crack down on just this one rule there is no doubt in my mind that traffic accidents would be reduced by well over 50%.

At 10pm one night last year, with nothing better to do, I counted 250 traffic transgressions in the space of 15 minutes that were worthy of a fine. Any country in the world would have a traffic accident rate as dismal as Thailand’s if they did not have active police control, from the top down.

If senior Government officials are not capable of effectively managing their police force, or are just too lethargic and unmotivated, then they should be replaced, and if appropriate, face charges of Criminal Negligence.

What do you think of Brian’s thoughts? Comment on our Facebook page.

54 Covid-19 deaths compared to 26,000 road deaths

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Coronavirus Thailand

Bangkok hospitals use baby face shields, US health officials say it could be dangerous

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok hospitals use baby face shields, US health officials say it could be dangerous | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

While Bangkok hospitals say they are protecting newborn babies from the coronavirus with baby-sized face shields, health authorities in the US disagree with the move, and even claim it could be dangerous.

The US Centre of Disease Control says an infant face shield could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome as well as suffocation or strangulation.

Since infants and newborns often toss and turn in bed, the nose and mouth could become blocked by the face shield and suffocate, according to a CDC report on the matter.

“Parts of the shield can also get caught around the neck and cause them to suffocate.”

They say that there is no data supporting the use of infant face shields for protection against the coronavirus.

SOURCE: US Centre of Disease Control

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Pattaya

Pattaya’s beaches are still a ‘no go’ area this month

Caitlin Ashworth

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Pattaya’s beaches are still a ‘no go’ area this month | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pattaya City Law Enforcement/pattayacity2535

Don’t go to Pattaya’s beaches unless you’re willing go to jail or pay a hefty fine. Starting tomorrow, the city’s beaches will be closed until the end of May in an effort to prevent socialising and to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Pattaya’s police posted photos on Facebook of the taped-off beaches and warning signs.

“Those who try to access the beach could face a year in jail or an up to 100,000 baht fine. People and tourists are prohibited from gathering in the areas between 9am and 9pm during the three-week period.”

However, people are still allowed to walk and exercise on the sidewalks adjacent to the beaches. The closed beach areas include… Pattaya beach, Jomtien beach, Phra Thamnak beach, Cosy beach, Wong Amat beach, Krathing Rai beach, Lan Phor Na Kluea public park and the Bali Hai pier area.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Pattaya's beaches are still a 'no go' area this month | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus Thailand

10 arrested in Chon Buri for house party in violation of Emergency Decree

Jack Burton

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10 arrested in Chon Buri for house party in violation of Emergency Decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Naew Na

Police in Chon Buri province’s Sattahip subdistrict, south of Pattaya, raided a party last night at a house with 10 people, most of them from out of town and described as domestic tourists. The gathering was a direct violation of the Emergency Decree enacted to stop the spread of Covid-19

Na Jomtien police were notified by a “concerned citizen” that there was a noisy party at a house in a housing estate at 9:30pm. They arrived at the house, knocked on the door and were greeted by 37 year old Paruehat Tampanon, who said he’s renting the house for several days, and that he and his friends were staying there for 2 days.

Na Jomtien police discovered 9 other people inside the house, 2 of whom tested positive for illegal drugs, police say, without naming the specific drugs. Many bottles of alcoholic and other beverages were found.

Paruehat claimed he did not know that Chon Buri still has strict social distancing measure in place and bans private parties. He also claimed all 10 people know each other and live with each other so there was be no threat of spreading the virus.

The owner of the house, 35 year old Piyanuch Ignatov, was charged with illegally operating a hotel and disobeying a Chon Buri order. (Rentals of fewer than 30 days are technically not allowed under Thai law.)

All those arrested face stiff Emergency Decree penalties, which means fines of up to 100,000 baht and/or up to 2 years in jail.

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | Naew Na

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