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So, how’s Thailand doing with Covid-19? – OPINION

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So, how’s Thailand doing with Covid-19? – OPINION | The Thaiger
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OPINION by “Issan John”

According to some, Thailand’s a leading success story, with minimal deaths and an equally minimal effect on daily life. According to others, it’s fudging the figures and on the brink of economic collapse, and the only solution is to “open the borders”, take a risk with Covid-19, and welcome back the tourists it allegedly relies on for its survival.

Even within those opposing camps, there are those who think the successes are down to careful planning, and those who think instead that they’re more a matter of luck than judgement, as well as those who think the failures are inevitable, down to the unstoppable world-wide spread of Covid-19 and the resultant global recession, rather than down to incompetence and self-interest.

Unavoidably there are “lies, damned lies and statistics” and the Covid-19 figures can be read in many ways…

  • Thailand has had only 59 deaths reported from Covid-19, compared to over 43,000 in the UK and over 36,000 in Italy with similar sized populations
  • Thailand has only tested less than 1% of the population, as have most of ASEAN, while the West has tested as many as 25%.

Consequently, it’s often alleged that Thailand and others are “cheating” and fudging their figures to hide the deaths and the number of cases as they’re “too good to be true” and 80% of cases are asymptomatic, so the number of cases is likely to be far higher since testing isn’t as widespread as it is in the West.

The reality, though, is that if 80% of cases are asymptomatic then 20% have to be symptomatic, so they’d show up when temperatures are taken at Tesco, Big ‘C’, or 7-11 and tens or hundreds of thousands would be turned away and queueing at the hospitals, particularly given the alleged “paranoia” about Covid-19 here, and that simply hasn’t happened.

The West has gone for mass testing as their way ahead, while Thailand has effectively gone for targeted testing instead; both have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Thailand has a steady Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of below 2%, half the global average and on a par with New Zealand, while most of the West has a CFR of between 7 and 14%;

That suggests Thailand has better “care” for Covid-19 cases than the West, which seems unlikely. The estimated Infection Fatality Rate (IFR, rather than CFR), though, indicates that apart from comorbidities, from smoking to age to obesity, the IFR is likely to be closer to 0.35% globally (compared to 0.04% for “seasonal” flu, if unvaccinated), with little variation nationally apart from as a result of care / treatment, so that suggests that the infection rate is actually considerably higher than thought in the West while it’s genuinely low in Thailand

Thailand, like it or not, has clearly done genuinely well in terms of controlling the pandemic, not only minimising deaths, but minimising the effect on people’s lives in the country.

The effect of that success on the economy, though, is a different matter…

  • International tourism has undeniably collapsed in Thailand, affecting GDP which dropped by 12.2% in Q2.
  • Exports are down by over 6% in Q2
  • … but the Thai baht’s been steady against the US$, GB£ and Euro since before the Covid crisis.

Unfortunately international tourism can only be improved by opening the borders, which would inevitably mean the risks of Covid-19 increasing unless effective checks are made, and at the moment that has to mean quarantining and testing – the incubation period and the efficacy of current tests simply leaves no other option:

  • Quarantining and testing pre-flight is impossible to verify – the means just aren’t available.
  • Current tests are only 93 to 97% accurate, so between 20 and 40 passengers on each flight (5%) have false readings.That can’t be reduced to zero, but it can be reduced by a factor of 1,000 with 14 days quarantine and testing.

If tourism were to return to “normal”, pre-Covid, with 40 million visitors per year unchecked by 14 days quarantine and tests, that could mean 2 million cases of Covid-19 coming in to Thailand every year.

That doesn’t just mean that 7,000 of them would die here, or that many times that number of Thais would also die. The effect of that on Thailand’s economy and everyday life for Thais would go way beyond that, as Thailand would have to go the way of the West, closing schools and factories, and locking down bars and beaches and limiting travel as the West has done. There would be a short term gain, in return for a massive medium and long term loss. Not only would international tourism collapse, but so would so much else.

Those in, and reliant on. the tourism industry will suffer, inevitably, but that has to be balanced against the alternative as it is in Thailand’s tourism competitors, like Cambodia and Vietnam, and the long term winner will be the one who can hold their nerve and support their economy the most in the short term.

On the other hand, it’s far from all a success story.

There are reportedly some 120,000 “tourists” still stuck in Thailand, many of whom have nowhere else to go as it’s either not possible for them to return to their “home” countries or they’re “yachties” and other “travellers” whose “home” is wherever they are. Any moves to force them out while they’re here and spending would seem to be both short-sighted and counter-productive – particularly if the “option” is to replace those 120,000 already here with a planned 1,200 per month on Special Tourist Visas, and due to the “on-again/off-again” moves for those already here rather than clarity and forethought a lot of trust, confidence and goodwill has been sadly squandered.

The constant conflicting and contradicting “suggestions” from Ministers and departments, with the Anti-Fake News Centre and Thai Embassy saga just being one example of far too many, leading ot a similar lack of confidence (although it doesn’t compare with the antics of all too many Western MPs and ministers blatantly ignoring their own rules).

Thailand, in my view, has been one of the few national Covid-19 success stories ….. but whether that’s because of decisions taken or in spite of them is in the eye of the beholder.

“Issan John” (his spelling, not ours) is a regular, if not frequent, contributor to the comments section of The Thaiger’s website and was invited to submit his well-argued thoughts on Thailand’s progress through the Covid-19 mess. The opinions of Issan John do not necessarily reflect that of The Thaiger staff or management.

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75 Comments

75 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jilted John

    October 17, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Based on my opinion i suggest you get yourself some jigsaw puzzles and word search books to pass the time in Isaan…

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      October 17, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Alas, the north east must be boring now with all the poverty and despair.
      And maybe John has done all his jigsaw puzzles and read all his word search books, but he still has this forum.

      lol

      • Avatar

        Ynwaps

        October 17, 2020 at 3:20 pm

        1. People aren’t wearing masks anymore

        2. There is a lack of accessible testing

        What do you think happens if someone asymptomatic with a little fever and some coughing meets a crowd of people?

        • Avatar

          Edy F.

          October 18, 2020 at 1:11 am

          Rien.

      • Avatar

        Issan in Germany

        October 19, 2020 at 3:30 pm

        “Issan John” is obviously an older European lady pensioner /most probably northern European country, voter of far left of Greens/, with plenty of time, all they long, no children, no husband, no relatives. Based on some online research, she found a way to irritate people here and elsewhere. Usually by stubbornly defending some fantasy point of view. Totally irrelevant. Should be ignored

    • Avatar

      John

      October 18, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      You are boring Toby and if you just want to criticize without providing any facts it’s better you shut your dirty mouth

    • Avatar

      John

      October 18, 2020 at 10:15 pm

      You better read what Issan John wrote and educate yourself, it is never to late . If all the knowledge about Thailand you get is from bar girls and a taxi motorbike than we will never agree.

  2. Avatar

    EdwardV

    October 17, 2020 at 10:05 am

    If Bloomberg news is to believed, Thailand just blinked. The report out of them today is Thailand is throwing the doors open come January with a travel corridor with China. Travel corridors don’t have quarantines. In the article, the reason given is Chinese only come for two weeks therefore they won’t do a 14 quarantine along with the supposed fact they have little to no virus anymore. They qualify as very low risk”. The story went on to say Thailand will start to open other no quarantine travel corridors with other SE Asian countries as soon as possible. Seems those sweet tourist dollars are just too much to give up any longer.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm

      Cambodia and Vietnam are reportedly also taking similar steps in January, which is also when the restrictions on Bali run out unless extended.

      To be fair to China, I’d suggest that whatever the origins and the blame for the pandemic the current reality is that due to their draconian measures, which would be unacceptable anywhere else except possibly N Korea, they very probably are one of the few countries that is “very low risk” and also one of the few countries where pre-testing and, if necessary, home quarantine can be easily validated.

      Personally I’m still against taking the risk as I think Thailand can afford not to if the government were willing to spend the money, but if opening the borders is to happen and to be phased in it makes an enormous amount of sense to start with China.

      • Avatar

        EdwardV

        October 17, 2020 at 7:59 pm

        Again not that I don’t agree with most of what you write, but at the same time i get a small sense of you talking out of both sides of your mouth. Here we have a long article about the importance of Thailand keeping their 14 day quarantine, and little to no condemnation of Thailand doing the exact opposite. There is the small point about how if it’s going to happen it makes sense to do so with China. Again on the face of it I agree yet it only makes sense if you believe China’s numbers. While there is no factual reason not to, and as you point out if any country could pull it off it would be them or North Korea. Yet at the same time everyone and their bother know China lies about everything. Anyone putting faith in their word needs to have their head examined. Personally I would cut the deal with Taiwan and Japan but I do understand there are other things at play in Thailand doing so with China first. Still China is like cotton candy, just tasty empty calories. They don’t do anything with their self interest taking first seat and unless it can be done cheaply. Expect a lot of zero dollar tourism from this agreement. As you point out the increased risk, does it really justify acceptance when you are mostly getting cotton candy out of the deal?

        • Avatar

          Jayce

          October 17, 2020 at 10:11 pm

          I believe both you and John are forgetting about Australia.
          Genuinely low numbers that have been disclosed at all times in very transparent fashion as opposed to China and N Korea and just as much Draconian lockdown here in Victoria to keep a relatively minor (by comparison) flare up under control.
          If anyone, I believe Thailand should be talking to us here in Oz as we have also proven to be an important and steady stream of tourism dollars. Granted, not as much as the Chinese obviously, but still.
          Unfortunately Oz gov is even more reluctant than Thailand to open up.
          The only partners they have spoken to so far have been NZ, S. Korea, Singapore and Japan because of their likewise demonstrable low figures and even that isn’t really planned for the near future.
          As much as I would love Thailand to be included in that list, I believe they are being skipped due to their low testing numbers…

    • Avatar

      Andy Smith

      October 17, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      Interesting, and I’m curious as to what leverage the CCP might squeeze from the Thai government if they agree to allow Chinese nationals to visit Thailand as part of a travel corridor. Seems to me that the Chinese government has nothing to gain and potentially a lot to lose. The Chinese authorities are now currently undertaking the mass-testing of the entire population of Qingdao (9 million people) due to just 12 COVID cases, at a cost of over $100 million. If even one Chinese national caught COVID in Thailand that then caused even a minor outbreak in mainland China, it would have huge repercussions.

      For these reasons, I’m sceptical of the feasibility of a travel corridor in the next few months, especially as all people re-entering China presently, foreign or Chinese, are required to do a 14 day quarantine, usually in a government-mandated hotel. China has a huge domestic market to keep it’s economy ticking over and doesn’t need the hassle of potentially dealing with more imported COVID cases, even if it does seem probable that COVID has been all but eliminated in Thailand.

    • Avatar

      Andy Smith

      October 17, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      Interesting, and I’m curious as to what leverage the CCP might squeeze from the Thai government if they agree to allow Chinese nationals to visit Thailand as part of a travel corridor. Seems to me that the Chinese government has nothing to gain and potentially a lot to lose. The Chinese authorities are now currently undertaking the mass-testing of the entire population of Qingdao (9 million people) due to just 12 COCID cases, at a cost of over $100 million. If even one Chinese national caught COVID in Thailand that then caused even a minor outbreak in mainland China, it would have huge repercussions.

      For these reasons, I’m sceptical of the feasibility of a travel corridor in the next few months, especially as all people, foreign or Chinese re-entering China presently are required to do a 14 day quarantine, normally in a government-mandated hotel. China has a huge domestic market to keep it’s economy ticking over and doesn’t need the hassle of potentially dealing with more imported COVID cases, even if it does seem probable that COVID has been successfully eliminated in Thailand.

  3. Avatar

    Glenn

    October 17, 2020 at 10:30 am

    This is a decent editorial. A few points I would contend are that

    a) the efficacy of the CV tests being 93-97% accurate. Many doctors in the west have gone on social media to say the tests are 50/50% accurate. The PCR test can be ‘dialed up’ to the point it finds remnants of past influenza and common colds and returns positive for CV. Same if one has had a flu shot – often that returns a positive for CV.

    b) the reported death numbers from the west (Ussa, Uk, Italy in particular) are hyped, skewed, and significantly exaggerated. The MSM (Bloomberg) reported that 99% of CV deaths in Italy were in people 80+yrs old with comorbidities. The Ussa CDC said that 94% of CV deaths were in old and very old people with 2.5+ comorbidities thus leaving but 6% directly attributed to CV. These are not keyboard kooks making up numbers, these are about as official as it gets. Now apply those reductions to the world total and suddenly you do not have a pandemic. What’s left is the equivalent to a seasonal influenza.

    c) testing, more testing, etc in the west has ‘shown’ more positive cases but the deaths have not increased. That fact alone should raise serious questions about the efficacy of the tests, about the believably of the test results, and the importance of and actually why the push for testing (which shows increasing infections). IMO, for those that read the headlines and not so much the entire story, it makes for effective propaganda.

    d) Lastly and the biggest, is the big picture. If one questions the official CV story and perhaps does not believe everything the governments of the world and MSM are promoting, then; where did it come from, what’s the real story, why is the ‘official story’ being pushed so hard? These are but a few questions.

    The World Economic Forum (weforum.org) is a huge part and perhaps the origin of CV19. If one can stomach wading through the long winded indirect speak, you will find that the WEF is made up of globalists and top world level corporations. You will find that the CV virus was/is more of a propaganda campaign to cover for their actual objectives – and it has nothing to do with the health and welfare of anyone.

    If you believe the entire world should be run under and controlled by an unelected governing body and nation states should be minimized and then eliminated, you may like what the the WEF has to say.

    If not, this website is an eyeopener. This organization is real as real gets. It is made up of billionaires and trillion dollar worldwide corporations. You may begin to view CV as the propaganda scam it is.

    Up to you.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 17, 2020 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks, Glenn, fair points so I’ll respond:

      “a) the efficacy of the CV tests being 93-97% accurate. Many doctors in the west have gone on social media to say the tests are 50/50% accurate. The PCR test can be ‘dialed up’ to the point it finds remnants of past influenza and common colds and returns positive for CV. Same if one has had a flu shot – often that returns a positive for CV.”

      True, there’s a lot of argument over the efficacy fo the tests so I opted for the least controversial view of 93 – 97% accurate, so 5% false readings. If I’d said anything like “50/50% accurate” then I’m sure I’d have been just shot down in flames for being alarmist.

      “b) the reported death numbers from the west (Ussa, Uk, Italy in particular) are hyped, skewed, and significantly exaggerated. The MSM (Bloomberg) reported that 99% of CV deaths in Italy were in people 80+yrs old with comorbidities. The Ussa CDC said that 94% of CV deaths were in old and very old people with 2.5+ comorbidities thus leaving but 6% directly attributed to CV. These are not keyboard kooks making up numbers, these are about as official as it gets. Now apply those reductions to the world total and suddenly you do not have a pandemic. What’s left is the equivalent to a seasonal influenza.”

      I don’t disagree with your numbers, but how can you just “apply these reductions to the world total” as if those who are being “reduced” don’t exist?

      9% of the world’s population are over 65 – 18% in the more developed countries, and 25% in some of them.
      13% of the world are obese (not just overweight, but obese) and that’s worse in the West with 40% of American adults, over 30% of Australians and New Zealanders, and the UK not far behind.
      10% of Thais have diabetes, and that’s growing.

      Of course you “do not have a pandemic” if you ignore all those people and “apply those reductions to the world total”, but how can you just ignore them?

      That’s like saying that breast cancer’s very rare because you’ve only looked at men!

      “c) testing, more testing, etc in the west has ‘shown’ more positive cases but the deaths have not increased. That fact alone should raise serious questions about the efficacy of the tests, about the believably of the test results, and the importance of and actually why the push for testing (which shows increasing infections). IMO, for those that read the headlines and not so much the entire story, it makes for effective propaganda.”

      Agreed 100%. As I said, the West has gone for mass testing while the East has gone for targeted testing, and both have advantages and disadvantages. Personally I think the East (and Thailand) has got it right only targeting specific locations following known cases, as well as testing those arriving and medical staff in contact with those with the virus, while the West will never be able to test in the numbers needed with the current technology, or even with improved tests. To be effective you’d have to test all the population every two weeks, so the UK would have to do over two million tests a day, every day, indefinitely; it’s simply impossible, even if you could force people to be tested (which, unless you’re China or N Korea, you can’t).

      Targeted testing makes far more sense, in my view.

      “d) Lastly and the biggest, is the big picture. etc, etc etc”

      Well, that’s really something I avoided considering as I don’t think “where did it come from” and so on is of much relevance to the topic. All I know is that it’s here and people are dying from it – who’s to blame and whether those people dying can just be “reduced” to a point where they don’t count (literally) is a different subject entirely.

      • Avatar

        Stephen Westrip

        October 17, 2020 at 10:04 pm

        Item “c” is so naive it is hard really to know where to start. You advocate targetted testing but what happens with all those who may have the virus but fall outside these parameters? As has been a common problem the world over if you aren’t tested for COVID-19 then cannot possibly have contracted it or die from it. The UK has ICU units in the NW of the country at 90% capacity again and unlike in April this is not made up of the mainly vulnerable. Watching numerous Thai vlogs the precautions in place are as loosely enforced as in the West. Social distancing, limiting groups of people etc. is minimal. Unless Thailand has NO virus anywhere in the country it will spread from the inside but where it will start, you won’t know as not enough testing.

        It is all so tiresome. The Thai Government needs to show comparable figures not stand-alone and meaningless PR numbers.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          October 18, 2020 at 4:01 pm

          “Unless Thailand has NO virus anywhere in the country it will spread from the inside but where it will start, you won’t know as not enough testing.”

          Agreed, but you’re somehow completely missing the point.

          If it was possible to do “enough testing” then that would be the answer. Agreed 100%.

          BUT IT ISN’T, in Thailand or anywhere else.

          • Avatar

            John

            October 18, 2020 at 10:08 pm

            Issan John, what you are saying is 100% correct and it’s good to know that there is someone out there who actually looks at the data instead of making it up. I come from doctors family and my sister works in the UK.
            My Thai wife works in hospital ( ICU) here in Thailand. I do not care about cases, but what I care is simple fact that there isn’t anyone who requires respirator here in Thailand which is not the case in UK for example. Keep Thailand close until the west will manage with it’s problems, I like my kids to go to school here and we don’t need 60000 people to die to proof anything to disbelievers!

      • Avatar

        Pierre

        October 18, 2020 at 1:41 am

        Let me start with saying that we love visiting Thailand, our son is engaged with a Thai and we have a huge Thai family in Europe.

        Nevertheless I’m amazed how you are praising Thailand and how “good” they are handling Covid-19.

        Everything can look nice if you want it to.

        Take for instance a graph. You have all seen one and thought that this looks “bad” and then you can see another graph showing exactly the same but now it doesn’t look as bad and the only difference is that they just adjusted the scales.

        a) I have no knowledge of the accuracy of the tests performed.

        b) You are absolutely right about that those in the Vest who primarily dies of covid-19 are elderly (65+) people with others underlying health issues like COPD, untreated diabetes, cancer etc. and that why in many countries the cause of death isn’t reported as “Death of covid-19” but “Died with covid-19” which is 2 very different things.

        So if a country would show the world they have control with covid-19 then the strategy in Thailand is only to report the death of those who they are 100% sure died of covid-19 alone then you probably won’t find many. If you in the same time don’t’ mass test you won’t find all those who are asymptomatic (meaning no sign of sickness like fever, cough, and a cold).

        So unless all countries are testing same amount per. million and report all those who “dies with covid-19” instead of “dies of covid-19” (or the other way round) you cannot conclude a country is doing better that others. So as my reference to a graph and its scale it’s all about the way you look at things.

        c) I completely disagree with you that it’s better to targeting special locations /groups to test. The advantage in testing all who feel for it is that you can catch those who are asymptomatic because they could otherwise visit those who are in the risk groups and pass the infection to them. So therefore in my opinion it does matter to mass test.

        d) The virus is here and unless we can extract some cure from the place of origin is useless to discuss who to blame.

        Of cause if someone thinks they can hold the country of origin of covids-19 responsible for the outbreak and look for compensations, then it could be interesting.

      • Avatar

        Resistance-Europe

        October 18, 2020 at 1:58 am

        Let me start with saying that we love visiting Thailand, our son is engaged with a Thai and we have a huge Thai family in Europe.

        Nevertheless I’m amazed how you are praising Thailand and how “good” they are handling Covid-19.

        Everything can look nice if you want it to.

        Take for instance a graph. You have all seen one and thought that this looks “bad” and then you can see another graph showing exactly the same but now it doesn’t look as bad and the only difference is that they just adjusted the scales.

        a) I have no knowledge of the accuracy of the tests performed.

        b) You are absolutely right about that those in the Vest who primarily dies of covid-19 are elderly (65+) people with others underlying health issues like COPD, untreated diabetes, cancer etc. and that why in many countries the cause of death isn’t reported as “Death of covid-19” but “Died with covid-19” which is 2 very different things.

        So if a country would show the world they have control with covid-19 then the strategy in Thailand is only to report the death of those who they are 100% sure died of covid-19 alone then you probably won’t find many. If you in the same time don’t’ mass test you won’t find all those who are asymptomatic (meaning no sign of sickness like fever, cough, and a cold).

        So unless all countries are testing same amount per. million and report all those who “dies with covid-19” instead of “dies of covid-19” (or the other way round) you cannot conclude a country is doing better that others. So as my reference to a graph and its scale it’s all about the way you look at things.

        c) I completely disagree with you that it’s better to targeting special locations /groups to test. The advantage in testing all who feel for it is that you can catch those who are asymptomatic because they could otherwise visit those who are in the risk groups and pass the infection to them. So therefore in my opinion it does matter to mass test.

        d) The virus is here and unless we can extract some cure from the place of origin is useless to discuss who to blame.

        Of cause if someone thinks they can hold the country of origin of covids-19 responsible for the outbreak and look for compensations, then it could be interesting.

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          October 18, 2020 at 4:08 pm

          “c) I completely disagree with you that it’s better to targeting special locations /groups to test. The advantage in testing all who feel for it is that you can catch those who are asymptomatic because they could otherwise visit those who are in the risk groups and pass the infection to them. So therefore in my opinion it does matter to mass test.”

          As above.

          Of course “mass test” is the ideal solution, but it simply isn’t possible in Thailand or anywhere else.

          China can test five million in Qingdao in five days but no-one else can, and they still can’t test the entire population.

          What you’re advocating is “better”, but it’s impossible – what’s the point in that?

        • Avatar

          Issan John

          October 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm

          ” … in many countries the cause of death isn’t reported as “Death of covid-19” but “Died with covid-19” …”

          Really?

          WHICH COUNTRIES?

          This is pure fantasy.

      • Avatar

        Pierre

        October 18, 2020 at 2:03 am

        Let me start with saying that we love visiting Thailand, our son is engaged with a Thai and we have a huge Thai family in Europe.

        Nevertheless I’m amazed how you are praising Thailand and how “good” they are handling Covid-19.

        Everything can look nice if you want it to.

        Take for instance a graph. You have all seen one and thought that this looks “bad” and then you can see another graph showing exactly the same but now it doesn’t look as bad and the only difference is that they just adjusted the scales.

        a) I have no knowledge of the accuracy of the tests performed.

        b) You are absolutely right about that those in the Vest who primarily dies of covid-19 are elderly (65+) people with others underlying health issues like COPD, untreated diabetes, cancer etc. and that why in many countries the cause of death isn’t reported as “Death of covid-19” but “Died with covid-19” which is 2 very different things.

        So if a country would show the world they have control with covid-19 then the strategy in Thailand is only to report the death of those who they are 100% sure died of covid-19 alone then you probably won’t find many. If you in the same time don’t’ mass test you won’t find all those who are asymptomatic (meaning no sign of sickness like fever, cough, and a cold).

        So unless all countries are testing same amount per. million and report all those who “dies with covid-19” instead of “dies of covid-19” (or the other way round) you cannot conclude a country is doing better that others. So as my reference to a graph and its scale it’s all about the way you look at things.

        c) I completely disagree with you that it’s better to targeting special locations /groups to test. The advantage in testing all who feel for it is that you can catch those who are asymptomatic because they could otherwise visit those who are in the risk groups and pass the infection to them. So therefore in my opinion it does matter to mass test.

        d) The virus is here and unless we can extract some cure from the place of origin is useless to discuss who to blame.

        Of cause if someone thinks they can hold the country of origin of covids-19 responsible for the outbreak and look for compensations, then it could be interesting.

      • Avatar

        Preesy Chepuce

        October 18, 2020 at 4:46 am

        a) the testing results don’t just depend on the type of test, but the reliability (or competence) of the lab, and none of these things are equal in all places. Also, a test is a snapshot, and in a very dynamic contagion, of limited use if large numbers are asymptomatic.

        b) …it’s a very selective pandemic… in other words, more of an epidemic… like HIV is a “selective pandemic”. Essentially the global policy seems to be to either shut down or heavily constrain the economy, and prompt a large increase in debt (either national or private), in lieu of funding public health to absorb the perhaps 4% of hospitalisations of those with very obvious comorbidities. It’s not a sustainable policy, and seems to be driven to some extent by ill-informed journalist-campaigners doing their usual mob-raising against short-term-self-interested political elites.

        c) Naturally, the more you test, the more you find, and I often hear “well-meaning/slightly-condescending” left-wingers banging on about the need for more testing, often citing Korea as an example. Again, it seems to be that policy in the West is heavily influenced by the media, which is starkly not (possible to be) the case in much of the rest of the world, not just Asia.

        d) Bigger picture… most alarming and dismaying is CCP aggression during this global issue, calmly saying one thing, whilst doubling down on territorial ambitions. Not just the CCP, but Turkey also seems to be playing this game. It risks fomenting a new economic version of the Cold War due to CCP’s quest for self-preservation, at a time when it’s least desirable. In short, nCOV19 has always been a political football paradigm, where genuine health concerns seem to be well-down the list. Proclamations and policies seem to be more about career and organisational self-preservation at every level and across borders, and the global economy and thus unknown numbers of lives are being sacrificed for this agenda.

    • Avatar

      Terence

      October 17, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      @ Glenn,

      What you’re suggesting with your point “c” is simply untrue. Deaths ARE increasing and exponentially too. That fact is borne out by the stats on the Dutch health site @ https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/current-information

      The main cities in the Netherlands entered lockdown a couple of days ago after infections rates went ballistic. Hospital admissions have increased substantially as have the number of patients in intensive care.

      It’s a similar story in Germany where infection rates and deaths have increased in similar numbers to those in the Netherlands.

      To describe the current situation with Covid-19 as a ‘scam’ is both reprehensible and extremely naive.

      • Avatar

        Nik

        October 17, 2020 at 9:01 pm

        blatant lie, at least about the recent deaths and hospitalized cases in Germany, they are still low!

        • Avatar

          john brig

          October 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

          No, guy, you are just an ignoramous. He isn’t lying.

    • Avatar

      Mark Reynolds

      October 18, 2020 at 12:38 am

      Glenn, it’s encouraging to see someone has been doing their research, unfortunately very few people are curious/skeptical enough to even bother to look at the data. Respiratory diseases kill millions of people every year worldwide, influenza, pneumonia, and tuberculosis kill tens of thousands annually in Thailand alone, around 1 million in India. What makes this relative of the common cold so terrifying to people?

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        October 18, 2020 at 4:19 pm

        “What makes this relative of the common cold so terrifying to people?”

        Because it’s more contagious, with an r0 (transmission) rate that’s generally over twice as high, so that after only ten cycles it’s going to have spread to over two thousand times as many people?

        … because, once it’s caught, it’s rather more fatal than the “common cold” and up to a hundred times more fatal than flu?

        … becuase there’s no cure and very little treatment?

        The idea that things are similar because they’re “related” is simply asinine.

      • Avatar

        john brig

        October 18, 2020 at 4:47 pm

        You are so aware and the world’s leaders are so blind, right Russian troll?

  4. Avatar

    Svcoquette

    October 17, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Well written Issan John. I agree, trying to encourage the 120,000 foreign tourists here to leave is counterproductive. We are here, we are virus free and continue to spend money, yet we are hassled to get VISA extensions. Malaysia quickly extended all VISA s until 31 Dec with no hassles and no reason to report to immigration. They value their foreign tourists and want them to feel welcomed. Thailand should do the same.
    In our case we (and many others) came on our “yacht”, our only home, from Malaysia but are stuck here. To extend our VISA s we had to get embassy letters (many could not get) and rent hotel rooms to show a land based address (in the past our “yacht” was a sufficient address). Plus multiple trips to immigration where there were long lines, few masks worn and social distancing impossible. The renewal fee is insignificant to what we spend here and if that’s the reason for all this then collect it when we are finally able to leave.
    Finally where someone came from and where they wish to go to should also be considered not just where their passport is from. Not everyone comes by airplane or from their passport country.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      October 17, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      I feel sorry for you.
      Surely to put to sea would be better than having to endure more looting from these greedy ungrateful Thais. They should be glad you are there spending money. However they have now a sense of entitlement.
      How about Singapore. I read they are opening the borders.
      If not there must be somewhere that will appreciate you docking.
      You seem to be experiencing nothing but contempt from the Thai scum.

      • Avatar

        Svcoquette

        October 17, 2020 at 2:46 pm

        Singapore is closed to foreign yachts as is Indonesia and Malaysia. Plus with the SW Monsoon in full force ocean passages are unsafe. The Thai people we meet daily are great and we’re usually greated with a warm smile. It’s the higher up officials who don’t plan ahead and make last minute, sometimes even later than last minute, decisions that are the problem.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 17, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you.

      I think Thailand really has been one of the few national success stories with Covid-19 and that that’s down not just to policies but to the Thai people who have consistently made protecting each other the priority rather than just protecting themselves as individuals, but its “marketing” of that, for want of a better word, has been little short of appalling.

      The handling of the 120,000 tourists already here is probably the worst (or best) example of that, as it just seems so counter-productive.

    • Avatar

      Grim Thinker

      October 17, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      Glenn. I believe you are mostly correct. What you wrote about the PCR test is so important. A million people protesting lockdown measures on the street in Berlin – and I never read a word about it in any of the big news sites. Apparently they were shouting “we the people” because they feel that their political representatives are not listening.I guess the media is not listening either.

      (What conclusion does one come to? This could very well be a scheme by the big multinationals to push people into the green agenda. Thats what Australian senator Bernadi said on Sky news the other day.)

      EVERYONE I hear says they are totally over it and just want these precautions to stop. There are a bunch of countries you can travel to right now without so much as a temperature screening i.e Serbia. So why arent they worried?

      I think the only section of the public that supports the lockdowns and border closures are those in their 60s and older. They think this thing is going to snatch them up and take them over deaths horizon. Well, to those people I have some cold hard facts. The average life expectancy in the west is between 70-75. If your’e over 60 and healthy you will be ok, you wont die from covid. If you have health problems in your 60s its time to face reality and remember that life expectancy figure. If your over 60 and still drink everyday, my wearing a mask isnt going to help you. The fact that the average age of death for the 30,000 covid deaths in Italy was over the age of 80,with existing health problems!, boggles my mind – theres no telling when someone is ‘due’ to die. God doesnt give us expiry dates (bill gates might). But if your 80 and sickly…..well. It is what it is. It doesnt feel great to point it out, we all have to come to grips with our mortality, but – An 80 year old dying of pneummonia isn’t news. It happens all the time.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        October 18, 2020 at 12:54 am

        “A million people protesting lockdown measures on the street in Berlin – and I never read a word about it in any of the big news sites.”

        The protests were widely reported, but you probably didn’t read about a million people protesting because there were under 40,000 as all pictures, including from the protesters, confirm.

        • Avatar

          Grim Thinker

          October 18, 2020 at 9:59 am

          People dont want this lockdown shutdown thing. They think its stupid because it would be much easier to quarantine or protect the at risk (65+ sick). The medias job is to convince you that your fellow citizens are into it. I dont believe they are into it. Not one bit

          • Avatar

            Grim Thinker

            October 18, 2020 at 10:22 am

            The police shut that Berlin protest down and broke it up before it even got started, before the crowd even made their way onto the main boulevard. They arrested 150 people, strategically targeted organizers and perceived leaders. Thats how you’freedom and democracy’ in the EU – I hope all the uni students in Bangkok were watching

          • Avatar

            Issan John

            October 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm

            ” … it would be much easier to quarantine or protect the at risk (65+ sick)…”

            Possibly in the West or Germany – I’m not commenting on that, purely on Thailand.

            It would be impossible in Thailand, where there’s an entirely different social system with families living in multi-generational households.

  5. Avatar

    john brig

    October 17, 2020 at 11:31 am

    The credibility of this guy and Thaiger collapses with the false claim that 80% of the Covid 19 cases are asymptomatic.Why should I waste my time debunking the rest of his sloppy logic and fake numbers.

    Here are some real current numbers to ponder from npr.org/sections/news

    Myanmar-
    8,880 new cases in the past week, with a total of 31,325 cases.
    Mallaysia-
    3,407 new cases per day, with 18,129 total cases.
    Cambodia-
    Zero=0 new cases and a total of 283 in the past 10 months (sure?)
    Laos-
    Zero = 0 new cases and 23 total for the whole pandemic.(sorry, no buy)
    Vietnam-
    2 new cases and a total of 1,113 total.(pull a number out of a hat)

    Thailand’s GDP from agriculture is 8.4%,

    GDP from industry is 39.2% – tourism gets between 18% and 20%

    • Avatar

      Svcoquette

      October 17, 2020 at 11:41 am

      John rather than criticize others get your facts right. Malaysia had 629 new cases as of 12pm yesterday, not the 3,407 you cite.

    • Avatar

      john brig

      October 17, 2020 at 11:46 am

      My mistake on Malaysia, which should have been 3,407 new cases in the past week.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      October 17, 2020 at 11:54 am

      Ah another battle of the disputed statistics coming.
      I shall read with interest.
      But remember: there are lies. Damned lies. and statistics.

      • Avatar

        john brig

        October 17, 2020 at 3:13 pm

        And climate change is a hoax,Toby?

        I know your type of thinking too well.

        • Avatar

          Whiro

          October 17, 2020 at 8:26 pm

          Yes Climate change!
          It’s getting colder everywhere 🙂

        • Avatar

          Toby Andrews

          October 17, 2020 at 11:22 pm

          Er climate change???
          I am confused what relevance has that to do with the matter?

          • Avatar

            john brig

            October 20, 2020 at 10:57 am

            Your sick game is ‘DENIAL’ of serious, life and death issues.

          • Avatar

            john brig

            October 20, 2020 at 11:06 am

            My reply was blocked or deleted.
            I suspect you work for Tim.

  6. Avatar

    EdwardV

    October 17, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    The Thai CCSA is going to recommend reducing the quarantine period for returnees from 14 to 10 days. They will formally submit it the full committee next week. It’s being reported on the Bangkok Post.

  7. Avatar

    lou

    October 17, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    summery, Thailand did best against the Covid, it was a military war type won with pride, but doing the worst of all in economy which is leading to thousands of more casualties specially in the poor majority population. You cannot expect a military dictatorship to be great in economy, so instead of saturating the hospitals with the virus matter, lets saturate the morgues with our suicides since unable to pay back our debts

  8. Avatar

    Arnold Nimus

    October 17, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    A good, well-argued article, far better than the tourist industry lobbyists whose blatantly self-interested and appallingly bad takes have previously appeared here. Thank you Thaiger for inviting John to write, and John for taking the time.

    One very important note however (and an extrapolated call-to-action further below):

    The cause of the “success story” thus far is *not* actually in the eye of the beholder. The question about whether it was policy or sheer luck that appears to have held the bay can be answered very conclusively by a relatively cheap and easy serological (antibody testing) study on the population. That way we would *know* the actual asymptomatic infection rate in Thailand, rather than merely inferring it from other populations abroad (who have different genetic factors and even more importantly who faced different strains). Relying on this inference would be pretty bad science considering *either* the vastly different population symptomatic rate OR the clearly different case fatality (CFR) rate, but is actually *appallingly bad* science because the case here is that BOTH these conditions are relevant.

    The fact that a large-scale study has not been done to determine the % of the population that is seropositive, the fact that small studies have been done but the results of which have not been publicly released by the MOPH, and the fact that under the emergency decree doing a study like this without permission is a *criminal offence*, should all send a strong signal about what the reality of the situation really is.

    Signalling theory says that if you have a good or clear way to prove something, but you choose a cheap or noisy way, then that probably means you either can’t do the good way or you don’t actually want to reveal the proof.

    For example, if you want to prove that the seropositive rate in Thailand is low (suggesting that the policy decisions made worked and the asymptomatic infection rate was *not* high), and you have a good way (antibody study) and a cheap way (saying “just trust us”), and you choose the cheap way, that means you aren’t able to do the study or you don’t want results of the study to be known. And if “you” in this case is the MOPH, you can definitely do the study so the conclusion is you’re probably doing the latter.

    This is especially relevant because we know from overseas that long-haul COVID outcomes is a growing health concern, *including* in asymptomatic cases. We know from German and American studies that e.g. myocarditis (which dramatically elevates risk of future heart attacks) continues to present in the *majority* of their seropositive cases (including the majority of asymptomatic infections) many months after “recovery” has been declared.

    And we know from other viral diseases such as dengue that repeat infections can lead to worse outcomes, e.g. through antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), where having antibodies against one strain leaves you more vulnerable to the others. There is already emerging evidence that is possible with COVID.

    If you think the economy is dysfunctional today, imagine how much worse it would be in the long-term with a large proportion too chronically ill to work because asymptomatic infections were thought an acceptable risk in the short-term.

    To rule out these highly plausible scientific risks, and to correctly inform policy decisions about the borders and about internal public health measures which will affect absolutely everyone and have huge ramifications for the economic direction we must take, it is critically important for the public to know the actual asymptomatic infection rate in Thailand and journalists have a responsibility to loudly call for this.

    The Thaiger must hold the government accountable to providing the results of a large serological study in Thailand and call for them to remove legal obstacles that prevent both private bodies and subordinate government organizations from doing the research and publicly sharing the results.

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 17, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    ” “Issan John” (his spelling, not ours)…”

    Just to get this one out of the way, since I’ve been criticised both for not spelling อีสาน as “Isan” and for not spelling it as “Isaan”.

    I realise that “Isaan” is the most common, but as I saw that there had already been an “Isaan John” commenting here before I simply opted for “Issan” instead, although “Esan”, “Esarn”, “Isarn” and even “Issarn” aren’t unusual(as a google for อีสาน shows).

    I think อีสานจอห์น would have been a bit pretentious, even for me.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      October 17, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      No it would not not be pretentious even for you John.
      I ma glad you admit to being pretentious.
      Your pretentions know no limits, and you should be proud of the FACT..

      lol

  10. Avatar

    Policy insider

    October 17, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    A good, well-argued take. Thank you Thaiger for inviting John to write, and John for taking the time.

    One very important note however (and an extrapolated call-to-action further below):

    The cause of the “success story” thus far is *not* actually in the eye of the beholder. The question about whether it was policy or sheer luck that appears to have held the bay can be answered very conclusively by a relatively cheap and easy serological (antibody testing) study on the population. That way we would *know* the actual asymptomatic infection rate in Thailand, rather than merely inferring it from other populations abroad (who have different genetic factors and even more importantly who faced different strains). Relying on this inference would be pretty bad science considering *either* the vastly different population symptomatic rate OR the clearly different case fatality (CFR) rate, but is actually *appallingly bad* science because the case here is that BOTH these conditions are relevant.

    The fact that a large-scale study has not been done to determine the % of the population that is seropositive, the fact that small studies have been done but the results of which have not been publicly released by the MOPH, and the fact that under the emergency decree doing a study like this without permission is a *criminal offence*, should all send a strong signal about what the reality of the situation really is.

    Signalling theory says that if you have a good or clear way to prove something, but you choose a cheap or noisy way, then that probably means you either can’t do the good way or you don’t actually want to reveal the proof.

    For example, if you want to prove that the seropositive rate in Thailand is low (suggesting that the policy decisions made worked and the asymptomatic infection rate was *not* high), and you have a good way (antibody study) and a cheap way (saying “just trust us”), and you choose the cheap way, that means you aren’t able to do the study or you don’t want results of the study to be known. And if “you” in this case is the MOPH, you can definitely do the study so the conclusion is you’re probably doing the latter.

    This is especially relevant because we know from overseas that long-haul COVID outcomes is a growing health concern, *including* in asymptomatic cases. We know from German and American studies that e.g. myocarditis (which dramatically elevates risk of future heart attacks) continues to present in the *majority* of their seropositive cases (including the majority of asymptomatic infections) many months after “recovery” has been declared.

    And we know from other viral diseases such as dengue that repeat infections can lead to worse outcomes, e.g. through antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), where having antibodies against one strain leaves you more vulnerable to the others. There is already emerging evidence that is possible with COVID.

    If you think the economy is dysfunctional today, imagine how much worse it would be in the long-term with a large proportion too chronically ill to work because asymptomatic infections were thought an acceptable risk in the short-term.

    To rule out these highly plausible scientific risks, and to correctly inform policy decisions about the borders and about internal public health measures which will affect absolutely everyone and have huge ramifications for the economic direction we must take, it is critically important for the public to know the actual asymptomatic infection rate in Thailand and journalists have a responsibility to loudly call for this.

    The Thaiger must hold the government accountable to providing the results of a large serological study in Thailand and call for them to remove legal obstacles that prevent both private bodies and subordinate government organizations from doing the research and publicly sharing the results.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 17, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks, and generally agreed, PI, but even ignoring the efficacy of the tests is testing really viable on that scale?

      Of course there are always going to be arguments over the “real” numbers, but if they were as bad as some imagine them to be then why is there no sign of it?

      Why haven’t people in their thousands been picked up when they’ve had their temperature checked at Big ‘C’, Tesco, or 7-11? … and why haven’t there been queues around the block at all the hospitals if everyone here is as frightened and paranoid of Covid-19 as some say they are, once they get their temperature checked?

      The alternatives aren’t only ” a good way (antibody study) and a cheap way (saying “just trust us”) “. There’s also the option of just looking around you, and looking on social media, and if there were all these supposed cases then there’d be some sign of it – but there’s not.

      One surprising stat I saw, today, was that while the number of fatalities has generally gone UP during the Covid crisis as people are dying not just from Covid-19 but from the spin-offs from postponed treatments for unconnected issues to suicide, in Thailand the number of daily deaths in Thailand’s hospitals has gone DOWN by a considerable margin, from 460 a day last year to 419 a day this year, so a drop of some 10%. Reportedly that’s due to the policies on Covid-19, such as a curfew, travel restrictions, bans on alcohol sales and programmes to promote hand-washing and mask-wearing – consequently DUI’s are down as are traffic accidents, as well as cases of pneumonia and flu.

      I wonder how long it’ll be before someone seizes on that stat and claims that Covid-19 must be good for you if you’re Thai …..

      *: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-23/thailand-sees-decline-in-deaths-amid-low-coronavirus-infections

  11. Avatar

    Al

    October 17, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Quite amazing to see how people so easily actually believe all of these numbers put out over the telescreen (yes, that is a nod to Orwell!) and the mainscream media.

    Has anybody ever considered that they just maybe falsehoods? Or do you believe EVERYTHING which you are thrown?

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      October 17, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      What figures would you recommend we believe? Your figures are better than the verified, audited numbers? Or you just quote numbers which suit your version of what’s going on. It’s all very well to throw scorn at the “mainstream” media but you better have some more accurate, verifiable numbers otherwise shut up and do some more research. We await your links to the “correct” numbers.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        October 17, 2020 at 3:51 pm

        While I give some sources more credibility than others (and I’ve given links to mine so people can make up their own minds) I still prefer to go by what I see.

        According to some, Thailand should be overflowing with cases, symptomatic and asymptomatic; at the same time, according to the same people, Thais should be paranoid about the virus because of what they’ve been told.

        Well, the latter may be true to some extent as even out here in the sticks most Thais are still masking up at least in the shops and indoors shopping, even though things have relaxed a lot locally in the last month or so … but where are all the cases that should have been picked up with the temperature tests (maybe half-a-dozen a day if I go to “the city”)? Where are the queues of panicked Thais at the local hospitals? Where’s the gossip on facebook about the latest “hotspot”?

        Meanwhile, in the West, friends are passing on a very different version of what’s happening there – again, based on what they’re seeing for themselves.

        That isn’t what’s “thrown” at me, or what’s “put out over the telescreen”, but what I can see for myself, as can anyone else.

      • Avatar

        Realist DRJ

        October 17, 2020 at 3:54 pm

        Too many discussions and analysis of the lockdown by countries but not a single solution in sight.
        I guess the bottom line is can you afford to keep your borders closed and feed your people or do you open up and try to do it in a “as safe as possible” way?
        I don’t really see any other options, do you ?

  12. Avatar

    MikeHonda

    October 17, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    I’m from America and work in 15 countries in Asia and Latin America. Thailand has done a very impressive job managing Covid 19. I live in Patong and licking down Patong as soon as the virus came was a very brave move. And very successful. That’s why Thailand cleaned up the virus swiftly. Better than another country.

  13. Avatar

    Steve

    October 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    I started to regularly visit Thailand only a few years ago. And because I spent max. 30 days each time, I could avoid VISA “hazzles”. But already pre-COVID, I heard from colleagues about their (bad) experience with embassies, if they wanted to apply for a longer VISA.
    And now, with these special circumstances, the Thai government tries to get back foreign tourists (from “low risk countries”) with procedures and rules which (I believe) will not attract many people to again spend their holidays in Thailand – as they had been doing for many years. Simply, because a vast majority of the foreign tourists (who are still in their working life) stay between 3 weeks and 4 weeks.

    So I ask myself, who would be interested to
    – go through an enormous admistrative application process prior to the holiday
    – take (and pay for) a flight selected by the Thai government for a supposedly higher price
    – spend half of the holiday in quarantine in a hotel (approved by Thai govt.) which will result in a further increase of the tourist’s travel budget

    On top of that, the Thai government is altering the plans and procedures to “slowly re-open the borders” every couple of weeks, which consequently makes a holiday planning for “normal” tourists almost impossible.

    As a regular consumer of news about Thailand (also because of the interest to visit Thailand again for a vacation) I get the impression that “mass tourism” with people from the Western world will not be possible for another (many) months. While I understand the fear in Thailand that larger amounts of tourists would highly increase the risk of having a pandemic situation, I doubt that the current regulations will help the country to revive tourism.
    And for sure the current political situation with anti-government protests rising will not make things easier for tourists to decide to go back to Thailand.

    PS: most of my statements/impressions/opinions base on mainstream press articles, including (to a large extent) articles published in “The Thaiger”.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 18, 2020 at 1:22 am

      “I get the impression that “mass tourism” with people from the Western world will not be possible for another (many) months.”

      You’re probably right – the “Western world” needs to sort out how it deals with Covid-19 first, before its tourists are welcomed back by the Eastern.

      “…for sure the current political situation with anti-government protests rising will not make things easier for tourists to decide to go back to Thailand”

      Fair enough, but I doubt that’s of too much concern for not only the protesters but the vast majority of Thais.

      … and, realistically, tourism still continued to be relatively strong even at the height of the far bigger and more violent clashes a decade ago.

  14. Avatar

    Stephen Westrip

    October 17, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    A couple of observations:

    1) European populations have an older demographic and they are more vulnerable if they contract COVID-19
    2) The thermometers at shopping malls, shops etc. are not all high quality. A few YouTubers in Thailand have reported a temperature reading varying by as much as 5 degrees across 3 readings within 2 hours as they go from shop to shop!

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 18, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      “1) European populations have an older demographic and they are more vulnerable if they contract COVID-19”

      Older, yes, but what evidence do you have that they’re “more vulnerable if they contract Covid-19?”

      Based on what? Thailand having better hospital facilities and a cure?

      “2) The thermometers at shopping malls, shops etc. are not all high quality.”

      Agreed, but “so what”?

      I’m not suggesting they’re “all high quality”, just that they’re a very easy, very widespread, and very basic guide, nothing more. Anybody can see the numbers in use and numbers of people tested every day – go shopping in any city and you’ll have your temperature checked half a dozen times, along with millions of others.

      Given the supposed paranoia about Covid-19, if tens if not hundreds of thousands of people were consistently high they’d be queueing outside the hospitals demanding tests.
      BUT THEY’RE NOT.

  15. Avatar

    Tom

    October 17, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    If anyone really believes China has got a handle on the virus, I think they are dreaming. You can’t trust anything China says. The virus is here to stay for a long time and people and countries have to learn to deal with it. Quarantines are nice but here is one fact: Thai embasies require non-Thai spouses, etc to get a COVID test 72 hours before the flight but no Thais are required to do one. So you have many that are not only on the planes infected but show up at the airport infected before they go to their quarantine hotel. Seems kind of discriminatory and unnecessary since everyone goes into a quarantine!
    The reality is, Thailand needs to find equitable ways to open up tourism. It can be done with minimal quarantines so people can get out and spend money and society can still be protected. They need to do something soon. Too many hotels and businesses are shutting down because domestic tourism just can’t support all of them. The 120,000 that are hanging around taking advantage of being able to stay there must be filthy rich with unlimited funds because they just don’t want to leave. I believe if they wanted to go home they would be able to find a way to get there. I don’t know of any country that is refusing to let their citizens get back home.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 18, 2020 at 5:18 pm

      “Quarantines are nice but here is one fact: Thai embasies require non-Thai spouses, etc to get a COVID test 72 hours before the flight but no Thais are required to do one. So you have many that are not only on the planes infected but show up at the airport infected before they go to their quarantine hotel. Seems kind of discriminatory and unnecessary since everyone goes into a quarantine!”

      Agreed 100%, Tom, as I’ve said several times elsewhere.

      “The reality is, Thailand needs to find equitable ways to open up tourism. It can be done with minimal quarantines so people can get out and spend money and society can still be protected.”

      Agreed 100% again, Tom, yes it does, but HOW can it be done?????

      DO TELL – PLEASE!

      “The 120,000 that are hanging around taking advantage of being able to stay there must be filthy rich with unlimited funds because they just don’t want to leave. I believe if they wanted to go home they would be able to find a way to get there. I don’t know of any country that is refusing to let their citizens get back home.”

      Tom, that may well be true for some but certainly not for all. For many their “home” isn’t their “country” but wherever they happen to be, whether they’re yachties or just itinerant travellers, maybe working over the internet. Many would be happy to leave to go elsewhere, but they’ve no reason to go “home” to their own country where they don’t have a home and they simply can’t go on to wherever they want to go; yachties, for example, don’t want to stay here indefinitely but they’ve no option as they can’t go anywhere else at the moment.

      That doesn’t make them “filthy rich”, just stuck and still spending as they would be anywhere else.

  16. Avatar

    Grim Thinker

    October 17, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    The lockdowns are saving everyones lives…

    A: I have a lucky rock that keeps away alligators.

    B: But there arent any alligators around here.

    A: See, I told you it works.

    B: …how much do you want for that rock?

  17. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    October 17, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Totally correct Steve.
    Thousands are risking jail to protest against the government policies.
    Unless they succeed, Thailand citizens are heading for catastrophic poverty.
    They will become slaves to those in power.
    The key to alleviate this prospect is to allow foreign investors and tourists into Thailand, with 0ut expensive, unreasonable restrictions.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 18, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      But they’re NOT protesting about government policies on border and immigration controls!

      You may wish they were, and obviously you do, but THEY’RE NOT!!!

  18. Avatar

    Al

    October 17, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    What happened to my post and links which you asked for??

  19. Avatar

    Edy F.

    October 18, 2020 at 1:41 am

    Between 50 and 90% of PCR tests are false positive, depending on how many cycles they use.
    And asymptomatic doesn’t mean sick or contagious. In reality it means nothing. All this stuff is a big scam to keep people in fear, waiting for a dangerous and useless vaccine.
    If you look for informations about new world order, global goals, great reset, you maybe will understand what is happening now all over the world. There are plenty of videos explaining that, despite of a big censorship on Facebook and YouTube.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      October 18, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      “And asymptomatic doesn’t mean sick or contagious.”

      Ummm ….. according to all the reliable and peer reviewed sources, actually “asymptomatic” DOES mean “contagious”, just probably less likely to transmit the virus.

      As for the rest, yes, I’m sure there are indeed plenty of videos about Satan worshipping, baby eating paedophiles who’ve taken over the world. Maybe things are better on your planet.

  20. Avatar

    Jason Liu

    October 18, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Quote: “The reality, though, is that if 80% of cases are asymptomatic then 20% have to be symptomatic, so they’d show up when temperatures are taken at Tesco, Big ‘C’, or 7-11…”

    That’s a big IF at 80% with only 1% testing. Also symptomatic people would be either stay at home or not go to places like Tesco so they can get flagged that is even if they are recording people with high temperatures and that’s not the only symptom either.

    And did anyone notice in the large scale testing sites packed with people, particularly in China, there is poor handling of the swabbing and sample collection?

    No one is capable of making any sense of the data because the data is garbage.

  21. Avatar

    Grim Thinker

    October 18, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    If this is what it looks like when our world leaders are keeping us safe, imagine what it would look like if they wanted to do us harm! Hulk Smash!!

  22. Avatar

    Issan John

    October 19, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    “That’s a big IF at 80% with only 1% testing.”

    Except “only 1% testing” is TOTALLY UNTRUE.

    A number of countries have tested 25% or more of their population; considerably more have tested over 10%; on cruise liners, 100% were tested.

    80% asymptomatic was the norm in all cases.

    “Also symptomatic people would be either stay at home or not go to places like Tesco so they can get flagged that is even if they are recording people with high temperatures and that’s not the only symptom either.”

    I’m not suggesting a high temperature is “the only symptom”, but it IS common to all who are symptomatic (the 20%).

    I can only assume you haven’t been to Thailand in the last few months. It wasn’t possible to “not go to places like Tesco” if you wanted to buy food; all local markets were cordoned off, with temperature checking, with many smaller village markets closed.

    So you think those with symptoms would all just “stay at home”? Seriously? With the supposed paranoia those knocking the stats and checks are constantly banging on about, and the option of free hospital treatment? Seriously?

    This isn’t a question of making sense of any data or the data being garbage, but of just looking around you.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection

Caitlin Ashworth

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9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection | The Thaiger

9 new Covid-19 cases were detected in Thai quarantine facilities, including a patient who may have been infected with the virus a second time, or never fully recovered, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration. Most of the cases were army engineers travelling from South Sudan.

Thailand’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases is now at 3,700 with 3,491 recoveries and 59 deaths. 150 people are still receiving medical treatment.

  • 6 army engineers, ages 25 to 49, travelling from South Sudan tested positive for Covid-19. They arrived on October 12 and they tested positive 3 days later while in quarantine in Chon Buri. They were admitted to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok.
  • 2 people travelling from the United Arab Emirates tested positive for Covid-19. They both arrived in Thailand on October 9 and tested positive 7 days later. A 25 year old masseuse was first diagnosed with Covid-19 on September 1. After arriving in Thailand, she reported symptoms of a cough and headache. She was quarantined in Bangkok and admitted to the Central Chest Institute in the Nonthaburi province, just outside Bangkok, for treatment. A 22 year old student tested positive while quarantined in Bangkok. He was also admitted to the Central Chest Institute.
  • A 26 year old woman travelling from Oman tested positive for Covid-19. She arrived on October 14 and tested positive for the virus 4 days later. She was quarantined in Chon Buri and then admitted to a hospital in Samut Prakan.

9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection | News by The Thaiger

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Thailand

9 new Covid-19 cases in Thai quarantine, with a possible reinfection | News by The Thaiger

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of October 19, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

50% of Thailand’s population to get Covid-19 vaccine when available – Health Minister

Caitlin Ashworth

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50% of Thailand’s population to get Covid-19 vaccine when available – Health Minister | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Half the population in Thailand will be injected with the Covid-19 vaccine once it’s released and available to the public, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says. Oxford University and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca are conducting trails of the new vaccine. Thailand is planned to be the Southeast Asia production site for the new vaccine.

The health minister says the vaccine will be first used on Thai nationals who are in their mid-60s and then the ministry will work to make sure at least 50% of the population is injected with the vaccine.

The Public Health Ministry is also going through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility to make sure there is a sufficient supply of a vaccine. The ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Supakit Sirilak says about 65 million doses will be needed for Thailand, adding that 40% will be reserved with COVAX, 40% will go to AstraZeneca and 20% will go to other sources.

Siam Bioscience will be producing the vaccine in Thailand. Director of the National Vaccine Institute Nakorn Premsri says they have the potential to produce up to 200 million doses. Production is expected to start in mid-2021.

“Once the technology transfer agreement is signed, the Thai side will have to be trained on production processes. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to pass Phase 3 testing and production should start in December. After that it needs to register with the FDA in the UK and Thailand, before we can start producing the vaccine mid next year.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Covid19 – US infections “balloon”, world case total surpasses 40 million

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Covid19 – US infections “balloon”, world case total surpasses 40 million | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Ipsos

“We were really hoping to crater the cases in preparation for a bad winter. We’ve done basically the opposite.”

New Covid-19 cases are again surging in many countries. Globally, the number of infected people exceeded 40 million as of last night with new infections starting to accelerate again. Today the total number of confirmed cases around the world is 40,323,461. The number of total deaths remains at 1,118,826 and recovered patients at 30,135,040 (as of 4pm Thai time).

Covid19 - US infections

Notably, the death rate from Covid-19 is not rising as treatment for complicated cases continues to rapidly improve. The US, India, Russia, Brazil, the rest of South America, and parts of Europe and the UK, are the current ‘hot spots’ (below).

Regionally, the surge of cases in Myanmar is causing headaches for Thai border officials in the north west of the country. The Governor of Tak decided to close the border checkpoints this morning. But the 2,000 kilometre long land border between Thailand and Myanmar has many unofficial “Natural” crossing points.

In the US, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says following public health measures is the way out of the crisis that has hobbled the economy, claimed thousands of lives and sickened millions.

“The predicted fall surge is here, and rising cases across the US appear to bear that out.”

The US is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, and 10 states reported their highest single-day cases counts last Friday. As of this morning, US time, there were more than 8.5 million cases and 219,674 coronavirus deaths, according to Worldometers.info

“The Covid-19 crisis would have to be ‘really, really bad’ to implement a national lockdown. Despite the climbing totals, a nationwide lockdown is not the way forward unless the pandemic gets “really, really bad.”

Tara Smith, a professor of epidemiology at Kent State University says the worst fears of rising cases, leading into winter, are being realised.

“We were really hoping to crater the cases in preparation for a bad winter. We’ve done basically the opposite.”

After hitting an all-time high in July, cases did drop significantly, but the US never reached a level where the public health system could truly get a handle on the outbreak or describe it as ‘contained’.

Now infections are on the rise again, driven by ballooning outbreaks across the country’s interior, especially in the Midwest, the Great Plains and the West.

Contributing to the rise is the return of students to schools and campuses across the country, puzzling resistance to social distancing and mask wearing recommendations, and more people spending time in restaurants and other indoor settings as the weather starts to cool down.

SOURCE: worldometers.info | nor.org

Covid19 - US infections

TABLE: worldometers.com

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