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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

WHO spokesman: Covid-19 may never be wiped out

Jack Burton

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WHO spokesman: Covid-19 may never be wiped out | The Thaiger
PHOTO: WHO head of emergencies program, Dr Michael RyanNew - Indian Express
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As nations around the world begin gradually lifting lockdown restrictions enacted to stem the spread of Covid-19, the World Health Organisation is warning that the virus may never be completely wiped out. The virus was first detected in Wuhan in China in December last year and has now infected more than 4.3 million people and killed nearly 300,000 worldwide.

The WHO’s emergencies director spoke at a media conference yesterday.

“We have a new virus entering the human population for the first time and therefore it is very hard to predict when we will prevail over it. This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away.”

“HIV has not gone away, but we have come to terms with the virus.”

More than half the world’s population has been put under some form of lockdown since the Covid-19 crisis began. But the WHO warns there’s no guarantee that easing restrictions won’t trigger a second wave of infections.

“Our recommendation is still the alert at any country should be at the highest level possible.”

The WHO spokesman stressed that there is a “long, long way to go” on the path to returning to normal, emphasising that countries will “have to stay the course.”

“There is some magical thinking going on that lockdowns work perfectly and that unlocking lockdowns will go great. Both are fraught with dangers.”

He also condemned attacks on healthcare workers linked to the pandemic, saying more than 35 “quite serious” such incidents were recorded in April alone, in 11 countries. He said such attacks were often overreactions from ill-informed communities, though others were more sinister.

“Covid-19 is bringing out the best in us, but it’s also bringing out some of the worst. People feel empowered to take out their frustrations on individuals who are purely trying to help. These are senseless acts of violence and discrimination that must be resisted.”

But he insisted that, in finding a way to conquer the virus, there is a chance for humanity to take a major step forward, by finding a vaccine and making it widely accessible.

“It’s a massive opportunity for the world.”

SOURCE: AFP

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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.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Show of support for Japanese man stranded in Pattaya

Maya Taylor

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Show of support for Japanese man stranded in Pattaya | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Pattaya News

Several local organisations have rallied to help a homeless Japanese man living on Pattaya beach after being left destitute by the Covid-19 crisis. It’s understood that Pattaya Tourist Police found the visibly upset man on the beach with his luggage.

After a representative from the Pattaya Japanese Association was called to translate, police learned that the man had been stranded in Pattaya since the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus and had run out of money. The Pattaya News reports that the Pattaya Japanese Association paid for the man to stay in a local hotel and provided him with food, before organising his transport to the Japanese Embassy in Bangkok.

It’s understood he is now in the care of the embassy, where officials are arranging for him to return to his family in Japan.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

Show of support for Japanese man stranded in Pattaya | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Robots provide novel approach to virus prevention at Bangkok mall

Caitlin Ashworth

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Robots provide novel approach to virus prevention at Bangkok mall | The Thaiger
PHOTO: MGR Online

A robot dog is helping protecting people from the coronavirus at a Bangkok shopping centre by dispensing hand sanitiser. It’s name is K9 and it runs off 5G internet from the mobile phone operator AIS (The Thaiger smells a PR stunt for the new AIS 5G network). K9 looks like he, or she, needs a head and a wagging tail.

A shopper who came across the robot at Central World mall called it “creepy”, but an AIS marketing officer says robots are to assist people “and many people think K9 is cute”. There’s also the robot ROC, who checks temperatures, and LISA, who helps with customer service. While the robots help with checking temperature and dispensing hand sanitiser, they also help with social distancing, reducing the risk of person to person contact. All the robots run off 5G, which is providing faster internet speed as its rolled out around the country. AIS plans to launch 5G network smartphones by the end of the year.

As shopping malls opened back up last month, preventative measures have been put in place, such as temperature checks before entering, signs throughout reminding people about social distancing and personal hygiene practices. There’s also been an app for check ins to assist with contact-tracing should there be a confirmed case within the shopping precincts.

Bangkok’s Seacon Square shopping centre, has a machine they call the “Face Bot” which takes temperatures and scans faces to make sure people are wearing a face mask. And Foot pedals were installed at the Srinakarin Department store at the mall bro e used instead of buttons on the elevator.

SOURCE: Agence France Presse

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Tourism

Prachuap Khiri Khan’s scenic Ao Manao beach reopens today

Jack Burton

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Prachuap Khiri Khan’s scenic Ao Manao beach reopens today | The Thaiger
PHOTO: tielandtoThailand

Chon Buri and Hua Hin aren’t the only places reopening their beaches. Today, Ao Manao, the scenic beach in the western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan will also be open to the public. The crescent shaped bay belongs to the Air Force Wing 5 miltary base. Like all Thai beaches, it’s been closed for two months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since Monday, the beachfront Fa Chom Kluen hotel has been available for booking for overnight stays. The beach will also open for swimming.

The reopening of Ao Manao is in contrast to the beaches in neighbouring Phetchaburi province, where an official announcement from the provincial governor allows all beaches including the popular Cha-am beach to reopen, but no swimming or watersports. The governor instead allowed food vendors and other service providers, including those who provide horse riding and beach chairs, to resume business.

In Chon Buri, on the east coast of the Gulf, all beaches in the Pattaya area have been open since June 1. But group activities like beach volleyball, jetskiing and banana boat rides are still not allowed. Those who offer beach chairs for rent must follow social distancing rules by placing the seats at least 1 metre apart, otherwise the service will be suspended. A violation could result in up to a year in prison and/or a fine up to 100,000 baht.

In Phuket, residents can still just look, but not go on, their famed beaches. Hotels have been given permission to open again on the island but few are bothering with the costs and expense as there are few people available to fill rooms. Phuket’s airport remains closed although June 15 is being widely tipped, but not confirmed, as the date for re-opening to domestic flights.

Scheduled international flights are still banned until at least the end of June.

In a related development, interprovincial bus operator Nakhonchai Air resumed its services Monday. Travel restrictions under the Emergency Decree had previously banned all trips of more than 300 kilometres.

The company is implementing social distancing rules by allowing passengers to sit only in window seats. Passengers must wear masks all the time and must check in and out before and after boarding the bus by using the Thai Chana app.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Prachuap Khiri Khan's scenic Ao Manao beach reopens today | News by The Thaiger

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