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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Deputy PM says some restrictions could be eased before mid-May

Thaiger

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PHOTO: Reuters

Speaking at the Covid-19 Coronavirus Situation Administration today, Deputy PM Wissanu Kreangam addressed rumours that PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is considering easing some Covid19 restrictions before the middle of May.

Meetings are taking place this afternoon between the CCSA and other government departments as the PM gathers medical advice from the CCSA and other experts on the feasibility of loosening some restrictions earlier than mid-month.

Any further loosening would be necessarily be based on a continuation of the low numbers of new infections and the situation remaining under control nationwide. Recent days have seen only single digit daily increases, including only 3 today.

Wissanu was careful to stress that these are “just discussions,” and there are no guarantees that anything will be lifted earlier.

It’s expected that more information will be released after today’s meetings.

Large parts of the country have had no virus cases for over a month, and 9 provinces have never had a case single case. Nevertheless, they all remain under the same Emergency Decree and curfew, which leave millions out of work across the country.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand now plans on 150 million Covid-19 vaccines

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Vaccine supplies in Thailand are now planned to expand to 150 million jabs. (via chinaembassy.or.th)

Thailand upped its target from 100 to 150 million vaccines in an announcement on social media by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. This expanded goal would be enough to cover the necessary 2 jabs for every person in the country, and possibly all the foreign residents that the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is again reassuring will get vaccines. The original plan was 63 million jabs, but after the second and third wave of Covid-19 has seen many more infection than all of 2020, the scheme was increased to 100 million and now 150 million.

On top of the government cache, private hospitals are solidifying a plan to import and distribute vaccines starting with the Moderna vaccine. They expect 2 jabs to cost under 3000 baht and people should be able to register on the Mor Prom Line account, but the function isn’t live yet and confusion surrounds the vaccine situation for foreigners.

A big rollout push to begin the 150 million vaccines is planned to begin in June with AstraZeneca jabs produced locally by Siam Bioscience. But tourist zones like Chon Buri and Phuket have been prioritised for earlier distribution. Phuket is already vaccinating in an attempt to stick to their sandbox schedule of opening to international travel without quarantine in July. These tourist areas were flagged as “high priority economic zones” due to the vast majority of their GDP being tourism-based.

Apparently taking heed of the significant criticism for a slow vaccine rollout, the government has been widening its procurement scope to reach the goal of 150 million vaccines by negotiating with 7 different vaccine manufacturers, recently announcing after a meeting with Pfizer that Thailand plans on receiving 10 to 20 million jabs from them in the last half of 2021.

The current goal for procuring 150 million vaccines is to give at least one vaccine to every adult in Thailand by July 31st. This timeline is still hoped to allow tourist destinations to reopen to international travellers by the end of the year. Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Koh Samui have all been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic and efforts are being made to get them reopened for vaccinated domestic and foreign travellers to visit without quarantine before the year is over.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Sunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals

Tim Newton

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For Sunday, the numbers for new infections and Covid-related deaths from Bangkok and the Thai provinces over the past 24 hours were announced early this morning. There has been 17 deaths and 2,101 new cases announced by the CCSA.

Thailand has now reached 83,375 total cases since January 2020 and 399 deaths. Out of the 17 deaths, 8 were male and 9 female. One of them was a foreigner. The average age of the deaths was 68 years old.

Bangkok, again, is leading the way with new infections with 980 registered in the past 24 hours, mostly in 4 key clusters of low-income housing communities.

Here are all the provincial totals…

Sunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by ThaigerSunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger• Meanwhile, Thai restauranteurs are pleading with PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to ease the Covid-19 restrictions, especially the ban on dine-in services in dark red zone provinces.

• On the aviation front, the third wave of Covid-19 around the country is forecast to show a drop in air travel by 38% for this financial year, according to the Aeronautical Radio of Thailand.

They expect the air traffic in Thailand to remain subdued until at least September this year. Aerothai’s executive VP for operations, said the number of local flights had been stable for the first half of April but it plummeted dramatically in the second half.

Despite the current wave, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand is still planning to relax restrictions for international flights to and from Thailand. The Government has re-iterated its commitment to reopen the country’s main tourist areas from July.

• Yesterday the CCSA said that Bangkok will need more beds for severely ill Covid-19 cases over the next couple of weeks, as the number of daily infections continue to rise.

Since the start of April, this is how the third wave has unravelled…

Sunday Covid UPDATE: 17 more deaths, 2,101 covid infections, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Private Moderna vaccine price set at under 3000 baht

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Private Moderna vaccines will be price controled at under 3000 baht. (via Pixabay)

Officials announced that private hospitals will offer the two shots of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for a maximum of 3000 baht total. The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation expect to order Moderna first in the process of importing vaccines for paid usage, according to the Private Hospital Association. The GPO will act as the middleman because manufacturers generally only work with governments.

But a timeline has not been announced. Yesterday the Public Health Minister estimated the Moderna vaccine will arrive in Thailand in the last 2 quarters of this year.

All the medical facilities in the association agreed to price match, placing the vaccine on the Commerce Ministry’s price control list, and expect that the price including all taxes fees and insurance will be no more than 3,000 baht. The vaccine itself cost about 1,200 baht per dose, and hospitals are putting together an insurance package in case of any side effects for allergic reactions with The General Insurance Association and the Office of the Insurance Commission. The coverage would be around 90-100 days from the first injection for about 50 to 100 baht.

The first step is to estimate how many jabs will be needed, and surveying has begun now to determine demand before ordering. Officials are urging people to register on the Mor Prom Line account to help in estimation, though there is no apparent option for getting a private vaccine in the app yet.

People are advised to try to get the free government shots first, as private vaccination is not currently available and may take a while. The Food and Drug Administration fined a hospital last year for registering people to get a vaccination when there are no alternate vaccines in Thailand yet.

Importing vaccines is complicated as licensing is needed to bring in biological products, but the GPO helping should simplify the process. The plan is for private hospitals to offer a paid vaccine in the Mor Prom account as a supplement to the government vaccination program. But they’re not allowed to use the same vaccine brands as it’s considered a conflict of interest.

Moderna is a likely vaccine choice for importation, but the Chinese Sinopharm jab is another option having gained World Health Organization approval Friday. The government so far intends to use vaccines from Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Russia’s Sputnik V.

When the government opened free vaccine registration one week ago, they expected 11.7 million people over 60 and 4.3 million people with conditions like diabetes, cancer, stroke, kidney failure, heart disease, and respiratory disease to register quickly. But according to data yesterday from the Public Health Ministry, only 1.25 million people used the official Line account of Mor Prom and just under 300,000 people registered in person at hospitals or with local volunteers.

In June they plan to use locally manufactured AstraZeneca vaccines from Siam Bioscience for all the vaccine appointments, with no details yet for the private vaccine appointments. Sinovac jabs can also be used and it was recently approved for people above 60 years old, after a new study since the clinical trials didn’t originally include elderly people.

Sinovac however has not been approved by the WHO for emergency use, who is only given its seal of approval to Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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