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Travellers from Thailand positive for Covid-19 in new saliva test at Japan airport

Caitlin Ashworth

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Over the past few weeks, 15 people who travelled to Japan from Thailand tested positive for Covid-19 in a new preliminary screening method, according to Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, or DDC. Laboratory testing was done to confirm the cases. Half of the cases came back negative in laboratory testing while 2 people tested positive in laboratory tests and 5 others are waiting for results.

DDC acting director general Opas Karnkawinpong says the infections were detected by collecting saliva samples in a method called CLEIA, or chemiluminescent immunoassay. Japan started using the method on August 1 as a preliminary screening test for those entering the country. Opas says the World Health Organisation does not recommend this method as the standard.

From August 1 to October 8, the saliva test came back positive for 15 people travelling from Thailand. The travellers were taken to hospitals and were tested using the RT-PCR which looks at genetic material for traces of the virus. 2 young Japanese girls, 2 years old and 9 months old, tested positive in both the saliva test and the laboratory test after arriving in Japan from Thailand. Their mother and brother tested negative in the saliva test.

8 people were negative in the laboratory testing. Thai health officials say 49 close contacts tested negative for Covid-19. 5 others are still waiting for laboratory test results. Thai health officials are investigating.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Frank Leboeuf

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Interesting stuff – wondering why there have been so many positive tests in travellers flying from Covid-free Thailand to Japan.
    Either Narita testing facilities are doing something weird, or the opposite…

    • Avatar

      Maag

      Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      If you dont test population = covid zero , covid free… ….bla bla bla

  2. Avatar

    Jonathan

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    All it proves is what we already know ! There is widespread covid in Thailand as in everywhere else in the world ! The gov figures are meaningless and it should let people get on with their lives without unnecessary rules and regs

  3. Avatar

    James Scott

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Thailand is not testing many of its citizens, which is the only reason the country has ‘no cases’.

    A ‘fact’ nobody outside Thailand believes.

  4. Avatar

    Prof. JPD

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Amazing but not really unexpected! This throws all statistics about non-existing local transmissions overboard.

  5. Avatar

    John C.

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    The official lie about Thailand having close to no cases is falling apart. It’s about as believable as the (even bigger) Chinese lie.

  6. Avatar

    Anil

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    ????RT PCR test kit problem .some of country doesn’t follow WHO guideline and they don’t even use test kit .they don’t have nothing cases there.And the country who follow WHO guideline that coundry have so many cases because they test a lot.more test more cases .its like magic coundry who don’t follow WHO Guideline no corona cases .

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Interesting and worrying – particularly considering the positive lab tests. It just confirms, if any confirmation was necessary, how impoprtant developing an accurate test is in controlling the spread of the virus..

  8. Avatar

    Zigler

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    The truth in Thailand is on the brink of being exposed

  9. Avatar

    Adam

    Friday, October 9, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Anyone who lives or lived in Thailand and understand even little bit culture knows that they often pretend that something doesn’t exists (police never take bribes, people come to Pattaya for beaches etc)

  10. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:56 am

    The result of continuing to pretend there is no local transmission is likely a wrecked tourist sector.

  11. Avatar

    RR

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 6:47 am

    CLIA (not CLEIA) methods are more sensible than ELISA in detecting antibodies, this is known from years, just read the literature mr. Opas. Luckily WHO does not have authority to recommend or impose this or that test (just suggestion, which are not so different from opinions). US FDA has approved tens of rapid tests, almost 1/3 of those are CLIA-based, others relies on ELISA and other on Lateral Flow. All are very good, nothing to say, although CLIAs have the highest % of sensitivity and specificity (of course). Japan has chosen wisely, as usual. And those positives are expected, as in Thailand testing of SARS-CoV-2 is almost unheard of outside the quarantined ones. Countries should expect more and more positives from Thai travelers in the months to come.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:48 am

      “Japan has chosen wisely, as usual”

      Well, I’d agree with that part – do a basic, simple test first then test again with a better test as necessary.

      Rather like Thailand’s widespread temperature testing – it’s a basis to start from.

      I’d also agree with those saying that claims of “no local transmissions” and that tests don’t reflect infections, however many are tested – they can’t, unless you test the whole population every week which is clearly impossible. The WHO and other authorities agree that the “real” infection rate is very probably ten or twenty times higher than the figures show.

      Until there are better tests, the only answer seems to be border controls and quarantine – again: WHAT BETTER SOLUTION IS THERE?

      • Avatar

        RR

        Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 4:29 pm

        Thailand has an extremely low test/population ratio. The average in Europe is 25 every 100, in Thailand is perhaps 25 every 10.000 if not lower. Some small countries have a test/population ratio above 1 (that is, on average everybody has been tested at least once), so it is not impossible, although certain cases can be an exception rather than a rule. Temperature testing is nonsense if done with a temperature gun, as one can have other diseases, and surface temperature is seriously biased by environmental conditions. Read more, check data, and write less nonsense.

    • Avatar

      Fabian

      Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 1:45 pm

      I wonder if this is just a ‘lucky’ coincidence that it got picked up by Thai media. In other words, maybe Thai people leaving to other countries perhaps more often test positive but it never becomes news.

      • Avatar

        Frank Leboeuf

        Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:20 pm

        Well it’s definitely a trend in Japan – let’s not forget Japanese nationals, not farangs, are currently the biggest expat community in Thailand….

  12. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    There really is no way to spin this that makes thailand look good. It’s one of those “The emperor has no clothes” situations.

  13. Avatar

    Hazel

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    It’s been discovered that Degues antibodies can result in false-positive COVID test. Is it possible that Dengue exposure is responsible for these positives? Very interested to see future explanations unfold.

  14. Avatar

    spanky

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    It’s those dirty thais! Bringing the virus to Japan. Stay out of japan! we don’t need your dirty baht…..oh wait, that’s those dirty farang with their dirty habits and dirty money brining it to clean, CV free thailand? I’m confused. I thought Thais had a kind of God-like immunity?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 5:12 pm

      “The average in Europe is 25 every 100”

      Sorry, that’s not correct and I suggest that before you tell others to “read more, check data and write less nonsense” you at least get the figures you’ve dreamt up vaguely correct.

      So far*, the UK has done more than 19.7m tests, Germany 15.5m, italy 10m and France 10.6m. Many of those tests will be repeats – reportedly as many as one third, and far from testing on average “25 in every 100” in Europe, the average isn’t half that** even without repeats.

      Thailand has done 65 tests per 10,000**, not “perhaps 25 per 10,000 if not lower.” Nothing special, but about average for ASEAN.

      I’m not suggesting that there is no Covid locally in Thailand – far from it. What I’m saying is that those bleating that Thailand is fudging the figures have nothing to substantiate that, and the mortality rates don’t back it up.

      It’s pure speculation, based on nothing more than “well, we’ve done badly so the third world in SEA must have done even worse.”

      *: https://www.bbc.com/news/54181291
      **: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-testing

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 5:13 pm

      They were actually Japanese returning home, not Thais.

      • Avatar

        barry

        Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:27 pm

        Yep – Japanese nationals currently making up 18% of expatriates in the country.

        There were 72,754 official Japanese expats in Thailand in 2017, but the actual population number may be several times higher than these official figures, since many transient residents, especially those on long-term tourist visas, fail to register with Japanese consulates.

        There is a lot of movement between Thailand and Japan (despite the strict Japanese 14 day home quarantine part)

        I hope we get updates on this!

    • Avatar

      Frank Leboeuf

      Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      Japanese nationals, not farangs, currently constitute the biggest expat community in Thailand, so it’s not just Thais, you’re bound to have Japanese returning to Japan

  15. Avatar

    Al

    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    Let’s take a good look at all this hocus – pocus/fear mongering going on around the world.

    https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-many-people-die-each-day/ At least check the graphs!!

  16. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    “Thailand is not testing many of its citizens, which is the only reason the country has ‘no cases’.

    A ‘fact’ nobody outside Thailand believes.”

    Well, the first (that “Thailand is not testing many”) is a “fact”.

    But the second, that it’s “the reason the country has ‘no cases’ “, is a baseless assumption that is completely untrue.

    It’s now widely accepted that 80% of Covid-19 cases are asymptomatic, so unless you test widely the majority of cases will go undetected.

    Fair enough, but even in the West very few countries have tested even a quarter of the population, and then only once, not regularly, so by that measure at least three quarters of Covid cases will be undetected.

    On the other hand, 80% asympotomatic means that 20% of cases are symptomatic and, however mild, they’d show at least some symptoms including a high temperature.

    If Thailand’s Covid numbers were comparable to the West’s, even with only 20% showing symptoms there’d be thousands of new, symptomatic cases every day. Thousands would be turned away from Lotus, Big ‘C’ or 7-11 – or the local markets when restrictions were mandatory.

    But they weren’t.

    … and if Thais were as paranoid about Covid-19 as supposed here, which to be fair they probably are, there’d be tens of thousands with symptoms outside the hospitals demanding tests.

    But there weren’t.

    … and there aren’t.

    The West has gone for voluntary mass testing, as far as it can (up to 25% of the population in even the ‘top’ Western countries), and for voluntary, hardly used “track and trace” apps, with no mandatory temperature testing or mass tracking, and for opening borders as much as possible.

    Thailand (and, to be fair, other ASEAN countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam) has gone down a very different route and gone for mass temperature testing and widespread (but voluntary) tracking, with carefully targeted testing for less than 1% of the population, and for opening borders as little as possible.

    Both (Thailand and the West) have seen their foreign tourism industries collapse, with inevitable economic damage.

    But in Thailand, apart from a very brief lockdown and a relatively brief period of school closure, and 59 deaths from Covid, life continues as normal, unchanged.

    While in the West the death rate has been one thousand times worse, schools and unis have been closed and are still unable to work normally, factories and offices are unable to operate as before, and gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, bars and even hair dressers are restricted or closed and life is anything but “normal”.

    … and, despite that, some here just can’t accept that the West has got it so badly wrong while Thailand (and other “third world” countries) has got it so right, so they’re grasping at ” mass testing” as a supposed failure even when the alternatives mean it’s not an issue …

  17. Avatar

    Frank Leboeuf

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Any updates on this?

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in ‘red’ zones

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Photo via Facebook/ PR Thai government

Covid-19 infections are still high, but PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says he wants restrictions to loosen up and businesses to reopen as soon as possible in provinces classified as “red” zones under tight control to combat Covid-19.

The prime minister says he has ordered governors of red zone provinces to look into easing disease control measures. Looking into each province’s Covid-19 situation and the restrictions’ impact on the local economy, governors are told to find a good balance that works well for both the economy and public health.

Spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, says restrictions at restaurants in red zone provinces can be lifted if the situation improves.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerPM Prayut Chan-o-cha seeks looser restrictions in 'red' zones | News by ThaigerSOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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American leaves hospital after being denied Covid treatment in same room as Thai wife

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Photo via The Pattaya News

An American man, who tested positive for Covid-19, is back in the hospital after fleeing when he was denied a shared room with this Thai wife-who was also undergoing Covid treatment. The 51 year old man left the northeastern Amnat Charoen province Chanuman hospital on May 9th after doctors declined to move his bed to that of his wife’s room. The man angrily went home without permission.

He was spotted walking on the road by local residents before being found by police at his home. The medical team convinced him to return to the hospital. But the incident has invoked stress among locals as they fear he could have spread the virus when he left the hospital. Thai social media was flooded with angry posts about the incident, with some calling for his arrest or deportation. In response, the Chanuman district chief has announced they will tighten security at the hospital to prevent any future incidents that are similar in nature.

The man’s name was not given, due to his Covid-19 status, and it has not been announced whether he will face any consequences after his actions.

Meanwhile, Thailand is reporting 1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals

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Deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Natapanu Nopakun / Photo courtesy of the Royal Thai Government

1,919 new Covid-19 cases and 31 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 29,435 active cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 86,924 infections and 452 Covid-related deaths.

At today’s CCSA briefing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs deputy spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun said that while the Covid-19 situation in Thailand may seem like it is stable, with cases decreasing or at zero in many provinces, the number of new infections reported each day is not declining.

“Infections are still concentrated in the hotspot which is Bangkok and the vicinity where several new cases were detected in active case finding.”

Out of the 1,919 new infections reported today, 885 were in Bangkok. Since April 1, more than 20,000 Covid-19 infections have been reported in the capital, first with clusters in the swanky Thong Lor nightlife district and now in the Khlong Toey slum.

Natapanu says that, fortunately, no new clusters were reported in Bangkok over the past day. He says a minor cluster was reported at a wet market in Nonthaburi, a suburb just outside Bangkok.

Out of the recent deaths, many had pre-existing conditions of high blood pressure and diabetes. Many contracted the virus from infected family members.

To prevent the emergence of the Covid-19 variant that was first detected in India, Natapanu says foreign nationals travelling from countries with the widespread transmission of the mutated strain are temporarily barred from entering Thailand. Thai embassies in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, where the Indian variant is spreading, have suspended the issuing of the required Certificate of Entry, or COE.

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,919 new cases and 31 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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