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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Urgent meeting on thousands of “little ghosts” returning from South Korea

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: - File photo

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has called an urgent meeting today to discuss how to handle thousands – estimates put the number between five and then thousand – of Thai workers preparing to return home from South Korea to escape the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The announcement comes after the Ministry of Public Health expressed serious concerns about how to handle droves of “phee noi” (little ghosts) from South Korea after 138 Thais who were airlifted from Wuhan in China last month had to spend two weeks in quarantine in Sattahip, southeast of Bangkok. Although the PM believes there are 10,000 phee noi in South Korea, some estimates put the number as high as 140,000.

Prayut says it’s unclear many will be allowed to return home, and that South Korea will quarantine the workers for 14 days before letting them return to Thailand. Once they arrive, they face another 14 days of self-quarantine.

According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, South Korea’s Immigration Office passed on information that “more than 5,000” Thais have reported to the office since December last year wishing to return home.

“The problem is how to control such a large number of people if all of them are to be quarantined. The government must find proper measures. I realise that the people are not confident and scared … but public health officials and medical personnel are well-prepared.”

Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said yesterday the ministry will propose a plan to handle specifically those Thai workers returning from the South Korean city of Daegu, where the outbreak has been most severe. Under the plan, a special zone will be arranged at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to screen returnees. Those displaying symptoms will be sent to hospital immediately, while those without signs of the virus will be required to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days. Saksayam has instructed the Land Transport Department to provide free buses to take asymptomatic workers home.

“The reason why we will not be able to quarantine Thai passengers [from South Korea] in a specific area, similar to the process for the Wuhan returnees is that the number is very much larger. We have no space to accommodate them.”

Saksayam also says the Transport Ministry will ask Thai Airways and private airlines to consider whether it’ possible for them to fly Thais in Daegu back home free of charge.

Yesterday morning, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul briefly showed an announcement signed by him on his Facebook page with a message that all visitors from nine countries and two territories designated as high-risk zones will be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days with no exceptions.

The 11 countries and territories are Japan, Germany, South Korea, China, Taiwan, France, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong and Macau.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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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)

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

Tanutam Thawan

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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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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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

Tanutam Thawan

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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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