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Thailand joins other Southeast Asian countries with hospital bed shortages amidst Covid crisis

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Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

As Southeast Asian nations are struggling to control new waves of Covid-19, Thailand is joining its neighbours in running out of hospital beds for patients. Last Friday, the government warned that beds could run out in as little as 6 to 8 days, unless the situation is brought under control. Malaysia and the Philippines are also struggling to provide the necessary facilities for the influx of infections, signaling a dire situation in the region.

As the third wave in Thailand has largely arisen from the capital of Bangkok, 31 types of businesses have recently been closed to counter the spread of the virus, which has seen a record amount of daily new infections last Saturday at 2,839. Yesterday marked the end of a 5 day stint of the nation recording more than 2,000 daily infections as today offered a slight respite at 1,871 daily infections with 10 deaths.

Thailand has recorded 163 deaths related to Covid-19, prompting the director of the National Office of Buddhism to order temples to carry out cremation services for people who have succumbed to the virus.

“We want to make sure that COVID-19 victims receive their last rites.”

The closure of businesses comes as public criticisms increase towards Thailand’s government with the opposition party Move Forward calling for the PM and Health Minister to resign. Now, even the PM has been caught and fined for not wearing a mask at a Cabinet meeting, which surely has sparked even more outrage. 1 day after he was fined, the Government House reported 3 new infections of Covid, prompting a shutdown in order to disinfect the premises. As the going rate for not wearing a mask was 20,000 baht, the rate seems to have been reworked after the PM was fined only 6,000 baht by the Bangkok Governor. Now, first-time offenders in Bangkok can expect to pay the same rate as the PM. Second-time offenders are to be fined 12,000 baht, and third time or more offenders will be fined 20,000 baht.

The new wave of Covid has hit Thailand just when it rolled out reopening plans that were set for July in tourism-heavy areas like Phuket. The country’s vaccination programme is being criticised, once again, as The Economist reported 1.8% of adults have received a first vaccine dose, and only .3% have received their second. PM Prayut has taken note of the sluggish vaccine administration, announcing recently that the goal has changed from 70% to 50% of the population expecting to be inoculated by the end of the year.

Thailand joins other Southeast Asian countries with hospital bed shortages amidst Covid crisis | News by Thaiger

Malaysia has had new daily Covid-19 cases in the 4 digits for days despite implementing emergency measures to control the spread. As of Tuesday, Malaysia recorded almost 400,000 Covid-19 infections since February of 2020, with 26,000 cases listed as still being active. The country has seen 1,462 deaths to date.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ total amount of cases has reached 1 million since Monday, with almost 9,000 new infections reported. And, new virus variants are sprouting up in other Asian countries, most notably in India who has recently requested foreign aid to help with its depleted oxygen supplies and basic medical supplies.

SOURCE: Nikkei Asia

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    “As the going rate for not wearing a mask was 20,000 baht, the rate seems to have been reworked after the PM was fined only 6,000 baht by the Bangkok Governor.

    20,000 baht has never been “the going rate” – it’s the maximum as the “rate” depends on the circumstances and as widely reported (INCLUDING HERE!) most fines have been 1,000 – 4,000 baht for first offences.

  2. Avatar

    Stardust

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    @Simon Small dont spread fake news it was never reported in Thaiger or other english newspaper, it was 20 000 baht what they anounced.

  3. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Up to your normal level of accuracy, @Stardust.

    From the Thaiger, the day before the article:

    “The maximum fine for the offence is 20,000 baht, usually less for a first time offence”

    The Thaiger’s reported that several times, going back to January.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 organisers of Phuket’s Kolour superspreader event charged

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 3 managers involved in the Kolour superspreader event have been charged.

As Thailand still wrestles to control the third wave of Covid-19, much of which stems from entertainment venues in Bangkok and a massive party in Phuket, Patong police announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour superspreader event will be charged under the Emergency Decree. The case report was filed with the public prosecutor yesterday according to the Patong police chief, confirming that 3 people will be prosecuted for the event.

The Kolour Beachside Festival was held April 2 and 3 with events at Café Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, and Shelter Phuket Dance and Night Club and Illuzion Nightclub, both in Patong. Before the festival, Phuket had gone more than a hundred days without any new Covid-19 infections, but by April 7 the Phuket provincial Public Health office announced 8 new infections, half of which had been at the Kolour parties. In the following weeks, officials plead for attendees to be tested as infections spread.

Charges were delayed in being filed to the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office as a special investigation committee was ordered to be created to oversee the investigation at the request of Region 8’s Police Commander. That committee brought together officials from various law enforcement in the area including the Patong Police, Kamala Police, Phuket Provincial Police, and the Region 8 Police to investigate the Kolour event before anyone was charged.

The manager of Café Del Mar, along with the managing director and the manager of Shelter and Illuzion, which are under the same management team, will be charged for the Kolour festival violating Thailand’s Emergency Decree that was declared to help protect the country from Covid-19 outbreaks. A breach of the Emergency Decree can be held liable for up to 40,000 Baht and 2 years in jail under Section 9 of the Decree.

The latter 2 are also facing charges of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue. This carries the possibility of another year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht, in accordance with Thai Law under Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via Bumrungrad Hospital

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure have the highest risk of death followed by patients infected with the coronavirus who underlying conditions of diabetes or high cholesterol, according to data from Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 486 coronavirus-related deaths. Out of those fatalities, 392 were reported after April 1. Using data from the recent wave of infections, the CCSA found that those infected with Covid-19 who also have high blood pressure are at the most at risk of death, followed by those who are diabetic and those who have high cholesterol.

Others who are at risk of severe infection or death if infected with Covid-19 include those with chronic kidney disease, heart disease, obesity or lung disease.

Most of the deaths since April 1 have been in Bangkok, making up 46% of the death count in the recent wave, followed and provinces just outside the capital. Most patients who died while infected with Covid-19 have been over 60 years old with underlying health conditions. Several young adults, in their 20s and 30s, who died while infected with Covid-19, had underlying conditions of diabetes and obesity.

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: PR Thai Government

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Human Right Watch calls for Thailand to immediately act on Covid-19 outbreaks at prisons

Tanutam Thawan

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Chiang Mai prison / Photo via Department of Corrections ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

In response to the recent Covid-19 outbreaks in Thailand prisons, the Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying Thai authorities need to take immediate steps to tackle overcrowding in prisons and release inmates that do not pose a serious risk to the public. The organisation also notes that under international human rights law, the government must provide equal and accessible health care to the inmates, adding that Thailand must act quickly to ensure the infected prisoners are properly treated.

Yesterday, Thailand’s Department of Corrections reported 2,835 inmates at 2 Bangkok prisons tested positive for Covid-19, adding to the hundreds of cases at prisons in Chiang Mai and in the southern province Narathiwat by the Malaysia border. Out of the new cases, 1,795 at Bangkok Remand Prison, making up more than half the prison population. The other 1,040 infections are inmates at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution.

HRW says those held in Thailand’s overcrowded prisons are at “grave risk” of Covid-19. After the outbreak in Narathiwat in early April, prison visits were suspended to prevent the spread of Covid-19. HRW Asia director Brad Adams says authorities had been warned about the situation.

“Many people warned the Thai authorities that they needed to act proactively to avoid such a situation, but it seems they got caught sleeping at the switch.”

Under international law, the Thai government is obligated to provide adequate healthcare to prisoners, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brad says. He adds that to prevent the spread of Covid-19, some prisoners should be released to reduce overcrowding and congestion.

“Besides providing health care and virus testing, the authorities should reduce the detainee population through the supervised release of those held on politically motivated charges or for minor offences, or who face greater risk from underlying health conditions.”

HRW says Thailand should take immediate steps to tackle the longstanding problem of overcrowding in prisons and consider the supervised release of inmates who at a high risk of severe infection if they were to contract Covid-19. Those charged with minor offences or who are in pre-trial detention for minor, nonviolent crimes should also be considered for release, HRW says.

SOURCE: HRW

 

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