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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Flying rules tightened after Covid-19 infections found on Phuket flights

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Ferry Octavian

Disease prevention measures are being tightened for air passengers after several cases of Covid-19 were found on flights from Bangkok to Phuket. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has issued new guidance for airlines and passengers, after passengers on 7 flights, operated by 3 different airlines, subsequently tested positive for the virus. Phuket’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has ordered airlines to contact other passengers and tell them to get tested and to self-isolate. A list of the affected flights can be found HERE.

A report in Nation Thailand confirms that effective immediately, the following measures apply to air travel.

1. Airlines should limit services between 11pm and 4am in order to reduce the impact on passengers travelling between the airport and their accommodation, as well as being in line with available public transport.

2. In the event of flight changes, cancellations, or flight consolidation, carriers must inform passengers and take care of them appropriately, as per Ministry of Transport laws.

3. All passengers must undergo rigorous screening at airports and must wear face masks at all times. Body temperature must be measured with an infrared thermometer that does not come into contact with the body of the person being checked. If anyone does not wear a mask, or has a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius, they will be strictly prohibited from entering the airport area.

4. The passenger’s body temperature must be taken again prior to boarding the aircraft, using an infrared thermometer, and passengers will be tested again before leaving the destination airport. If a temperature higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius is recorded or a passenger has respiratory symptoms, such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, or shortness of breath, airport officials must immediately notify local health officials.

5. Airlines must consider appropriate arrangement of seats in the aircraft for the number of passengers on each flight, taking into account social distancing to avoid congestion.

6. Airport authorities and airlines must alert passengers of any possible risk. Confirmed patients or high-risk persons must refrain from travelling. If they violate this rule, they may be punished under the Communicable Diseases Act.

No stranger to flying between Bangkok and Phuket prior to the resurgence of Covid-19, the Thaiger has previously noted a distinct lack of social distancing while waiting to board domestic flights, as well as on the bus shuttling to and from the terminal. And when we recently shared the news of the 7 high-risk flights, one commenter on our Facebook post appeared to have had a similar experience.

“I was there, no social distance, bus to the plane was full, aircraft full until the last seat. In Bangkok everyone lined up like sardines to get on the bus to terminal.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bob

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 10:49 am

    Flight from BKk to HKT recently all good until arrival in phuket. No airbridge so all passengers were packed into small bus. Sardine like.

  2. Avatar

    Glenn Smith

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Really you have to think why we are testing people when they arrive in Phuket
    Wouldnt it be simpler and smarter to test at the departing airport ??
    Before they get on a plane.

  3. Avatar

    David Robertson

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Just require rapid flow test not more than 24 hours before flight. Same as already have on arrival. How difficult can it be? Just test before not after!

  4. Avatar

    SJ

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 12:14 pm

    Why are they even operating flights ? Ludicrous

  5. Avatar

    Albert

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Are there any restrictions, other than having a valid negative Covid-19 test, to transit between Phuket and Bangkok?

    • Thaiger

      Thaiger

      Monday, May 3, 2021 at 12:24 pm

      no

  6. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    This does not look good for a July 1 opening to international tourists! If you’re serious about it, people shouldn’t be coming from Bangkok (a major infection hub) to Phuket (a minor infection hub). Phuket, being an island has a good chance of eliminating the virus until the population are fully vaccinated. If Phuket is to reopen internationally, then it truly needs to be like a seperate country to the rest of Thailand. Only direct flights in from low risk countries. On that basis, tourists will come and in good numbers, fully vaccinated tourists. But if Phuket’s covid numbers increase because Thais from Bangkok keep coming, the numbers of infected will increase. And if vaccines aren’t rolled out to Phuket’s people quickly, it will fail. International Tourists like me, want to come back to Phuket, but only if the pandemic is being properly managed as it is in our countries. The Australia/ New Zealand travel bubble is an example that it can happen.

  7. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    “Wouldnt it be simpler and smarter to test at the departing airport ??”

    My thoughts exactly, @Glenn Smith, when I read “All passengers must undergo rigorous screening at airports”.

    It wouldn’t make the travel time any longer as instead of waiting for tests at Phuket they’d wait in Bangkok, and given the available space at both Bangkok airports it makes far more sense than testing at Phuket and avoids any worries about “sardines” anywhere.

    It doesn’t solve the problem of false negatives, but at least it solves all the other problems with no downside at all.

    Madness not to (so it’s unlikely to happen).

  8. Avatar

    Jason

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    If people (meaning Thais and expats) must go to Phuket, then make a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure, mandatory. I am serious that Phuket should be treated as if it were another country. If international tourists see that Phuket’s numbers of infected go up unchecked, you (Thailand) can kiss international tourists goodbye. We won’t come when there are other countries who do manage the virus proactively. It is in your hands. It must be direct flights to Phuket. No one will come if they are forced to come via Bangkok.

  9. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    “The Australia/ New Zealand travel bubble is an example that it can happen”

    IIRC the Aus / NZ travel bubble lasted five (5) days before it was closed, @Jason.

  10. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    Well at least England’s going the right way at last mr Simon small or should I say ij your not criticising us now are ya the world leaders ,we started like a tortoise finishing like a hare get rid of the military dictators and the corruption and Thailand will thrive if not it will die ,I feel so so sorry for farangs who have invested thier hard earned money in this country of scam ,lovely people but so corrupt so sad

  11. Avatar

    LondonAl

    Monday, May 3, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    They stopped the Aus/NZ bubble because 2 people in Perth tested positive, if that’s the way forward we can forget about international travel forever.

    @Simon Small – Not quite sure what your point is, are you saying travel bubbles can’t happen or is this part of your normal diatribe whereby someone like Jason, who puts forward positive and constructive ideas, has to be told he’s wrong, even though he isn’t.

  12. Avatar

    Leo Z

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Pack them like sardines on the planes and the buses from Bangkok, one of the epicenters of the outbreak in all of Asia (especially if serious testing levels were being done). Set them loose on an island that you were hoping to have open to international tourists in two months, but where vaccinations are sorely lacking. I don’t see any recipe for disaster at all.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health officials race to vaccinate 70% of Khlong Toey slum residents

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์

Health officials are racing to vaccinate 70% of residents in Bangkok’s Khlong Toey neighbourhood, the largest slum in the city where hundreds have tested positive for Covid-19 since April. With people living in crowded conditions and many unable to take off work to self-isolate, Thai authorities have been rolling out proactive Covid-19 testing and a mass vaccination campaign in an effort to contain the virus.

A third vaccination unit has been set up in the district at the Port Authority Stadium, adding to the units at Tesco Lotus Rama IV and Wat Khlong Toey School. Around 50,000 of the 80,000 residents in the Khlong Toey slum need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to reach herd immunity, according to Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang.

As of Sunday, 11,211 people had been vaccinated at the mobile units and each vaccination unit has been handing out 1,000 queue cards each day. With the third vaccination unit, city officials plan to inoculate 2,500 to 3,000 people per day until May 19.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration launched a proactive testing campaign on April 27 in the Khlong Toey district. Since then, 19,983 people have been tested with 654 people positive for Covid-19. 5,700 people are waiting for the results to come back and the others are negative.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Monday Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths

Tim Newton

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Monday’s totals have been announced for Covid-19 infections and new deaths over the past 24 hours. The Thai public health ministry reports 22 deaths and 1,630 infections.

• The only 5 imported Covid-19 cases yesterday were from neighbouring countries, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. Authorities say that patrols will have to be stepped up at this time to control the illegal border crossings.

All 5 people caught were Thais who were were trying to cross back into Thailand without going through the border checkpoints. They’ve all been admitted to state hospitals.

• 100+ African gemstone traders have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 4 days in Chanthaburi, east of Bangkok. Authorities have confirmed that none were detected with the African or Indian variants of Covid-19.

The 109 traders tested positive between May 6 – 9.

• 63 new cases of Covid-19 have been announced in Chon Buri today (including Pattaya), a drop from totals reported over the past week. There’s also been 1 additional death reported. 1,507 people remain in medical care for the virus in the province.

• Meanwhile all public service and government offices, including Thai immigration, are closed for Monday. But it’s not a public holiday. Today is the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which is a traditional ceremony to forecast the season’s rice and wet season crops. His Majesty the King usually presides over the annual event at the royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

9 student nurses experience side effects from Sinovac vaccine

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Side effects were felt by 9 nursing students after receiving the Sinovac vaccine. (via Jernej Furman / Flickr)

After receiving the Sinovac vaccine, 9 student nurses at Thammasat University have complained of side effect according to the Facebook page of the Student Organization of Thammasat University. After 88 student nurses received the Chinese-made vaccine on April 23 and May 5, 2 experienced minor side effects of a little pain in the arm they were vaccinated in, while 7 felt substantial reactions including chest pain, muscle pain, dizziness, fatigue, breathing problems, numbness, and facial tics.

One case of severe side effects was a female nursing student with an underlying allergy who felt fatigued immediately after receiving the jab. she felt better an hour later, but was placed under observation. 2 days later she briefly felt that her legs and hands were numb but soon felt better. Later that evening, symptoms strengthened, with eye and facial spasms, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness in her hands.

She visited a doctor twice for the side effects and the first time was given sleeping pills and vitamin B, but the second time after a blood test, doctors concluded that the symptoms were unrelated to the Sinovac vaccine. She had been previously prescribed Clonazepam, and that prescription was changed to Pyridostigmine.

The remaining more severe side effect sufferers were as follows:

  1. One male nursing student found he had difficulty breathing and dizziness for 3 days after receiving his jab.
  1. A female nursing student reported that just 30 minutes after receiving the injection she felt shortness of breath and the next day had some numbness in her body.
  1. 14 hours after receiving the jab, a female nursing student said that she felt side effects of fatigued and had trouble breathing and had to use pillows to help her breathing difficulties.
  1. Another female student felt muscle pain and dizziness the next day after receiving the vaccine.
  1. A female student ended up receiving Vitamin B and Amitriptyline from a doctor for her side effects. She reported to initially feel something in her arm and hand where she was injected, and then numbness in her left leg and in her fingertips on both hands.
  1. For the 3 days following her inoculation, the last female nursing student had side effects of chest pains and shortness of breath.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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