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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thai Post

Opening Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists may open a “Pandora’s box” of Covid-19 infections, according to leading epidemiologist on the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine Thira Woratanarat. After a 6 month ban on international tourists, the first group of travellers on the new Special Tourist Visa are set to fly from China to Phuket on October 8. Thira says the move puts the country at risk of a second coronavirus outbreak.

“If the country decides to take risks, everyone must rely on themselves because this is a war between virus and humans and people need to survive… The country will be a new endemic area if the government cannot contain the spread of the disease effectively. And even if there is a Covid-19 vaccine, it might be too late.”

The 120 to 150 tourists arriving next week on the Special Tourist Visa are required to quarantine at a state approved facility for 14 days. They are also required to be tested for Covid-19 before their flight and before being released from quarantine.

Thira has been vocal for months on his disapproval for opening the borders to foreign tourists and has stood firmly against proposals like so called “travel bubbles.” He says the coronavirus cases across globe have continued to raise and warns that people in Thailand should still abide by coronavirus prevention measures like wearing a mask.

“Many countries are still under the severe pandemic and have an infection rate 20 times that of Thailand’s, so Thailand will be at a risk of becoming a pandemic hotspot after the country is reopened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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63 Comments

63 Comments

  1. Avatar

    patty

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    This wanker again….he just doesnt get it

    • Avatar

      Maverick

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Touché – I‘m alright jack he says……

      • Avatar

        Deliverance

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:20 pm

        No whites, no dogs, no what? Am I hearing this right? What does this chap propose to address the 20% chunk taken out of the economy?
        Human beings can’t live in indefinite fear of a virus.

  2. Avatar

    Brian Law

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Infections up due to increased testing, deaths and hospitalisations near zero here in the UK!

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    ““Many countries are still under the severe pandemic and have an infection rate 20 times that of Thailand’s,…”

    20 times??? Some are several hundred times higher, with a death rate in similar sized countries such as the UK a thousand times higher.

    At least he’s on the right track …..

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    At least this epedistlogy has listed the choices this time: The virus or the peoples need to survive.
    And the epepistlogy has given good advice: “everyone must rely on themselves”
    They would if they were allowed

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      “Tell me then John, what is the death rate of the virus? compared to dengue fever or the common flu? If you are infected – what are the chances of you dying?”

      Sure. According to known stats:

      Covid-19: world-wide, 2020 (8 months) around 3% (34 mill known cases, 1 mill deaths).

      Dengue fever: world- wide, 2019 (the worst year ever) around 0.06% (4.7 mill known cases, 3.2 k deaths).

      Common flu: world-wide, 2019, around 0.03 – 0.05% (1 – 1.2 bill cases, 300 – 600 k deaths).

      So some 60 to 100 times worse. Probably not what you wanted it to be, but nevertheless the “FACTS” in answer to your question.

      “I agree with you in terms of being cautious in opening borders, however, this idiot doctor doesnt want to open AT ALL.”

      That’s not what he says either here or in the original article. What he actually says is that the more you open borders, the more risks you take (“Many countries are still under the severe pandemic and have an infection rate 20 times that of Thailand’s, so Thailand will be at a risk of becoming a pandemic hotspot after the country is reopened.” etc).

      “P.S im not the one with an agenda….im not Prayut or his idiotic cabinet or advisors”

      That and your repeated previous comments about him are about as good confirmation that you have an added agenda as it gets. Regardless of whatever else he’s done, Thailand’s handling of the Covid crisis has been recognised as among the best in the world.
      Yes, the tourist industry will suffer massively in the short term but tens of thousands won’t lose their lives as the alternative and in the medium to long term tourism could well expand as Thailand is seen as a “safe” destination.

      If you want a stick to beat Tu with, at least do it with one which is valid (and there are plenty to choose from) otherwise it’s counter-productive, like the “Pussy Bar” and LGBT at the pro-democracy rallies.

      “Lets have this conversation
      again in 6 months time when Thailand is in a full blown depression”

      Regrettably Thailand probably
      will be, along with most of the rest of the world.

      Deliberately risking hundreds of thousands of lives and having tens of thousands of deaths from Covid-19, as countries in the West have, and changing Thailand from being a safe / low-risk destination to a high risk one, is hardly likely to change that.

      Whatever you do, someone is going to suffer and there’s going to be collateral damage – it’s just a question of who, how many, and how badly.

  5. Avatar

    Maag

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    Yes , he is right .
    Life in Bangkok with zero tourist is so cool and quiet .
    Dont reopen please !

    • Avatar

      Marvin

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:23 pm

      No tourists means no jobs
      Which means no money to live,
      Which means more crime and more suicides

  6. Avatar

    Gary

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    This guy, with a paid job, wants the country closed for years, everyone else will lose theirs.

  7. Avatar

    D1

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    He is a doctor and has an opinion based on what he studied and practised. Fair enough but this is not just a medical problem and should be looked at by someone who has a holistic view.
    He for sure did receive his full salary the last few months and is definitely not concerned about his job, the education of his children or the basic support of his parents.

  8. Avatar

    Luca

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    With limited and quarantined entries, the good follow up by Thai medics n authority and a small percentage of deaths it seems to me that the situation shouldvbe well under control

  9. Avatar

    Alan Detro

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Full support for this doctor. The only people on here complaining about no reopening are foreigners who want to come here… The average Thai does not want tourists here and many tourism businesses should be closing. There are simply too many of them and this dependence on foreign tourism has long weakened Thailand.

    • Avatar

      Gary

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      “Who want to come here”, so I assume with your name you are a foreigner, in Thailand and will be leaving soon? I have had my place there for 15 years and can’t get home, yes, we are complaining.

    • Avatar

      patty

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      The fact is Alan, tourism accounts for about 8%-10& of the GDP. It generates billions of baht every year for the Thai economy….FACTS. Here is another fact..thousands have lost their jobs, alot of the AVERAGE THAIS that you mention, rely on these jobs to provide for their families and just to live. Not to mention, how many other businesses that are connected to tourism that have been affected. Your comments are selfish, just like the doctors and the government destroying Thailand as this doesnt affect you, just like them. Look around you (if you really are in Thailand), everything here is a mess. Put your self in the shoes of business owners and the unemployed that have been affected, I bet you you will have a different view. Tourism will always be a big part of the Thai economy. Cant escape FACTS

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:17 pm

        Sorry, patty, but those aren’t “FACTS” but just the view from the relatively small minority of those who are “business owners and the unemployed that have been affected”.

        Yes, tourism provides maybe 8% of GDP (estimates vary) and “thousands have lost their jobs”,but well over 90% of the economy has nothing to do with or gain from international tourism and the vast majority of “the AVERAGE THAIS” don’t “rely on these jobs to provide for their families and just to live”.

        Your “FACTS” may apply in Pattaya, Patpong or Phuket but if you were to “look around you” elsewhere you’d see that there is no “mess”.

        The “selfish” ones aren’t the doctors who are trying to protect “the AVERAGE THAIS” or “the government” who are doing the same and who in this (and possibly only in this) have widespread support for their policy, but are the farangs who want their bars back and the comparatively few Thais (thousands, out of millions) who are suffering as a result.

        Put yourself in the shoes of “the AVERAGE THAIS”, if you’ve ever met any and you’d have a very different view.

        • Avatar

          Rinky Stingpiece

          Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:22 pm

          None of the average Thais I ever meet care about the things you, Maag, and other fellow travellers go on about… they all seem to be mostly concerned with earning money and frustrated with the authorities, but obviously you know so much better than all of us.

        • Avatar

          patty

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12:10 pm

          John..How much did Prayut pay you to write those comments? You obviously are not affected so easy for you to say such things. BTW – I am an average Thai and every Thai I know feels the same way about this whole situation. They dont share the same sentiment as yourself, the doctors or the dictator. Also, those doctors and the people in charge of this whole thing are NOT affected by this so just like for you, very easy to say

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:34 pm

            In your dreams ….. the one thing your comments make abundantly clear is that you are NOT “an average Thai”.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:41 pm

        Except that wasn’t his “advice” nor the “choices” suggested.

        It was only the choice “if the country decides to take risks”. If. IF.

        But there is no need for the country, the government, or the vast majority of Thais to “take risks” unnecessarily, just to please the farangs who want their bar stools back and the relatively few businesses that support them.

        Of course some will suffer as a result, particularly in the short term, which is regrettable, but the majority shouldn’t be put at risk for the minority.

        • Avatar

          Khaja Sarfaraj Mansur

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:02 am

          Can you tell me why they are opening now then? Who told them to open? If 90% economy has nothing to do with tourism, why the Government needs a billion every month?

          You have to answer this……

          Anyway, Neither you have any knowledge nor your thoughts are based on facts…..

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:40 pm

            Because 10% of the economy is still a considerable amount.

            It isn’t complicated.

        • Avatar

          Bobby m

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:25 am

          Says the man with a name intimating he is clearly living in the province that is the biggest supplier of bar hostesses in Thailand. Come to think of it I understand quite a lot of the bar owners come from there too. Might need to be careful what your saying if you do live there.

          The effect from the lack of tourism and associated investments on the GDP is estimated at 20%. See below extract.

          “ The research director at Thailand Development Research Institute, Somchai Jitsuchon, is also saying Thailand needs to push towards re-opening all areas of economic activity.

          “Thailand should learn how to live with a few daily Covid cases, because policies aimed at eradicating the virus completely were having a high economic cost.”

          Somchai asserted that income from foreign investment and tourism represents about 20% of Thailand’s annual GDP.”

          If this is accurate, by the time you add all the supporting industries, such as taxi’s food growers and suppliers, furnishings and laundries etc, it will be more like 30% plus.

          So selfish.

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:56 pm

            “The effect from the lack of tourism and associated investments on the GDP is estimated at 20%. See extract below”

            Sorry, but that’s actually NOT what your extract says – nothing remotely like it.

            What it actually says is that “Somchai asserted that income from foreign investment and tourism represents about 20% of Thailand’s annual GDP.”

            The two are completely different, since he’s talking about “foreign investment” which covers everything from BMW to Tesco rather than just the very small part “associated” with tourism, and he’s not suggesting in any way that it has all been lost as you say he is.

            Like most of the bar-stool experts here, you’re not even reading your own references but grasping at straws.

        • Avatar

          satcomrs2abv.bg

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 3:20 am

          I am sorry for you! You are an unhappy man!

          • Avatar

            Bobby m

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 7:35 pm

            Isaan John

            Not been in a bar of the likes you seem to know so much about for well over 10 years, but I guess living where you seem too, yes you probably are an expert. Regarding the economy, well If you are so foolish as not realise that international investment and tourism go hand in hand. So who is going to buy a BMW with no income, who will buy from Tesco when they have to stretch what little money they have and it’s cheaper at the market or to grow it themselves.

            Well it shows us all what kind of economic knowledge you do not possess.

            Good luck for the future, because if things don’t change, you will be back in your native county before long.

        • Avatar

          patty

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:13 pm

          Just because my English is better than yours doesn’t mean I’m not an average Thai. So what you are saying is because I was fortunate enough to grow up overseas, I cant be an average Thai or I’m better than an average Thai? You make me laugh. You’ve obviously been brainwashed by the media and governments alike, and too naive to read between the lines. Even if only a handful of businesses were affected, doesnt matter. Those owners worked their asses off and put their life into their businesses to provide for their families. But like you have shown, you dont give a rats ass. Like I said, you’re not affected so you dont care. Bottom Line

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 3:16 pm

            “Just because my English is better than yours doesn’t mean I’m not an average Thai,”

            Sorry, but “yes” it does!

            “So what you are saying is because I was fortunate enough to grow up overseas, I cant be an average Thai or I’m better than an average Thai?”

            It certainly doesn’t make you “better”, just not, by any rational definition, “an average Thai”. That you think growing up overseas rather than in Thailand makes you “fortunate” is a pretty good, albeit rather sad, indicator of your view of your fellow Thais.

            “Even if only a handful of businesses were affected, doesnt matter. Those owners worked their asses off and put their life into their businesses to provide for their families.”

            That’s all too clearly your view – that for the sake of “even … a handful of businesses” everyone else should suffer and put their lives at risk. Fortunately while many commenting here may agree with you, the reality is that the “average Thai” doesn’t, as evidenced by the reaction and antipathy to the proposed “Phuket model”, even in Phuket.

            “But like you have shown, you dont give a rats ass. Like I said, you’re not affected so you dont care”

            On the contrary, while I’m “not affected” I want to keep it that way so I DO care, as do most “average Thais” who don’t want the borders thrown open with the resultant death rates that Western countries have (a thousand times worse than Thailand’s).

            It’s not a question of giving a “rat’s ass” or not. Obviously people are suffering and that suffering should be minimised as much as possible, but throwing open the borders and so inevitably putting hundreds of thousands of people’s lives at risk, tens of thousands of whom will inevitably die, cannot be the answer.

            It’s also not just a question of black and white dictated by a vaccine, as some suggest. One simple alternative, for example, would be the recent apparent development of a cheap and effective test with accurate results available in a few minutes – once available, anyone entering the country could be tested at the border and then permitted or refused entry.

            Problem solved, once available ….. but that wouldn’t suit your agenda, would it?

      • Avatar

        Alan Detro

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 8:48 am

        Exactly what Issan John said. I have lived here more than 40 years. My family is Thai. Tourism is a cancer here, a monstrous growth. 90% of all tourist businesses SHOULD close. Foreigner business owners have NOTHIING to say so they do not even figure into my argument. They are aliens here. When Thais consider their health over your business interests, you will lose and so you should. I say open the borders and allow tourism in with all necessary precautions, including multiple testing and 14 day quarantine. Anything less is lowering Thailand to the level of the idiot countries that cannot control the pandemic inside their own borders and whose idiot citizens now want to spread the disease everywhere in the world. …and you call ME selfish! What a joke!

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:01 pm

          “The effect from the lack of tourism and associated investments on the GDP is estimated at 20%. See extract below”

          Sorry, but that’s actually NOT what your extract says – nothing remotely like it.

          What it actually says is that “Somchai asserted that income from foreign investment and tourism represents about 20% of Thailand’s annual GDP.”

          The two are completely different, since he’s talking about “foreign investment” which covers everything from BMW to Tesco rather than just the very small part “associated” with tourism, and he’s not suggesting in any way that it has all been lost as you say he is.

          Like most of the bar-stool experts here, you’re not even reading your own references but grasping at straws.

          • Avatar

            patty

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 4:08 pm

            Tell me then John, what is the death rate of the virus? compared to dengue fever or the common flu? If you are infected – what are the chances of you dying?
            I agree with you in terms of being cautious in opening borders, however, this idiot doctor doesnt want to open AT ALL.
            P.S im not the one with an agenda….im not Prayut or his idiotic cabinet or advisors
            Lets have this conversation again in 6 months time when Thailand is in a full blown depression

    • Avatar

      Maag

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:33 pm

      I am a foreigner , and far away to complain !

    • Avatar

      Maverick

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:45 pm

      Very selfish comment from someone living on their pension – many Thais and Farangs are watching years of hard work go up in smoke – the consequences of which will only be felt in 6-12 months – potential for unrest and increase in crime is very real – a gradual opening of the borders is essential if millions are not suffer further. I am retired here but feel very strongly about the economic suicide being forced upon this country.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:23 pm

        Very selfish comments indeed, as farangs and Thai bar owners refuse to acknowledge that Thailand goes beyond Pattaya, Patpong and Phuket and just want their little world back, regardless of the consequences for everyone else.

        • Avatar

          PBear

          Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm

          Last i looked tourism accounted for about 20% of GDP. It goes way beyond farang business owners, the trickle down goes to motorcycle taxis, massage places, bars, nightclubs and also helps many families in Isaan.
          Thailand will become a more xenophobic place and many places will become wastelands. Infrastructure will start to fall apart and fail.
          What astonishes me is the ‘i’m alright jack’ brigade on here, don’t realise what could lie ahead.
          Poverty and destitution make people do bad things.
          No matter where you live in Thailand you could become a target.
          Have you not got the brains to realise that?

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:30 pm

            … It goes way beyond farang business owners, the trickle down goes to motorcycle taxis, massage places, bars, nightclubs and also helps many families in Isaan.”

            Sorry, but this is yet another bar stool myth. If you knew “many families in Isaan” you’d know that very, very few rely on or are helped by relatives working in “massage places, bars, nightclubs”, etc.

            The reality is that those helping their “families in Issan”, who are readily identifiable as many leave their own children to be looked after by grandparents in Issan, are nearly all working in factories on industrial estates, not in the tourism industry and bars, nightclubs, etc.

        • Avatar

          Rob

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:46 am

          You really don’t understand how economics or economies work do you. Right now in Phuket real people with real businesses which they have built up over many years, many not directly involved in the tourist industry but indirectly reliant on it, are either out of business or living off their savings and they are running out fast. They go out of business, the loans and mortgages start to default and the downward spiral begins. Is the good Dr willing to take responsibility, for the homelessness, the suicides, the crime (out of desperation) the civil unrest? This is not about a few bar owners and bar girls this about the entire economy.
          Yes they have to be cautious and controlled about opening the borders but to not start to open up will be much much worse.

        • Avatar

          Gary

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 6:47 am

          Issan, a very simplistic view of this, those Thais you mention who are not involved directly in tourism rely on many others who are to support their business, be it grocery store, doctor or restaurant. The narrow view of farang I see in these comments angers me, all about girls and bar stools, how many of you have been to support large expat charity functions that put locals through college to become doctors, nurses, and accountants etc? Not all expats are old drunks sitting around girlie bars being flattered by some slave from Ubon.

        • Avatar

          VENTAN

          Friday, October 2, 2020 at 11:59 am

          Come on ,no need to talk about bar owners. Here we talk about normal tourist , they come here for 7-14 nights to got sun at the beach Thai delicious food and fresh fruits. Just one thing – poor or not concerned tourism Thai people has nothing before from government profit from tourism and they not care, have tourist or not. We cannot exclude COVID anymore from our life, have to find way how to be with that. Closing borders will not help. By the way 80% of domestic people started to know standard temperature of body after COVID come and Not changed they face mask since March)))

      • Avatar

        germanFarang

        Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 8:56 pm

        There was not even a first wave in thailand. Economy is suffering, Thai baht is even losing against Euro (€ inflation is like crazy these times).

        Where are the smart Thais who are able to interpret numbers, are able to make sens of studies and use common sense?

        If I haven’t a Thai girlfriend I would they let thailand sink, until people wake up and send the politicians and so called experts to hell.

    • Avatar

      Andrew Lorimer

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      Actually I have lived in Thailand for six years. I actually worked from 2009 to 2016 and contributed 3 million baht tax each year to the thai government. I have rented a condo for the last six years. Since March I have not been back. Thailand is my home. I had a retirement Visa but seems I am not wanted. How many people have paid minimum a 100000 usd to Thailand each year. But now I am not well ome.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:08 am

        If you have a retirement visa you can return, subject to 14 days quarantine.

        Japan and Taiwan have similar restrictions.

        What, exactly, do you think is so unreasonable?

    • Avatar

      Mike Frenchie

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 10:28 pm

      @Alan Detro
      Brilliant… Thailand has – unfortunately many unqualified people… what do you plan to do with the bulk of the people having only completed 9 years of studies? Think twice!

    • Avatar

      Chris

      Friday, October 2, 2020 at 3:54 am

      Selfish prick

  10. Avatar

    Mhk

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Thai gov:( we want money from tourist, but afraid the tourist come)
    Thai doctor:( we don’t need money that I have much already, hotel or the bar is not my business)

  11. Avatar

    Latecomer

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Driving on thai roads leads to 20 000 deaths a year. What to do? Swimming in some cases leads to drowning. Life leads to the end of life. Why not stop living?

    • Avatar

      Rajkumar

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    • Avatar

      Don R

      Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm

      I used to think Thai people didn’t fear death in the same way as foreigners. Just as Buddha taught that death was a part of life, the beginning of rebirth, and we should experience life rather than spend it cowering in fear of death…

      Now Thais seem to be the most neurotic, cowardly people on the planet. Weird.

  12. Avatar

    Mark

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Which “second outbreak” in Thailand is he referring to? The numbers regarding the first outbreak had been faked already … hahaha … he should tell the truth

  13. Avatar

    Richard

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    You can lockdown, close borders but the question is how many times can you do that before destroying your economy, And waiting for a vaccine that works/side effects may take a lot longer most countries cant afford to wait that long.
    You either live with the virus just like all the others that have no cure or vaccine either.

  14. Avatar

    willem Hagting

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Why would a person who undergoes 14 days quarantine be of any risk?

    Once clear of any covid and released out of the ASQ hotel there is no more risk for Thailand.

    This so called leading epidemiologist maybe thinks that foreigners them self are a risk. I have news for him. Not more risk then any other human being. Not even more risk than Thais.

  15. Avatar

    Don R

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Starting to wonder, do foreigners even want to come to Asia any more? I used to think Thais (and other Asian nationalities) had an elegant philosophical world view, in which death is a part of life. But this whole crisis has taught me otherwise. Asia now seems like one of the most neurotic and unpleasant places to live in the world.

  16. Avatar

    RR

    Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    This “doctor” should be more worried of the test/population, one of the lowest of the world with only ca. 10 test every 1000 people. UK, that has a similar population size, did 30 times more test/1000. I would rather go there than Thailand at the moment. More cases detected, but at least there is a detection system put in place. Thailand has zero on that. 4000+ cases declared, most probably there are hundred of thousands undetected around. Whoever comes to Thailand should be aware of the unsafe conditions.

    • Avatar

      murika

      Friday, October 2, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      WHO still declared thailand as the best country for dealing with the covid situation, despite one of the lowest test rate in the world… all is lie, i’m sure the official number of 1 millions death from covid is totally inacurate as well, country make up these number (too low or too high) to justifie the pressure on their people, like in 1984 book, their is a fake war going on to justify the totalitarian state…

      • Avatar

        Andrew Lorimer

        Friday, October 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm

        Totally agree. I am working off Sarawak. One of the Sarawak people were telling me a relative was not well. Went to the hospital in Miri and subsequently died. Doctor put covid as his cause of death. The relatives insisted on a new check as he had little contact out in the jungle. His actuall cause of death was dengue fever. So the figures are manipulated. Two of my friends had covid and although slightly unwell they told me a flu was worse. They had symptoms for two days and did not get any medical help. They got better by panadol and herbal tea. Only because I told them to get checked. By then their immune system had destroyed the covid and they were no longer infected and could not infect others.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      Then why don’t you go to the UK?

      Numbers tested are difficult to compare internationally as standards vary so widely, but the crude death rate from Covid-19 is pretty easy to verify.

      In the UK, with a similar sized population, it’s around one thousand times higher than in Thailand. In simple terms, that means you’re around a thousand times more likely to die of Covid-19 in the UK than in Thailand.

      Enjoy your stay in the UK.

      • Avatar

        RR

        Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 8:33 am

        Pure nonsense. You should learn English and understand it. You do not even know what your are talking about.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          Monday, October 5, 2020 at 1:35 pm

          Thailand: 59 deaths from Covid-19, one since June.

          UK: over 48 thousand deaths from Covid-19.

          Who’s got it right?

  17. Avatar

    Nipral

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 2:27 am

    Who is this moron ???

  18. Avatar

    Jorma lauta

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 10:25 am

    The Sweden people are not communityredaktion of the Chinese allowed to go Thailand, dont forget,, its starten in,china

  19. Avatar

    lootarzoon

    Friday, October 2, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Can this guy cure 1000 of suicides coming up? He better go & obviously eat is fat food + care about his diabete

  20. Avatar

    life in bangkok

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Hi everybody. as a thai who lives in bangkok i can say that a lot of people are somehow affected by this corona crisis. many of us can do what they did before. some of us lost their jobs. and thiose who have a job have lower salary. there is nothing that we can do. i lived in the usa and europe for a while so my perspective ofliufe is a bit different then most thais around me. all i can say is: please stop telling us whats good for us or not. we as thais already have so many things going on. it doesnt make sense to argue here on the internet. somehow our country depends on tourism a lot. we as thas know that but in situations like this we dont want to tellpeople that we need foreign money. its in our culture. if i look around bangkok most of the busy streets are empty. alot of my childhood friend dont know how to feed their children. they are educated but their salary is so low that they dont even have money to put aside. the situation is bad.now if your a foreigner and u have your money u can have the best time of your life here. but for us hardworking thais our future looks worser then even. bangkok became a ugly city withing a couple months. 1 more year like this year and i can tell you that the crisis will even hit us harder. im lucky that i can go to europe and live there i have a dutch and a us nationality but most of my friends have to stay in thailand and deal with daily problems like not having enough food no proper education and a future that doesnt llok good for all of us. all i want to say is please lets all try to make the world better then it it is now. fighting on the internet doenst solve anything. whats helps is that we all should ask ourselves what did we do in thailand all those years??? how did it became so worse that we somehow need tourists in some parts of thailand?? why didnt we develop a economy that can help us even in hard times???? Hopefully everybody will think and realise thatw e dont need more arguments about whose right or wrong. we have those already for decades going on. me and my friends spend decades of having conversation about our life in thailand and we havenst seen any progress. all we see is foreigners who tell us what we should do and ont realise that thailand is not the west. its thailand. thank u everybody and please try to understand our culture and ouw view

  21. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, October 5, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    It is informative to have your view of matters as a Thai.
    Thank you for your post.

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

BMA admits Covid virus spreading fast in Bangkok, speeds up testing and jabs

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Stock photo via Flickr

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration says it is speeding up mass Covid-19 testing and inoculations in communities hit strongly by the virus, after admitting the virus is spreading fast in Thailand’s capital.

The city clerk says the administration, along with the Public Health Ministry and other agencies, are speeding up the collection of nasal swabs for Covid-19 tests, with a plan to test 3,000 people in high-risk groups per day. Those people deemed to be at an increased risk of the virus have been clustered by districts, with testing units in each of the 6 districts…

Laksi district, 70 Pansa Min Buri park in Min Buri district, Huai Khwang stadium in Huai Khwang district, under the Rama III expressway in Yannawa district, a public park under Rama VIII bridge in Bang Phlad district and The Mall Bangkae shopping centre in Bang Kae district.

The virus has been found in densely populated, low-income areas such as the Klong Toey community in Klong Toey district, Bon Kai community in Pathumwan district and Ban Khing community and The Mall Bangkae in Bang Kae district. In an effort to help those residents stay at home to prevent the possible spreading of the coronavirus, community-level organisations are teaming up to provide food, water, and supplements to those in the areas.

But stay at home orders are a problem for many as starvation is more frightening than the virus and 90% of residents in the slum communities still need to leave for work each day to keep food on the table. The daily average income for those in the slums is around 120 to 150 baht. The CCSA yesterday declared that is is focusing on containing major Covid clusters in 3 key Bangkok communities – the Klong Toey ‘slums’, Bon Kai in Pathumwan and Ban Khing in the Bang Kae district, on the west side of the Chao Phraya.

Today’s nationwide Covid update includes compiling the regional totals from yesterday, with a total of 27 new Covid-related deaths and 2,044 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours. The numbers continue a statistically consistent rise in the number of Covid infections over the past 2 weeks.

Meanwhile, talking about Phuket’s plans to open in July, the Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said yesterday that the number of new cases on the island must reach zero before the government can contemplate the ‘Sandbox’ plan for no-quarantine travel.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket visitor Covid-19 rapid antigen testing may end May 15

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 rapid tests may be discontinued in Phuket. (via Wikimedia)

In a live broadcast, Phuket’s Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong said officials will consider discontinuing Covid-19 rapid antigen testing for people arriving into Phuket after May 15. The interview from the Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai yesterday seems to contradict a recent statement from the governor launching additional rapid testing from today.

Entry to Phuket since April 22 has been limited for travellers from red zone provinces, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours. Anyone arriving without either of these would be screened on the spot with rapid antigen tests. Though originally offered for 300 baht per person, controversy arose over Thailand’s 2-tier pricing as it was announced that testing would be free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

The National Health Security Office provided 40 billion baht for testing in Phuket, allowing free testing for nationals, but as that funding is used up, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew announced that the testing will no longer be free for Thai people after May 15. Phuket does not have the budget for free rapid antigen testing so they will likely be forced to require payment after that date.

The current testing has seen a decline in positive Covid-19 infections, not finding any new cases for several days, prompting the government to rethink whether the current system of rapid testing those who are not vaccinated or holding a recent negative test certificate is worth the money spent.

Over 40,000 people have been tested since the program began April 22 until the current figures on May 5, with only 22 covid infections identified. Furthermore, 5 of those infections turned out to be false positives.

The vice-governor conceded that Phuket has Covid-19 outbreak problems with growing infections every day, but explains that the infections are from within the community and not from outside visitors. The latest infections stem in large part from gambling get-togethers without proper Covid-19 safety.

As of now, the rapid antigen testing will continue until the May 15 cut off, but government officials are still debating whether to continue testing and whether funding will exist for it after that date.

The NHSO has recently hinted that they will approve more funds to continue testing, a signal that had not been received before the governor’s announcement on Wednesday about the rapid antigen testing.

The vice-governor stressed that the situation is constantly evolving and that new information it’s shared frequently, and often out of local control. He urges everyone to pay attention to forthcoming announcements.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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