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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Indonesian cases spike, 24 doctors have now died

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Indonesian cases spike, 24 doctors have now died | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Indonesia's capital Jakarta
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The Indonesian archipelago has announced its highest daily increase in Covid-19 coronavirus cases. There has also been a concerning rise in the deaths of doctors and health workers at the frontline of the national fight against the disease. Statistics have doubled in the last week.

The 218 new coronavirus cases took the number overall in Indonesia to 2,491. The 209 confirmed deaths among people who have contracted the virus is the highest death rate and number of fatalities in Asia, outside of China. Whilst smaller numbers than those faced by European countries, Iran and the US, epidemiologists are warning that Indonesia’s population of 264 million people could be one of the worst hit areas of the world due to poor medical facilities outside the capital, Jakarta, and other main cities.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation.

Halik Malik, a spokesman for the Indonesian Doctors Association, has confirmed that 24 doctors have now died from Covid-19.

“The risk of medical workers getting infected is always there… but the point is medical workers need to be protected in any way. The trend of doctors dying is heading for the sky.”

Regional health experts are pointing to the high percentage of deaths of doctors as evidence that the outbreak is much further progressed than official data suggests. Across the south east Asian nations there has been a generally low level of case reports, compared to western countries, leaving epidemiologists to speculate that many thousands of cases are going unreported or unrecognised. Indonesia ranks among the world’s worst in coronavirus testing rates, along with Ethiopia, Bangladesh – also with conspicuously low levels of reported cases.

Amnesty International and regional human rights groups are calling for greater protections for the country’s frontline medical workers.

“The death of medical workers is not just a number, but an alarm for the country to fix their health system in an emergency situation.”

Meanwhile Indonesia’s own intelligence agency has speculated that it expected coronavirus cases to peak in the next three months, surpassing 100,000 cases by July.

Even Thailand, whose confirmed cases hover around the 2,200 mark as of today, appears to have an inordinately low level of infection given that there was a long delay to close off flights from the original epicentre of the virus – China. A third of Thailand’s tourists come from mainland China and the country has a large reliance on tourism contributing to its annual GDP.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo told a cabinet meeting yesterday that personal protective equipment had been distributed across Indonesia, though he said regional officials must monitor the arrival of the equipment in hospitals.

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Thailand

Hotline set up for reports on alleged Covid-19 measure violations

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Hotline set up for reports on alleged Covid-19 measure violations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Campus Star

The government is now encouraging people to help report activities deemed to violate the government’s rules and regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 by calling the national hotline at 1111. People can report on any violations set by the Emergency Decree, which has been in place since last year and extended numerous times to combat the coronavirus.

The government says people can call the hotline for major violations, like labour trafficking across Thailand’s porous border with Myanmar, which is said to have led to the new wave of infections affecting a large migrant community in Samut Sakhon. People can also phone in the hotline for minor violations, even like gatherings that don’t abide by disease control measures.

According to the government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri, hundreds of citizens were reported violating the Covid-19 restriction measures and laws despite the Emergency Decree.

The hotline is open for the report of the alleged Covid-19 violations and also general complaints related to Covid-19 situations. All complaints and reports are expected to be fully investigated by agencies in charge and all information of callers will be kept confidential. Service for English speakers is available upon request.

Since being set up, the hotline has received a total of 32,008 inquiries and general questions so far.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14

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First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14 | The Thaiger
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The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

At the Covid-19 vaccination administration subcommittee meeting today, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19,014,154 Thai people in 4 priority groups…

  • 1,700,000 health workers in both public and private health care sectors.
  • 6,163,095 populations with underlying conditions.
  • 11,136,059 people aged over 60 years
  • Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine availability remains limited and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan, according to permanent secretary of public health Kiattiphum Wongrajit. The vaccines will be free and are not compulsory, Anutin says.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month. The Chinese vaccine is expected to be approved by Thai drug regulators within the next 3 weeks.

The second phase of the 3-part plan is scheduled to run from May to December, offering vaccinations in all regions. Thai officials aim to have at least 50% of the Thai population vaccinated by the end of the year. The final phase will be rolled out in January 2022, with the goal to have enough vaccines to distribute to create herd immunity.

The government is also launched a Line Official Account called “Mor Prom”, translated as “doctor’s ready” to facilitate the vaccination administration. People can register to make appointments for vaccination, while health authorities can monitor the adverse effects of the vaccines. The platform is expected to launch on February 12 to serve the health workers before opening to the public in April.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Thairath online

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Bangkok

Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval

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Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval | The Thaiger
PHOTO: GQ Thailand

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal by the Thai Restaurant Association is given a green light, it may lead to the lifting ban of alcohol drinking.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok are ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales are banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue. The lifting of the ban is then believed to stimulate the economy.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok

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