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Thai activist cries foul on government over US diplomat skirting quarantine

Jack Burton

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Thai activist cries foul on government over US diplomat skirting quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Activist, lawyer and Thailand's "complainer- in-chief" Srisuwan Janya -Thai PBS World

A transparency campaigner dubbed ” Thailand’s complainer-in-chief ” is accusing the government of negligence for allowing the chief of the US army to enter the country without having to go through a mandatory quarantine upon arriving. Activist Srisuwan Janya says he fears the visit of a delegation from the country with by far the most Covid-19 cases (not to mention deaths) in the world might reintroduce the virus to the Thai population.

“The US army chief and his delegation will come from the country with the world’s highest confirmed cases. We can’t be certain whether they will be free of the virus. The government has taken the promised measures for granted, to exclusively subserve the delegation’s benefit. ” The delegation, led by the US army chief of staff James McConville, will visit Thailand tomorrow and Friday, but the government says they’ll be required to follow strict measures.

Thailand began a partial border reopening on July 1 , in which limited groups of foreigners are permitted to fly into the country with the condition of a mandatory 14 day quarantine at specified facilities. However, exceptions are made for official guests and business people traveling on a special agreement with the government.

Srisuwan says he’ll file a complaint tomorrow against the government’s Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration at the Anti-Corruption Commission. He also criticized Deputy PM and Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul for not wearing a mask and failing to observe social distancing measures during the Fourth of July party held by the US embassy in Bangkok on Saturday.

“The government has repeatedly preached to the people to not let their guard down, but it turns out that people within the government have the privilege to be spared from those measures.”

American diplomats also did not wear masks in photos posted online by Anutin. The photos have since been deleted.

Thai activist cries foul on government over US diplomat skirting quarantine | News by The Thaiger

Taweesin Visanuyothin, the spokesman of the CCSD, says the Thai government could not impose a mandatory quarantine for the delegation because it is only a short visit. The US officials will still be required to take virus tests before and after their arrival in Thailand, and to wear masks at all times. Health and security officials will follow them throughout the trip and they won’t be allowed to stray from the itinerary during their 2 day visit.

The American delegation will be the first group of foreigners to pay an official visit to Thailand on a special agreement during the pandemic. The group is scheduled to meet PM Prayut Chan-o-cha and the army chief Apirat Kongsompong on Thursday.

The US ambassador to Thailand, Michael George DeSombre recently paid a courtesy call on Deputy PM Somkid Jatusripitak at the beginning of his tour of the Kingdom. DeSombre chose not to wear a facemask during the visit.

Thai activist cries foul on government over US diplomat skirting quarantine | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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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.

Thailand

“Sawadee Thailand” travel insurance covers Covid-19 medical expenses

The Thaiger

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“Sawadee Thailand” travel insurance covers Covid-19 medical expenses | The Thaiger
PHOTO: AXA Thailand

The following is a press release submitted by AXA Thailand on its “Sawasdee Thailand” travel insurance which covers the required Covid-19 medical insurance for those travelling to Thailand.

AXA Thailand General Insurance is offering “Sawasdee Thailand”, a comprehensive travel insurance that includes health coverage for foreigners traveling to Thailand, offering up to 3.5-million-baht of medical expenses including COVID-19 which meets the Thai government’s strict insurance requirements for Certificate of Entry (COE). The coverage starts immediately after clearing immigration in Thailand and includes the 14-day quarantine period.

AXA Sawasdee Thailand is tailor-made to make travel preparations seamless and the trip worry-free. The policy has no waiting period and no deductible with a 24-hour hotline service. Cashless service is available if the customer is admitted as inpatient in AXA network hospital throughout Thailand. AXA Sawasdee Thailand is available for 30, 60, 90, 180, 270 and 365 days.

Ms. Paweena Khemarangsan, Chief Customer Officer, AXA Thailand General Insurance, explains, “AXA is ready to support visitors who would like their trip to Thailand to go smoothly and be totally worry-free from beginning to end, whether they travel for work, study, family visiting or other purposes. AXA Sawasdee was created for travelers who need a reliable, comprehensive coverage that will give them a feeling of security, as we transition to the new normal. It’s the perfect travel companion that fulfills all government’s insurance requirements (COE) to enter Thailand with confidence.”

In addition, customers will receive a 10% discount when purchasing the “Sawasdee Thailand” travel insurance with “AXA SmartCare Executive Long Stay Visa” health insurance package. The Long Stay Visa plan is designed specifically to comply with the requirements for retirement visa O-A and O-X type, and also the Special Tourist Visa (STV). The promotion runs until 30 June 2021.

For more information about AXA Sawasdee Thailand, customers can visit and apply online at https://www.axa.co.th/en/axa-sawasdee-thailand-travel-insurance or contact AXA Customer Service Center at 02-118-8111 press 4.

There is also a range of AXA health insurance offers available to travelers who would like to obtain continuous insurance coverage if they decide to extend their stay in Thailand beyond the original plan.

In addition, for Thais planning to travel domestically and/or abroad, more AXA travel insurance products are available at https://www.axa.co.th/travel-accident-protection.

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Cabinet approves budget of over 6.3 billion baht for 35 million more vaccine doses

Maya Taylor

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Cabinet approves budget of over 6.3 billion baht for 35 million more vaccine doses | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Hakan Nural for UnSplash

The Thai government has approved a budget of 6.387 billion baht to procure an additional 35 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. The budget was approved at a Cabinet meeting yesterday, according to a government spokesperson.

Nation Thailand reports that the budget will be divided into 5.6 billion baht, which will be spent on AstraZeneca vaccines, with 700 million baht going on preparation and rollout at a local level. It’s understood officials expect to take delivery of the new consignment at the same time as it receives the 26 million AstraZeneca doses and 2 million Sinovac doses already on order.

In total, this will give Thailand 63 million doses. In PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s “PM Podcast,” he said 63 million doses will cover approximately 31.5 million people. It’s understood the Public Health Ministry is also in talks with other vaccine manufacturers. Johnson & Johnson has already begun the process of applying to register its single-dose vaccine in the Kingdom. Thailand currently has a limited number of vaccine doses, with high-risk provinces and groups being given priority. The government plans to open vaccine registration to general members of the public in May.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator

Maya Taylor

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Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

The governor of the central province of Samut Sakhon is slowly recovering after more than 2 months battling Covid-19. Weerasak Wichitsangsri tested positive for the virus in late December and subsequently ended up on a ventilator for over 40 days. It’s understood Weerasak’s time on the ventilator was a record for the hospital and at times, medics were unsure if he would recover.

Prasit Watanapa from the Faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital says Weerasak is now off the ventilator and able to breathe normally, as well as talking, walking, and eating unaided. The Pattaya News reports that the governor’s symptoms improved over the last week, but he remains under close medical supervision. Prasit says he will be tested for antibodies, to determine if he should receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Only his muscle functions still need to be treated. The medical team is considering if the governor could have his rehabilitation at home or at Siriraj Hospital. It all depends on his further recovery.”

Weerasak has now been in hospital for more than 2 months, after testing positive for the virus on December 28, after attending a meeting at Samut Sakhon hospital. The central province is seen as the epicentre of the second wave of the virus, which emerged late last year. Public Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul, who was also at the meeting, had to self-isolate following Weerasak’s diagnosis.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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