Tuesday Covid UPDATE: 31 new deaths and 1,919 new infections

The Thai public health officials have reported that there has been 31 Covid-related deaths and 1,919 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours.

• An entry ban has been extended to cover foreign travellers coming from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, as well as India, to help contain any further “highly contagious” Indian variants of Covid-19.

The includes all foreigners departing from any of the 4 countries, or in transit in other countries and passing through them.

• Border patrol police and the Army are being ordered to step up surveillance in order to prevent the entry of illegal migrants into Thailand.

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There has been a spate of new infections from people crossing Thailand’s porous borders illegally, and a new surge of people crossing the border, in both directions, just north of Chiang Rai to a Burmese border town that is currently re-opening its casinos and brothels.

• German pharmaceutical giant BioNTech, the vaccine manufacturer that has partnered with Pfizer for its Covid vaccine, is setting up in Singapore as a regional HQ for South-east Asia operations, and will set up an mRNA manufacturing facility in the island state.

It plans to open its Singapore office and start the construction of the manufacturing facility from Q3 this year, subject to planning approvals. The site is expected to be operational in 2023 and will create at least 80 jobs.

• The latest cluster in Chanthaburi, east of Bangkok, is now up to 533 infections after another 91 cases were reported yesterday – 47 are from Africa and 44 are Thais. Out of the total number of infections, 156 are foreigners, mostly from African countries

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