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Health department urges strict “new normal” measures at beaches

Jack Burton

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Health department urges strict “new normal” measures at beaches | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Encircle Photos
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With Phase 3 of the easing of lockdown measures across Thailand, many beaches across Thailand were allowed to reopen, including Chon Buri’s popular Bang Saen beach, which was flooded with so many visitors that traffic came to a halt and police ordered the beach temporarily re-closed.

And beaches in Phuket are set to reopen this Tuesday, as the island has seen no new virus cases for weeks, and the nation has had no locally transmitted cases for 13 days.

But Thailand’s health department is calling for limiting the numbers of visitors to tourist spots to prevent a possible surge in infections. The concerns come as Thailand’s government prepares to allow some businesses and activities to reopen ahead of schedule. The head of Thailand’s health department has said that even though some restrictions on domestic travel have been relaxed, travellers should adapt to the “new normal”.

She says people need to continue to practice and social distancing and other safety measure, especially continuing wearing masks and sanitising their hands wherever they go. For the next phase of easing, she says, it may be necessary to curb the number of visitors to tourist spots, similar to limiting the number of people visiting shopping malls.

She wants local governments to control the number of visitors to beaches in their respective provinces, to prevent overcrowding and enforce social distancing. Tourists and service industry workers should also be required to wear masks while on the beaches.

Hand sanitiser should also be provided for visitors, and toilets and bathrooms at beaches should be cleaned every 2 hours, she said. She also believes visitors should have to check in and out at beaches.

Authorities say the health department is monitoring every phase of the relaxation, and has found that while people are continuing to wash their hands, they’re often not wearing facemasks in public.

The health department chief clarified that, despite earlier reports, moviegoers aren’t prohibited from eating and drinking in cinemas, but they are urged to take precautions and wear mask at all times.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced on Friday that more businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen ahead of schedule if they can give assurances that they have plans in place to prevent transmission of the virus. Spokesman Dr Taweesilp say the CCSA has frequently discussed the fourth and final phase of relaxation, especially for high risk businesses and activities like pubs and bars.

A spokesman for PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said businesses that come up with plans to prevent transmissions may be permitted to reopen ahead of schedule, but that such plans will require approval from the CCSA’s business resumption committee first.

The fourth stage of relaxation will effectively lead to a complete reopening of the country. The government plans to completely lift the lockdown on all businesses and activities on July 1, the end of the Emergency Decree. This includes lifting remaining interprovincial travel restrictions, the national curfew, and presumably the ban on international arrivals.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times |Bangkok Post

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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.

Thailand

Thai Red Cross says “stay vigilant” as Covid can be asymptomatic yet contagious

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thai Red Cross says “stay vigilant” as Covid can be asymptomatic yet contagious | The Thaiger

The Thai Red Cross Society has published a new infographic warning us to stay vigilant as Covid-19 can be asymptomatic but still able to spread to others. The novel coronavirus has been spreading despite carriers having little or no symptoms. The Thai Government PR Facebook page today reports 3 new confirmed cases from people on repatriation flights and in state quarantine.

Thai Red Cross says

As many cases have come from those who have displayed no symptoms, the TRCS says the virus can be spread from a healthy person over 20-30 days. Just last Saturday, a Thai who was repatriated from the US, tested positive for the virus without displaying symptoms and was quarantined in Chon Buri. So far, Thailand has had 3,522 cases of the virus with 59 deaths.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time

Caitlin Ashworth

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2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

Health officials say 2 people in state quarantine tested positive for Covid-19, apparently catching the virus for a second time. A 42 year old Thai man recently tested positive for Covid-19 while in Chon Buri state quarantine after returning from Singapore. He first caught the virus a few months ago while in Singapore. He didn’t need hospital treatment and quarantined until he was declared clear of the virus on June 11.

In another apparent reinfection, a 58 year old Thai man tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from Kuwait. Health officials say the man first came in contact with the virus in Kuwait. He was hospitalised and recovered before coming back to Thailand.

Thailand currently has 3,519 confirmed coronavirus cases with 59 reported deaths and 3,360 recoveries. The majority of recent cases have been detected in the mandatory 14 day quarantine for those entering the country.

Health officials are still investigating apparent local transmissions. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a reported local transmission. Health officials say he tested positive for the G-strain of the virus which is more infectious, but less severe. They say the G-strain is typically detected in state quarantine from people returning to Thailand rather than in local cases.

In another apparent local transmission, a Uzbek football player for the Biriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He tested negative for the virus multiple times in quarantine after arriving to Thailand from Uzbekistan. He was released from quarantine and later tested positive for the virus. Some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Total cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Daily cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree

Maya Taylor

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Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Thailand’s Covid-19 task force is advising the government to extend the country’s state of emergency by a further month… again. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration plans to discuss the matter next Tuesday and put it to Cabinet for consideration on Wednesday.

The state of emergency, or emergency decree, which has been extended several times since its introduction in March, is due to expire at the end of this month. It has been extended, on a month by month basis, many times this year since it was introduced to short-circuit the process of implementation of Covid-19 preventative measures. However, the CCSA says an extension is vital to ensure various government agencies can work speedily to combat any threat from Covid-19, particularly as neighbouring countries experience a spike in infections.

Thailand has already taken steps to seal the porous border with Myanmar after a surge in cases means that country is now recording over 500 new infections a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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