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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM approves Emergency Decree extension

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: mcot.net

PM Prayut Chan O’Cha has signed off on a proposal by the National Security Council and the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration to extend the Emergency Decree until the end of August. The Emergency Decree gives the government sweeping powers to manage the Covid-19 crisis at the national level from a “top down” perspective. It also provides draconian penalties for those who disobey or break regulations that are part of the decree.

The government has repeatedly maintained that the Emergency Decree is needed to effectively manage the Covid-19 situation, especially to control who can enter the country. The NSC has publicly said that without the decree individual provincial governors would have to manage the process directly, which could see different styles of management and approaches that could potentially cause issues.

But opponents say current laws, such as the Communicable Disease Control Act, give more then enough protection to manage the situation without the decree. They also claim that the decree is, or will be, used to stop mass gatherings and anti-government protests versus controlling the virus.

In a speech yesterday afternoon, the PM strongly disagreed with those claiming the decree is to stop anti-government protests. He said the aspects of the decree which affects people’s lives, such as domestic travel restrictions, curfew and all gathering bans, have been removed, and essentially the decree is now just a management tool and not a set of rules and measures.

The announcement, once it appears in the Royal Gazette (which is expected today), will officially extend the decree until the end of August.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bob M

    Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 4:54 am

    You cannot eradicate Covid 19 until a vaccine is approved and distributed.

    You have to live with it and learn how to control it. You have an amazing recovery rate The cost of controlling and or treating it. Even if you provide it provided free of charge for all, is far less than the overall cost to your economy by trying to have zero cases.

    Open the doors and allow your economy to recover.

  2. Avatar

    Ray W.

    Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    This is well past the point of stupidity. The point of a lock down is to extend the curve of the virus outbreak to decrease the chances of out pacing medical capacity, so you’ve done that now. We know more about the virus and morality rates are dropping all over. There is a very small chance an effective vaccine will actually be completed so unless you plan to keep the Country closed for the next 5 years you may want to start accepting risk and move in the direction of herd immunity. At this point you will cause scores more deaths from poverty, increased crimes, and depression from the economic damage. This has been like watching a good friend self immolate to prevent a cold, then congratulating themselves on not getting sick as they burn to a charred husk.

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monks gather for a special ceremony in Pattaya to pray Covid-19 away

Thaiger

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Hands placed together in the “wai” position and seated in chairs placed a safe “social distance” apart, monks in Pattaya gathered together at a local temple for a special ceremony to pray Covid-19 away.

The Wat Chai by the Pattaya Walking Street was given special permission to hold the event where dozens of monks from other temples in the area came together to pray. To prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the ritual, monks wore face masks, practised social distancing, used hand sanitiser and had their body temperature checked.

The monks chanted several mantras and performed rituals that they believe will help slow the spread of Covid-19 in Chon Buri and help the local economy recover.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Lampang province sets example for vaccine registration

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Vaccine hesitancy is hampering Thailand's quest for herd immunity. (via Pixnio/Freepix)

Vaccine hesitancy is proving to be a big problem in the quest to reach herd immunity and reopen Thailand, but Lampang province has outdone all the others in jab registration. In the northern province with just 740,000 people, nearly 224,000 have already registered for their Covid-19 vaccine, a number only topped by Bangkok’s 7 million residents registering just over 500,000 appointments. In fact, Nontha Buri is third-ranked with less than a quarter of the number of registered vaccine appointment that Lampang has, and only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people.

The low registration numbers is a disappointing setback in Thailand rush to achieve a 70% vaccinated population necessary for reaching herd immunity. The figures show that the public is either distrustful of vaccines or disinterested in being vaccinated to help reopen the country.

The chief medical officer for Lampang credits their success to a vaccine rollout that started with public health officials and health volunteers, and then progressed to their relatives and then on to the public. Along with the health officials and their families, the jabs were given to retired civil servants to send out the message that while occasional side effects may occur, they were rare and local medical facilities were prepared to address any negative reaction to vaccines.

The vaccinated medical personnel were able to reach out and educate residents and show that they personally experienced no negative side effects from being vaccinated. This education and awareness plan has been ongoing for several months in the province with door-knocking in neighbourhoods to reassure people and help them book vaccine appointment. Lampang also took proactive steps online by launching their own Lampang Prom system that was later dovetailed into the national Mor Prom Line account in order to sidestep rollout snafus.

The vaccine messaging was further bolstered by a 10 line call centre to help people make their appointments online. Divisions of the hospital that were underused due to Covid-19 like social medicine, dental, rehabilitation, and PR were able to provide staffing for the call centre from 8 am to midnight.

This preparedness and education of residents have served Lampang well, and it is hoped that other provinces learn from their example and start getting the Thai population registered to vaccinate Thailand’s way to herd immunity.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Bangkok

Protest leader tests positive for Covid-19 a week after being released from jail

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Photo via Facebook/ Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul

A pro-democracy movement leader has tested positive for Covid-19 after she spent 8 weeks in jail awaiting a trial on lese majeste charges which prohibit statements that insult or defame the Thai Monarchy. 2 other protest leaders facing similar charges have tested positive for Covid-19 while in court detention.

After being released from the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on May 6, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul spent most of her time at home. She went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing venue on May 10. She went by the Bangkok Remand Prison the next day for the release of 2 other protest leaders, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Chai-amorn Kaewwiboonpan. Rung has now been admitted to the Thammasat University Hospital in Pathum Thani for treatment.

Rung says had been denied an earlier Covid-19 test because she did not have some of the symptoms of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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