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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Oil prices tank, as crisis fuels calls to re-open economies

Thaiger

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Oil prices tank, as crisis fuels calls to re-open economies | Thaiger

And now a global oil crisis hits home as well. Oil prices have crashed into negative territory after global coronavirus-related travel restrictions impacted demand.

After addressing the early crisis with ‘lockdowns’ and social distancing, now the narrative pivots to lifting stay-at-home orders and re-opening economies. Some European countries have taken tentative steps to ease restrictions as coronavirus death rates start to fall in some nations. Even in the US the national rates of new infections continues to rise, although the rate is starting to show signs of flattening out.

Whilst government’s are trying to tackle the thorny questions of when and how to ease restrictions, there’s now been an unprecedented collapse of global oil prices, which traded in negative territory for the first time ever. The collapse will add further ‘fuel’ to the arguments for a quicker unshackling of the people’s lives and the global economy.

Whilst billions of people have been staying at home to help limit the spread of Covid-19, and oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia in a price war, an oil glut has pushed US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for May delivery prices down to -$37.63 per barrel. Yes, that’s MINUS $37.63. That means the oil companies are paying you take away their barrels at the moment.

The move was so violent and shocking that many traders struggled to grasp the extent of the fall. But the negative prices also reveal a fundamental truth about the oil market in the age of coronavirus: The world’s most important commodity is quickly losing all value as chronic oversupply overwhelms the world’s crude tanks, pipelines and supertankers. No one is flying, few are driving their cars, the demand has dropped to a historic low.Oil prices tank, as crisis fuels calls to re-open economies | News by Thaiger

According to Bloomberg, the price collapse could redraw the global map of power as petrochemical states like Russia and Saudi Arabia, who have enjoyed a resurgence over the last 2 decades thanks to an oil windfall, see their influence diminished. Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and other oil giants are ripping up business plans, desperate to preserve cash.

The Dow, chronically volatile for the past three months, closed down to 23,650.44 points or 2.4% on the back of the oil price crash.

The news emerges concurrently with protests in some US states where people marched over the weekend demanding that they be allowed to go back to work and return to their ‘freedoms’. This, despite a new survey that indicates most Americans oppose protests calling for an end to stay-at-home orders. The Yahoo News/YouGov poll published yesterday shows that 60% of Americans oppose the protesters while 22% support them, and 18% were unsure.

In Australia, authorities in Sydney have partially reopened three of the cities largest beaches while New Zealand announced it will ease a nationwide lockdown next week, with NZ PM Jacinda Ardern claiming… “We have stopped a wave of devastation.”

Around the world, there are now over 2,400,000 Covid-19 cases, 170,424 people have succumbed to the disease and over 646,000 have recovered. The US has been the hardest hit with 792,000+ cases and 42,514 deaths.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate | Thaiger
PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The governor of Bangkok says anyone who has had contact with a Covid-19 patient must self-isolate for 10 days, the incubation period for the virus. Nation Thailand reports that Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has issued advice for those self-isolating, saying they must adhere to the following 4 steps.

1. Sleep in a separate room to other residents
2. Do not eat with other people living in the house
3. Separate trash, as garbage used by a potentially infected person can be a source of transmission
4. Use a separate bathroom where possible. If not possible, the potentially infected person should be last to use the bathroom, washing sinks and the toilet seat after each use

The governor says people who live alone in a house or condo can use a food delivery service, but must wear a mask while in the presence of food delivery workers, as well as washing their hands regularly. Condominium residents must advise the building manager that they are self-isolating and avoid using common areas such as elevators.

Masks should be worn at all times indoors and all residents should observe social distancing while in common areas. Building managers are responsible for instructing residents to observe disease prevention measures and should also undertake regular disinfection of common areas and manage potentially infectious waste appropriately.

Nation Thailand lists the following numbers for those who need further medical advice.

Covid-19 situation at the Bangkok Health Office Hotline (02) 203 2393 or (02) 203 2396 or (02) 203 2883 and (02) 245 4964 (24 Hours)

BKK COVID-19 website hotline (02) 203 2393 and (02) 203 2396 (service hours 8am-10pm)

People with Covid-19 symptoms should contact the Erawan Centre, Bangkok 1646. People at risk of exposure to infectious cases can call the Emergency Operation Centre at 097 046 7549 and the Department of Disease Control at 1422.

Infected patients can get more advice on self-isolation at the Medical Department Hotline 1668, the National Institute of Emergency Medicine 1669 or the NHSO 1330 hotline, 24 hours a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543

Maya Taylor

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Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours. Only 3 of those are imported with 1,540 being cases of community transmission. Thailand has now recorded 37,453 infections. 8,973 patients are receiving hospital treatment, 41 of whom have pneumonia.

More information to follow.

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543 | News by Thaiger

 

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Pattaya

Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now

Maya Taylor

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Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now | Thaiger
PHOTO: Richard Barton / Flickr

Officials in Pattaya and Koh Larn say there are currently no plans to close the island to visitors despite a man who worked briefly at a local restaurant testing positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the worker was employed from April 3 to April 6, before quitting. During his short employment stint, he visited a number of nightlife venues in Pattaya during the course of one evening, before returning to the island. The name of the restaurant where he worked has not been released.

The man was later contacted by contact-tracers and subsequently tested positive for the virus. The Pattaya News reports that the restaurant on Koh Larn was closed for 3 days, with officials testing several people the man had come into contact with. It’s understood all have tested negative but are self-isolating for 14 days.

No other infections have been recorded on the island, with officials confirming it can remain open to domestic tourists, with strict disease prevention measures in place, including mandatory use of the contact-tracing MorChana app. Officials have also urged people to comply with mask-wearing regulations, saying a small minority – mostly foreigners – are failing to do so.

There is currently no planned lockdown for the island, with high-risk venues such as bars and clubs already temporarily closed. Restaurants and hotels remain open to domestic tourists and outdoor activities such as boat tours and diving can still go ahead until such time as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration deems otherwise. The province of Chon Buri currently does not have any restrictions in place for those entering or leaving.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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