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Thousands allowed to leave cruise ship quarantined in Hong Kong

Jack Burton

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Thousands allowed to leave cruise ship quarantined in Hong Kong | Thaiger
Passengers disembark the World Dream cruise ship - BBC

Around 3,600 passengers and crew on the cruise ship World Dream, quarantined for four days in Hong Kong amid fears some staff could have contracted the 2019nCoV coronavirus, have been allowed to leave. Another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, where dozens of cases have been confirmed, remains in quarantine off Japan. Authorities reported on Saturday that 64 people had been infected on that ship, which is carrying some 3,700 passengers and crew.

The virus has killed 910 people, all but two in mainland China, surpassing SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). In 2002- 2003, that pandemic killed 774 people in more than two dozen countries. In the Chinese province of Hubei alone, the origin of the outbreak, more than 800 people have died, according to official reports. Some speculate the tally is much higher. The tally rose by 97 yesterday, the highest number of casualties in a single day. More than 40,000 have been infected worldwide, the vast majority in China.

Thousands allowed to leave cruise ship quarantined in Hong Kong | News by Thaiger

The World Dream quarantined on Wednesday when it was discovered that three passengers who had sailed on a previous voyage had contracted the virus.

Chief port health officer Leng Yiu-Hong said all crew members, about 1,800 people, had tested negative for coronavirus, and that everyone would be allowed to disembark without the need to self-quarantine after leaving.

Yesterday, Hong Kong’s health minister said 468 people were ordered to stay at home, in hotel rooms or government-run centres, one day after officials implemented a mandatory two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving from mainland China.

SOURCE: BBC

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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.

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17 medical staff isolated due to dishonest Covid-19 patient

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17 medical staff isolated due to dishonest Covid-19 patient | Thaiger
PHOTO: Samut Prakan Hospital is busy with Covid-19 and now short-staffed.

The already-strained Samut Prakan provincial hospital isolated 17 medical staff members today after a patient was dishonest about interaction with a Covid-19 infected patient. The patient was not forthcoming with details about coming in contact with a person that had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus. As a result, the hospital announced the mandatory quarantine of 17 medical staff members who had come in close proximity with the patient. In total, 2 doctors, 6 medics, and 9 nurses had to be relegated to self-isolation and removed from the hospitals already thinly spread staff roster.

In a Facebook post just 2 days ago, the hospital announced a sweeping reduction in services to handle the increase in Covid-19 infections. They announced they will no longer take customers from outside of the Samut Prakan province, nor are they doing any surgical procedures that are not urgent. They are advising only the sickest patients come to the hospital in person, offering a mail service with the post office to send medications and fill prescriptions.

Losing 17 medical staff members – doctors, nurses and medics – at such a crucial time will put a heavy strain on the hospital, especially if Covid-19 infections continue to spread. Samut Prakan province reported 27 local Covid-19 infections plus 13 more who transferred to Samut from other provinces, for a total of 40 new Coronavirus cases today alone.

The hospital reminded everyone that failure to disclose information about your Covid-19 infection or contact with any infected people or high-risk location can be prosecuted. Violators may be punished by up to 20,000 baht in fines and possible further legal action. The provincial hospital issued several requests for truthfulness on their Facebook page, stressing that dishonesty harms your own medical care, along with the much-needed medical staff, and only helps proliferate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic’s third wave in Thailand.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA

Tim Newton

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BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update – latest from the CCSA | Thaiger

The CCSA has announced its updated restrictions for the 18 ‘red zone’ provinces this afternoon. The new measures start on Sunday, April 18, and will be in place for at least 2 weeks. The restrictions are basically as we published earlier today. There are no ‘lockdowns’ or curfews despite a popular blogger jumping the gun and posting that there were curfews announced.

There’s also no specific travel restrictions imposed although the PM ‘discouraged’ travel to Red Zone provinces. Provincial governors are still able to add their own local restrictions if they deem necessary.

Here are the key points as announced by the CCSA late this afternoon…

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours

(except for international schools running exams)

• No events can have more than 50 people

Provincial red zones (listed below)…

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

(Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9pm)

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace.

The Red Zone provinces are, in no apparent order…

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

Earlier today Public Health Minister Anutin Chanvirakul said that the government is “confident it can overcome the current Covid-19 crisis without needing to impose a nationwide lockdown”.

BREAKING: Covid Provincial restriction update - latest from the CCSA | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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