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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

More than 2,000 stranded on cruise liner in Phuket over Italian “risk” tourists

Greeley Pulitzer

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More than 2,000 stranded on cruise liner in Phuket over Italian “risk” tourists | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Costa Fortuna - File photo
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Over 2,000 passengers and crew on board the Costa Fortuna cruise liner, which arrived in Patong yesterday, have been denied permission to disembark. The ban comes after official confirmation that 64 Italians onboard left Italy in the past 14 days. The move follows the Thai government’s institution of a 14 day self-quarantine on all people arriving from China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, Iran and Italy. (See story here.)

The cruise ship arrived in Patong yesterday morning on a scheduled overnight stop, with 1,631 passengers, 984 crew and ship staff on board.

Genoa-based cruise operator Costa Crociere says the passengers are ‘all healthy’ and there are no suspected cases on board, according to Sky Italia.

“The health situation on board is clear and there is no suspected case on the ship among Italian or other nationalities.”

‘In a constantly changing situation, we confirm that the safety of our guests and crew members is a top priority.’

But according to Phuket immigration police:

“On board are three Chinese, two Singaporeans, 151 French nationals, 230 Germans and 282 Italians.”

The decision to forbid persons to disembark in Phuket follows confirmation that 64 of the Italians on the ship are suspected (not confirmed) of carrying Covid-19 coronavirus.

“While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the ship, all people on board are a health risk and they must remain in quarantine for 14 days.”

“They must stay on the ship, and the ship must remain about two nautical miles from shore.”

“Next we will have to discuss what is to be done with other cruise ships scheduled to come to Phuket. We need to talk with the Phuket Governor before we can make any decisions regarding those.”

SOURCE: Mail Online | The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya all but deserted due to virus, travel restrictions

Greeley Pulitzer

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Pattaya all but deserted due to virus, travel restrictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: A vendo stands on a deserted Pattaya beach - Jakarta Post

For years, Pattaya has struggled to shed its seedy image as a haven of sex tourism, which started in the 1970s when it became a rest and relaxation spot for US soldiers during the Vietnam War. It’s continued to develop into a much more diverse city with world standard attractions offsetting the seedier bars and walking streets.

Now it faces a much bigger threat.

Pattaya’s beaches are deserted, go-go bars sit empty and cabarets have shut their doors as business has ground to a standstill after worldwide travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

As one of the world’s most famous, perhaps infamous, tourist hotspots, the economic devastation is almost total. Business owners say haven’t seen anything like it for four decades. One cabaret owner said…

“Our organisation has halted business 100%. Pattaya is a tourist city, we rely mostly on them. The whole city is affected by the virus.”

In normal times, his theatre, featuring high-kicking dancing girls with elaborate feather headdresses and sequined dresses, sees more than a thousand tourists daily. Now there are literaly none. While the cabaret isn’t planning on laying off its staff for now, the future seems grim. Thailand overall depends on tourism for around 12% of its GDP (some reports claim up to 17%), but in Pattaya, nearly the entire economy runs on visitors, either semi-permanent or on holiday.

Pattaya saw over 15 million visitors in 2018, according to a 2019 government report, already a 20% drop from the previous year.

“I would say that this is the worst that has ever hit Pattaya. And during the past two to three weeks, so many businesses have already folded, have already gone bankrupt, closed down due to the coronavirus.”

SOURCE: Reuters

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Coca-Cola to suspend advertising, divert cash to fight Covid-19

Anukul

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Coca-Cola to suspend advertising, divert cash to fight Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook@cocacolaTH

Today Coca-Cola Thailand announced on its official Facebook page “cocacolaTH” that they will suspend all digital and TV advertising campaigns of all the brands under its umbrella in Thailand and divert all the money to support the fight against Covid-19.

“We realise that the current situation is difficult for everyone, therefore we will continue to work hard to make sure that we overcome this obstacle together,” the company said in its post.

They will cooperate with its partner organisations to support the work of medical staff and related officials to help protect Thais against Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Nation

Coca-Cola to suspend advertising, divert cash to fight Covid-19 | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Coronavirus UPDATE – first deaths in New Zealand, Sri Lanka. Singapore cancels citizen’s passport.

Greeley Pulitzer

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Coronavirus UPDATE – first deaths in New Zealand, Sri Lanka. Singapore cancels citizen’s passport. | The Thaiger
PHOTO: SCMP

Covid-19 cases around the world have now reached 723,732. A week ago (March 23) there was 378,000 cases in the world.

There have been exactly 34,000 deaths recorded globally (as of 2.30pm Monday Thai time) with over 151,000 people recovered. The USA leads the world count with 142,735 cases followed by Italy with 97,689 cases and 10,799 deaths.

Here are the most recent developments from around Asia related to the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in the region…

Singapore cancels citizen’s passport

Singapore, which has imposed tough measures to slow the spread of the virus, including six months in jail for people who intentionally stand close to others, cancelled the passport of a citizen who breached his mandatory quarantine period.

The 53 year old man had been ordered to stay home for 14 days after returning to Singapore from neighbouring Indonesia, a rule he then broke by making a return trip over the border.

Singapore reported its third COVID-19 death yesterday.

Australian domestic violence cases soar

Australia announced a nearly 100 million US$ (3.27 billion baht) boost in funding to tackle domestic violence, after support services reported a spike in virus-related family abuse.

Australian PM Scott Morrison says there has been a 75% surge in Google searches for help during the current nationwide shutdown of non-essential services to curb the spread of the disease.

Associations around the world that help victims of domestic violence fear a massive increase in cases as the stress caused by social isolation exacerbates tensions.

China reports slightly fewer imported cases

China reported 45 new infections yesterday, all but one of them imported. That compares with 54 cases Saturday, all of which were imported. After taking strict and harsh measures to bring the virus under control domestically, China is now doing the same to prevent imported infections.

China announced last week it would drastically reduce the number of international flights into the country and banned foreigners from entering beginning last Saturday.

New Zealand and Sri Lanka report first deaths

New Zealand has announced its first coronavirus death: a woman in her 70s with an undisclosed chronic underlying condition. There are currently 589 confirmed cases in New Zealand, with 75 new infections reported over the past 24 hours.

Sri Lanka also recorded its first death late Saturday.

Philippines reports 343 new cases

The Philippine health ministry has added 343 new coronavirus cases – the country’s largest daily increase in infections, and 3 additional deaths.

That raised the total number of known infections in the country to 1,418, while the death toll has reached 71. Seven more patients have recovered, however, bringing the total number of recoveries to 42.

Indonesia may soon quarantine almost 30 million people

The move proposed for the capital and surrounding areas is to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for “more decisive steps” to restrict people’s movement at a cabinet meeting on Monday, saying firm actions are “needed to break the chain of distribution of coronavirus.” The President didn’t spell out what additional curbs were required with the capital already being placed under an emergency status and schools, cinemas and entertainment spots closed for about two weeks.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | AFP

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