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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Japan offers anti-flu drug Avigan for free to fight coronavirus

Jack Burton

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Japan offers anti-flu drug Avigan for free to fight coronavirus | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review
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Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe says Japan is offering the anti-flu drug Avigan free of charge to countries battling the Covid-19 coronavirus. The drug, developed by a group firm of Fujifilm Holdings, has shown early signs of being effective in helping to treat the virus.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that some 30 countries have made requests through diplomatic channels to Japan for the procurement of Avigan.

“Above all we intend to expand clinical research on Avigan with countries wishing to cooperate.”

Abe says his government will push the development of drugs and vaccines, including Avigan, to fight the coronavirus.

Fujifilm Toyama Chemical said it has started clinical tests to evaluate the efficacy of the drug, also known as Favipiravir, on Covid-19 patients.

Meanwhile Germany’s health ministry says it will seek to buy Avigan for the country’s Covid-19 coronavirus cases. German media say the ministry will buy several million Avigan tablets to treat patients with severe symptoms.

A critical step in the current testing process involves clinical trials in Japan, one of which will conclude at the end of June. And while there are not any detailed clinical reports supporting Avigan’s effectiveness as a Covid-19 treatment, there are reasons for optimism. One of them arrived on March 17, when Zhang Xinmin, an official at China’s ministry of science and technology, said that Favipiravir, the generic version of Avigan, had proved to be effective in treating Covid-19 patients at hospitals in Wuhan and Shenzhen, China.

South Korea declined opportunities for testing, saying “serious side effects” potentially cause fetal damage.

While Avigan has been manufactured and stocked in Japan as an anti-influenza drug, there is hope it can also help treat other diseases, including Ebola and tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and 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.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26)

Anukul

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3 quarantined returnees confirmed with Covid-19 in Thailand (May 26) | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: reuters.com

Today, in the Centre of Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily press conference, Dr. Taweesilp confirmed 3 new cases of coronavirus in Thailand, of which all were recorded as quarantined overseas repatriates. This brings Thailand ‘s total of confirmed Covid-19 cases to 3,045. The death toll remains at 57 fatalities with no additional deaths reported today.

Dr. Taweesilp says from the new cases all 3 patients either had mild symptoms or were asymptomatic. They are all in quarantine and under supervision.

“The first case is a 51 year old Thai masseuse, who had previously returned from Russia on May 12 and was quarantined in Chon Buri province. She had no symptoms but tested positive for the disease yesterday.”

“The two others are Thai men who returned from Kuwait on May 24 after a business trip and were quarantined in Samut Prakan province. They were coughing and tested positive yesterday.”

Of the total accumulated cases, 2,929 have recovered, including 1 patient who was released in the past 24 hours and 59 patients remain in hospitals.

Dr Taweesilp said that, in the past 4 weeks, in most of the country (65 provinces), no new Covid-19 cases have been recorded.

“The situation is improving thanks to public cooperation. Now we are heading towards the third stage of easing business and activity that were closed during lockdowns. It is likely to cover some higher-risk businesses and activities. They may resume with strict disease control measures.”

Chonburi, where Pattaya is located, has had no new confirmed cases in over a month. Phuket has also reported 0 new cases today but with 9 patients still receiving medical care.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News| Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Dozens of plastic containers per person in state quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Dozens of plastic containers per person in state quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/Henryandpartners

…and the rest of us haven’t been helping the plastic problem either.

Thailand started the year eco-friendly by banning single-use plastic bags. All good, but with “stay at home” orders and mandated quarantines, plastic waste has been increasing. One Thai artist, who stayed in a state quarantine facility, added up all the plastic containers and bottles he used during his isolation. He had more than 100.

“I thought of this trash being multiplied by the thousands of people that had to go in state quarantine,” Henry Tan told Khaosod English.

“Just my flight alone resulted in 200 people in quarantine.”

If all 200 used just as much waste as Tan, that’s more than 20,000 pieces of plastic waste.

Tan had to be quarantined after arriving back to Thailand from Japan. He stayed at the Palazzo Bangkok hotel. Meals were left outside his door 3 times a day, usually in a plastic box with plastic cutlery and condiments in plastic. Han took photos of the plastic containers and bottles laid out on the floor, as well as many of his meals served in plastic containers, and posted the photos on Facebook.

Plastic waste has been increasing since the pandemic, with a surge in delivery and takeaway orders. The director of Thailand Environment Institute said last month that the amount of plastic pollution has increased to 6,300 tonnes per day, Coconuts Bangkok reported last month that it was 1,500 tonnes per day before the pandemic.

SOURCES: Khaosod English | Coconuts Bangkok

คนบ้ากักตัว 14 วัน

Posted by Henryandpartners on Sunday, 24 May 2020

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Number of curfew arrests drops

Caitlin Ashworth

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Number of curfew arrests drops | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Pattaya News

Quite a few people have stayed out late, rebelling against the nation wide curfew that requires people to be at home from 11pm to 4am. More than 200 people were arrested during ‘no go’ hours from late Sunday to early Monday this week. But the nightly number of curfew arrests has dropped over the past month.

Earlier this month, Thai media reported 710 arrested in 1 night for breaking curfew. At that point, the curfew was 10pm to 4am. It was recently shortened an hour, starting at 11 pm. From late Sunday to early Monday, police stopped more than 22,000 people across Thailand for allegedly breaking the curfew but only 232 were arrested, Thai media reports. Many of them had valid reasons for being out late, such as driving home from work.

Many have been arrested since the curfew was put in place. Since prisons are overcrowded, some curfew violators are now sending people to temples to volunteer at soup kitchens. Some people have been clearly violating the curfew by throwing parties, or even speeding through curfew checkpoints.

But some people are out late because they have nowhere else to go. After a homeless man was arrested for violating curfew and ordered to stay home, the Human Right Watch raised the question “How can people stay home if they are homeless?”

The curfew will probably be in place for another month, but it will probably be shortened another hour, starting at midnight instead of 11pm.

SOURCES: Thai Residents | Thai Residents | Bangkok Post

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