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Burmese refugee tests positive for Covid in Tak province

The Thaiger

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Burmese refugee tests positive for Covid in Tak province | The Thaiger
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A Burmese refugee in the Phop Phra district camp, of Thailand’s northern Tak province, has tested positive for Covid, joining 10 more infections that have been reported today. 48 year old refugee Soga Ne, had reportedly sneaked back into Myanmar through a natural border crossing and then returned to the camp in Thailand using the same route.

Ne had been displaying symptoms when the results came back positive for the virus, prompting officials to put the camp on lockdown and admit Ne to the Mae Sot hospital. Officials say there are 10 people who were in close contact with Ne who have been isolated and are being monitored.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says this case is the only one that is local with the other 10 being international arrivals. The new cases bring the total to 3,913, with the death toll remaining at 60.

A 17 year old female Thai student was also admitted to the same hospital after returning from Myanmar and testing positive. 6 more Thai nationals have tested positive, including 2 56 year old and 51 year old Thai women who had both returned from France. Another 2 had returned from Hungary with one being a 47 year old bakery employee and another being a 45 year old Thai masseuse.

The other cases were that of foreigners returning and entering alternative state quarantine hotels. One was a 20 year old woman arriving from the UK, another was a 46 year old American businessman who arrived from the US, and 2 Norwegians, aged 77 and 78 years old, who arrived from Norway.

Globally, the total number of Covid-19 cases today totals 58.49 million as it rose by 581,603 over the past 24 hours. The worldwide death toll has also risen to 1.39 million, up 8,922 from yesterday. The US has most cases at 12.45 million, followed by India with 9.09 million cases, and Brazil with 6,05 million cases.

In the past 24 hours, Thailand reported 10 new cases, with no local infections.

SOURCE:Bangkok Post

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jack

    November 22, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Sounds scary. But the science says it’s not dangerous unless you let your body and health go, or are very very old.

    If you are healthy, you have absolutely nothing to be afraid of, except reading fearporn articles on the thaiger

    • Avatar

      John Brown

      November 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Not true. And criminally dangerous to claim.

      There is nothing safe about the SARS2 virus to a human regardless of your level of health or age, as MANY rigorous studies have proven conclusively.

      Jack, sorry, but please do better research before writing, your careless remarks could get someone else killed or impaired for life.

      Start with this one:

      “Interpretation: In a young, low-risk population with ongoing symptoms, almost 70% of individuals have impairment in one or more organs four months after initial symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There are implications not only for burden of long COVID but also public health approaches which have assumed low risk in young people with no comorbidities.”

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

19 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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19 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine | The Thaiger

19 new Covid-19 cases were detected in quarantine, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Thailand’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is raised to 3,961 with 3,790 recoveries and 60 deaths. 111 people are currently receiving medical treatment for the coronavirus.

  • 4 Thai nationals travelling from Saudi Arabia, including a 40 year old teacher and 3 students ages 5, 10 and 12, tested positive for Covid-19.
  • 3 people travelling from the United States, including a 61 year old American and 2 Thais, ages 30 and 75, tested positive for Covid-19.
  • 2 Indian nationals, ages 32 and 40, travelling from India tested positive for Covid-19.
  • 2 Thai nationals, ages 26 and 52, travelling from Germany tested positive for Covid-19.
  • 2 Thai nationals, ages 30 and 37, travelling from the Republic of Georgia tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A 27 year old Thai national travelling from the United Kingdom tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A 30 year old Thai national travelling from Luxembourg tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A 31 year old Thai national travelling from Sweden tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A 42 year old Italian national travelling from Italy tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A 69 year old Omani national travelling from Oman tested positive for Covid-19.
  • A 41 year old Thai national travelling from Poland tested positive for Covid-19.

19 new Covid-19 cases detected in quarantine | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Questions raised over AstraZeneca “dosing mistake” in vaccine trials

The Thaiger

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Questions raised over AstraZeneca “dosing mistake” in vaccine trials | The Thaiger

British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced this week that their experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate is, on average, 70% effective. But since Monday’s announcement vaccine experts from around the world have questioned the methodology of the trials and transparency of the announced Phase 3 trial results.

The questions and uncertainty of the AstraZeneca vaccine trials will set back the timing for the vaccine to be authorised other parts of the world. Scientists are curious why the company has pooled results from different trials, saying that this “deviates from standard reporting on clinical trials”.

AstraZeneca announced last Monday that the participants in the UK had been given 2 different courses of the candidate vaccine.

The drugmaker, who co-developed the vaccine with the University of Oxford, didn’t explain why they used 2 different dosing regimens, or why the size of one group was significantly smaller than the other.

• In one group, 2,741 participants received a half-dose of the vaccine followed by a full dose at least 30 days later. This group was 90% protected against Covid-19.

• In the second group, 8,895 participants received a full dose followed by another full dose a month later. This group was only 62% protected.

The 2 trials, when averaged, according to AstraZeneca, gives their vaccine its reported 70% effectiveness. But epidemiologists say that the small number of people in the low dose group make it difficult to know if the effectiveness “was a statistical quirk”.

David Salisbury, from the global health program at London-based Chatham House, said another area of confusion was that the studies pooled results from the two groups to reach an average of 70% efficacy. Speaking to AP…

“You’ve taken two studies for which different doses were used and come up with a composite that doesn’t represent either of the doses. I think many people are having trouble with that.″

Then, Mene Pangalos, head of biopharmaceuticals research and development at AstraZeneca, responded to Reuters saying that a “lab error” was the reason why some volunteers had received a smaller dose… the dose that proved to be 90% effective.

“The reason we had the half dose is serendipity, Researchers had underpredicted the dose of the vaccine by half.”

Then, the next day, University of Oxford chimed in in a statement… “dose selection for any new vaccine is a complicated area, and in exploring methods of dose selection, we discovered one gave a lower dose than expected.”

“A difference in the manufacturing process had led to the error.”

AstraZeneca say that these “manufacturing problems” have been corrected, noting that the UK regulator overseeing the trial had agreed to include “both approaches” in Phase 3.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Menelas Pangalos said that the mistake is actually irrelevant.

“Whichever way you cut the data, even if you only believe the full-dose, full-dose data, we still have efficacy that meets the thresholds for approval with a vaccine that’s over 60% effective.”

The trial’s lead investigator at Oxford University, Professor Andrew Pollard, as part of the announcements on Monday, said that’s the issue is likely to do with the delicate balance of dosing someone just enough to trigger an immune response against the disease.

“What we’ve always tried to do with a vaccine is fool the immune system into thinking that there’s a dangerous infection there that it needs to respond to, but doing it in a very safe way.”

“So, it may be that the best way of kicking the immune system into action could be to give the body a small amount of the vaccine to begin with, and then follow up with a larger amount.”

Responding to whether he had genuine confidence that the half-dose group’s 90% success was not just a feature of a small sample size, Pollard said that result was “highly significant…even with the numbers that we have.”

Moncef Slaoui, a US-based researcher and former head of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines department who leads the US coronavirus vaccine program, says they were reviewing AstraZeneca’s vaccine data.

He noted that group that got the lower dose that yielded the 90% efficacy had been a younger group, with no one older than 55.

“That could potentially affect the strength of AstraZeneca’s findings, given that young people typically produce stronger immune responses to vaccines. We want it to be based on data and science.”

Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida said that the AstraZeneca/Oxford University team “get a poor grade for transparency and rigour when it comes to the vaccine trial results”.

“This is not like Pfizer or Moderna where we had the protocols in advance and a pre-specified primary analysis was reported.”

AstraZeneca shares have fallen 12% since November 11.

SOURCE: Euro News | Reuters | CNN

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Thai government to sign vaccine contract with Oxford University, AstraZeneca, today

Maya Taylor

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Thai government to sign vaccine contract with Oxford University, AstraZeneca, today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: www.aseanthai.net

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has confirmed that Thailand will today sign a contract with Oxford University and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, for the procurement of their Covid-19 vaccine. The PM says the agreement will mean Thais can access the vaccine once it goes into production. This contract is in addition to the agreement signed for the transfer of vaccine technology that will enable it to be manufactured here.

Earlier this week, the team behind the vaccine announced that it was between 70-90% effective, depending on the dosage. The discrepancy raised some questions, as it appeared the vaccine was more effective when administered first as a half-dose, followed by a full dose, rather than when 2 full doses were administered. The team now says it may carry out another global trial to determine why the lower dose appears more effective.

The PM points out that one significant advantage the vaccine has is that it can be stored at temperatures of 2 – 8 degrees Celsius, unlike those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at much lower freezer temperatures (around -70 degrees Celsius, in the case of the Pfizer jab). Such a requirement could create a logistical nightmare for some countries.

The PM says the vaccine is likely to be approved and go into production in Thailand by the middle of 2021, adding that the quicker it’s available, the quicker the tourism sector and the overall economy will recover.

According to a Thai PBS World report, the PM says many other countries have signed similar deals with pharmaceutical companies, in order to guarantee access to effective vaccines for their citizens. Meanwhile, he adds that, until the vaccine is available, people should continue with hygiene measures such as mask-wearing in public spaces, hand-washing and social distancing, in order to avoid the repeat waves of the virus that other countries are having to deal with.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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