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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket residents instructed to stay home for at least 14 days

Jack Burton

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Phuket residents instructed to stay home for at least 14 days | The Thaiger
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All residents living in the southern province of Phuket are being directed to stay in their homes for at least two weeks, starting next Monday, April 13. The provincial governor announced the measure last night to fight the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus on the island, which now has the highest rate of infections in Thailand and is the second worst hit province, after Bangkok.

The “request” will last from April 13 to April 26, “or until the situation improves.”

The document itself officially asks residents “to cooperate” by staying indoors. But an official at the Covid-19 Centre for Phuket, Vanida Yaprang, told Khaosod English on the phone today that the directive “amounts to an order, enforceable with a penalty” (we are chasing further clarification of her comment).

“It is an order. People can still come out if really necessary but only within each sub-district. Exceptions are medical staff, government officials and state enterprise workers. It is an order and those who violate it could face punishment.”

The order, seen below, lists 6 conditions and says violators face up to one year of imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of 100,000 baht. House-to-house testing is now being conducted around sections of the island.

Phuket has already announced travel restrictions between its 17 tambons, or subdistricts. Many other provinces have announced similar measures. Under these conditions residents are not permitted to travel between districts without important reasons to do so. Medical and food supplies, police and emergency services are exempt.

According to the order, people can only leave their homes only when absolutely necessary, such as to buy food and other essentials. In the area of Patong, where the infections are particularly high, food and water will be delivered to residents barred indoors.

Hotels and resorts on the island were ordered to shut down earlier this month. The latest order says that in cases where there’s a need for staff to stay on for necessary tasks, such as ledgering or maintenance, they must be housed on the premises to avoid commuting.

The announcement comes after the governor sealed the popular tourist island on March 29 and ordered the airport closed as of today.

As of Friday noon, 170 people in Phuket have now been infected by the coronavirus, with the bulk concentrated on entertainment areas around Patong.

The Thaiger will follow any further clarification of this dramatic new ramping up of the situation in Phuket.

Phuket residents instructed to stay home for at least 14 days | News by The ThaigerPhuket residents instructed to stay home for at least 14 days | News by The Thaiger

SOURCES: Khaosod English | xinhuanet.com

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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.

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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Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval

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Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval | The Thaiger
PHOTO: GQ Thailand

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal by the Thai Restaurant Association is given a green light, it may lead to the lifting ban of alcohol drinking.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok are ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales are banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue. The lifting of the ban is then believed to stimulate the economy.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok

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