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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Former Italian leader Berlusconi tests positive for Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Former Italian leader Berlusconi tests positive for Covid-19 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

Silvio Berlusconi, the colourful and often divisive former leader of Italy, has tested positive for coronavirus, following a trip to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. The tourist hot-spot has experienced a surge in new cases in recent weeks, thought to be a result of holidaymakers descending on the island, as is normal every August.

His personal doctor at Milan’s San Raffaele hospital, Alberto Zangrillo, says that despite displaying no symptoms, Berlusconi decided to be tested due to a recent holiday in Sardinia. His good friend Flavio Briatore, the owner of Sardinia’s Billionaire nightclub, tested positive last month.

83 year old Berlusconi has vowed to continue his political campaigning while self-isolating at his home north of Milan. Local elections are due to be held in Italy this month, with the former leader backing members of his Forza Italia party.

“Unfortunately, this too has happened to me, but I carry on fighting.”

In March and April, Italy endured one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in Europe, with many residents still reeling from the trauma of over 270,000 cases and 35,500 deaths. In recent months, things have improved, with the country finally managing to contain the spread of the virus. However, the annual August holidays and an increase in nightlife activities is thought to be behind a recent upsurge in cases.

Meanwhile, politicians from all sides have been sending their best wishes to Berlusconi, including one of his fiercest critics, foreign minister and former leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio.

“I hope he will fight this battle with the strength that has always distinguished him.”

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: Daily infection number drops slightly on Tuesday

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: Daily infection number drops slightly on Tuesday | Thaiger

965 people have been detected as infected with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. The daily total is the first drop in daily numbers for 13 days. 28,288 people have fully recovered. The total deaths remains at 97 people since the start of the pandemic in Thailand. 6,190 people remain under hospital care or are being monitored.

654 of today’s cases are local community infections.

Out of today’s infections, the CCSA announced that most were in the northern city of Chiang Mai (251) which has been hit particularly hard, followed by Bangkok (194), Chonburi (97), Prachuap Khiri Khan (73), Nakhon Ratchasima (67), Samut Prakan (49), Samut Sakhon (34), Rayong (25) and Pathum Thani (21). 8 new infections were officially reported in Phuket by the CCSA.

Regarding vaccinations, 578,532 people have now been vaccinated. Yesterday, 6,424 people received their first injection, 2,056 received their second Covid vaccine.

There’s now a total of 34,575 people who have now been infected with the coronavirus in Thailand.

Covid UPDATE: Daily infection number drops slightly on Tuesday | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

WHO says pandemic reaching critical levels in South Asia

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WHO says pandemic reaching critical levels in South Asia | Thaiger
Stock photo via World Bank Blogs

Despite vaccines being rolled out, the WHO is warning that the Covid-19 pandemic has reached a “critical level” in South Asia as infections keep rising. The virus has already taken 2.9 million lives, infecting 136 million worldwide and the WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, says the “trajectory of this pandemic is growing…exponentially.”

“This is not the situation we want to be in 16 months into a pandemic when we have proven control measures. We are at a critical point of the pandemic right now.”

The US is still the country with the most amount of infections, but India has recently taken the number 2 spot over Brazil, reporting 168,000 new cases in 1 day. India’s total amount of infections is now at 13.5 million, edging Brazil’s 13.48 million into the number 3 spot.

But a race among nations for Covid infections is not what the WHO – or anyone for that matter – is wanting. 28 year old Rohit, a waiter in Mumbai, seems to say that the race won’t end if people continue to not listen to safety protocols.

“The solution is for everyone to stay home for two months and end this (pandemic) once and for all. But the public doesn’t listen. Nobody follows the rules in the restaurant… If we tell customers to wear masks, they are rude and disrespectful to us.”

Ignoring the social – distancing rules has experts up in arms as they warn that huge, mass gatherings are what we all thought they were: a super spreader event for Covid-19.

But the Indian government appears desperate to avoid a repeat of last year’s nationwide March shutdown which saw some of the world’s toughest measures causing misery all around. Thus, the balance between managing a country’s overall health and financial situation is a tedious one.

Bangladesh has chosen health, for now, as it is shuttering both international and domestic airports from tomorrow. Its population of 160 million people, will be sealed off from the rest of the world.

And, in Thailand, a 3rd wave has hit, making plans for a full reopening by October, seem to be in vain. Social distancing and mass gatherings are, again, to blame, as entertainment venues sparked the recent spread. As normally tourism-heavy destinations, like the Andaman island of Phuket, are rapidly inoculating its residents to prepare for a July reopening, the new wave has dampened hopes of reviving the economy.

For now, the efforts to contain the Covid pandemic have been futile worldwide, but history has a habit of repeating itself, especially when safety protocols fall on deaf ears.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Off to a field hospital? Here’s what to pack

Maya Taylor

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Off to a field hospital? Here’s what to pack | Thaiger
PHOTO: Marco Verch / Flickr

A Thai netizen has posted a useful list of “must pack” items for anyone being admitted to a field hospital for Covid-19 treatment. As concerns rise that the rapid rise in infections may lead to a shortage of hospital beds, officials are planning a number of field hospitals, some of which have already opened. A total of 10 field hospitals are planned for Bangkok, while a field hospital in Phuket, closed after discharging its last patient in May 2020, is now set to re-open.

With all that in mind, Nation Thailand reports that Facebook user Ratchasee Jitasa recommends 12 items patients should stick in their bag if being admitted to a field hospital. To be fair, most of these items would come in pretty useful in a regular hospital too:

1. Power strip
2. Personal items, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, towel, and hairdryer
3. Power bank
4. Wet wipes
5. Items to help relieve loneliness (??)
6. Pillow, blanket, and mattress
7. Eye mask
8. Food supplements, such as Vitamin C
9. Thermos bottle
10. Snacks
11. A set of clothes for when you’re discharged
12. A 14-day supply of underwear

Ratchasee also has some words of comfort for those worried about the whole field hospital “experience”.

“Staying at the field hospital is not as scary as everyone thinks, but some facilities may not meet the people’s demands.”

Thailand has a policy of mandatory hospitalisation for anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, even if asymptomatic or with only mild symptoms. Officials say they have no plans to change this, despite concerns about hospital bed shortages, insisting the policy enables them to control the spread of the virus more effectively than relying on people to self-isolate.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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