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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Ministry says no entry for banned cruise ship passengers, even by air

Jack Burton

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Ministry says no entry for banned cruise ship passengers, even by air | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - Ministry of Public Health
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The Thai Public Health Ministry announced yesterday that no flights carrying passengers from the barred cruise ship MS Westerdam, whether chartered flights or otherwise, will be allowed to land in Thailand before the end of February. Department of Disease Control deputy chief Dr Thanarak Palitpat says the decision is the result of a discussion among authorities including the DDC, the Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.

He says the move is also in line with a comment made on Facebook earlier this week by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul. The post said no former passengers of the ship would be allowed to fly into Thailand until February 28, even in transit. The Westerdam was denied permission to dock in Thailand out of concern it might be carrying COVID-19 virus victims, only to be welcomed in Cambodia last Thursday.

An elderly woman passenger on the Westerdam was found to be infected upon disembarking, despite repeated claims by the ship’s officers that everyone on board had been tested and was healthy.

Before the decision was made to bar the ship’s passengers arriving by plane, 95 had already landed to board flights home. Only four of those still remain, two Thais and two foreigners. All have tested negative for the virus but are still under the requisite 14-day observation.

The deputy director-general of the Department of Medical Services said yesterday the number of confirmed cases in Thailand remains unchanged at 35. Two more victims, both Chinese tourists, have recovered and been released, bringing the total number of patients discharged to 17. The pair included one person who had been critically ill and was given a cocktail of anti-viral medications normally used to treat HIV/AIDS and influenza.

The ministry said 872 people have been deemed “patients under Investigation,” 55 detected in airport screenings and 817 who sought treatment. Of that total, 790 have already recovered and been released, most of them diagnosed with flu and other ailments.

Only one of the 138 Thais ecacuated from Wuhan, China, the origin of the outbreak, was confirmed as infected and is being treated in hospital in isolation. The rest are in good health and will be released today as scheduled if a final round of tests confirms they are virus-free.

This week the Health Ministry stepped up screening of passengers arriving from Singapore and Japan, which have both seen sharp rises in the number of virus infections at Level 3, which represents those who have not travelled to China or had direct contact with anyone from China or other virus-hit locales. The ministry also asks residents of Thailand who have returned from Japan and Singapore in the past two weeks and developed fever to seek medical attention.

SOURCE: Thailand Today
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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.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid task force orders strict hygiene measures for Bangkok construction sites

Maya Taylor

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Covid task force orders strict hygiene measures for Bangkok construction sites | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 123rf.com

The Bangkok Metropolitan Authority has been ordered to implement tough hygiene and safety measures at construction sites in the capital, to prevent any resurgence of the Covid-19 virus. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says the city must take rigorous steps to mitigate the risk of workers contracting and spreading the virus.

A report in Nation Thailand says city officials are fully prepared to comply with the order, with BMA permanent secretary Silapasuay Raweesangsoon saying instructions on the strict hygiene protocols have already been communicated to all district offices.

“Since April, BMA has ordered all district offices to employ measures at construction sites to prevent the outbreak, which include screening of personnel before entering the area, providing alcohol gel and face masks, cleaning the areas after work, separating personal items and maintaining social distancing practice.”

“To comply with the CCSA, the BMA has sent health officials to perform aggressive tests on construction workers that are at high-risk, like those who come from neighbouring countries or provinces.”

Her statement comes as central Thailand prepares for the return of thousands of migrant workers from Myanmar in the coming month. The government has already said employers are responsible for quarantining their workers for the required 14 days, as well as providing them with masks and hand sanitiser, and carrying out regular health checks.

Covid task force orders strict hygiene measures for Bangkok construction sites | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Silapasuay says thousands of construction workers in Bangkok have already been tested for the virus. Bosses at construction sites are also asked to check the health of their employees regularly, both at their workplace and their accommodation.

“We have already tested 49,728 workers, while we aim to increase this number further to ensure safety at all construction sites in Bangkok.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All Pattaya area beaches to reopen June 1, pending CCSA approval

Jack Burton

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All Pattaya area beaches to reopen June 1, pending CCSA approval | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

Pattaya City’s mayor, after meeting with the Communicable Disease Committee of Chonburi told reporters that all Pattaya area beaches are scheduled and “likely” to open June 1, for all activities. The tourist town’s beaches have been closed for around months due to the Covid19 emergency decree. The reopening still requires approval from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, who gave conflicting information at a press briefing today.

All activities, including swimming, sunbathing, relaxing on deck chairs and non-contact sports can resume when the beach officially opens, according to the mayor. Beach chairs must be placed at least a metre apart and visitors, including all beachgoers, would have to practice social distancing. The beaches that would be effected are Pattaya, Jomtien, Phra Tamnak Beach, Cozy Beach, Wong Amat Beach, Krating Rai Beach, Lan Pho Naklua Public Park, Samak Beach and Bali Hai Pier.

As for Koh Larn, just off the Pattaya coast, the island’s residents have considered the request to reopen the island and it has initially been approved. This is being forwarded for final approval to the Chonburi Communicable Disease Committee. The final decision will likely be made by May 31 on when to reopen the island. Arguably one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Pattaya area, it’s been closed since March 27.

Not a single case of the virus was confirmed on the island, which has a permanent resident population of about 500 people. The island was reopened on May 1, 2020, to local residents to come and go from the island to the mainland but all non-residents were still banned.

Beaches remain closed by order of the Governor of Chon Buri province, although a decision is likely as soon as this weekend following official announcements from the Thai Government on the next phase of loosening restrictions. That announcement is expected tomorrow.

SOURCES: The Pattaya News | The Pattaya News | 77kaoded |

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Transport Company interprovincial bus services to the South remain suspended

Jack Burton

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Transport Company interprovincial bus services to the South remain suspended | The Thaiger
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Transport Company, Thailand’s interprovincial bus company, announced this week that it is continuing its suspension of all services to the southern provinces as the country will be under the state of emergency until June 30.

It did not say when services will resume. The company was expected to resume services from Bangkok to Koh Samui, Phuket and Trang from June 1.

The Cabinet decided on Tuesday to extend state of emergency in line with measures to control the spread of Covid-19.

Transport Company announced in April, when the national curfew came into force, that services on routes longer than 300 kilometres would remain halted nationwide until further notice.

Services on routes under 300km operated by minibuses are still allowed, from 5am-4pm, and parcel services can operate from 5am-8:30pm.

The decision is in line with the decision of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to maintain the night curfew, from 11pm-3am, and discourage travel between provinces to restrict the spread of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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