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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM and Health Minister give “moral support” visit to Rayong amid Covid scare

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Government House

As the city of Rayong in eastern Thailand battles with the fallout of a visiting Egyptian soldier testing positive for Covid-19 , the PM and his Public Health Minister descended on the city in a show of moral support. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, accompanied by Anutin Charnvirakul, as well as the deputy chief of the Royal Thai Army and Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai from the Disease Control Department, landed at U-Tapao airport for a brief stopover aimed at reassuring the public.

According to the Thai News Agency, the delegation travelled by helicopter from the airport, stopping at the locations visited by the Egyptian aircrew, including their hotel, the D Varee Diva Central Rayong, and the shopping centres they visited.

It’s understood the visit was an attempt to offer moral support and listen to the views of locals, amid what is turning out to be a bit of a PR disaster for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. As a result of the Egyptian crewman testing positive after being out and about in the community, coupled with the daughter of a Sudanese diplomat testing positive while self-isolating in Bangkok, the PM is promising an overhaul of the rules that up until now meant certain categories of arrivals were exempt from mandatory quarantines. News of the exceptions have riled Thai netizens as repatriating citizens and other foreign arrivals have a mandatory 14 day quarantine requirement.

SOURCE: Thai News Agency

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo by PR Phuket

2,473 new Covid-19 cases and 35 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. The majority of the new cases are local transmissions, primarily in Bangkok. 680 of the new cases were detected in prisons.

Thailand now has 42,988 active Covid-19 cases, a record high for the country. Out of those cases, more than 10,000 are linked to outbreaks at prisons. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 113,555 Covid-19 infections.

35 deaths involving Covid-19 patients were reported today, raising the pandemic’s death toll in Thailand to 649. Most of the new fatalities were reported in Bangkok.

Bangkok remains the epicentre in the latest wave of infections. The capital reported 873, raising the total since April 1 to 28,658.

There are now 29 Covid-19 clusters in 19 districts in Bangkok. The government has set up several locations for active case finding to contain the spread of the virus.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun, who gives the CCSA report in English, adds that Thai authorities are taking border breaches very seriously and security has tightened at land and sea borders as there have been a number of illegal entries involving those coming from neighbouring countries. Heightened border patrol has been an effort to prevent Covid-19 from being imported into Thailand.

Provinces with the highest number of new Covid-19 infections…

Province New cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 873 28,658
Nonthaburi 155 4,757
Samut Prakan 121 4,329
Pathum Thani 117 2,467
Samut Sakhon 63 1,930
Phetchaburi 43 645
Chon Buri 33 3,768
Nakhon Si Thammarat 30 757
Songkhla 29 1,041
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya 28 936

Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 2,473 new infections and 35 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Koh Samet reopens after being closed for 3 weeks due to Covid-19

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via Wikmedia Commons

Koh Samet off the coast of Rayong has reopened to visitors after being closed for 3 weeks. The Gulf of Thailand island is safe to visit and disease control measures are being enforced, according to the Koh Samet tourism association chairperson told the Bangkok Post.

On April 27, the Rayong governor ordered for Koh Samet to be closed to visitors after 5 people on the island tested positive for Covid-19. The closure was initally set for 14 days. No recent Covid-19 infections have been reported on the island, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Rayong office.

On the mainland, Rayong health officials reported 10 more Covid-19 infections yesterday. Since April 1, the province has reported a total of 831 infections and 7 coronavirus-related deaths.

Authorities on the island are enforcing the standard “DMHTTA” disease control measures which stand for distancing, mask wearing, handwashing, temperature checking, testing for Covid-19 and checking in using the mobile application Mor Chana.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Sinovac and AstraZeneca: The 2 primarly Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister)

Since Thailand started its mass Covid-19 immunisation campaign in late February, the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine, made in partnership with the UK’s Oxford University, have been used to vaccinate residents in Thailand.

The local firm Siam Bioscience is now producing the AstraZeneca vaccine and the first Thai-made batch is expected to be rolled out next month.

Type of vaccine

AstraZeneca: A recombinant vaccine from a modified chimpanzee adenovirus.

This is a harmless, weakened adenovirus that usually causes the common cold in chimpanzees. The adenovirus vaccine vector, known as ChAdOx1, was chosen as a suitable vaccine technology for a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine as it has been shown to generate a strong immune response from one dose in other vaccines. It has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans. – Australian Department of Health

Sinovac: An “inactivated” vaccine, using inactivated virus particles to produce an immune response, a traditional approach for vaccines and the same technology used to produce the flu and polio vaccines.

The World Health Organisation says the vaccine is made by inactivating or killing the virus using chemicals, heat or radiation.

Effectiveness

Studies are still underway for both vaccines, while more studies of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been completed and reported. In Thailand, a recent study by Chulalongkorn’s Centre for Excellence in Clinical Virology of the Faculty of Medicine found both vaccines effective after both doses.

According to the university study…

  • 99.49% of Sinovac recipients developed antibody reponses 4 weeks after their second injection.
  • 97.26% of AstraZeneca recipients developed antibody responses 4 weeks after their first injection.

Thailand initially used the Sinovac vaccine for people ages 18 to 59 due to limited research for the 60 and up age group. Thai health officials recently announced that recent studies show the Sinovac is safe and effective for adults over 60 years old who are in good health.

Global travel

A dilemma for many expats living overseas, or those wanting to travel in the future, is which Covid-19 vaccine to get as some are not recoginsed by other countries.

Both Sinovac and AstraZeneca have met the World Health Organisation’s criteria for safety and efficacy. The Sinovac vaccine is awaiting final approval.

Some countries may not recognise certain vaccine passports, although international tourism is still in the early stages and proposed regulations are constantly changing.

Thailand recoginses vaccines that are either approved by the World Health Organisation or by the Thai government.

The European Union plans to reopen tourism to American travellers, but they may need to have a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Sinovac and AstraZeneca: The 2 primarly Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand | News by ThaigerSinovac and AstraZeneca: The 2 primarly Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand | News by ThaigerSOURCES: WHO | Healthline

 

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