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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai government sets 600 million baht aside for Oxford University Covid vaccine

Maya Taylor

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Thai government sets 600 million baht aside for Oxford University Covid vaccine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash
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The Thai government is budgeting 600 million baht to purchase supplies of the Covid-19 vaccine currently being worked on at Oxford University in the UK. Trials look promising so far, with the vaccine triggering a strong immune response among volunteers. Production is expected to start before the end of the year. In Thailand, a vaccine being developed at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University has been successfully tested on primates, with plans to have it ready for humans by the middle of next year.

Nation Thailand reports that the Deputy Health Minister, Sathit Pitutecha, says he’s already been in touch with Oxford University about purchasing doses of their vaccine, adding that other countries, such as South Korea, are doing the same. He stresses the importance of an effective vaccine to enable people to live without fear.

“We cannot live with panic. Our public health system is well prepared. The important point is that Covid-19 is contagious and must be strictly controlled until vaccines are developed.”

Thailand continues to report no cases of community transmission of the virus, but the closure of its borders is having a devastating effect on an economy so reliant on tourism. Sathit says the country must be allowed to reopen to visitors from countries deemed “low risk”.

He admits the recent case of an Egyptian soldier testing positive for the virus while in the eastern province of Rayong has damaged the public’s confidence. However, he adds that that confidence is gradually being restored, saying Rayong is now considered 99% safe and will be considered 100% safe once 14 days have passed with no new case of Covid-19 being recorded. A further round of testing starts in the province today.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    July 24, 2020 at 11:14 am

    The British government should refuse all sales to Thailand of this vaccine.
    They should tell the Thais they will get nothing until they stop treating British nationals in the disgraceful way they have during this last four months.
    Besides, the Thais will just buy a small shipment, copy it, and buy no more.

  2. Avatar

    Edy F.

    July 25, 2020 at 2:19 am

    These vaccines are going to kill people or make them ill forever. They are going to change people in genetically modified objects. And they contain a lot of chemical such as aluminum, mercury, up to 250 chemical products. It’s only a way by big pharma to intoxicate people and make a lot of money. It’s really a scandal ! How can government believe in this ? Nobody is able to open eyes and mind now ? What happens in the world ? Why are you all scared with no reason ? Where are your brains, people ?

  3. Avatar

    David

    July 25, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    for usa, national – assembly . net,
    for germany, ddb radio . org ( in, deutschland treff . voice room ).
    it could be the last change, for humanity, to keep some or all, of freedom.
    you decide, how you live, not few people, as in a, huge dictator-ship, world-wide.

    those, so called politicians, world-wide, never got the permission to rule over
    millions of humans, per country. also, to rule so evil-like, has no point, because
    all human can have a very great life, and even soon.

    just this fact, makes understandable,
    why there are so many, conspiracy theories nowadays, world-wide.
    obviously, there is something more, than just, money and power by control.
    instead of, to blame others, just let us work together for a, much better, near future.

    please, come back to normality, instead of twist everything around, as, evil is good.

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A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time

Caitlin Ashworth

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2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS

Health officials say 2 people in state quarantine tested positive for Covid-19, apparently catching the virus for a second time. A 42 year old Thai man recently tested positive for Covid-19 while in Chon Buri state quarantine after returning from Singapore. He first caught the virus a few months ago while in Singapore. He didn’t need hospital treatment and quarantined until he was declared clear of the virus on June 11.

In another apparent reinfection, a 58 year old Thai man tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from Kuwait. Health officials say the man first came in contact with the virus in Kuwait. He was hospitalised and recovered before coming back to Thailand.

Thailand currently has 3,519 confirmed coronavirus cases with 59 reported deaths and 3,360 recoveries. The majority of recent cases have been detected in the mandatory 14 day quarantine for those entering the country.

Health officials are still investigating apparent local transmissions. Earlier this month, a Bangkok DJ tested positive for Covid-19, breaking Thailand’s 100 day streak without a reported local transmission. Health officials say he tested positive for the G-strain of the virus which is more infectious, but less severe. They say the G-strain is typically detected in state quarantine from people returning to Thailand rather than in local cases.

In another apparent local transmission, a Uzbek football player for the Biriram United team recently tested positive for Covid-19. He tested negative for the virus multiple times in quarantine after arriving to Thailand from Uzbekistan. He was released from quarantine and later tested positive for the virus. Some health officials speculate the virus has a longer incubation period than 14 days.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Total cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

2 returnees in quarantine catch Covid-19 a second time | News by The Thaiger

Daily cases in Thailand, according to worldometer.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree

Maya Taylor

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Covid task force calls for extension to Thailand’s emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Thailand’s Covid-19 task force is advising the government to extend the country’s state of emergency by a further month… again. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration plans to discuss the matter next Tuesday and put it to Cabinet for consideration on Wednesday.

The state of emergency, or emergency decree, which has been extended several times since its introduction in March, is due to expire at the end of this month. It has been extended, on a month by month basis, many times this year since it was introduced to short-circuit the process of implementation of Covid-19 preventative measures. However, the CCSA says an extension is vital to ensure various government agencies can work speedily to combat any threat from Covid-19, particularly as neighbouring countries experience a spike in infections.

Thailand has already taken steps to seal the porous border with Myanmar after a surge in cases means that country is now recording over 500 new infections a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tourism

Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds

Maya Taylor

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Quarantine could be reduced to 7 days from November, if border re-opening succeeds | The Thaiger
Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister says the mandatory quarantine period for those arriving from overseas could be reduced to 7 days if there is no spike in Covid-19 infections after the border re-opens to limited arrivals from October. For the minister’s part, the 7 day quarantine is merely speculation at this stage.

Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says more details on the planned Special Tourist Visa will be made available following a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The STV is expected to grant entry to long-stay arrivals from October 1. Visitors can then extend their stay by 90 days twice, meaning a stay of nearly 9 months in total will be possible. Each extension will cost 2,000 baht, under the current STV proposal.

The government is currently being extremely cautious with its plans to re-open the borders to international arrivals. However, in a Bangkok Post report today, Phiphat says that if the first 2 groups of arrivals, 300 foreign tourists in total, fulfil the 14 day quarantine period without testing positive for the virus, it may be possible to increase the number of visitors granted entry to the Kingdom. And reduce the length of the mandatory quarantine.

“Only 300 tourists per week will not be enough to fill up the whole supply chain and help operators (not even close!). However, the figure has to comply with the capacity of the healthcare workforce from the Public Health Ministry to prepare swab tests.”

It’s understood the Tourism Ministry has been in talks with private hospitals about supplying additional manpower to facilitate the testing being carried out at airports. Another option is to test arrivals at quarantine facilities, in order to avoid holdups at airport arrival terminals. Currently, the Phuket Provincial Health Office has the ability to conduct 1,000 tests a day.

Should the gradual re-opening in October pass without a significant spike in Covid-19 cases, Phiphat says the government may consider halving the 14 day quarantine period from mid-November. Visitors will still be required to be tested prior to arrival, several times while in quarantine, and again before being released.

“In the event there are 5 positive cases from 300 tourists, the plan to welcome foreigners has to move forward anyway. But we will set up new alternative plans to cope with the situation.”

A reduction in the quarantine period may succeed in attracting more visitors, particularly given the high cost of staying at certain alternative state quarantine facilities, which tourists must foot the bill for themselves. An increase in foreign arrivals is seen as essential to the recovery of the tourism sector in areas currently struggling to survive since the border shutdown 6 months ago.

The Tourism Council of Thailand has visited places such as Phuket, Chiang Mai, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Udon Thani, and Rayong, to talk to local business owners. In presenting its findings to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, TCT president, Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, says the government must find a solution to help the tourism sector.

The Tourism Council of Thailand predicts that once the global Covid situation is brought under control, foreign arrivals to Thailand should reach the 60 million mark and contribute 25% of the country’s GDP by 2023. The prediction of 60 million tourists per year would be a more than 50% increase on 2019’s published arrival numbers, optimistic at best, and against the trend of international travel consultants that say the world’s travel industry could take up to a decade to recover to pre-covid numbers.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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