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Russian PM has Covid-19

Jack Burton

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Russian PM has Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PJOTO: Reuters
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Russia’s PM announced yesterday that he’s tested positive for Covid-19, making him the most senior official in the Russian government to become infected. PM Mikhail Mishustin informed President Vladimir Putin in a video call that he would self-isolate but would stay in touch on key policy issues. It wasn’t immediately clear when the two men last met. Since early in the outbreak, Putin has minimised meetings preferring to holding daily video calls with officials.

54 year old Mishustin, a former tax chief, was named PM in January. During the call with Putin, which was recorded and later televised, he didn’t say if he had symptoms or anything about his general condition. He displayed no visible signs of illness and spoke without difficulty. First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will temporarily perform Mishustin’s duties.

In Russia, the PM oversees the economy and answers to the president.

Putin wished Mishustin a swift recovery and said he hopes the PM will continue taking part in drafting policies to shore up the Russian economy, which, like many others around the globe, has been battered by the pandemic.

“What happened to you, could happen to anyone. Along with other Cabinet members and colleagues from the presidential office, you have undoubtedly been in the zone of high risk. No matter how you limit contacts, it’s impossible to avoid communication with people while drafting decisions.”

Putin asked the PM to call him after checking into a hospital.

Russians who have the virus but slight or no symptoms of illness are allowed to stay home, and it wasn’t immediately clear if Mishustin’s hospitalisation reflects the gravity of his condition or is just an extra precaution.

“I hope you will remain in good physical shape and take an active part in drafting decisions that we discussed today,” Putin said in a reference to a call with top officials earlier yesterday. “Those decisions will not be made without your participation, your input.”

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, who leads a government panel responsible for managing Russia’s outbreak, said Mishustin had undergone regular testing for the virus and strictly observed safety protocols to avoid exposure or spreading the virus.

“It’s a signal to all of us. Let’s drop all that populist talk” about lifting restrictions, Sobyanin said in televised comments.

Mishustin himself sent a similar message to the Russian people, saying that his personal situation underlined the need for strictly observing a government-ordered lockdown.

Russian health officials reported a record spike of 7,099 new confirmed cases yesterday morning, bringing the country’s total caseload to 106,498, with 1,073 deaths.

Today, May Day, marks the start of long May holidays, a period when Russians usually flock to country homes, and barbecue with friends and relatives. Earlier this week, Putin extended a partial economic shutdown imposed in late March to run through May 11, the end of the May holiday period.

Regional and local authorities across the vast nation have similarly prolonged lockdowns, forcing most people except those working in a few vital industries to stay home. Only visits to nearby stores and pharmacies and walks with dogs are allowed in most cities.

As of today, Russia has reached over 106,000 cases and 1,073 registered Covid-19 deaths.

Source: Thai PBS World

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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.

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111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions

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111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions | The Thaiger
PHOTO: PR Surat

Police raided a party in Koh Pha Ngan and arrested 111 on charges of violating Covid-19 disease control measures under the Emergency Decree. Immigration police and tourist police raided the event at Three Sixty Bar, a venue on a hilltop near Mae Haad Beach on the island known for its 360 degree view.

Out of the 111 people arrested, 89 are foreigners and 20 are Thais. Police say 2 other people admitted to organising the party and were charged with colluding in operating an entertainment venue without permission. All 111 people were taken to the police station for legal action.

According to chief of Surat Thani immigration, police heard about party tickets being sold online. The bar wasn’t exactly discrete about hosting an event. Various posts were made on Facebook advertising the “360 Blast & Addict Party” with DJs on 2 dance floors, a music line up until 2am and a “Crazy Market” with clothes, jewelry and food.

Surat Thani Governor also says strict legal action will be taken against the partygoers and breaches of Covid-19 restrictions will not be tolerated.

111 people arrested at Koh Pha Ngan party for allegedly violating Covid-19 restrictions | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | PR Surat

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Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours

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Phuket eases restrictions, bars back to late-night hours | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Culture Trip

Things are getting back to normal in Phuket. The provincial government eased disease control restrictions, allowing restaurants, bars and entertainment venues to go back to their normal operating hours – no more midnight closure order – and lifting the late-night alcohol ban.

While bars can now stay open late and serve alcohol after midnight, dancing is prohibited and venues cannot serve alcohol in containers that will be shared among groups of people.

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee agreed to ease the restrictions yesterday and an order allowing late-night hours and alcohol sales was posted today by the Phuket’s Public Relations Department.

“As the Covid-19 situation in Phuket has improved that there are no more Covid-19 infections found, the committee agreed to cancel the late-night alcohol ban in order to revive the economy of Phuket.”

All businesses related to gathering activities are warned to follow the Covid-19 preventive measures.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers

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Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bloomberg

With the Covid-19 death toll exceeding 100,000 in the United Kingdom, the British government is considering a mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors entering the country. A quarantine system is considered to be an effective way to limit virus transmission and stop new coronavirus variants from spreading into the country.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with senior officials in a meeting yesterday, saying that the government will consider tighter border measures. UK citizens and residents arriving from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal, will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

Currently, people arriving in the UK from abroad must show the Covid-19 test results, while direct flights from South Africa, Brazil, and Portugal are banned to prevent the spreading of new variants in the Kingdom.

Hotel quarantine measures have been used in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and Singapore, but the disease control practice has not been widely used in Europe.

In Thailand, those who enter the country from abroad must quarantine for 14 days at either a state quarantine facility or at an alternative quarantine hotel. Travellers must also be tested for Covid-19 before their flight to Thailand and tested at least another 2 times before they are released from quarantine.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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