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Thai PM says government plans to buy a further 35 million vaccine doses

Maya Taylor

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Thai PM says government plans to buy a further 35 million vaccine doses | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Hakan Nural on Unsplash
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Thailand hopes to buy an additional 35 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, giving the country a total supply of 63 million doses, according to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. He has not confirmed where the additional supply will come from, but according to a Bangkok Post report, he says the government will ensure the vaccines meet Food and Drug Administration criteria. He adds that the Disease Control Department and National Vaccine Institute will work with the FDA in this regard.

The country will take delivery of 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine within the next 3 months. The first shipment will contain 200,000 doses and is expected by the end of February. The next shipment of 800,000 doses will arrive by the end of March, followed by the final shipment of 1 million doses by the end of April. It’s understood healthcare workers and village health volunteers will be first in line for vaccination.

In addition, Thailand has agreed to purchase 26 million doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, in partnership with the UK’s Oxford University. The Kingdom has also signed a technology-transfer agreement that will give manufacturing rights for that vaccine to the Thai firm, Siam Bioscience.

While efforts to procure vaccines continue, the PM says he is reluctant to impose fresh lockdowns, given the severe economic impact. He says the government continues to monitor the situation and is calling on everyone to cooperate with disease prevention measures.

“We don’t want to lock down the entire country because we know what the problems are, so can you all lock down yourselves? This is up to everyone, if you don’t want to get infected just stay home for 14 to 15 days. If you think like this, then things will be safe, easier for screening.”

Meanwhile, there were 745 new cases recorded in the Kingdom yesterday, of which 729 were local infections. 65 people have now died, with the latest death being reported in a 56 year old Bangkok man yesterday. According to Taweesilp Visanuyothin from the government’s Covid-19 task force, the man died on Sunday, 2 days after being diagnosed with the virus. It’s understood he had several underlying conditions.

Cases continue to rise in the central province of Samut Sakhon, where the Covid-19 resurgence first took hold. On Sunday, the province reported 541 new cases, which are included in the number above. Yesterday, it recorded an additional 470 infections, which have not yet been included in the national tally. Of the 470 new cases, 439 were confirmed after contact tracing. 49 are Thai nationals and 390 are migrant workers. The remaining cases are in 25 Thais and 6 migrant workers.

Along with Samut Sakhon, there are strict lockdowns in place in the eastern provinces of Chon Buri, Rayong, Trat and Chanthaburi, with checkpoints set up to prevent people leaving unless absolutely necessary. The chief of police in Chanthaburi, Suvicharn Yankittikul, has been transferred, as officials investigate claims that police officers turned a blind eye to illegal gambling dens.

Meanwhile, the total number of affected provinces now stands at 54, with the western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan recording its first case, in Hua Hin. Taweesilp says he fears the numbers will continue to rise nationwide, due to people travelling over the recent New Year holiday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Alte Ledertasche

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

    I have to concratulate the PM…yes its up to everybody him/herself..if you not want get infected and are scared of the virus stay at home. If not continue with your life.

    • Avatar

      David Beckman

      Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:48 am

      Alte this is stupid, if i self isolate to not get the virus for 14 days but the government allows others to go on as normal then after them 14 days I can still not go out because others have been freely wandering around spreading covid with no lockdown so therefore I could actually really have to stay locked down many more months to prevent being infected ,you cant expect some in the community to lockdown 14 days and others not ,this achieves absolutely nothing except them who lock down are safe for 14 days only to be infected after if they leave self isolation ,ridiculous suggestion

      • Avatar

        Alte Ledertasche

        Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:28 am

        So you are afraid of covid. I am not. Thats why I proceed with my life. You stay at home.

        • Avatar

          Michael

          Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:36 am

          And that is exactly why they have to summarily execute people who do not follow the guidelines.

          • Avatar

            Alte Ledertasche

            Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:47 am

            Give it a try stupid sheep.

        • Avatar

          David Beckman

          Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 5:17 pm

          Common sense isn’t fear mate.

          • Avatar

            Alte Ledertasche

            Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 6:38 pm

            What kind of common sense you are talking about. I am not at risk to die from Covid and if so than let it be.

            The risk of dying from Covid is considerable lower than the chance of getting killed in Thai road traffic. Cancer kills 9.5 million people every year. So what.

      • Avatar

        Marco

        Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 12:59 pm

        fully agree. Tired of this non sens. Then what after this one, we gonna do the same for the flu, and the another one. There is no end to this madness.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:22 am

    They are signing an agreement to manufacture the UK vaccine. Well that’s a change they have always just stolen Western technology and inventions.
    I would deny them the vaccines, the way they have denied westerners for the last six months.

    • Avatar

      Fred glue

      Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      Good lord Toby, the chemist not open 2day. ??

  3. Avatar

    v

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    china has not published any stage 3 trial data, not approved by any country’s FDA, but PM is willing to take 2 mil doses. more chinese dumping of cheap products. Like other Chinese products, will stop working after 30 days.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:45 pm

      Let’s hope it’s only “2 mil doses” – it could be “a further 35 million vaccine doses”, as the source for those is anything but clear.

  4. Avatar

    Gary Harper

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Whoever brokered that transfer of technology from the UK to the land of smiles is to be commended. It appears that Siam bioscience is going to get a free lunch on this one. I think I’m going to go check what foreign stocks I can purchase through an agent the United States that I have, because a relatively zero risk technology startup will do nothing but make money.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:57 pm

      I doubt your US “agent” will have much success buying any stock in Siam Bioscience.

      Siam Bioscience is 100% owned by CPB Equity. CPB is the Crown Property Bureau.

  5. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Good luck with the Chinese vaccine, time for farangs to leave if they are forced to take it.

    They have not purchased the Oxford vaccine, but they may have placed an order and will have to wait in line for that order to be made in the coming months.

    We (UK) will get the first 100 million doses of our vaccine which we ordered months ago.

    But will Thailand want to use our ‘dirty farang’ vaccine?

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Are you aware of the day of the week? If there’s an ‘R’ in the month?

    I only ask because you’re all too evidently completely unaware of Thailand’s agreements with Astra Zeneca and purchases from them.

  7. Avatar

    TS

    Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 10:19 am

    So after all the thai elites get their US made vaccine, about what month in 2022 will the Thai commoners get their chinese jab?

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Hong Kong partially locks down, forcing thousands to undergo Covid screening

The Thaiger

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Hong Kong partially locks down, forcing thousands to undergo Covid screening | The Thaiger

Hong Kong’s government is forcing a partial lockdown until 10,000 residents of an area in the Kowloon peninsula, complete a Covid-19 test. The 2 day lockdown in the city’s poorest neighbourhood of Jordan, comes after a new strain of the coronavirus was identified, making it the 1st lockdown that the city has seen.

The area, which features many deteriorating buildings and 150 stacked housing blocks, has confirmed 162 confirmed cases of Covid-19 this month, with the ratio of virus detected in sewage samples from buildings there was higher than that of other areas.

Over the last 2 months the city has been hit by a 4th wave of infections with authorities struggling to bring the daily numbers down. Such clusters have hit the low-income neighbourhoods the most, which are notorious for cramped conditions in districts such as Yau Tsim Mong.

In recent days, health officials began mandatory testing in some 70 buildings in the area but the government has now decided to test everyone much to the confusion of local residents. As rumours of a lockdown were leaked to the local media, the government didn’t officially announce the measure until this morning. The area is also home to many ethnic minorities, mainly South Asian Hong Kongers, a community that often faces discrimination and poverty.

Earlier in the week a senior health official was criticised when he suggested ethnic minority residents might be spreading the virus more readily because “they like to share food, smoke, drink alcohol and chat together.”

The health official’s comments also came as a video was released of predominantly white migrants dancing at a packed brunch on the more affluent Hong Kong Island. But those who agreed with the health official pointed to cramped conditions, not race or culture, as being the cause of the virus spreading more easily.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket wants Bangkok arrivals to skip quarantine to help tourism revenue

The Thaiger

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Phuket wants Bangkok arrivals to skip quarantine to help tourism revenue | The Thaiger

Phuket’s tourism representatives are calling for an end to the mandatory quarantine levied at tourists arriving to the province from Bangkok. The tourism delegation have also told Phuket’s provincial government to be prepared to start receiving international tourists starting in October.

According to The Phuket News, such a plan would include a requirement for all international travellers to Thailand to have the Covid-19 vaccine. By that time, it is expected that Phuket will have 70% of its population vaccinated, with the timeline possibly being sped up by the province planning to buy the vaccines with its own funds. Such a move would bypass the national government’s timeline with the hopes of innoculating registered residents quicker. Governor Narong says such quarantine measures in place currently are preventing the province from profitting off domestic tourism.

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“Thai people are unable to travel due to the second outbreak, and foreign tourists are not to be mentioned at all. Vaccines are the hope of the Phuket tourism sector.”

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SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Eastern provinces growing impatient with safety measures as Covid cases decrease

The Thaiger

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Eastern provinces growing impatient with safety measures as Covid cases decrease | The Thaiger

Thailand’s eastern provinces are growing impatient as local businesses and residents await a relaxation in Covid-19 safety measures after seeing a drop in cases. Chonburi, Chanthaburi, Trat and Rayong are under a “highly controlled” status set by the CCSA (Samut Sakhon, south west of Bangkok, also falls into the same category at this time). These provinces, along with Samut Sakhon and Samut Prakarn, are under the strictest control measures in the country.

The cause of such tough measures levied upon the provinces was due to a spike in Covid cases after illegal gambling operations in Rayong and Chonburi were found to feature participants with the Covid-19 virus. But now, those areas are reporting very few cases of the virus leaving residents frustrated as they are unable to make a living or travel.

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Bangkok, which has seen more cases reported than all 4 eastern provinces combined, is now easing restrictions by allowing 13 types of businessesto reopen. The move has baffled the eastern provinces as such businesses are still ordered to shutter. The government has responded, somewhat, by offering a 3,500 baht handout for 2 months, but registration for the handout doesn’t start until the end of this month. When the money actually hits residents’ pockets is also unknown as it could take weeks.

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