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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Who will receive free coronavirus testing?

Jack Burton

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Who will receive free coronavirus testing? | Thaiger
PHOTO: Time Out

Free Covid-19 coronavirus testing will be provided for 4 groups of people who are considered ‘patients under investigation’… this from the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration

Thailand has vastly raised the number of centres and clinics certified to perform testing for the virus, and more are expected by the end of this month. A former deputy PM yesterday posted on Facebook calling for more testing of asymptomatic people, following the highly successful South Korean model.

The 4 groups are…

  1. Those who have travelled to any foreign country and show symptoms of respiratory distress, including coughing, runny nose, sore throat, difficulty in breathing and temperature over 37.3℃
  2. Patients in medical facilities who show symptoms of respiratory distress and have temperature over 37.5 degrees Celsius, as well as fitting either one of the following criteria: Having a career that involves public contact, having been to crowded areas, used to be in contact with a Covid-19 patient. All patients in medical facilities who have pneumonia will also get a free Covid-19 test.
  3. Medical staff who have contact history with a Covid-19 patient and show symptoms of respiratory distress as well as have temperature over 37.5C
  4. Those involved in cluster group cases, be they at least three medical staff or five people who are from the same place, and show symptoms of respiratory infection but test negative for any type of flu.

As of yesterday…

• Total number of confirmed cases in Thailand stood at 2369

• 1,451 are under treatment, 23 are in critical condition

• 888 have recovered and been discharged

• There have been 30 deaths.

SOURCE: The Nation

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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)

Shortage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients worrisome

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Shortage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients worrisome | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Empty beds for Covid-19 patients are getting harder to find.

A shortage of hospital beds for Covid-19 patients is spreading throughout Thailand, as the Coronavirus surges through the country, and people are getting desperate to secure a bed for their loved ones. Even celebrities are posting on social media in an attempt to get a space in the rapidly filling hospitals. Government officials say there are enough beds for everyone with Covid-19 but not all beds are in luxury facilities. The National Health Security Office says a 700-person waiting list exists for Covid-19 infected patients to get a hospital bed. The NHSO performs daily check-ups and advice anyone needing help to call 1330 or the Department of Medical Services at 1668.

The president of the Private Hospital Association asserts that the shortage is not as dire as it seems, and a lot of the problem stems from how private hospitals are handling bed allocation. He claims that private hospitals didn’t make proper arrangements and are not referring Covid-19 infected patients out of their medical network in order to charge for treatment even though the government is paying for Covid-19 expenses.

Part of the problem is that hospitals are required to admit all patients as soon as they test positively for Coronavirus to avoid spreading. As a result, some private hospitals have stopped testing for Covid-19 when they don’t have beds to accommodate them.

25,000 extra beds have been requested by the government to beef up hospital capacity along with the quick building of makeshift field hospitals. The Health Minister encourages hospitals to partner with hotels in the recently launched “hospitel” program to handle patients and free up ICU beds for more severe Covid-19 infections.

The Ministry of Public Health is considering self-treatment at home for patients who live alone when hospitals hit capacity. The Health Minister requested Friday a self-care guidebook be created by the Department of Medical Services designed for stay-at-home Covid-19 patients who may need to treat themselves. Asymptomatic patients will be the most likely to be assigned to self-care at home if they live alone and will not spread the virus.

The National Institute for Emergency Medicine and Erawan Medical Centre Bangkok of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration are working to create more beds and asking people to stay calm. They say Covid-19 beds are still available in Bangkok though numbers are limited. As of now, 9,183 beds exist in total with 4,244 still available, including new beds added to Bang Khun Thian Geriatric Hospital and field hospitals at Bangkok Arena and Chalerm Phrakiat Bang Bon Stadium.

In the meantime, even celebrities have found themselves scrambling to find hospital beds for Covid-19 infected friends and family. Star Chiang Mai United footballer Boworn Tapla contracted Covid-19 on April 12 and then later discovered his wife and 2 daughters also were infected. After being placed in a long queue by the hospital that diagnosed them, Boworn posted a plea for help on Instagram. After 4 days, they finally found beds for his family at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health in Bangkok, and yesterday Chiang Mai United management and the chairman of Chiang Mai provincial administrative organisation.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Siam Bioscience says July due date of locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine still feasible

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Siam Bioscience says July due date of locally-produced AstraZeneca vaccine still feasible | Thaiger

Siam Bioscience Co. says the July due date for delivering its locally-produced Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccines is still feasible. The company is currently sending vaccine samples to laboratories in Europe and the US for quality inspections. If they are approved, then the samples will be sent to AstraZeneca for final inspections. After that, the vaccines will be registered with Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration to be greenlighted for mass production. Siam Bioscience says it is capable of producing the vaccines domestically at almost the same rate as Australian and South Korean manufacturers as it is using the same technology from AstraZeneca.

The deputy government spokeswoman says that between 6-10 million doses of the vaccine will be ready to be administered in June. The corporate communication director of Siam Bioscience, Nualphan Lamsam, says the company is working as fast as it can.

“All parties concerned are working against time to produce the vaccine as fast as possible and make it an alternative to help save lives.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration that the company has improved the vaccine’s efficacy against the Brazilian and South African strains of the coronavirus. But, there is no word yet on whether the company is also planning to improve the vaccine’s efficacy against the UK virus variant, known as B117. In Thailand, 608,521 people have now received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine.

Today, Thailand has reported the highest ever daily amount of new infections at 1,767. The spokesperson for the CCSA also reported that there were also 128 people in serious condition, with 28 people on ventilators. The third wave of Covid-19 has caused concern amongst authorities after announcing plans to reopen Phuket in July. The plan was to allow those foreign tourists, who are fully vaccinated, to enter the tourist island without needing to undergo a quarantine.

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model will need “a major revamp.” He says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday, Bangkok and Chon Buri lead the way

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday, Bangkok and Chon Buri lead the way | Thaiger

1,767 new Covid infections were reported this morning, the highest ever daily report of new cases in Thailand. The spokesperson for the CCSA also reported that there were also 128 people in serious condition, with 28 people on ventilators.

608,521 people have now received at least their first dose of Covid vaccine.

Bangkok continues to lead the way in the new infections although the clusters are popping up right around the country now. Bangkok reported 347 new infections, Chon Buri with 229, Chiang Mai with 164, Nonthaburi, just north and west of Bangkok, 100, Prachuap Khiri Khan 66 and Samut Prakan 64. Locally, Phuket officials announced an additional 26 cases today, taking the tall in this latest cluster to 156 infections.

Only 2 cases today were imported, everyone else was living in Thailand.

The total number of infections in Thailand has now reached 42,352 people. There has been 2 additional deaths reported in the past 24 hours, taking that total to 101 dead from Covid-related disease. 13,569 people remain in state-monitored care.

Readers should also realise that the local provincial health officials report daily as well. Those totals don’t usually find their way into the national daily tally until the next day.

Some provinces are adding their own restrictions, including demanding negative Covid tests if you’ve arrived from a red zone – Krabi and Trat have announced this already. The only exceptions are if you’ve had full doses of Covid vaccine or have just come from quarantine. Chiang Rai has announced a ‘request’ that citizens stay at home for the next 14 days.

In Phuket, the closure of entertainment venues has been further extended to the start of May.

Expect more provinces to make similar announcements in the next few days.

If you are travelling, or planning to travel, it would be recommended to pre-load the Mor Chana app on your phones and fill out the information. This will help avoid some delays as you arrive in new provinces.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday, Bangkok and Chon Buri lead the way | News by Thaiger

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