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Coronavirus

Coronavirus UPDATE – 28,276 confirmed cases, many people continue to recover

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus UPDATE – 28,276 confirmed cases, many people continue to recover | The Thaiger
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The month-long outbreak of the novel coronavirus shows no sign of letting up with the death toll rising, along with the list of new cases and an increasingly long list of full recoveries. Chinese health officials have raised the death toll to 565, with a total of 28,276 cases identified around the world. The number of full recoveries now exceeds 1,000.

Hong Kong authorities say they will now quarantine all arrivals from mainland China whilst the Chinese government faces intense public criticism over its response to the outbreak.

3,700 cruise ship passengers are now facing up to two weeks of ‘cabin fever’ – two-week enforced quarantine – after 10 coronavirus cases were identified on the luxury Japanese ship moored in Yokohama Bay. Amongst the passengers are 400 Americans. Another cruise ship was being screened in Hong Kong because a few people on an earlier trip carried the virus.

Here’s a list of airlines that have currently cancelled flights in and out of China…

Asia and Oceania

Air Asia – Some flights suspended until February 29
All Nippon – Some flights suspended until March 29
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon – 90% reduction in flights
Japan Airlines – Some flights suspended until March 28
Korean Air – Some flights suspended until the end of March
Singapore Airlines and SilkAir – Some flights suspended until March 1
QANTAS – Suspended until March 29
Air New Zealand – Suspended until March 29

Europe and the Middle East

Air France – Suspended until February 9
British Airways – Suspended until February 29
Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines – Beijing and Shanghai flights suspended until February 29; other routes until March 28
Turkish Airlines – Suspended until the end of February
Etihad – Suspended from February 5
Emirates – Suspended from February 5
Qatar Airways – Suspended until further notice
Finnair – Beijing and Shanghai flights suspended until February 29; other routes to March 29
KLM – Beijing and Shanghai flights suspended until February 9; other routes to February 29
Iberia – Suspended until February 29

North America

American Airlines – Suspended until March 27
United Airlines – Suspended until March 28
Delta – Suspended until April 30
Air Canada – Suspended until February 29

(Information from CNN)

Coronavirus UPDATE - 28,276 confirmed cases, many people continue to recover | News by The ThaigerA few questions…

Is there any cure?

No, beyond treating symptoms and waiting for the human immune system to kick in and fight the virus. But progress is being made. Thai doctors claim they have successfully treated two patients with a cocktail of antiviral drugs. A similar treatment has been trialled in China but the results have not been accredited by the World Health Organisation.

Who is the most likely to be infected?

People of any age can be infected with the coronavirus virus, anywhere in the world. But, like other flu, older people, people with pre-existing medical conditions, people with compromised immune systems, are especially vulnerable to severe complications. Children, at this stage, appear to have been largely spared many cases of the virus. Most people will recover from the virus with the rate of death rate floating around 2%, indicating the coronavirus is less deadly than the earlier SARS and MERS coronaviruses.

What are the symptoms?

Coronavirus symptoms will likely appear like a flu, the fever, coughing and trouble breathing. If you show these symptoms and recently went to China, or have been in contact with someone who visited, you should visit a hospital urgently.

How is the virus spread?

The virus is understood to spread person-to-person through droplets floating around the air after an infected patient coughing or sneezing nearby. Scientists say there’s also a possibility the cornavirus can exist in, and spread through, contaminated fecal matter. There’s currently no evidence that the virus is “airborne”, so it doesn’t simply float through the air or across a room.

What can I do to protect myself?

Do what you do during any flu season. Wash your hands often with soap and water, cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough, avoid close contact with people or large gatherings, and wear a face mask if you are travelling around large crowds or in areas with concentrations of Chinese travellers. Statistically, if you take basic precautions, you are extremely unlikely to contract the Novel Coronavirus. And if you do, for now, you have a 98% chance of full recovery.

Is it safe to travel, and travel around Asia?

Many airlines have suspended flights in and out of China. And thousands of foreign citizens, who were living in Wuhan, have now been repatriated to their home countries. But there are many countries, including the US, advising against travel to China. It would be sensible to postpone holidays or leisure travel to China until the statistics starts to trend downwards. Just keep abreast of reliable reporting. Travelling around other Asian destinations, statistically, is still extremely safe with the current checks and awareness around the region.

Is there a need to panic?

No

We’re now at a new junction in the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus. At this stage, after a month of worrying news, rising death tolls and new cases, the World Health Organisation is still measured in its communications about the virus. The word “pandemic”- an ongoing epidemic of the virus on two or more continents – is being whispered but not used officially. There is a predictable panic, spreading of misinformation, dramatic media headlines and wall-to-wall coverage from all angle.

Social media is also playing a strong role in this current outbreak with desktop experts spreading their own fears, misguided analysis, and sharing clearly fake videos and dramatic out-of-context stories.

But, even with the mounting death toll and news cases, statistically, it is a tiny proportion of the, mainly Chinese, population affected although the measures to control the spread of the coronavirus are having far-reaching effects on people living in China, especially in the epicentre province of Hubei, where up to 50 million people are in “lockdown”. But the loss of 565+ lives remains tragic.

Outside of China, there are 185 confirmed cases in 25 countries, including one death in The Philippines. There’s still a lot we don’t understand about the 2019-nCoV (coronavirus), including exactly how it’s transmitted, where it’s spreading, and how deadly it will be, once all the current cases have made the journey through diagnosis, symptoms and, hopefully, recovery. The death rate from this strain of the coronavirus has been steady at around 2%, much lower than with the 2002/2003 outbreak of SARS, another coronavirus strain.

Given all that remains unknown about 2019nCoV, there is still plenty of room for a surge in new patients or a slow drop – both are possible and we are sure to see some new twists and turns in the ongoing coronavirus story. But many health experts do expect this outbreak to get worse, with new infections appearing, not only in China. A further increase in patients will continue to burden the Chinese health system, and spread into poorer countries with weaker health systems.

A surge will also continue to impact the Chinese economy, with a ‘viral’ knock-on to the world economy. Tourism around Asia, which has hugely benefitted from the expansion of outbound Chinese tourists, will also be severely curtailed.

But even health experts cannot agree on the future of coronavirus cases, and whether it will continue to spread or if we may soon see a plateau of new cases and a slow drop. Certainly, the appearance and spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus or Novel Coronavirus is a huge wake up call for health authorities around the world. Over the 17 years since the SARS outbreak there’s been few outbreaks leading many to think that these outbreaks are under control. There is no doubt there will be a lot more pro-active and preventative measures to ensure that future outbreaks, and possible pandemics, are minimised.

And some soul-searching in China.

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Coronavirus

New coronavirus case brings Thailand total to 35

Greeley Pulitzer

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New coronavirus case brings Thailand total to 35 | The Thaiger

Thailand has a new case of the COVID-19 coronavirus, bringing the total in the country to 35 since January, the Ministry of Public Health’s permanent secretary announced at a press conference today. The new case is a 60 year old Chinese woman whose relatives earlier contracted the virus.

Of Thailand’s 35 confirmed cases since January, 15 have recovered and return home. Over 1,700 people in China have died from the virus but Thailand has had no fatalities so far.

If you believe you may have been exposed to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to inform locals and tourists alike that an online self-screening for has been launched.

The questionnaire is available in Thai, Chinese and English, and can be accessed online at http://sescimande.net/Self-Screening.

On completion of the questionnaire, the user is classified as either “no risk,” “medium risk” or “high risk.” A recommended course of action is provided for each category.

TAT urges users to provide the most accurate and truthful medical statement to assist Thai health authorities to treat and prevent the spreading of the disease effectively. Do not provide fake or incorrect information, as it may cause widespread panic. Individuals spreading fake information can be found guilty under Thailand’s Computer Crime Act of 2017. Also, people should check any news before sharing and not believe information that appears in unreliable sources.

Thailand launches Coronavirus Disease 2019 self-screening online

To protect themselves from the disease, the general public as well as local and international tourists are advised to comply with the Ministry of Public Health’s recommendation by eating cooked food, using a serving spoon, washing hands, wearing a mask when visiting crowded places, and not touching their eyes, nose and mouth.

Useful contacts:

  • Department of Disease Control Call Centre 1422
  • TAT Contact Centre 1672
  • Tourist Police 1155

SOURCE: Bangkok Post |Tourism Authority of Thailand

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Coronavirus

21 Vietnamese fishermen taken for coronavirus testing in Songkhla

The Thaiger & The Nation

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21 Vietnamese fishermen taken for coronavirus testing in Songkhla | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nothing, NOTHING, is going to stop the obligatory 'selfie' with the Vietnamese crew - The Nation

21 Vietnamese crew from four Vietnamese fishing boats looking for sea cucumbers have been taken ashore to a Songkhla Navy hospital by Royal Thai Navy officials last night. They are being quarantined whilst being tested for coronavirus.

Sea cucumbers are echinoderms from the class Holothuroidea. They are marine animals with a leathery skin and an elongated body containing a single, branched gonad. Sea cucumbers are found on the sea floor worldwide.

The Songkhla Naval Base Hospital’s medical team has now screened the entire crew following a report that the Vietnamese boat had travelled to China since the start of the outbreak. Concerns were raised when Maritime Information Sharing Centre was informed on February 14 that foreign ships searching for sea cucumbers had also encroached into Thailand’s maritime zone.

Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam share parts of the Gulf of Thailand.

Its name in Malay and Khmer translates as the “Gulf of Siam”. In Thai, the gulf is historically known as Ao Sayam. In Vietnamese it is known as Vịnh Thái Lan.

Of the fishermen brought ashore, 16 didn’t show any symptoms of coronavirus while the condition of the other five, who have now been screened, is yet to be confirmed.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Chiang Mai

Thai Airways starts to trim back schedules due to loss of demand

The Thaiger

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Thai Airways starts to trim back schedules due to loss of demand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Airbus A380 landing - ttgasia.com

Thai Airways is cutting back services to South Korea and Singapore out of Bangkok due to “a dramatic fall in demand” and cancellations caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The vice president of sales at Thai Airways, Nond Kalinta, says the national carrier had adjusted flight schedules to match commercial demand. He confirmed the following changes.

• Flights reduce on the Bangkok-Seoul-Bangkok route from five to four daily February 26 to March 28.

• The airline will cancel flights on the Bangkok-Busan (South Korea)-Bangkok route on February 27 and March 5 & 6.

• Flights on the Bangkok-Singapore-Bangkok route will be cut from five to four flights daily from February 20 to March 27.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s major airlines are suspending some services to Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The South Korean government issued a travel advisory that recommends Koreans should refrain from travelling to countries that have confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The travel advisory recommended travellers refrain from visiting Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Macau, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.

Asiana Airlines suspended flights to Bangkok and Chiang Mai while Jeju Air and Korean Air halted services from Busan to Bangkok.

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