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Officials concerned about people heading ‘up country’ after being put off work

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Officials concerned about people heading ‘up country’ after being put off work | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Heading up-country, a recipe for an escalation in the virus - YouTube
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Bangkok’s next door provinces are imposing increased preventative measures to deal with Thailand’s current surge of Covid-19 cases by closing a range of retail business, starting today. The closures are set to add a wave of newly-unemployed who may decide to head home for the annual Songkran early, and that’s a problem.

The provinces that have followed the lead from Bangkok, are Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon. The measures, in place until at least April 12, echo the ramping up of closures in and around Bangkok yesterday. It is likely that similar measures will be rolled out to other high risk areas of the country as local cases start to build.

Today Phuket became the province with the third highest number of reported cases, 13. Behind the two leading provinces of Bangkok and Samut Prakan (which is directly to the south east of Bangkok). Thailand now has 399 cases since 188 were announced late this morning.

Yesterday the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration imposed new closures and restrictions, effective from today. They include closing of shopping malls, sport gyms, hair and beauty salons. On-site dining is now banned though food shops and restaurants can open but only for take-away orders and home delivery. (Expect to see a lot more of those motorbikes with pink and green boxes on the back)

Even though the government ‘postponed’ Thai New Year (Songkran) this year, the government fears that people will still return to their home provinces anyway, perhaps earlier than the usual April 13 holiday if they’ve already been laid off. Officials fear these increased movements around the Kingdom could exacerbate the current rise in cases.

The Thai Disease Control Department is instructing provincial leaders to screen, track and arrange preventive measures in an attempt to limit possible further spread of Covid-19. The instructions may be more wishful thinking than a firm instruction that could actually limit a wider and faster spread of the virus.

Among the measures proposed by the Disease Control Department…

  • Setting up of teams of volunteers, at district and village levels, to monitor the returnees.
  • Preparation of profiles on those travelling from Bangkok and its suburbs, effective from today (Sunday).
  • Informing returnees of the need to isolate themselves and to avoid close contact with other people, including their family members, and the need to monitor their health for 14 days after arrival.
  • Strict compliance with the advice of health officials, such as frequent hand cleansing, the wearing of face masks and seeking medical advice if they develop a fever or difficulty breathing.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration today issued a clarification over the extent of the retail business closures. It stated that all restaurants and food outlets in shopping malls and hypermarkets, and street food outlets may continue to operate by offering delivery/takeaway food only, with the exception of food outlets in airports, which can offer in house dining.

Commercial bank branches in shopping centres can continue to open.

The official order listed the following establishments…

• Spa, health and massage parlours
• Weight loss clinics
• Skating and roller blade rings
• Beauty salons
• Bowling alleys
• Theme parks
• Golf courses & driving rangesPublic swimming pools
• Tattoo parlours
• Nurseries
• Cock-fight rings
• Conference facilities
• Exhibition halls
• Amulet trading grounds
• Markets (excluding markets that offer fresh food, vegetables and food stalls)
• All shopping malls (excluding the supermarket section)
• All public and private educational institutions

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thai herb studied for alternative Covid-19 treatment

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Thai herb studied for alternative Covid-19 treatment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Herb "Fah Talai Jone"

A study on the efficacy of a Thai herb for treating Covid-19 will move forward after a trial which alternative medicine officials say had promising results. Although, the trial was basic and only involved 6 people.

Initial results show that the herb “andrographis paniculata,” or “fah talai jone” in Thai, can improve patients’ conditions and relieve symptoms without major side effects.

The second phase of the study aims to confirm whether the herb is efficient and safe in treating the patients alongside standard treatment, according to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.

Following the new wave of infections last month, the department teamed up with Samut Prakan Hospital to launch a pilot study, but just on 6 patients. The 6 Covid-19 patients were given 180 grammes of the herb extracts each day. By the third day, their conditions of cough, sore throat, phlegm, runny nose, muscle pain, and headache had gradually improved.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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15,000 people in Samut Sakhon at high risk of infection, health officials concerned

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15,000 people in Samut Sakhon at high risk of infection, health officials concerned | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nikkei Asia

The rising number of infections in Samut Sakhon, most detected through proactive testing, has prompted serious concerns over a “high risk” group of 15,000 people, many who still work and travel as normal.

The number for the high risk group is a rough estimate based on the assumption that there are at least 3 people who came in close contact with each of the 5,000 infected people in Samut Sakhon.

Senior public health officer, Naretrith Katthaseema, says the amount of people at high risk is concerning and poses a challenge to health officials who are working to contain the coronavirus.

He also reiterates that health officials need full cooperation the public to help slow the spread of the virus. Agencies and all parties relating to the industrial factories with a large number of workers should take full responsibility to make sure that disease control measures and related laws are strictly practiced.

SOURCE: Thaivisa

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Celebrity’s birthday “Covid-19 cluster” organisers and partygoers may face charges

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Celebrity’s birthday “Covid-19 cluster” organisers and partygoers may face charges | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

With more infections linked to the “birthday party Covid-19 cluster” and some concealing their timeline, the Disease Control Department is urging the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to take legal action against people involved.

Thai media are calling it a “super spreader” party. So far, 26 cases are linked to the birthday event for the 33 year old Thai actor Techin Ploypetch, aka DJ Matoom, at a Bangkok hotel. 113 people are at risk and another 53 are considered low risk, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The event organisers could face charges for violating the ban on crowded gatherings. Partygoers could face charges for violating the Emergency Decree. Covid-19 patients who attended the party and concealed their timeline from health officials could also be charged under various laws.

A singer, a government official, and a PR manager, who all went to the party and later tested positive Covid-19, hid crucial parts of their timelines from health authorities, according to Thai PBS.

The department says those people could face charges under the Communicable Disease Act for allegedly concealing personal information and may be fined up to 20,000 baht. They could also be charged under the Criminal Code for allegedly giving false information to government officials.

The department’s director-general Opas Karnkawinpong says concealing or delaying the provision of information increases the spread of the virus and makes it harder for authorities to control the pandemic.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World| Bangkok Post

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