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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UK starts human testing on experimental Covid-19 vaccine

Anukul

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UK starts human testing on experimental Covid-19 vaccine | The Thaiger
More than 4,000 people are already enrolled on the trial - but that is set to increase. PHOTO: BBC

The UK is joining the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine with volunteers already getting jabbed as the testing continues. But the new vaccine isn’t merely a weaker version of the actual virus- it ‘clones’ the virus so its receivers don’t actually get infected with Covid-19.

Imperial College London is behind the new vaccine which uses synthetic strands of genetic code, called RNA, to mimic the virus. Once injected, the RNA reportedly “self-amplifies generating copies of itself and tells the body’s own cells to make copies of a spike protein found on the outside of the virus”.

The process apparently will train the immune system to recognise and fight coronavirus without having to develop it.

About 300 people will have the vaccine over the coming weeks, and then another shot 4 weeks later. Unlike other vaccines, this vaccine requires two doses.

The UK’s Prince William met with volunteers who have received the experimental vaccine, lauding their selfless acts saying it was incredibly exciting and fascinating that they were involved in the new trials.

UK starts human testing on experimental Covid-19 vaccine | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: BBC

Experts say the new vaccine is capable of going a long way as each dose contains only a tiny amount of the vaccine’s genetic code. For example, one litre of its synthetic material is enough to produce 2 million doses. The doses are reportedly being produced in the US but will later be switched to the UK for mass-production.

Currently, there are more than 120 Covid-19 vaccines in early development across the world with 13 of them now in clinical trials – 5 in China, 3 in the US, 2 in the UK, 1 in Australia, Germany and Russia, among others.

Imperial College London says they hope the vaccines could be distributed in the UK and worldwide by early 2021.

SOURCE: BBC

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

Tourism

Thai Air Asia urges government to re-open the country to foreign tourism

Maya Taylor

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Thai Air Asia urges government to re-open the country to foreign tourism | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

The low-cost carrier, Thai Air Asia, is calling on the government to accelerate the re-opening of the country to international tourism. TAA chief executive Santisuk Klongchaiya says Thailand risks losing its status as a regional hub if the country does not re-open soon in order to re-ignite tourism and airlines. According to a Bangkok Post report, he warns that Thailand could lose out to places like Vietnam, should international carriers decide to move direct flights to other countries.

“After facing the pandemic for a year, the key factors that can strengthen Thai tourism are re-opening borders and financial aid such as soft loans to help airlines maintain their business and save jobs. If the plan to welcome foreigners is not ready, Thailand may lose those potential tourists to other competitors that have prepared to attract them with a practical scheme.”

TAA is one of 7 local carriers that have been calling for a 14 billion baht soft loan since March last year. In 2020, the airline reported 16.2 billion baht in total revenue, a year-on-year decrease of 61%, with a 57% drop in passenger numbers. Santisuk says the carrier is planning for similar numbers this year, with 15% of total passengers expected to come from the international market in the last quarter of the year. He is also hopeful that cost-saving initiatives, such as placing some staff on furlough, should help lower operational costs by up to 20%.

In other tourism-related news, the Tourism Authority of Thailand says it will add a further 2 million room nights to the “We Travel Together” domestic tourism stimulus campaign. TAT is also planning another scheme aimed at tour operators, between now and July. TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn says the scheme will be put to cabinet for approval next week. TAT is proposing a “buffet-style” ticket scheme for airlines, aimed at frequent travellers. Passengers receive their subsidy once they use the first flight that is linked to a hotel booking at their destination. Each tour operator can have up to 3,000 customers.

“These additional stimulus measures will boost travel sentiment for the upcoming regional holiday in the North on March 26, as well as the Songkran festival.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave

Caitlin Ashworth

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CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave | The Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล

54 new Covid-19 cases and 1 death were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 515 active cases, a record low since the start of the new wave of Covid-19 infections. An enormous 1-day spike in cases was reported on December 20 with more than 500 cases among migrant workers at a Samut Sakhon fishing hub. The virus quickly spread to the majority of Thailand’s provinces.

The number of daily cases continues to be on a downward slope with Samut Sakhon now the only province classified as a “red zone” under maximum control.

Since the start of the pandemic, the CCSA has reported a total of 26,162 infections and 85 deaths. Out of the new cases reported today, 36 were exposed to the virus at areas considered to be at “high risk,” including 28 in Samut Sakhon, 2 in Bangkok, 1 in Nakhon Nayok, 1 in Pathum Thani and 1 in Chon Buri. Active case finding detected another 8 cases in Samut Sakhon. The other 10 cases were detected in quarantine for those entering Thailand from overseas.

A 63 year old Thai man in Bangkok died after testing positive for Covid-19. He had underlying conditions of diabetes and high blood pressure. On January 9, he developed symptoms of a cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing. He tested positive for Covid-19 that day. He was put on a ventilator on January 12. His symptoms worsened and he died on Sunday.

CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave | News by The Thaiger

CCSA Update: 1 death, record low daily case count since start of the recent Covid-19 wave | News by The Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 3 March 2021, according to Worldometers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Riot police officer in Bangkok tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Protest in Bangkok on February 28 / Photo by Thai News Pix

A riot police officer, who was deployed at the recent pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, has tested positive for Covid-19. His supervisor, chief of Wang Thonglang station Ekapop Tanprayoon, says the officer had visited Samut Sakhon, a coronavirus hotspot.

Riot police who worked closely with the infected officer, Somyot Nuamcharoen, are ordered to quarantine. The Wang Thonglang police station and any items the police officer handled are being disinfected, the chief says.

The officer had met up with friends during a visit to Samut Sakhon, just southwest of Bangkok. He travelled to the coastal province on February 18 and returned to Bangkok the next day.

On the 20th, he was deployed to a protest outside of parliament, just after returning from his trip to the “red zone” province. On Sunday, he deployed the protest outside the military barracks in Bangkok. The demonstration turned violent and numerous people were injured.

On Tuesday, his friend from Samut Sakhon tested positive for the virus. The infected officer was tested for Covid-19 that day and his result came back positive yesterday.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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