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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Deja Vu: Cruise ship in Japan finds Covid-19 infection

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Asuka II Cruise Ship, Covid-19 found on board. via Wikimedia

In an unfortunate case of life coming full circle, Covid-19 has infected a passenger aboard a cruise ship off the coast of Japan. One infamous early outbreak of what at the time was a new and mysterious virus we hoped wouldn’t manage to spread worldwide was the case of Carnival Cruise Line’s Diamond Princess cruise ship. 3,700 people were quarantined on that ship and parked in Yokohama amid pandemonium and confusion of how to address the emerging virus. In that case last February, after nearly a month of aimless floating and passengers being quarantined in their tiny cabins, over 700 passengers contracted Covid-19 and 14 people died of the virus.

This time, Nippon Yusen’s NYK Cruises Co has turned its ship back towards port after one passenger was diagnosed with Covid-19. Mirroring the Diamond Princess last year, after discovering a Coronavirus infection, the boat will also dock at Yokohama port.

The Asuka II is a luxury cruise liner with 295 passengers and 425 crew members. With Tokyo just to the north, the boat will return back to Yokohama and is expected to arrive tomorrow at around noon. The cruise was originally scheduled to travel to northern prefectures, calling at the ports of Aomori and Hokkaido before returning to its home port on May 5.

The cruise did have safety measures in place, with all passengers required to test negative for Covid-19 before boarding, but another round of testing yesterday returned the positive infection.

The one Covid-19 infection identified is said to be recovering and in stable condition. They are staying in their cabin now and NYK released a statement that the patient had only been in close contact with one other person before the infection was diagnosed.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    wayno

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 3:26 am

    I have no sympathy for the lunatics that want to travel for leisure purposes

  2. Avatar

    James

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 5:38 am

    @wayno – a comment at 3.26 am on a saturday morning? You clearly have no friends and its apparent why 😂. No one needs your sympathy old man. You cant travel because you are poor falang living in rathole somewhere in the countryside. Do not spoil it for others though 😘

  3. Avatar

    QR

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 8:24 am

    I have no sympathy for idiots who think their opinions are important enough to post.

  4. Avatar

    Richard King

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 9:28 am

    This brings into question is it the test not accurate or is the virus takes longer to show as this is not the first time, After many tests gets the clear but latter find it us positive.
    As for cruise nah all you need it exactly one to come back positive then you are lockdown in your cabin no thanks especially if you are in the inner cabin with no view or balcony.

  5. Avatar

    IJTF

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    @Richard you’re asking redundant questions that have been thoroughly investigated over the past year. We know everything there is to know about covid, especially that it is only dangerous to the old and weak… like you know. The flu.

  6. Avatar

    sam

    Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Plain stupidity to travel on board a cruise,as thousands of passengers can easily be infected. Hundreds of healthcare workers have to be hauled into the ship that do not have sufficient medical treatments to handle an outbreak.The owners and travel agents should be sent to jail for not taking responsiblity and safetyfor the passengers in this time of Covi9-19 pandemic crisis.It same goes for Japan of not cancelling the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

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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)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket visitor Covid-19 rapid antigen testing may end May 15

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 rapid tests may be discontinued in Phuket. (via Wikimedia)

In a live broadcast, Phuket’s Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong said officials will consider discontinuing Covid-19 rapid antigen testing for people arriving into Phuket after May 15. The interview from the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai yesterday seems to contradict a recent statement from the governor launching additional rapid testing from today.

Entry to Phuket since April 22 has been limited for travellers from red zone provinces, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Anyone arriving without either of these would be screened on the spot with rapid antigen tests. Though originally offered for 300 baht per person, controversy arose over Thailand’s 2-tier pricing as it was announced that testing would be free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

The National Health Security Office provided 40 billion baht for testing in Phuket, allowing free testing for nationals, but as that funding is used up, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced that the testing will no longer be free for Thai people after May 15. Phuket does not have the budget for free rapid antigen testing so they will likely be forced to require payment after that date.

The current testing has seen a decline in positive Covid-19 infections, not finding any new cases for several days, prompting the government to rethink whether the current system of rapid testing those who are not vaccinated or holding a recent negative test certificate is worth the money spent.

Over 40,000 people have been tested since the program began April 22 until the current figures on May 5, with only 22 covid infections identified. Furthermore, 5 of those infections turned out to be false positives.

The vice-governor conceded that Phuket has Covid-19 outbreak problems with growing infections every day, but explains that the infections are from within the community and not from outside visitors. The latest infections stem in large part from gambling get-togethers without proper Covid-19 safety.

As of now, the rapid antigen testing will continue until the May 15 cut off, but government officials are still debating whether to continue testing and whether funding will exist for it after that date.

The NHSO has recently hinted that they will approve more funds to continue testing, a signal that had not been received before the governor’s announcement on Wednesday about the rapid antigen testing.

The vice-governor stressed that the situation is constantly evolving and that new information it’s shared frequently, and often out of local control. He urges everyone to pay attention to forthcoming announcements.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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