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Coronavirus UPDATE: Vietnam village quarantined, worldwide cases reach 64,448

The Thaiger

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Coronavirus UPDATE: Vietnam village quarantined, worldwide cases reach 64,448 | The Thaiger
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Infected patients worldwide reaches 64,448 whilst the death toll from the coronavirus has plateaued in the past 24 hours to 1,383. According to the Chinese National Health Commission, the current number of infections of coronavirus(aka. covid-2019) in mainland China is 63,8591, up some 5,000 from the day before. 7,101 patients have now full recovered.

There are at least 585 confirmed cases of coronavirus in more than 25 countries and territories outside mainland China. A Japanese woman in her 80s is the third person to die of the virus outside mainland China. Japan leads the way in current cases with 252 patients, followed by Singapore (58), Hong Kong (53) and Thailand (33).

Coronavirus UPDATE: Vietnam village quarantined, worldwide cases reach 64,448 | News by The Thaiger

GRAPHIC: Worldometers

More news from around the world

• In Macau, the virus has had a devastating impact on tourism in the southern Chinese version of Las Vegas. The enclave relies heavily on mainland Chinese gamblers and tourists. Gambling remains illegal on the mainland and Chinese New Year is usually a particularly busy time for Macau’s casinos. By all estimations by the local associations, tourism to Macau had dropped 73.6% year-on-year.

A total of 41 entertainment operations in the semiautonomous Chinese city have been suspended for 15 days and are set to re-open on February 21. They include casinos, betting branches, theatres, cinemas, game centres, internet cafes, discos, bars, nightclubs and dance halls.

• Hundreds of passengers, previously stuck onboard the Westerdam cruise ship in southeast Asia, have been able to disembark and wander around Sihanoukville, Cambodia. They were even greeted by Cambodian PM Hun Sen who has somehow turned the plight of the ship, refused berthing permission by four other countries, including Thailand, into a PR stunt.

According to tweets from the Holland America Line, some passengers began to disembark from the Westerdam. The passengers had previously been unable to find a place to disembark the ship due to countries’ fears of a coronavirus outbreak on board.

It was turned away by Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. No cases of coronavirus has been detected onboard after it docked in Cambodia. It will take some days to disembark all the passengers due to charter flight connecting schedules.

• Off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, a long wait wait continues for passengers on board the Diamond Princess, where 219 cases of the virus have been confirmed. According to medical authorities on the ship, more infections are expected to be discovered before the quarantine is lifted. The ship will stay under a 14 day quarantine until February 19.

In a statement read to the marooned passengers on Diamond Princess cruise ship, Japan’s vice minister for health, labour and welfare told them the Japanese government appreciated their “understanding and cooperation.” Minister Gaku Hashimoto said that he knew the situation was “difficult and inconvenient.”

“We also understand that there are many people who are hoping to go home as soon as possible, and people who have pre-existing medical conditions who are still on board.”

So far there have been 219 cases of the coronavirus found onboard, the largest outbreak of the virus outside of mainland China.

• The economic casualties from the coronavirus outbreak continue to mount as Asian and European auto manufacturers run short of car parts, the free-spending Chinese tourists stay home and western companies brace for unpredictable turbulence in the fragile world economy.

Economic pundits predict that we’ve only just seen the start of a financial hangover that is expected to linger for months even if the flu-like illness is quickly brought under control. “The Chinese epidemic’s aftereffects will likely cause the global economy to shrink this quarter for the first time since the depths of the 2009 financial crisis”, according to Capital Economics in London.

• Villages in Vietnam, housing some 10,000 residents close to the nation’s capital Hanoi, were placed under quarantine yesterday after six cases of the novel coronavirus were discovered there. The locking down of the commune of Son Loi, about 40 kilometres from Hanoi, is the first mass quarantine outside of China since the virus emerged in Wuhan, Hubei in December last year.

Coronavirus UPDATE: Vietnam village quarantined, worldwide cases reach 64,448 | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus

More virus cases reported outside of China than within

Greeley Pulitzer

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More virus cases reported outside of China than within | The Thaiger
PHOTO: - Getty Images

For the first time ever, more COVID-19 coronavirus cases were reported in countries other than China yesterday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The US is urging travellers to delay or cancel travel to South Korea after that country’s confirmed cases passed the 1500 mark. New cases were found around the world, from Pakistan to Brazil.

The Iranian government said yesterday that 19 people have died there so far and 139 people have been infected, but the true numbers are expected to be much higher. A WHO team will travel to Iran this weekend to evaluate the situation. In a move sure to cause shudders in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia has put a halt on religious travel to its holiest sites, Mecca and Medina.

Authorities in the US say they’ve identified their first coronavirus case with no ties to a known outbreak. The news comes after President Donald Trump assured Americans that they face little risk from the outbreak, and appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the country’s response to the virus.

More virus cases reported outside of China than within | News by The Thaiger

Key Developments

Global deaths: 2,801, with 82,084 cases worldwide

China death toll: 2,744, up 29; cases climb to 78,497, up 433

More virus cases reported outside of China than within | News by The Thaiger

For live updates on coronavirus statistics courtesy of gisanddata, click HERE

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | gisanddata

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Coronavirus

Health minister demands full disclosure of travel history after 3 more coronavirus cases confirmed

Greeley Pulitzer

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Health minister demands full disclosure of travel history after 3 more coronavirus cases confirmed | The Thaiger

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul had harsh words in a press conference yesterday for the 65 year old Thai man who concealed his travel history from medical workers, exposing not only some 30 medics but also his own family members to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The man and his wife had recently returned from Hokkaido in Japan, and, along with their grandson, became the latest confirmed cases of the virus in Thailand, bringing the total to 40. The three are now being treated at Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute in Nonthaburi province.

The Public Health Ministry warns people against withholding information to public health officials and has suggested state agencies and companies issue an advisory and/or temporary ban on visits to coronavirus-affected countries, as it increases efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

“If he had not been detected fast enough, he could have become a super-spreader, like [the] elderly woman in South Korea.”

Anutin called man’s conduct “very discouraging, not only for people in general, but especially for the medical staff who have been working very hard.”

All of the classmates of the 8 year old boy, meanwhile, have been quarantined and confined to their homes for 14 days, and their parents told to report to doctors if any of them develops flu-like symptoms.

Anutin said he would prefer that health officials not go abroad and will ask tour agencies to stop offering promotional packages to Japan at bargain-basement prices, some as little as 2,000-3,000 baht, saying it is not worth the risk “as it may be their last trip.”

As for political rallies on school campuses, Anutin said he would like organisers of such events to screen participants and provide face masks and sanitizers at the rally sites.

He assured the public, however, that the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand has not yet reached Level 3.

Permanent secretary of the health department Dr. Sukhum Kanchanapimai said that while there are now 40 confirmed coronavirus cases in Thailand, 24 of them have recovered and returned home.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tourism

The Coronavirus effect – Phuket and hotel report

Bill Barnett

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The Coronavirus effect – Phuket and hotel report | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, c9hotelworks.com

“Perhaps the biggest wild card is the mounting number of travel advisories across the globe based on Covid-19”

In what is a continuing storyline on the global coronavirus outbreak, Bill Barnett reports on the impact on Thailand’s most popular island destination, Phuket. He says that the impact on Phuket tourism market is a creating challenging landscape.

“Looking at the largest single drop according to STR data, was the week of January 20 – 27 in the lead up to Chinese New Year, market-wide occupancy fell from 90% down to 60%.”

As of February 17, occupancy was sitting at the mid-50% level, though rate room rates have remained static during the past month. This week hotel numbers continue to shift downward as sentiment worsens due to travel advisories and a uncertainty over return travel are key issues.

The Coronavirus effect - Phuket and hotel report | News by The Thaiger

Moving over to the aviation gateway of Phuket International Airport as of the February 25, month-to-date arrivals compared to the same period last year were down 37.5%. Looking at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the comparative figure is a negative 45.2%. which ramps into the Phuket situation given it’s a feeder of business to the island.

Forward trading remains speculative, but there remains widespread postponement and/or cancellations of MICE events.

(The Thaiger was speaking to the owner of a big MICE company in Phuket last week who said that they started the year with a good portfolio of upcoming MICE events on the island but ALL had been cancelled)

While there is some movement to motivate the Thai domestic market by the TAT, all of Thailand’s markets are chasing that same tail. The upcoming Songkran period is likely to be dominated by staycations versus international trips abroad. Expectations are that that declining demand and airlift are key factors impacting occupancy and we are starting to see rate-driven promotions which will undoubtedly hit ADR’s (Average Daily Rate).

Perhaps the biggest wild card is the mounting number of travel advisories across the globe based on coronavirus (Covid-19), and for now, travel and tourism are working on day-to-day management of the situation. As the majority of hoteliers are looking for some historical context and the closest thing to grab onto is the SARS crisis in 2003. For Thailand the market hit a freefall over five months from March to July, as market-wide occupancy bottomed out just under the 30% level in May of that year.

Or course, what followed was the big bounce and pent up demand drove recovery in August. It continued with spectacular growth in the decades since.

In the case of the coronavirus, the only takeaway from the current situation is a bit like the Back to the Future gab… “where we’re headed, there aren’t any roads”.

(Almost, the actual quote from the movie is “where we’re heading, we don’t need roads”)

Read a report from The Thaiger about the effect of Coronavirus on the Thai property market HERE.

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