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First golf quarantine guests complete stay at central Thailand resort

Maya Taylor

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First golf quarantine guests complete stay at central Thailand resort | Thaiger
PHOTO: Tourism Authority of Thailand

Thailand has hosted the first group of international tourists to carry out a “golf quarantine” stay. 42 golfers (41 from South Korea and 1 from Japan) flew into Thailand on February 19, entering quarantine at the Artitaya Golf Resort in the central province of Nakhon Nayok.

Guests following Thailand’s golf quarantine programme are required to remain in their rooms for the first 3 days of their stay, after which they can roam freely around the resort and play golf. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has confirmed that during their stay, guests are tested 3 times for Covid-19.

In order to qualify for golf quarantine, travellers must arrive from a “low-risk” country and be in possession of all the paperwork required to enter Thailand, including a Certificate of Entry, adequate health insurance, and evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before travel.

On March 2, 12 days into the golfers’ quarantine stay, a number of officials, including Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn and TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn, conducted an inspection of the resort. They were accompanied by Thares Kratsanai Rawiwong from the Department of Health Service Support and were welcomed by provincial governor, Amphon Angkapakornkul.

The TAT says the purpose of the inspection is to boost confidence in Thailand’s golf facilities. In addition to the Artitaya resort, Thailand has another 5 golf resorts that have been approved as quarantine facilities: 3 in the western province of Kanchanaburi, 1 in the central province of Phetchaburi, and 1 in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

SOURCE: TAT News

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 11:50 am

    There was an article on CNN last week about this. Turns out they are all businessmen who were going to quarantine anyway. On the plus side they liked the golf.

  2. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Interesting, Ed V.

    $2,240 / 68,000 baht per head for ASLQ at the golf course, reportedly.

    If that was all-inclusive (unlimited rounds, caddies, buggies, etc, plus meals, accommodation, etc) that’s amazingly cheap.

    If correct, given the staff and running costs and that the course was closed for the duration it’s hard to see how that could be profitable.

  3. Avatar

    James A Burke

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 9:44 pm

    NEVER COME TO THAILAND IF FORCED TO HAVE VACCINE .THEY WILL KILL TOURISM FOR EVER

  4. Avatar

    Ben

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    When they started letting tourists into Thailand late last year they initially started with low risk countries then realized their process pretty much guaranteed anyone going through it with COVID would be discovered. So they opened it up to anyone from any country.

    How is golf any different? How is letting people from the west into the golf quarantine going to increase risk of COVID?

  5. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    I think it’s more a macro than micro thing, a loss leader if you will. I think government is trying to create more interest which would translate into more tourism. After all as you point out, the golf course can’t be making much if anything from the scheme. It’s why the government is already planning to expand the quarantine resort idea they started in Phuket. Again another idea where the individual facility can’t be making much. The plan is to expand to multiple resorts in each of Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Kho Samui starting as early as April. Personally I don’t think much of the idea, they are just not going to get enough tourists to make a difference. It seems to me Thailand is grasping at straws to get things going. Thailand is starting to get desperate as the economy is taking a very bad turn. They need to get tourism going again. I can’t see any other reason why they are pushing to open up to vaccinated tourist in July.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 11:35 pm

    I wondered the same thing, Ben. The only guess I could come up with was that some were less “quarantined” than others and there was an increased risk of cross-transmission to / from others in quarantine.

  7. Avatar

    Nipral

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Gee !!! 41 !!! Gigantic success !!! Congrats Prayut !!! All you need now is another 28.999.959 golfers to get in … Easy !!!

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Doctors in India see alarming rise in severe Covid symptoms in younger patients

Maya Taylor

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Doctors in India see alarming rise in severe Covid symptoms in younger patients | Thaiger
PHOTO: Trinity Care Foundation / Flickr

Doctors in India are reporting a worrying rise in the number of young patients being hospitalised with severe Covid-19 symptoms. One medical practitioner in the western state of Gujarat says more young people are developing serious symptoms affecting their lungs, hearts and kidneys, with one hospital opening the state’s first paediatric Covid-19 ward. Other states are reporting a similar increase in severe symptoms among the younger population.

A new wave of infections has struck India, just as the country thought the worst was over and had begun to roll out vaccines. It has now recorded 1 million positive cases in a nation of 1.3 billion people. Despite this, hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the recent Kumbh Mela religious festival, with social distancing and face masks dispensed with. There were similar scenes at election rallies.

According to an AFP report in Thai PBS World, doctors in India are warning of a steep rise in infections among the younger generation. Around 35% of India’s population is under the age of 65 and Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of New Delhi says around 65% of new Covid cases are in patients under the age of 45. Khusrav Bajan, a hospital consultant in Mumbai, has also expressed concern at the number of children being admitted

“We are also seeing children under the ages of 12 and 15 being admitted with symptoms in the second wave. Last year there were practically no children.”

Meanwhile, in India’s own “Silicon Valley”, Bangalore, 58% of Covid-19 infections in early April were in people under the age of 40, a 46% increase compared to last year. Tanu Dogra, a 28 year old book publicist in New Delhi, spent a week in bed after testing positive for the virus last month.

“I haven’t seen such a rise in cases in the last 1 year as I’ve seen in the last 1 week. Everybody on my timeline, on my WhatsApp, is frantically messaging each other because they’ve all tested positive.”

Medical professionals are critical of the slow vaccination rollout in India, with jabs currently limited for those over the age of 45. They are calling for inoculation to be extended to everyone, with many young people saying they feel exposed in the workplace, but have no choice, as the sole earners for their families.

Venkat Ramesh, a specialist in infectious diseases in the southern city of Hyderabad, feels the worst is yet to come.

“When I speak to my colleagues in major metropolitan cities across India, they have numerous calls from patients trying to find a bed. I’m quite afraid for the next month. Given the rapidity of the rise in cases, it is certainly worrying.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai government urges people to work from home where possible

Maya Taylor

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Thai government urges people to work from home where possible | Thaiger
PHOTO: WJ van den Eijkhof / Flickr

The government is calling on all employers whose staff can work from home to implement such measures immediately, as new Covid-19 infections hit another record high. Yesterday, the Kingdom reported 1,767 new infections and 2 additional deaths, taking the death toll to 101. There are 28 patients on ventilators. According to a Bangkok Post report, Taweesilp Visanuyothin from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says recent data shows growing clusters of infection at work places.

One such cluster has been reported at a school in the central province of Samut Prakan, just south of Bangkok. 32 people have tested positive after 2 foreign teachers returned from a trip to Phuket between April 2 and 4, where they frequented a number of nightlife venues. After they returned to Bangkok, they resumed work at the school. supervising exams between April 5 and 8. On April 8, they attended a party in the evening and tested positive for the virus the next day. 23 students have also tested positive, along with 4 of their relatives.

Other clusters include 23 infections at a private firm in Chon Buri and 8 at an electricity authority office in the north-eastern province of Udon Thani. Taweesilp says the rise in infections in work environments indicates the need for people to work from home where possible.

“This is the reason the CCSA is asking for your cooperation to step up work-from-home measures. Companies which have reported cluster infections, if you can allow your employees to work from home, please do so.”

He adds that the Health Ministry is addressing the long waitlist for hospital beds in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The head of the Department of Medical Services, Somsak Akksilp, is acting as coordinator between hospitals and those running field hospitals, such as the Thai army. Covid-19 patients still waiting to be admitted to hospital are urged to comply with disease prevention measures and self-isolate with immediate effect.

Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control echoes the call for home working measures to be implemented wherever possible following the long Songkran holiday. Tens of thousands of people travelled across the country over the course of the holiday, but Opas says if home working can be implemented and the public cooperates with disease prevention measures, new infections should drop over the next 2 weeks.

“We’re concerned about community transmission in schools and workplaces. The work-from-home policy is important as we expect people to return to work on Monday. Please avoid gatherings, sharing of items and eating together.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers

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Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers | Thaiger
PHOTO: bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th website to register people returning to Bangkok.

Bangkok is taking proactive steps to deal with the likely surge of Covid-19 cases after the Songkran holiday, asking those returning to Bangkok to submit their timelines online and self-quarantine 14 days. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang is urging all people entering Bangkok to visit a website where they can perform a self-evaluation to assess their Covid-19 risk.

The website, bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th, allows travellers returning to Bangkok to input their travel timelines and their personal information after scanning a QR code. The system will help with contact tracing, aggregating all the travel information to make following any threads of Covid-19 spread much more efficient. Health officials will be able to access and contact anyone thought to have come in contact with a Covid-19 infected person.

Songkran is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year with millions of people going on holiday or visiting relatives. The government launches road safety campaigns to combat the swell in traffic and accidents. And even with Covid-19 cancelling most Songkran celebrations, Bangkok still saw nearly 8 million vehicles coming and going this festival period. A swell in Coronavirus infections spread throughout the country is likely as people travelled all over Thailand and back to celebrate the Thai New Year’s holiday.

Governor Aswin explained the platform is hoped to help contain possible outbreaks by providing crucial information to health officials to trace Covid-19 spread. The system will analyze infection risk for each person who registers and give them instructions on how to proceed. People deemed to be at risk will receive a free Covid-19 swab test from Bangkok health officials, while low-risk cases will be instructed to self-quarantine for 2 weeks.

SOURCE: The Pattaya Mail

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