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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Global Covid-19 infections soar past 25 million

Jack Burton

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Global Covid-19 infections soar past 25 million | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AP
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Covid-19 infections around the world surpassed 25 million today, with India setting a grim new record for the highest single-day rise in cases, 78,761. Roughly a million new cases have been detected globally every 4 days since mid-July, according to an AFP tally. The surge in India, a country of 1.3 billion people, comes as the government further eased lockdown restrictions on the weekend to ease pressure on the sagging economy. Even countries like New Zealand and South Korea, which had brought their outbreaks largely under control, are now battling new clusters of infection.

In Latin America, the hardest-hit region, coronavirus deaths in Brazil crossing 120,000, second only to the US. A researcher at public health institute Fiocruz said:

“Brazil’s curve has stabilised now, but at a very dangerous level: nearly 1,000 deaths and 40,000 cases per day. And Brazil still isn’t past the peak.”

Nearly 847,000 people have died of Covid-19 globally, and no vaccine or effective treatment is available yet; governments have been forced to resort to some form of social distancing and lockdowns to fight the spread of the virus.

In New Zealand, which went more than 100 days without local transmission before the current cluster emerged, masks will become mandatory tomorrow on public transport and flights. Tightened virus curbs kicked in on today in South Korea, which is also battling fresh clusters, including in the greater Seoul region, home to half the nation’s population.

Despite the horrifying numbers, there has been steady opposition to lockdowns and social distancing in many countries, often because of their crushing economic cost. Resistance has come from the extreme right and left of the political spectrum, as well as from conspiracy theorists and anti-vaccine campaigners.

In Berlin on yesterday, around 18,000 people gathered to march against coronavirus restrictions, but police stopped the rally because many were not respecting social distancing measures.

Protesters waved German flags and shouted slogans against Chancellor Angela Merkel often used by the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

Some carried signs promoting widely debunked conspiracy theories about vaccines, facemasks and 5G communications. Similar protests were held in London and Zurich, where people carried signs supporting the far-right QAnon movement, which promotes, with no credible evidence, bizarre theories about Satan-worshipping cabals and “deep state” plots.

The pandemic has upended economies and societies around the world, and halted most large gatherings, from sport and music to religion and politics. The world’s top sport, culture and music events are struggling with the challenge of hosting spectators while reducing the risk of virus transmission, including even the Olympic Games in Japan, which have been postponed for a year.

But there was some good news yesterday in New York, once among the world’s biggest coronavirus hotspots: visitors raised their arms, clapped and lined up to get tickets as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art reopened its doors after a 6 month closure.

“It means that there is some semblance of normalcy. The Met has been a part of New York history for over 150 years… So this is a big first step.”

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | AFP

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    August 30, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Tragic, but still deaths have not even reached a million yet – 847.000.
    The last estimated population of the world is 7,800,000.000.
    According to Cancer Research, there were 9.6 million deaths to cancer in 2018.
    The fear of these virus is totally out of proportion to the danger of the virus.

    • Avatar

      J. Jones

      August 30, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      add that 847 thousand to that 9.6 million.

    • Avatar

      Gary

      August 31, 2020 at 11:36 am

      Just looked up Hepatitis B, can be fatal, 850000 deaths attributed, 350 million infected, most won’t know, where is the economic panic?

  2. Avatar

    J. Jones

    August 30, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Flu season picks up in October. I expect that is when we wilk all see a second round of spikes. At the same time, colder population areas will be searching for warmer climates, and safer surroundings. Mixing populations is not such a great idea during the flu season. No need to shut things down…but also no need to open new battlegrounds. December will be a good month to step back and see where this thing is going.

  3. Avatar

    Chris

    August 30, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    We are waking up to this Covid flu 99% recovery rate not even in the top 20 viruses in the world poeple r waking up to this overeach and fear mongering and misleading information from mainstream media & death certificates. Germany ,UK , Australia, Europe USA is awakening1

  4. Avatar

    Edy F.

    September 2, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Albert Einstein said : “the world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by
    those who look at them without doing anything”.

    INTERNATIONAL ALERT MESSAGE
    OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO GOVERNMENTS
    AND CITIZENS OF THE WORLD :
    STOP to : terror, madness, manipulation, dictatorship, lies and
    the biggest health scam of the 21th century

    The collective : United Health Professionals

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Post

Opening Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists may open a “Pandora’s box” of Covid-19 infections, according to leading epidemiologist on the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine Thira Woratanarat. After a 6 month ban on international tourists, the first group of travellers on the new Special Tourist Visa are set to fly from China to Phuket on October 8. Thira says the move puts the country at risk of a second coronavirus outbreak.

“If the country decides to take risks, everyone must rely on themselves because this is a war between virus and humans and people need to survive… The country will be a new endemic area if the government cannot contain the spread of the disease effectively. And even if there is a Covid-19 vaccine, it might be too late.”

The 120 to 150 tourists arriving next week on the Special Tourist Visa are required to quarantine at a state approved facility for 14 days. They are also required to be tested for Covid-19 before their flight and before being released from quarantine.

Thira has been vocal for months on his disapproval for opening the borders to foreign tourists and has stood firmly against proposals like so called “travel bubbles.” He says the coronavirus cases across globe have continued to raise and warns that people in Thailand should still abide by coronavirus prevention measures like wearing a mask.

“Many countries are still under the severe pandemic and have an infection rate 20 times that of Thailand’s, so Thailand will be at a risk of becoming a pandemic hotspot after the country is reopened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Has Thailand’s suicide rate increased due to Covid-19 restrictions? – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Has Thailand’s suicide rate increased due to Covid-19 restrictions? – VIDEO | The Thaiger

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Before Covid, around the world every 40 seconds someone lost their life to suicide and nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, according to statistics from the WHO.

In Thailand, suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year olds, after road fatalities.

Now, an apparent rise in Thailand’s suicide rate, related to the country’s current business conditions, restrictions and ongoing world pandemic, is concerning health officials.

The Mental Health Department released a report in September indicating 2,551 people in Thailand had killed themselves from January to the end of July, 2020. That is up a palpable 22% compared to the same first 6 months of last year.

Health officials are citing “personal problems, economic pressures, depression and alcohol abuse” for the rise in cases that appear to be linked to Thailand’s current economic woes.

South East Asian suicide rates are generally around 20 to 30 % higher than the global average, and Thailand’s general rate was the highest suicide rate in the South East Asian region before the pandemic.

The Thai Mental Health Department Director General Kiartipoom Wongrachit believes that both isolation and pressures generated by social media have contributed to the rise.

But he also believes that social media is becoming a valuable tool to help identify self-harm behaviour and provide intervention.

“Signs of suicide have been increasing on social media. While some social media platforms have technology that can detect video clips recording self harm or suicides… there are many other signs to look out for that the technology can’t detect.”

He linked the increase in the suicide cases this year to the outbreak of the deadly virus and described the trend as “worrisome”.

A March study by Chiang Mai University also identified 38 suicide attempts that were likely linked to stress associated with the lockdown at the time. 28 of them ended up in deaths.

The research was conducted in the middle of the local lockdowns and restrictions implemented by the Thai government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In June, Oxford University also released a study on the impact of the pandemic on suicide rates in the International Journal of Medicine.

The study found stress from Covid-19 had played a part in the suicide rates and that the problem “could linger after the outbreak ends”.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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Bangkok’s Khao San Road re-opening for local trade

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok’s Khao San Road re-opening for local trade | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Screengrab - Bangkok Extra

Bangkok’s Deputy Governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul says the capital’s iconic Khao San Road is set to re-open for trade, targeting the local market of Thais and expats. The street is normally a mecca for international tourists, in particular, younger backpackers making the rite-of-passage pilgrimage through Southeast Asia.

There was a pre-Covid botched attempt to meddle with the area’s long-established, and rather endearingly ramshackle, mixture of shops, bars, vendors and scammers. Whilst not particularly popular with the locals, the old Khao San Road was a magnet to tourists. Attempts by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority to gentrify the area resulted in a number of unsuccessful attempts to tame the traders and bring some order to the busy shopping zone.

But the closure of shops and the lack of tourists from the Covid outbreak provided the break the BMA needed to “sort out” the old Khao San Road and do a make-over for the eventual re-opening of the new Khao San Road.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the street hard, with businesses shut, and a marked absence of the international tourists who normally make up a solid 90% of Khao San’s visitors. Now Sakoltee says it’s time for the street to come back to life, saying vendors will target a new demographic of local Thais and expats whilst the borders remained largely closed.

The Bangkok Post reports that Sakoltee chaired a meeting yesterday to plan the re-opening, which it’s hoped will happen at the end of this month. It’s understood additional vendors who attract local custom will set up shop on the road, with various monthly events to boost visitor numbers.

Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang says areas surrounding the road will get a clean-up, in particular, the Chong Nonsi Khlong, or canal. Officials are planning to turn the waterway and the surrounding area into a visitor attraction, a development project that will take place in 2 stages. The first job is to clean the canal, which is currently home to weeds and rubbish. Aswin has directed 250 municipal workers to begin the clean-up operation. Trees along the canal will also be trimmed regularly, and the canal’s drainage and treatment systems are set to be revamped at some point in the future plan.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Association is also planning to create footpaths along both sides of the canal, a project that will be paid for through donations from local businesses. Aswin hopes to have all works completed by April 2021.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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