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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

President Trump claims China responsible for “mass worldwide killing”

Jack Burton

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President Trump claims China responsible for “mass worldwide killing” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Evan Vucci, AP
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In one of his notorious Twitter posts, US President Donald Trump once again raged against China over the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, blaming Beijing for a “mass worldwide killing.” The early morning tweet yesterday, which referred to an unidentified “wacko in China”, is the latest heated rhetoric from Washington, where Trump is making attacks on Beijing a central narrative as his attention turns to re-election.

“It was the ‘incompetence of China’, and nothing else, that did this mass worldwide killing.”

The virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and spread rapidly around the world, killing more than 329,000 as of today, and triggering untold economic damage. The total number of worldwide cases pushed past the 5 million case milestone today.

Trump initially played down the seriousness of the threat and repeatedly announced he believed China was addressing the outbreak, even praising Beijing’s response. He later shifted to blaming China for allowing the virus to spread.

The White House has also suggested, without evidence, that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory and was accidentally released, and President Trump has made vague but repeated threats of retaliation against the chief economic rival of the US.

He has also threatened to permanently cease US funding of the World Health Organisation, over what he calls its assistance to China in covering up the extent of the outbreak.

The diplomatic rift is growing rapidly just weeks after Trump celebrated a “truce” in his trade war with China, and comes after months of effusive praise for his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. Meanwhile tempers are fraying in China, where foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian angered Washington by promoting a conspiracy theory that the virus was brought to China by the US military.

Countering Trump’s WHO critcism, Zhao yesterday stressed what he called the “many mistakes and loopholes on the US side, their lies and rumours.”

“The US has seemingly forgotten that in the past, US leaders have repeatedly and publicly praised China’s anti-epidemic work.”

Zhao blamed US politicians “who want to shift the blame but can’t shift it away.”

During a phone call with Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina, Xi appeared again to take a swipe at the US. State news agency Xinhua reports:

“Xi emphasised that China opposes actions that interfere with international anti-epidemic cooperation and harm the world’s, and especially developing countries’, efforts to fight the pandemic.”

“China is willing to continue to work with the international community, including Bangladesh, to support the WHO’s leadership role, promote international joint prevention and control cooperation, and safeguard global public health security.”

But US secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a news conference yesterday that the Covid-19 crisis has ended US illusions of close ties with China, saying “we greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. China is led by a brutal, authoritarian regime.”

“The Chinese Communist Party’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan has accelerated our more realistic understanding of Communist China. Today, as we all sit here this morning, Beijing continues to deny investigators access to relevant facilities, to withhold live virus samples, to censor discussion on the pandemic within China and much, much more.”

Pompeo offered no evidence of his claim.

SOURCE: AFP

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Jack Burton is a writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. He attended the Henry Grady School of Journalism and 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.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Clydel James

    May 21, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    Jack Burton how can you quote to the Thaiger readers “Pompeo offered no evidence of his claim”. Pompeo has pointed incident after incident and fact after fact, with example after example that CCP has sought to hide the origin of the COVID-19 virus and has refused to provide samples of the virus that they were researching for analysis.
    India and Pakistan have also pointed out these facts. Are the Thaiger writers and editors going to continue blindly pumping out CCP propaganda? Do you not see how unethical and brutal the CCP is? How can you be so critical of western foreigners and yet so enamored with the CCP?
    I hope you take note of the fact that not only is Trump raging against the actions of the CCP, most of the free world leaders, and even Russia are outraged by the CCP actions and inactions.

  2. Avatar

    Michael Lewis

    May 21, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    The worlds greatest Court Jester never fails to keep us amused.

  3. Avatar

    Jack Meoff

    May 22, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Spoken like a true Communist. China has room for you. The rest of the world does not

  4. Avatar

    Russell John Watts

    May 24, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    When is Trump and Pompeo going to man up and admit that America has a lab in Wuhan, China and that lab is used to do research on coronavirus and that lab has been operating since 2014 when the Obama administration approved and funded the National Institue of Health and a company called Ecohealth Alliance of New York. The lab was set up and managed by Dr Peter Daszak and it has operated and been fully financed by the American government until Donald Trump was elected as President and then through Trumps jealousy of everything that Obama did Trump slahed the funding to the health projects that Obama set up and this lab was one of them. So has this virus escaped from the AMERICAN lab because of Trumps jealousy of everything that Obama set up. Trump and Pompeo have claimed that this virus has escaped from a lab but neither of them have come up with the proof. Maybe because they would have to declare that the lab is a American lab. I know that there are a lot of people that do not care about the truth and just will continue to blame China and I feel sorry for those people. Here is a link to National Institute of Health project site https://projectreporter.nih.gov/project_info_details.cfm?aid=8674931&icde=49588715

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 update: 9 new cases, all imported (May 27)

Jack Burton

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Covid-19 update: 9 new cases, all imported (May 27) | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Reuters

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced 9 new cases of Covid-19 at this morning’s daily press briefing. All 9 were ‘imported’ cases by Thai nationals returning from overseas, “bringing attention to the importance of the state quarantine process and border control”, according to CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Of the 9 cases, two recently returned from the US. The two males, aged 18 and 27, flew back on May 12 and were found to be infected yesterday, the last day of their state quarantine. Both were asymptomatic. 6 students, aged 23 – 33, returned from Saudi Arabia. They first flew to Malaysia and then transferred to the Padang Besar border checkpoint. Officials of both countries suspect that the checkpoint is now a Covid-19 hotspot and should be closed for sanitation. 4 of the patients had high fever and cough, while two were asymptomatic.

A 34 year old masseur returned from Qatar on Friday with a high fever, coughing and no sense of smell during state quarantine. He tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Covid-19 update: 9 new cases, all imported (May 27) | News by The Thaiger

Dr. Taweesin suggested Thai nationals in Malaysia hurry up if they want to return home as the checkpoint is likely to be temporarily closed soon.

All international arrivals are banned until at least the end of June, and borders are closed, with the exception of Thai Nationals returning from abroad. Every Thai national must go through a mandatory state quarantine of 14 days which includes Covid-19 testing.

The fact that all 9 cases are imported makes today the second day in a row without a new locally transmitted case. Thailand has had a total of 3,054 cases of the virus since the start of the outbreak. 2,931 of the cases have fully recovered and been released with 2 new recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving the recovery rate at 96%.

There are 66 cases remaining in hospital under treatment nationwide, with the majority being imported cases according to CCSA officials.

No new deaths were reported today, leaving the nation toll at 57.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News | Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

5 Thai students test positive for Covid-19 after returning from Saudi Arabia

Maya Taylor

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5 Thai students test positive for Covid-19 after returning from Saudi Arabia | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Needpix

5 students, who returned to Thailand from Saudi Arabia via Malaysia, have now been confirmed as being infected with the Covid-19 virus. The students are part of a group of 39 returning citizens who arrived back in the country via the Padang Besar road checkpoint at the Malaysian border.

All 39 are reported to be in mandatory state quarantine at hospitals in the southern provinces of Songkhla, Yala and Pattani. While most are students who were studying under scholarships provided by the government of Saudi Arabia, Thai PBS World reports that 2 of the repatriates are a woman and her 14 month old baby.

A further 6 Thai nationals attempting to return from Saudi Arabia failed the health checks and were refused permission to travel. Thailand has strict fit-to-travel documentation required for all Thai citizens returning to the Kingdom. They are also required to go into mandatory 14 day quarantine when they arrive, no matter where they are returning from.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bank report predicts extended timeframe for Thai tourism recovery

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Bank report predicts extended timeframe for Thai tourism recovery | The Thaiger

As the severity of the current situation facing Thailand’s lucrative tourism industry starts to sink in, Kasikorn Bank Research Centre have released a report with some stark predictions.

Thailand’s tourism and hospitality industry faces losses of 1.69 trillion baht in 2020 and recovery “may not be clearly evident” next year. The report also foreshadows strict ‘new normal’ procedures as government measures will control the entry and exit of foreign tourists, actually all foreigners, to prevent further outbreaks of Covid-19.

It has been clear, as restrictions continue whilst the number of new daily cases hovers in single-digits, that Thailand will paint itself as the zero-risk destination. Exactly how that may unfold, and the list of restrictions imposed, has not yet been announced. But the immigration doors are unlikely to be thrown open any times soon.

The impact of Covid-19 on travel demand and the weak purchasing power of future tourists has Kasikorn Research Centre predicting difficult times ahead for the country’s key tourism industry that contributes up to 18% of Thailand’s GDP.

“Even in 2021, recovery will probably not return. Therefore it will be a difficult period for businesses in the chain of the tourism sector.”

“Until a vaccine is found, tourism and hospitality operators will need to adjust their services and the content they offer to ensure they deliver safe distancing and comply with strict health measures.”

The research paper goes through a number of other key points…

• Health regulations will dictate the travel experience

• Touch-points will have to be removed as much as possible

• Safe distancing will need to be practised at popular tourist spots as well as when travelling or staying in hotels or transferring to and from airports

Tour operators face the challenge of offering safe bus transportation throughout Thailand guaranteeing social distancing, which will be required on all transfers. This will increase the cost of transfers and tours, and more buses will be required to transfer tour groups.

For tour groups visiting water or theme parks, flower gardens and museums will need to be carefully managed to prevent further Covid-19 outbreaks.

Even on planes, the option to reduce passenger load, in efforts to impose socially-distant seating, will make it impossible for airlines to operate profitably unless air fares prices substantially increase.

The entire tourism supply chain will be radically different if the ‘risk-free’ Thailand model is to be rolled out effectively. The report suggests that hotels will be invited to join certification schemes.

Tourist-fed economies like Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui will be the hardest hit and have a number of years ahead with a long timeframe for recovery reaching beyond the end of next year.

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