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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Government think tank says vaccine rollout vital to tourism recovery

Maya Taylor

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Government think tank says vaccine rollout vital to tourism recovery | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The National Economic and Social Development Council says the recovery of Thailand’s tourism sector is heavily dependent on the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and the establishment of herd immunity in the Kingdom. The Bangkok Post reports that Danucha Pichayanan from the NESDC says the government needs to come up with a better plan for the rollout, including prioritising workers in the tourism sector.

“The recovery of the tourism industry depends on the government’s capability to arrange vaccine distribution. The faster the government distributes vaccines, the better the country’s tourism industry recovery as well as Thailand’s economic growth.”

Danucha adds that there is a need for vaccination to be prioritised at the main tourist hotspots, as well as manufacturing production sites. He says the government should be in a position to provide the jabs during the last quarter of the year, adding that this should lead to quarantine requirements being relaxed for foreign arrivals.

The NESDC has already revised downwards its forecast for international arrivals this year, from 5 million to 3.2 million. The downgrade is due to the resurgence of the virus late last year, coupled with the ongoing spread in other countries and a lack of proof of vaccine efficacy.

“The new wave of Covid-19 spreading in countries such as Italy, Finland, Brazil, Turkey, Iran and our neighbouring nations like Malaysia and Indonesia will definitely freeze the recovery of Thailand’s tourism industry.”

Meanwhile, the NESDC predicts that developed nations will have vaccinated 50% of their populations by the first half of this year and 75% by year end. For developing countries, the numbers drop to 50% inoculated this year and 75% during the first half of next year. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has confirmed that the first 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac jab will arrive in Thailand next Wednesday and will be distributed by the end of the month.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 10:27 am

    😮 Who’d have guessed? 😮

  2. Avatar

    Maverick

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Widespread vaccination of the vulnerable as well as acceptance of Immunisation passports is the way forward – the latter is now being pushed by European tourist markets – welcome developments and some hope for 2022 at least.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:02 am

      If there’s widespread vaccination somewhere, why would anyone need a vaccination passport to go there?

      • Avatar

        Jason

        Friday, February 19, 2021 at 3:02 pm

        There you go making sense again John :)) If only it worked that way…in the world! Funny thing is we trust in passports almost universally to travel throughout the world that are produced by governments and used by all citizens around the world. We stamp a visa in it and entry is permitted. Surely a vaccination stamp in passport should be enough?

  3. Avatar

    Wayne C

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:01 am

    2 million doses of the Chinese vaccine at 50% efficiency two shots per person equals 500,000 walking time bomb’s.
    Don’t let the Tourist know that our vaccines don’t work.

  4. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:32 am

    “ vaccination to be prioritised at the main tourist hotspots” – meaning not just the islands. Think Pattaya and Chiang Mai too. Sounds like they have given up on the third quarter as expected. The fourth quarter is much more realistic but I won’t be surprised if it’s not until the first of 2022.

  5. Avatar

    Rahul

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Taking Chinese vaccine. is that a good idea????

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 7:54 am

      I’ll take whatever brand they are serving up. Better than nothing.

  6. Avatar

    Ray

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    Have you guys noticed that worldwide infection rates are declining? In Holland where the virus is still rampant and lockdown is in place, there where no excess deaths last month compared to the same period last year. Maybe this pandemic goes out with a whimper. Of course we should not stop with the safety measures and vaccinations, so it can make a u-turn.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, February 19, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      Cases – yes.

      Deaths – NO.

      Now which one is more significant ….?

      • Avatar

        Ray

        Friday, February 19, 2021 at 6:22 pm

        Deaths rates don’t give the actual picture of the pandemic. They come with a delay of a few weeks. Most people don’t die within a couple of days but after prolonged illness.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, February 19, 2021 at 11:54 pm

          They give a far more accurate and direct “picture” than anything else, albeit up to 28 days behind – it just isn’t the picture you want 🙂 !

          • Avatar

            Ray

            Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 3:15 am

            Do you actually know what you’re saying? The use of “direct” and “28 days behind” used in the one sentence for the same statistic is contradictory.
            Now that the infection rates are falling worldwide we can expect the death rate to fall as well within a few weeks. The opposite was true when the cases were on the rise. The increase of deaths happened a few weeks later.

  7. Avatar

    Yan

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Mr. Anutin…stop dreaming…There are more than 70.000.000 Thai… What are you going to do with 200.000 or even 2.000.000 vaccines? Wake up man! DO something.

  8. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    It took a “government think tank” to come up with that?

    Amazing Thailand.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 7:52 am

      Yeah, apparently.

  9. Avatar

    Social Observer

    Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 1:16 am

    “Government think tank says vaccine rollout vital to tourism recovery.” Wow. Homer Simpson came to the same conclusion after drinking a 12 pack of beer. Sheer genius.

  10. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Too little, too late. Stand back and watch the fire burn, it’s the only option at this stage.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update

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79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | The Thaiger

Today, the Thai government is reporting 79 new cases of Covid-19, with 65 locally-transmitted, and 14 imported, raising the total to 26,241 since the pandemic began. 1 new death has been reported, raising the total amount of deaths to 85. The new infections, which are now in the double-digits, shows Thailand’s Covid situation as improving according to the assistant spokeswoman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Panprapa Yongtrakul.

“The two-digit level of new cases found at hospitals and communities shows that the local Covid-19 situation is under control.”

The CCSA reports that 43 of the 65 local infections were found in communities with 22 of the 65 found in hospitals across 4 provinces.

Samut Sakhon province, the source of the second wave of Covid in the Kingdom, reported 77% of the new cases. Of the 50 cases found in the province, 38 were found in communities and 12 were found at hospitals.

Pathum Thani reported 8 new cases, with 3 being found at hospitals, and 5 in the community. Bangkok reported 6 new cases at hospitals and Chon Buri reported 1 infection found at a hospital. 12 of the 14 imported infections were quarantined arrivals from Russia, The United Arab Emirates, The United States, Slovenia, South Africa, Germany, Libya and Italy.

79 new cases today-COVID-19 Update | News by The Thaiger

The other 2 imported cases were that of Thai women, who ellegedly returned from Myanmar illegally through a natural border crossing in Tak province, despite the government closing off natural border crossings after the February coup by the military in Myanmar.

Covid-19 cases rose worldwide by 446,747 over the past 24 hours to 116.21 million. The worldwide death toll rose by 9,955 to 2.58 million. The US still has the most cases at 29.53 million, rising by 68,321 over the past 24 hours, and the most deaths at 533,636, rising by 1,993 over the last 24 hours.

In light of the recent downturn in reported cases, Samut Sakhon has recently reopened 22 of its wet markets. However, the seafood market where the second wave of the Covid outbreak began, is not one of them, and it is not yet known when that might reopen.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports

Maya Taylor

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Thai Health Minister to chair panel on travel bubbles, vaccine passports | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, will chair a meeting on Monday, in which a vaccine passport scheme and potential travel bubbles will be discussed. Anutin says those who’ve been inoculated against Covid-19 will be issued with a book to confirm their vaccination. It’s hoped this will make international travel easier, as well as boosting the public’s confidence and helping life return to some kind of normality.

“The Public Health Ministry is making preparations to bring life back to normal, restore businesses and revive the Thai economy.”

A number of groups and industry representatives have added their voices to growing calls for a vaccine passport policy. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is urging the government to implement the scheme without further delay, while also calling for private companies in Thailand to be allowed purchase and distribute vaccines.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is also pushing for a vaccine passport policy, while the Tourism Ministry has urged the Health Ministry to approve one. Meanwhile the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has asked the Foreign Ministry to carry out a study on vaccine passports, adding that the jury is still out as to their effectiveness. They also have their critics, primarily among rights’ groups and doctors, who argue that there is not yet enough evidence that vaccination prevents transmission.

At Monday’s meeting of the National Communicable Diseases Committee, the Anutin-led panel will also discuss the idea of travel bubbles. Thailand has been considering entering into reciprocal travel arrangements with countries with a high take-up of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Anutin says the public must continue with the practice of mask-wearing, noting that the number of Thais doing so has recently slipped. He says that recent data shows the number of people wearing masks has dropped below 80%, compared to 90% last month.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19

Maya Taylor

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Hospital in northern Thailand closes to visitors after 2 patients test positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand Medical News

A hospital in the northern province of Tak has had to shut its doors to visitors after 2 patients treated at the facility subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. Nation Thailand reports that Mae Sot Hospital is now closed to visitors until Monday.

It’s understood that 19 staff members have had contact with 2 patients who tested positive for the virus. Hospital director Thawatchai Setsuppana says the closure is to facilitate a deep clean of the facility and confirmed that a number of medical workers are self-isolating.

“3 doctors, 11 nurses and 5 patient assistants have been ordered to undergo 14-day quarantine.”

Officials are now questioning both patients, in an effort to trace others who may have had contact with them. Tak province is on the border with Myanmar, which has had 142,000 cases of the virus, with 3,200 deaths.

Meanwhile, in the northern province of Sukothai, the provincial Public Health Office has confirmed that a Thai national who returned from working at a casino in Myanmar has also tested positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the woman developed symptoms prior to entering Thailand at the border town of Mae Sot on March 1, before taking a bus to her home in order to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

The provincial health office has issued a statement to confirm the timeline of the woman’s movements. It’s understood 17 people had contact with the woman, with 7 of those considered “high-risk”.

“On March 2, she took a Covid-19 test at Sukhothai Hospital and went shopping in Muang district before heading home. She was admitted to Ban Dan Lan Hoi Hospital on March 3 after her test came back positive.”

It is unclear how the woman managed to evade the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Border officials have stepped up patrols in recent weeks, amid fears that Burmese nationals fleeing the violence in Myanmar may attempt to cross illegally into Thailand, bypassing health checks and quarantine.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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