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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Top virologist says Covid-19 likely to mutate, making current tests useless

Jack Burton

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Top virologist says Covid-19 likely to mutate, making current tests useless | Thaiger
PHOTO: Dr Thiravat Hemachudha - Siamrath

A prominent Thai virologist is warning that the Covid-19 coronavirus is mutating and could return in a different, more contagious, or potentially, more dangerous or less dangerous, form. Thiravat Hemachudha, director of the Health Science Centre of Emerging Diseases at Chulalongkorn University, says that Thailand “should begin preparing for possible ‘genetic code alterations’ of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.” He cited recent findings from studies in Vietnam and China on coronavirus strains in horseshoe bats, which inhabit Southeast Asia, including Thailand.

“So we have to prepare to deal also with other possible new strains of the coronavirus that include the 2019 novel coronavirus, which is likely to undergo multiple genetic code alterations.”

Radical changes in the genetic code of the coronavirus may result in current screening techniques becoming ineffective, according to Thiravat.

Studies in both Vietnam and China conducted into coronavirus strains in horseshoe bats have revealed that it was the wild-animal-eating habits of humans that made them vulnerable the coronavirus in bats that has jumped the species to also infect humans now, according to Thiravat.

These findings also undermine the theory that the Covid-19 escaped from a biological weapons testing laboratory. Many, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have blamed China for the “lab leak”.

In a related story, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says the Cabinet has yet to approve a proposed 600 million baht to fund cooperation on Covid-19 vaccine development between Thailand, Oxford University and a vaccine research company in the UK. He says the budget will be spent in part to develop a vaccine factory in Thailand.

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Bangkok Post

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Another end of the world predictor.
    I would’t believe this vyrolist if he said water was wet.
    That looks like one of his former patients on the shelf behind.

  2. Avatar

    Bobby m

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    All viruses mutate

    That’s why everybody has been telling thailand to get on with life and like the rest of us, learn to live with and control this virus the best we can. If not, they may as well just keep the door locked and throw away the key. Along with their economy. In one form or another, it’s never going away. It may become more dangerous it may become less dangerous. But it’s not going away.

  3. Avatar

    Glenn

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    Oh boy, a flu that mutates, just like all flu’s do… imagine that.

    but but but you might DIE DIE DIE!!! LETHAL LIFE THREATENING FEAR FEAR FEAR….

    same old crap propaganda.

  4. Avatar

    Medi3val

    Friday, August 14, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    A prominent biologist on Joe Rogan recently stated that there is essentially zero chance that COVID 19 is not a modified lab virus. He doesn’t think it was a weapon or intentionally released, just that it was modified to be more contagious to make it easier to study (standard practice) and that it somehow leaked out of the lab.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 1:05 am

      It almost doesn’t matter… there will never be evidence, an investigation, or an admission. It’s now out there, and the whole species has to adapt to it, and some people won’t, and that’s evolution. It’s amazing how many people are sustained through tax and insurance premiums who live in disgusting conditions and in terrible health, and it’s not entirely involuntary. This is a cull.

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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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