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Thailand charters civilian plane to repatriate stranded Thais in Wuhan

The Thaiger

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Thailand charters civilian plane to repatriate stranded Thais in Wuhan | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Masks sold out - Bloomberg
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The Thai government will charter a plane from a commercial airline to evacuate Thai citizens trapped in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says they’ve opted not to use a military transport plane as the Chinese government declined to permit a military aircraft repatriate the Thais earlier this week. It was reported that there remains about 65 Thais stranded in Wuhan who were either studying or working in the hospitality industries.

PM Prayut explained that it will be the Chinese medical authorities who will determine if Thai citizens stuck in Wuhan are clear of coronavirus infection, in which case they will be allowed to leave and return to Thailand.

The Chinese government has already allowed Japanese citizens to evacuate from Wuhan, the first country to be granted such access. 206 Japanese citizens were evacuated – four had a fever at the time they departed and were isolated from other passengers during the flight home.

Meanwhile, the PM has reiterated that his administration has taken “stringent preventative measures” to cope with the situation. His comments came at the same time the first human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus was confirmed in Thailand yesterday.

The government has also come under local criticism for not banning flights to and from Chinese ports, whilst other countries have already taken that step.

“While screening of arriving and departing Chinese tourists, the Thai government must remain sensitive to maintaining the good relations between Thailand and China.”

Prayut said that it’s important that Thailand has confidence that China, the country is capable of containing the virus.

The Deputy PM Jurin Laksanavisit has also assured Thais that there are enough face masks to meet demand for protection against both the virus and PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere.

About 30 million face masks are produced each month and the Internal Trade Department called a meeting today with the manufacturers “to ensure that there will be a sufficient supply to meet public demand, while preventing hoarding or high pricing by profiteers”, according to Thai PBS World.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Emergency Decree extended through June amidst accusations of political motivation

Jack Burton

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Emergency Decree extended through June amidst accusations of political motivation | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin - NNB

As widely predicted, the Cabinet yesterday extended the Emergency Decree for a third month, to its limit at the end of June. Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, quickly explained that the decree was enforced because it enabled more than 40 laws to be tied together to allow for quick enforcement at the national level. He says this helps the government tackle the crisis more efficiently.

Last week, government spokesperson Narumon Pinyosinwat hinted that the National Security Council wanted to extend the decree “because it would save lives”. She also dismissed as “illogical” claims that the state of emergency was being extended so PM Prayut Chan-ocha could tighten his hold on power.

But non-profit organisation iLaw says the government should use a less restrictive, less severe method to impose controls on businesses, travel and public health. For instance, it could enforce the Contagious Disease Control Act to stop people gathering outside their homes, and close high-risk venues, as the act is more flexible than the Emergency Decree.

The panel chaired by the National Security Council’s secretary-general is meeting today to discuss the third phase of easing lockdown measures, as well as whether the curfew hours should be cut a second time, from the current 11pm-4am to midnight-4am. The third phase of easing measures is thought to begin June 1.

The meeting’s resolution will be proposed to the CCSA on Friday and guidelines for businesses and activities under the third phase will probably be announced Saturday.

Meanwhile, police in Bangkok are denying using the Emergency decree as a political tool after the arrest of 2 activists on Friday, saying they were simply doing their job.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Covid-19 update: 9 new cases, all imported (May 27)

Jack Burton

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Covid-19 update: 9 new cases, all imported (May 27) | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Reuters

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced 9 new cases of Covid-19 at this morning’s daily press briefing. All 9 were ‘imported’ cases by Thai nationals returning from overseas, “bringing attention to the importance of the state quarantine process and border control”, according to CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Of the 9 cases, two recently returned from the US. The two males, aged 18 and 27, flew back on May 12 and were found to be infected yesterday, the last day of their state quarantine. Both were asymptomatic. 6 students, aged 23 – 33, returned from Saudi Arabia. They first flew to Malaysia and then transferred to the Padang Besar border checkpoint. Officials of both countries suspect that the checkpoint is now a Covid-19 hotspot and should be closed for sanitation. 4 of the patients had high fever and cough, while two were asymptomatic.

A 34 year old masseur returned from Qatar on Friday with a high fever, coughing and no sense of smell during state quarantine. He tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Covid-19 update: 9 new cases, all imported (May 27) | News by The Thaiger

Dr. Taweesin suggested Thai nationals in Malaysia hurry up if they want to return home as the checkpoint is likely to be temporarily closed soon.

All international arrivals are banned until at least the end of June, and borders are closed, with the exception of Thai Nationals returning from abroad. Every Thai national must go through a mandatory state quarantine of 14 days which includes Covid-19 testing.

The fact that all 9 cases are imported makes today the second day in a row without a new locally transmitted case. Thailand has had a total of 3,054 cases of the virus since the start of the outbreak. 2,931 of the cases have fully recovered and been released with 2 new recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving the recovery rate at 96%.

There are 66 cases remaining in hospital under treatment nationwide, with the majority being imported cases according to CCSA officials.

No new deaths were reported today, leaving the nation toll at 57.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News | Nation Thailand

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5 Thai students test positive for Covid-19 after returning from Saudi Arabia

Maya Taylor

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5 Thai students test positive for Covid-19 after returning from Saudi Arabia | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Needpix

5 students, who returned to Thailand from Saudi Arabia via Malaysia, have now been confirmed as being infected with the Covid-19 virus. The students are part of a group of 39 returning citizens who arrived back in the country via the Padang Besar road checkpoint at the Malaysian border.

All 39 are reported to be in mandatory state quarantine at hospitals in the southern provinces of Songkhla, Yala and Pattani. While most are students who were studying under scholarships provided by the government of Saudi Arabia, Thai PBS World reports that 2 of the repatriates are a woman and her 14 month old baby.

A further 6 Thai nationals attempting to return from Saudi Arabia failed the health checks and were refused permission to travel. Thailand has strict fit-to-travel documentation required for all Thai citizens returning to the Kingdom. They are also required to go into mandatory 14 day quarantine when they arrive, no matter where they are returning from.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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