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Samut Sakhon update: PM urges calm, BMA issues restrictions for Bangkok

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Samut Sakhon update: PM urges calm, BMA issues restrictions for Bangkok | The Thaiger
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The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging Thai people not to panic over the “new wave” of Covid-19 infections that have swept through Samut Sakhon, south west of Bangkok, and to keep themselves informed with updates.

In a Facebook post today, the PM urged people “not to lower their guard and to wear face masks at all times while outdoors, to maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently”. He also asked people to scan the Thai Chana mobile application every time they enter and exit a public venue.

The CCSA yesterday updated the outbreak of cases to 689. More are expected.

The PM says that Thailand has experience in coping with the pandemic, has a strong public health infrastructure and good cooperation from the people. He stressed the need to contain the latest outbreak as quickly as possible,

“Health officials have expanded their search for people infected or suspected to be infected in all provinces with business connections to the shrimp market in Samut Sakhon province.”

Late yesterday the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration cancelled New Year countdown events.

“For other events, such as the one planned at Ratchaprasong intersection, City Hall will seek the organiser’s cooperation in cancelling the events but, if they want to go ahead they must submit their safety plans to City Hall for consideration in advance.”

“Restrictions have also been tightened up at entertainment venues, boxing rings and fresh markets.”

“For pubs and bars, each table must be 1.5 metres apart and no dancing is allowed. For boxing rings, a limit on the number offans will be imposed and all must wear face masks in the stadium at all times and keep socially distanced.”

The BMA is today checking all 472 fresh markets around Bangkok.

“All shoppers must scan the Thai Chana application when entering the markets and all migrant workers must wear face masks.”

“All BMA-run schools in Bang Bon, Bang Khun Thian and Nong Khaem districts, which are not far from Samut Sakhon, have been ordered to close until January 4.”

Additionally, several schools in Bangkok have announced closures “for the safety of students”. At this stage, they include…
• Wattana Wittayalai
• Assumption Thon Buri
• Bangkok Christian College
• Suan Kularb College
• Thepsirin School

The BMA also asked yesterday for workers to work from home for the next 14 days although this remains a request at this stage, rather than an order.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry upgraded the number of Covid-19 cases in the provincial cluster, mostly Burmese migrant workers, to 689 cases, all identified through contact tracing. Most worked in and around the provinces coastal fishing markets on the Gulf coast, according to the Department of Disease Control. The numbers are expected to rise over coming days.

Burmese worker camps in the province have now been locked down, including surrounding some with barbed wire to enforce the situation. There is currently a curfew in Samut Sakhon and access in and out of the province is being restricted to essential traffic only (although one Hua Hin resident contacted The Thaiger last night saying that he drove from Hua Hin to Bangkok, through Samut Sakhon, unhindered.)

The Thaiger will monitor and quickly report any changes to the current situation around Bangkok and adjoining provinces.

Samut Sakhon update: PM urges calm, BMA issues restrictions for Bangkok | News by The Thaiger

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Avatar

    indisPC

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:31 am

    A 17 fold increase in cases over night makes you wonder how long infections had been flying under the radar in Thailand.

    Also, how many of these people are seriously ill?

    • Avatar

      Ynwaps

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      From what we know from other countries data, I’d say probably around two months already.

  2. Avatar

    Pieter Wilhelm

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Without mass testing in Thailand since the pandemic started one could assume herd immunity is already accomplished.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Why?

    • Avatar

      Kevin

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      That assumption doesn’t make sense since Sweden hasn’t even reached herd immunity after doing nothing from the start.

  3. Avatar

    JaguarCat

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Thailand has been careless by not monitoring the health status of Burmese migrant workers even after the Covid situation got serious in Burma from October on.

    On the other hand, Thailand is now reacting fast and strong and adequate. Most other countries in this world would be happy to have only 500 new cases per day. Thailand will soon be back to five cases per day.

    • Avatar

      Kristof

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      Agree on both points, and sure hope you are correct. This will be a true test, but if Thailand is genuinely taking the above measures its the best course of action we can hope for. Next days and weeks we will find out for sure. The important thing is a rapid unified informed response and everyone doing their part. Salutes.

  4. Avatar

    Alex

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Who will pay for the treatment of the migrant workers at hospitals? Do the people from Myanmar have a 100k USD health insurance like I had to sign up for?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      If they were employed legally in the private sector, as appears to be the case, they’re covered by Thailand’s Social Health Insurance (SHI) scheme, just as Thais would be and just as you would be if you were legally employed here.

      That’s been the case since 1991, along with the CSMBS for public sector employees and their dependents, and since 2001 for the rest of the population under the UCS.

      Contrary to comments all too often made here, they’re excellent schemes that apply to everyone, regardless of nationality, with no “dual pricing”.

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Election

Education minister’s wife plans to run for governor of Bangkok

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Education minister’s wife plans to run for governor of Bangkok | The Thaiger

The education minister of Thailand’s wife is planning to run for the governor of Bangkok when the city poll is called, in a move that puts her in direct competition with others for the backing of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party.

Nataphol Teepsuwan confirmed on Friday that his wife Taya Teepsuwan, a former core member of the now-defunct Peoples’ Democratic Reform Committee, would contest the unscheduled gubernatorial election.

Natapol met briefly with PM Prayut, with some speculating that the Government House meeting was centred around his wife’s future political career. But Natapol denied that was the focus of the meeting.

Her decision to run could be problematic as Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang or former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda are expected to run under the Palang Pracharath banner. Both of those candidates were close to the party back when PM Prayut was the junta leader.

Chakthip has given signs of his intentions to run as he set up a Facebook page this month, while Aswin has not officially made up his mind whether to run or stand aside for the former national police chief.

But Natapol says his wife, who is a former deputy Bangkok governor, plans to a run as an independent if she is passed over by Palang Pracharath. The education minister said he had informed party leader Prawit Wongsuwon of his wife’s intention.

Taya is the youngest child and only daughter of the late business tycoon Chalermbhand and Khunying Sasima Srivikorn. Along with her husband, she co-founded the Rugby International School in Chonburi.

Taya was also the managing director of Srivikorn School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration at Chulalongkorn University. She also has a Master’s in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems from The London School of Economics & Political Science.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

CCSA Update: 309 new Covid-19 infections in Thailand

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CCSA Update: 309 new Covid-19 infections in Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

The CCSA’s daily briefing today started with an update about a NBT news presenter who has attended the daily briefings at the CCSA studio and testing positive for Covid-19. The CCSA spokesman then announced that all people working in the CCSA studio, including himself, are defined as a “low risk” group for infections.

The CCSA spokesman says he, together with all those involved with any risk, will take a swab test this afternoon and will report the test results to the public later on. The infected NBT newscaster has been sent to the hospital already.

Today, 309 new Covid-19 cases were announced from the last 24 hours. The majority of the infections were detected from active case testing, accounting for 217 cases. Most of them were migrant workers. 80 were local transmission, while 12 cases were detected in state quarantine.

According to the CCSA spokesman, key measures to be rolled out next week will be the acceleration on proactive testing in Samut Sakhon and the outer western areas of Bangkok where the infection rate is still high. Numbers and reports from the active findings are expected to be complete by the end of next week will serve as key factors for a review of the current restrictions in place.

CCSA Update: 309 new Covid-19 infections in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: CCSA Daily Briefing

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Bangkok

Smog across Bangkok can be blamed on a ‘Dust Dome’ of pollutants

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Smog across Bangkok can be blamed on a ‘Dust Dome’ of pollutants | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

Poor air quality across Bangkok in the past week are not just caused by the PM2.5 dust. We can blame a ‘dust dome’ that is formed with low atmospheric pressure, dust and pollutants from the farmland waste burning, and greenhouse gases.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa says that the pollutants come from “the improper disposal” of farming waste around Bangkok’s northern outskirts. He also asked provincial governors to ask farmers to avoid burring farm waste. If they refuse to cooperate, there might be an order to ban all outdoor burning activities in the future, while suggesting that farmers should sell their agricultural waste instead of burning it.

The mentioning of the agricultural sector being major contributors to Bangkok’s smog problems is a rare official recognition of the pollution ‘elephant in the room’.

People in Bangkok are also being encouraged to avoid outdoor activities and wear their masks when going outside to prevent both the pollutants and Covid-19. While “unhealthy level” of PM2.5 has been reported in many areas over the past week, the Department of Pollution Control is considering both short-term and long-term measures to tackle the air pollution problems.

Measures that have been rolled out include an extension of the work-from-home policy, lowering the price of low sulphur fuel in the capital and its vicinity, extensive monitoring of waste burning on farms, as well as offering higher prices for sugarcane products which were made in a sustainable manner.

For a long-term plan, the department is considering setting a new standard of air quality by lowering the “safe” threshold for PM2.5 exposure below the current level, but this is likely to happen in the next 5 years. Also, the government aims to apply the Euro-5 standard for vehicle emissions by 2024.

He also says that the pollution situation in Thailand has seen improvement after the measures were implemented. And, the number of days where [air quality] exceeded safe standards was less than 20% of the year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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