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Vietnam records first Covid-19 deaths

Jack Burton

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Vietnam records first Covid-19 deaths | Thaiger
PHOTO: AP

Vietnam announced today that 2 people have now died of Covid-19 complications, just a day after it recorded its first-ever coronavirus death, as it struggles with a renewed outbreak after 99 days without a locally transmitted case. Both patients died in hospital in Da Nang, a hotspot with more than 100 cases in the past week, more than half of them quarantined patients. The Health Ministry says a 61 year old man died on Friday night of septic shock and chronic kidney failure. The first fatality was a 70 year old who was also being treated for a kidney illness.

15 other patients with Covid-19 are in critical condition; all have other underlying illnesses. This morning, the Health Ministry confirmed 12 more cases, all linked to the same hospital. Da Nang is Vietnam’s most popular beach destination, and thousands of visitors were in the city for summer vacation last weekend, after the reopening of domestic travel. Now, authorities across the country are rushing to test people who recently returned from the coastal city.

Vietnam has been hailed as a global success story in combating the coronavirus, with no deaths until yesterday and no cases of local transmission for 99 days. But a week ago, an outbreak began at Da Nang Hospital, which has now spread to 6 parts of the country, including 3 of its largest cities, forcing authorities to reimpose virus restrictions. Before the latest outbreak it had a total of only 416 cases. Experts worry the actual number of cases in the latest wave could be far higher.

In the capital Hanoi, where 2 people have tested positive after returning from Da Nang, over 100 clinics have been established to detect the virus. Hanoi has tested a third of the 54,000 people returning from Da Nang. A banker who recently went to Da Nang for a family vacation said:

“I want to be tested so I can stop worrying whether I have the virus or not. It is for me and for the community. Since coming back, my family and I have quarantined ourselves at home. I did not go to work or see others. We must be responsible for the entire community.”

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern hub, 5 people who returned from Da Nang have tested positive. The city is testing some 20,000 other returnees.

As the number of case continues to increase, Da Nang has tightened security and set up more checkpoints to prevent people from leaving or entering the city, which has been in lockdown since Tuesday.

Yesterday the city set up a makeshift hospital in a sports auditorium, and doctors have been mobilised from other cities to help.

Hoi An, an ancient town 20 kilometres south of Da Nang and a top tourist destination known for its charming old houses, stopped allowing visitors on Thursday because of the outbreak. Its pedestrian streets, adorned with lanterns, are now empty and nonessential services and gatherings are banned.

For more information on medical facilities equipped to handle Covid-19 patients in Vietnam, please refer to Bacsiday.vn.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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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)

Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge

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Hotel blog suggests Phuket should push ahead with July reopening despite Covid surge | Thaiger
PHOTO: Hotels and other tourism business are hoping the July 1st reopening goal can still be achieved.

A hotel information blog is claiming that, despite growing Covid-19 numbers, Phuket should stick to its schedule in reopening to travellers without quarantine in July. That’s only 2 and a half months away.

In an interview with the Director of Travel and Tourism Consulting at GlobalData, they stressed that while it is crucial to reign in the spread of Covid-19 and the B117 strain now manacing Thailand, the risk must not overshadow the need teo push forward with vaccinations and the march towards eliminating the quarantine by July in order to save the tourism industry and all those dependent on it.

“The Phuket pilot program is essential in creating a path towards economic recovery for Thailand, a country heavily dependent on tourism. More than 17% of Thailand’s gross domestic product is attributed to tourism and the Covid-19 pandemic has lead to the worst economic free-fall in over 20 years”

The blog acknowledges the inherent risk and possible appearance of foolishness to prioritise the plans to reopen and carry on with the same rollout schedule. But they urge Thai authorities to consider that July 1 is still 2 and a half months away, leaving ample time to recover and make progress towards the approaching Phuket reopening. A vital aspect of the reopening plan lies in vaccinating over 70% of Phuket’s provincial residents, a sizable task, but one that brings great benefit with or without the scheduled reopening.

“Pushing ahead to achieve this goal puts Phuket on track to welcome back tourists, perhaps in a “bio-bubble”, and restart the economy. The economy is desperate with household debt growing, pushing the government to enact emergency decrees to provide relief. These households need the return of tourism and the influx of cash international tourists will bring.”

The blog hopes that Thai authorities can balance the necessary Covid-19 safety measures in Phuket to protect the Thai population with the economic need to bring back tourism. They believe that with sufficient measures in place, vaccinated locals could welcome vaccinated international tourists back to Phuket reopening safely in July.

SOURCE: Hotel News Resource

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Chon Buri adds 99 new Covid-19 infections today

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Chon Buri adds 99 new Covid-19 infections today | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Covid-19 cases continue to be identified from entertainment venues across Thailand.

The Chon Buri Covid-19 cluster is spreading with the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office confirming 99 new cases today. The province, which contains Pattaya, seems to be following a growing infection trend. The Pattaya area saw 47 new cases, and Mueang Chon Buri had 41 cases, with other districts having less than 5 each. 2 people infected with Covid-19 were brought from outside Chon Buri for treatment locally. The new cases bring the total number of Covid-19 infections in the province up to 710 people.

While infections are on the rise, officials advise that the numbers are not showing a severe or exponential increase and are in line with daily averages. They say the growing numbers are more likely due to “diligent testing throughout the community”, especially in nightlife venues and popular entertainment districts. 984 cautionary tests were administered today along with 342 people suspected to have been in close contact with Covid-19 infected people.

Within the new infections, 41 people are still being investigated to find the source of the virus, while 29 people were family members or close contacts of other infected people.

The sources of new infections are…

  • PATTAYA
    • 3 infections at The Box 69 Pattaya
    • 3 infections at Cetus Pattaya
    • 3 infections at Garden 168
    • 1 infection at Bone Pattaya
    • 1 infection at Insomnia Pattaya
  • OTHER AREAS IN CHON BURI
    • 5 infections at Flintstone’s Pub in Meung Chon Buri, the source of 137 cases total.
    • 4 infections at Infinity Siracha
    • 3 infections at 2.7 Replay Bang Saen
  • FROM OUTSIDE CHON BURI
    • 4 infections at Entertainment venues in Bangkok

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Northern Thai provinces starting Covid restrictions as 3rd wave spreads

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Northern Thai provinces starting Covid restrictions as 3rd wave spreads | Thaiger
Stock photo via Flickr

Thailand’s northern provinces are starting to impose more self-quarantines or travel restrictions to combat the recent Covid-19 outbreak that has spread quickly throughout northern Thailand. Phichit and Lampang provinces are the latest in northern Thailand to impose a variety of covid-19 restrictions on people entering.

A Thailand Interior Ministry told Chiang Rai Times that the longer list emphasises the seriousness of the 3rd wave of the coronavirus. The new wave originated in nightlife venues in Bangkok and has spread to 74 out of Thailand’s 77 provinces, as of yesterday. Health inspectors believe the new and more contagious UK strain of Covid-19, named B117, arrived in Thailand from Cambodia through migrants.

But as the CCSA has largely placed restrictions in the hands of each provincial government, many are confused about what guidelines they must follow upon entering certain provinces. Northern Thailand’s Lampang province, for example, orders visitors from Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom and Chiang Mai to report immediately to local health authorities or officials, but it does not require them to undergo quarantine for 2 weeks if test results are negative.

Visitors are advised to check updated information at moicovid.com as the rules are different in each province. So far, 42 provinces have imposed self-quarantine. Phichit, Lampang and Ubon Ratchathani were the latest to join 39 other provinces imposing a variety of restrictions on people entering their provinces.

Visitors to the website posted multiple questions, mostly on whether they needed to be quarantined.

Provinces that impose self-quarantine or other requirements on travellers:

NORTH

  • Chiang Mai
  • Kamphaeng Phet
  • Lampang
  • Lamphun
  • Nan
  • Phayao
  • Phetchabun
  • Phichit
  • Phitsanulok
  • Phrae
  • Tak
  • Uttaradit

NORTHEAST

  • Amnat Charoen
  • Bung Kan
  • Buri Ram
  • Chaiyaphum
  • Khon Kaen
  • Maha Sarakham
  • Mukdahan
  • Nakhon Phanom
  • Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nong Bua Lam Phu
  • Nong Khai
  • Sakon Nakhon
  • Ubon Ratchathani
  • Udon Thani
  • Yasothon

CENTAL AND EAST

  • Chai Nat
  • Lop Buri
  • Nakhon Sawan
  • Sa Kaeo
  • Saraburi
  • Sing Buri
  • Uthai Thani

SOUTH

  • Chumphon
  • Narathiwat
  • Pattani
  • Phangnga
  • Ranong
  • Satun
  • Songkhla
  • Trang

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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