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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No public transport bus tickets until at least April 30

Jack Burton

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No public transport bus tickets until at least April 30 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Udon-News.com
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“We cannot provide additional buses and all available buses have been used. Complying with the social distancing policy halves the number of passengers per bus.”

Due to the state of emergencydeclared by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha to fight the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the president of state enterprise Transport Company, Jirasak Yaovatsakul, announced today that ticket sales for all public transport buses are suspended until April 30.

He says the company will also enforce social distancing by leaving empty alternate seats on buses and require a distance of at least one metre between persons at all bus terminals. When the state of emergency was announced on Tuesday, people rushed to buy bus tickets, and now all tickets have been sold out well beyond April 30.

“Those who haven’t reserved tickets should refrain from coming to bus terminals hoping to get one, since all ticket booths will be closed until April 30. Those who bought tickets earlier can still travel as per schedule.”

“You can also postpone or cancel your trip and apply for refund as per the conditions of Transport Company.”

Jirasak says that some operators of private buses and vans have submitted appeals to suspend their service during the crisis.

“If you have already bought tickets from these operators, please contact them directly to ask for refund or postponement of your trip.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says 19 million people will be vaccinated in the first phase of immunisations

Caitlin Ashworth

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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says 19 million people will be vaccinated in the first phase of immunisations | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Asia Times

After criticism that the Thai government is taking too long to start mass Covid-19 immunisation, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that 19 million people will be vaccinated in the first phase of inoculations starting next month.

Vulnerable groups and frontline workers in areas at the highest risk of infection are first priority. Out of the 19 million people to be vaccinated in the first phase, Prayut says 11 million will be people over the age of 60, 6.1 million people with underlying conditions and 1.7 million people who work in the medical field. Another 15,000 government workers involved in managing the virus will also be vaccinated in the first phase.

Prayut says the first phase will start with 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been approved by the government for emergency use. Altogether, the Thai government secured 26 million doses from AstraZeneca and reportedly reserved another 35 million doses. The Thai firm Siam Bioscience is planned to produce the vaccine locally by June.

Thailand also ordered 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine and the first shipment of 200,000 doses is expected to arrive next month.

There was no timeline announced for the first phase of immunisation. Head of the government’s vaccine management committee, Sophon Mekthon, told Reuters that the time frame depends on the capacity of hospitals administering the vaccines as well as the number of doses they receive.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

CCSA Update: 756 new Covid-19 cases

Caitlin Ashworth

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CCSA Update: 756 new Covid-19 cases | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

756 new Covid-19 cases were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 4,858 active cases. The CCSA has reported a total of 16,221 cases and 76 deaths since the start of the pandemic last year.

The spike in cases over the past few days is due to a mass testing campaign in Samut Sakhon, according to spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun, who also represents the CCSA.

“Don’t be alarmed by the high number of confirmed cases for today… most of it is from active case finding.”

Out of the 756 new cases, 724 were detected in active case finding. The majority of active Covid-19 cases in Thailand are asymptomatic. In many cases, people came in contact with the virus at social gatherings or workplaces like factories, according to Natapanu.

No new cases have been reported in 61 provinces in the past week. Those provinces are now considered so-called “safer zones.”

Samut Sakhon remains the only high risk area. In Bangkok, the Covid-19 situation is under control, but needs to be monitored, Natapanu says. Those who are sick with pneumonia or a respiratory infection will now be tested for Covid-19 as a precaution.

CCSA Update: 756 new Covid-19 cases | News by The Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of January 27, according to Worldometers.

CCSA Update: 756 new Covid-19 cases | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: CCSA

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

China starts using anal swab tests to detect Covid-19 infections

Caitlin Ashworth

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China starts using anal swab tests to detect Covid-19 infections | The Thaiger

A Covid-19 nasal swab test isn’t pleasant. Many will say the long stick inserted deep inside the nasal cavity feels like it’s hitting their brain. A method arguably much more discomforting is now being used in some cities in China… an anal swab test. And, they say, it’s more effective at detecting a coronavirus infection.

After a Covid-19 infection was detected at primary school in Beijing, more than 1,000 teachers, staff members and students were tested using the anal swab method as well as the usual nose and throat swab tests. For the anal test, a cotton swab is inserted around 3 to 5 centimetres into the anus and then gently rotated around.

Beijing officials say anal swab samples were also taken from people living in neighbourhoods with Covid-19 cases as well as those in quarantine facilities.

Since the virus is detectable on faecal samples for a longer time than the respiratory tract, the anal tests can “increase the detection rate,” according to respiratory and infectious disease doctor Li Tongzeng.

An official in the Weinan, a city in the northern Shaanxi province, says a 52 year old man whose symptoms of cough and appetite loss tested negative for Covid-19 in a throat test. He then tested positive using nose and anal swab tests, according to the city official.

SOURCES: Reuters | AFP

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