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Tips for Covid-19 coronavirus prevention

Jack Burton

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Tips for Covid-19 coronavirus prevention | The Thaiger
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Worried about coronavirus (aka. Covid-19)? Do you, or someone you know, exhibit symptoms? If you live in Thailand, your risk of contracting Covid-19 is exceedingly low, so there’s no need to be overly concerned. Even in a worst-case scenario, the vast majority of healthy people, particularly the younger, will get over a bout of this new virus. We understand that it’s a new story and there’s lots of media coverage as the disease starts to spread beyond China, but there are practical things you can do, and some small habits you can change, to limit your possible exposure.

Be alert, be informed, but there’s no reason to panic. Read a more complete article about Covid-19 HERE.

This virus is contagious, but not as deadly as other outbreaks (at this stage)

Compared to prior outbreaks of novel viruses, this coronavirus appears less deadly than other human coronaviruses that have spread in recent years. For instance, the death rate was about 34% for MERS and about 10% for SARS.

Contrary to some earlier reports, Covid-19 is not airborne but particle-borne, meaning you won’t catch it as it magically floats through the air. You would need to be in close contact with a person who has the virus, or in contact with items the person has touched very recently.

Wash your hands

Viruses can spread from person to person via respiratory droplets. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, close contacts can be infected. In addition, the virus can end up on doorknobs, elevator buttons and other surfaces. If you touch those surfaces and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you could become infected (but the virus will live outside a host for a very short time).

So while a mask may not be a bad idea (as it will stop you touching your mouth and nose), its far more important to keep your hands clean and observe good personal hygiene, especially after using public transport or the toilet.

“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the toilet, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.”

Other precautions

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick (this is probably good advice anytime!)

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth (you’d be surprised how many times you do these things subconsciously every minute)

• Stay home if you are sick. Self-isolation is easier these days with FoodPanda, GrabFood (etc), Netflix and your smartphone.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish. Or your hands (then wash), or sneeze into your elbow. Just don’t blow it out into the air for everyone to enjoy.

• Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. If you are a lousy cleaner around the house, make some new habits.

Don’t panic, but be prepared

• Think about the threat of a possible outbreak in your community the way you’d think about a big typhoon. If it never hits, great. If it does, you’ll be glad you prepared. Don’t hoard, but perhaps stock your cupboards with some extra food and cleaning supplies.

• When grocery shopping, buy a few extra items. Stable foods such as beans and rice that can last a long time are good options. Also, use your freezer to preserve foods, from meats and vegetables to cooked grains and even bread. Think about having enough on hand to last a few weeks. This will be handy in case of a zombie apocalypse too (but sort of doubtful).

• Check the medicine cabinet to ensure you have basic medications. If you take a daily prescription medication, have a supply on hand if possible. Think about a back-up plan if schools or some local shops were to close during an outbreak.

• Ask your employer about a work-from-home options or at least explore whether you have all the technology available to complete your work away from the office if the need arises. Discuss about KPIs (key performance indicators) and daily reporting to come up with ways you could do all, or most, of your work from home, if the necessity arose.

Postpone non-urgent travel

The US Centres for Disease Control updates its travel advisory information frequently. Most governments use the same four-level scale to rank risk, with Level 1 being the lowest risk and Level 4 the highest. For parts of Italy, where there’s been sustained spread of the novel coronavirus, there’s now a Level 4 alert. South Korea, Japan, some European cities, Iran and the US are currently the new growth areas for new cases.

The US CDC also advises older adults and those with chronic medical conditions to consider postponing non-essential travel and take additional precautions.

“Travellers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60%-95% alcohol.”

Check your health insurance to see if it includes international travel coverage. Also, consider travel health insurance and medical evacuation insurance. It’s estimated, that without insurance, a medical evacuation could cost over three million baht. If you’re planning a cruise or overseas travel, consider the possibility of travel disruptions.

If you were quarantined, what would be your back-up plan for your work and family responsibilities back home?

SOURCE: NPR

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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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

The Thaiger

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travel Daily

A travel pass for passengers inoculated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative will be piloted on flights for Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. With the travel pass issued by the International Air Transport Association, passengers can keep control of their data and share their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

The travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, and will expand the pass to other destinations of the trail is successful. Emirates is going to implement phase 1 of the travel pass in April for flights departing from Dubai.

Recently, the IATA travel pass programme has been also tested in International Airlines Group and Singapore Airlines.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Outbreak in Samut Sakhon is “worrying,” CCSA spokesperson says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Outbreak in Samut Sakhon is “worrying,” CCSA spokesperson says | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

While the number of daily new Covid-19 cases continues to drop, health officials are still scrambling to contain the virus in the prime hotspot: Samut Sakhon. The outbreak in the coastal fishing province is “worrying,” according to Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Health officials rolled out a proactive mass testing campaign after a spike of Covid-19 cases in mid-December. The vast majority of cases were concentrated around the Central Shrimp Market in the Mahachai fishing hub, which affected a large migrant population. The virus has since spread to 61 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

With the help of proactive testing, more than 4,000 cases were reported in Samut Sakhon. Field hospitals have been set up on the fly to treat and quarantine those that are infected.

But public health officials are still racing to test as many people in the province as possible with plans to inspect 600 factories and test 50 factory workers per day. There are 12,000 factories in Samut Sakhon and Taweeslip says health officials are speeding up testing to “isolate infected people as soon as possible.”

“The outbreak in Samut Sakhon is worrying. It is difficult to conduct active case-finding there. There are many obstacles, including the number of factories… Meanwhile, factory owners and workers must cooperate. There are more than 10,000 small factories where 1-200 people are employed.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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