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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Is the “footshake” the new handshake?

Greeley Pulitzer

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Is the “footshake” the new handshake? | The Thaiger
PHOTO: US President Barack Obama "fistbumps" a young visitor the the White House - Wikipedia
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People around the world are changing the way they greet each other due to fears of spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In Beijing, the capital of the country where the outbreak began, red banners tell people not to shake hands but rather to join their own hands as a sign of greeting. Loudspeakers tell people to make the traditional “gong shou” gesture, a fist in the opposite palm, to say hello.

In France, etiquette expert Philippe Lichtfus has suggested that instead of “la bise,” the traditional French peck on the cheek, simply looking into a person’s eyes can suffice as a greeting. He says handshakes are a relatively recent development that began in the Middle Ages. Newspapers are filled with advice on how to replace kissing on the cheek, and handshaking, a common formality at work.

Brazil’s health ministry is recommending citizens not share metal straws used to consume the caffeine-rich South American drink maté, also called chimarrao. Kissing, even if not on the mouth, is highly discouraged as a greeting.

In a sign of the times, Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Monday declined Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempt to shake hands, smiling and keeping both his hands to himself. They both laughed and Merkel threw her hand up in the air before taking a seat.

The virus could change one of Spain’s most cherished traditions: kissing sculptures of the Virgin Mary in the week leading up to Easter. During the holy week, the faithful queue up to kiss the hands or feet of sculptures of Mary and the saints, seeking their protection. With just a month to go before the week starts, the custom could be banned.

The Martisor festival in Romania marks the beginning of spring, when talismanic strings and flowers are handed out, most often from men to women. But the government is urging people to hand over the flowers and talismans without the accompanying kiss.

“Let’s give the flowers but not the kiss.”

In Catholic Poland, the faithful are now allowed to take “spiritual communion” instead of consuming the communal bread, or it can be taken in the hands rather than the mouth. Worshippers have also been asked not to dip their hands in holy water when entering and leaving the church and instead make the sign of the cross.

In Iran, where the virus has killed at least 77 people,a video has “gone viral” showing three friends meeting, hands in pockets, two of them wearing masks, tapping their feet against each other as a greeting. A similar video in Lebanon shows popular singer Ragheb Alama and comedian Michel Abou Sleiman tapping their feet while making kissing noises.

Some schools in New Zealand have (temporarily) banned the traditional Maori greeting known as the hongi, which involves people pressing their noses together Wellington polytechnic WelTec said that instead the hongi, its welcome ceremony will instead include a waiata, or Maori song.

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The United Arab Emirates, as well as Qatar, are also advising citizens to stop the traditional “nose to nose” greeting. The UAE says people shouldn’t shake hands or kiss. Greet each other “by waving only,” a statement said.

In Australia, New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard urges Australians to kiss with caution and suggests a pat on the back instead of a handshake.

“It’s a very Australian thing to put your hand out to shake hands, for example. I would be suggesting to the community… it’s time Aussies actually gave each other a pat on the back for the time being — no handshaking.”

“There are other things that can be done — I’m not going to say don’t kiss, but certainly you could be exercising a degree of care and caution with who you choose to kiss.”

NBA stars in the US have been given a series of recommendations including bumping fists with fans rather than high-fiving, and avoiding taking items such as pens, balls and jerseys to autograph, ESPN reports. Some players have already taken steps to limit their exposure. Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum says he’s no longer signing autographs due to the outbreak.

“Make sure y’all washing y’all hands with soap for 20 or more seconds & covering ya mouths when you cough,” he tweeted.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Did an Issan woman get coronavirus for a second time?

Greeley Pulitzer

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Did an Issan woman get coronavirus for a second time? | The Thaiger
IMAGE: The Thaiger

A 38 year old woman from Thailand’s northeastern Chaiyaphum province in the Issan region appears to have contracted the Covid-19 coronavirus for a second time, after she was ‘cured’ of the virus in Bangkok in the middle of March.

The woman, who in March had only recently returned from overseas, was found to be infected with the virus and was admitted to Phyathai 2 Hospital in Bangkok. She apparently made a full recovery and was discharged, and soon returned to her hometown.

But somewhere around April 3-5, she became sick again and went for a test. The result showed that her throat was infected with Covid-19.

A similar case involved a 42 year old construction worker who returned from Qatar on April 2.

Both cases are now under treatment in local hospitals, and authorities are trying to trace people who might have been in close contact with them. Doctors in New York now believe its possible for the virus to lie dormant in patients who’ve been treated

A report yesterday showed that Chaiyaphum currently has 109 Covid-19 patients. 8 were new cases. The local government has asked its residents to strictly follow curfew directives to limit the spread of the virus.

Testing remains the core of identifying patients with Covid-19 but there have been cases of false positives that may lead to apparent re-infections.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Trang province to ban entry, exit

The Thaiger

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Trang province to ban entry, exit | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Nation

Joining other provinces such as Pattaya and Phuket, the southern province of Trang will ban entry and exit from tomorrow until April 30. The decision was announced by the province’ Communicable Disease Committee today.

No one will be allowed to enter or leave the province, except for the transport of medical personnel, goods, fuel, and parcels. It will also close most retail outlets, except supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and telecom shops.

Trang residents who return to the province will be allwed to enter but will be quarantined for 14 days.

Trang province to ban entry, exit | News by The Thaiger

Phuket sealed its land and sea borders two weeks ago and will close its airport tomorrow. Pattaya went under a state of “restricted access” as of this afternoon.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket will launch door-to-door coronavirus checks across the island

The Thaiger

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Phuket will launch door-to-door coronavirus checks across the island | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Phuket News

Even as it prepares to restrict travel between its 17 tambon (subdistricts), the southern island province of Phuket is set to become Thailand’s first to launch door-to-door checks of body temperature. The aim is to identify infected people early so they can seek treatment before their symptoms become severe, and potentially end up infecting other Phuketians with the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Phuket’s Governor Phakaphong Tavipatan announced the news during a ceremony where he was given 3,000 infrared thermometers from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

In Phuket to present the devices to was the depatment’s regional director Udomsak Khao Nuna.

The governor thanked Udomsak for the delivery, and said Phuket will be the first province where every household will be checked for possible infection of the deadly virus, which as of today has infected 2,423 people across Thailand, resulting in a total of 32 deaths so far.

“The 3,000 infrared thermometer that we received will be given to teams of volunteers comprising health volunteers, civil defense volunteers, members of the public and village headmen, who will knock on every household door to check people’s temperatures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The thermometers will be used together with a mobile phone application to report the teams’ findings.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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