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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No lockdown in Chiang Mai after local Covid-19 case

Caitlin Ashworth

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No lockdown in Chiang Mai after local Covid-19 case | The Thaiger
PHOTO: INN News
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There will be no lockdown in Chiang Mai after the recent Covid-19 case where a woman tested positive at a local hospital after returning from Myanmar. Director general of the Public Health Ministry’s Department of Disease Control, Opas Karnkawinpong, says the locals in Chiang Mai are taking health precautions and he doubts the case will cause an outbreak.

“Widespread Covid-19 transmission is unlikely because people in Chiang Mai are still predominantly wearing masks on a daily basis. The ministry will continue monitoring the situation for a further 14 days.”

Tourist destinations, like Chiang Mai, have taken a beating since international travel restrictions were put in place in late-March. The province now relies on domestic tourism for income and the Bangkok Post says Opas’s statements were made to allay fears of an outbreak.

The 29 year old Thai woman tested positive for Covid-19 during a visit to a Chiang Mai hospital where she reported flu-like symptoms. The woman had worked at a bar in Myanmar and is feared to be a “super spreader.” 2 other women who worked at the same bar tested positive for Covid-19 in Chiang Rai after returning from Myanmar.

On November 23, while still in Myanmar, the original patient developed a fever, watery diarrhea and lost her sense of smell. The next day, while she still had a fever, she travelled by public van and entered Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district. Reports say she was somehow able to evade the mandatory quarantine. She then caught a bus to Chiang Mai.

In Chiang Mai, the woman visited friends and went to a mall where she shopped, had meals and watched a movie. On November 26, she went to the hospital and was tested for Covid-19. Authorities say she came in close contact with 328 people, 107 of them were considered at high risk, but Opas is asking people to remain calm and not to overreact.

“The ministry has been testing all those who came into contact with the patient and there has yet to be a positive result”

For the related cases in Chiang Rai, Opas says they are not as worried about a potential outbreak because the women, ages 23 and 26, apparently did not go out in public. After hearing about her colleague’s case, the 26 year old decided to get tested for the coronavirus. Only 4 people in close contact with the 2 women are considered to be at a high risk while 22 people are asked to take precautions and monitor their health.

The recent local Covid-19 cases and the rising number of infections in Myanmar have prompted Thai officials to tighten security along the Thai-Myanmar border. The Chiang Rai governor Prachon Pratsakul says many Thais working in the neighbouring country are returning with the virus to get treated in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    “…still predominantly wearing masks on a daily basis.”

    Bad idea to not lock down. We can blame China for a lot, but we can also look to their success in keeping the virus from growing any more by quick lockdowns and intense, localised testing and isolation.

    I hope I am wrong, but I believe there will be more than 100 carriers there in less than two weeks.

    • Avatar

      William

      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Lock downs do not work. Lock downs should only be used if hospital capacity is at risk of being reached. If you are scared, stay home. Lock yourself down. Be responsible… for your self.

      • Avatar

        Whiro

        Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

        William, I totally agree with you.

    • Avatar

      Kevin

      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      I also fear that they test too soon after exposure. They test close contacts within 24 hours of being in contact, I think it’s too soon to be infectious. The virus needs time to start replicating in the body first. But I’m not a doctor, it’s just something that I think is possible.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 6:35 pm

      If they test all the known contacts and quarantine those at high risk, that should reduce things to a minimal level – probably as effectively as a general lockdown would.

      I think the balance is probably right.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Bangkok

Chatuchak market is in worst crisis in 5 decades due to Covid-19, vendors say

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Chatuchak market is in worst crisis in 5 decades due to Covid-19, vendors say | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bucketlistly

Chatuchak Weekend Market, Bangkok’s biggest market and a popular tourist destination, is hit hard by the new wave of Covid-19. With the lack of foreign tourists due to travel restrictions over the past year, as well as more locals staying at home despite the market’s strict disease control measures, the number of visitors at the market has dropped by 90%.

Vendors at the market say this is the worst situation in 50 years. Most of them report no sales at all. With little to no income, many shops at the market have shut down. Although the BMA is trying to relieve the situation by lowering the rental fees by half, that seems not enough to help the business. Some of the vendors have tried online trading, but sales are still low.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Thailand

Hotline set up for reports on alleged Covid-19 measure violations

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Hotline set up for reports on alleged Covid-19 measure violations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Campus Star

The government is now encouraging people to help report activities deemed to violate the government’s rules and regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 by calling the national hotline at 1111. People can report on any violations set by the Emergency Decree, which has been in place since last year and extended numerous times to combat the coronavirus.

The government says people can call the hotline for major violations, like labour trafficking across Thailand’s porous border with Myanmar, which is said to have led to the new wave of infections affecting a large migrant community in Samut Sakhon. People can also phone in the hotline for minor violations, even like gatherings that don’t abide by disease control measures.

According to the government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri, hundreds of citizens were reported violating the Covid-19 restriction measures and laws despite the Emergency Decree.

The hotline is open for the report of the alleged Covid-19 violations and also general complaints related to Covid-19 situations. All complaints and reports are expected to be fully investigated by agencies in charge and all information of callers will be kept confidential. Service for English speakers is available upon request.

Since being set up, the hotline has received a total of 32,008 inquiries and general questions so far.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14

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First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14 | The Thaiger
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The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

At the Covid-19 vaccination administration subcommittee meeting today, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19,014,154 Thai people in 4 priority groups…

  • 1,700,000 health workers in both public and private health care sectors.
  • 6,163,095 populations with underlying conditions.
  • 11,136,059 people aged over 60 years
  • Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine availability remains limited and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan, according to permanent secretary of public health Kiattiphum Wongrajit. The vaccines will be free and are not compulsory, Anutin says.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month. The Chinese vaccine is expected to be approved by Thai drug regulators within the next 3 weeks.

The second phase of the 3-part plan is scheduled to run from May to December, offering vaccinations in all regions. Thai officials aim to have at least 50% of the Thai population vaccinated by the end of the year. The final phase will be rolled out in January 2022, with the goal to have enough vaccines to distribute to create herd immunity.

The government is also launched a Line Official Account called “Mor Prom”, translated as “doctor’s ready” to facilitate the vaccination administration. People can register to make appointments for vaccination, while health authorities can monitor the adverse effects of the vaccines. The platform is expected to launch on February 12 to serve the health workers before opening to the public in April.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Thairath online

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