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Coronavirus

Immigration checkpoints enhance hygiene measures nationwide

Greeley Pulitzer

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Immigration checkpoints enhance hygiene measures nationwide | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Health screening measures are being augmented today at immigration checkpoints nationwide - NNT
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Health screening measures are being boosted today at immigration checkpoints nationwide to prevent the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus into Thailand. Since cases were confirmed in Malaysia and Singapore, officials at the Betong border crossing in the southernmost province Yala are using handheld thermometers to screen suspected contaminanees.

Meanwhile enhanced hygiene measures are being implemented at immigration checkpoints at all airports across the Kingdom. The improved measures will help protect officials at international airports, who are in contact with tens of thousands of passengers daily, with special screening protocols at Guangzhou, where health experts be assigned specific gates. All flights from Wuhan have been cancelled as the Chinese city which is at the epicentre of the outbreak is in effective lockdown.

The Immigration Bureau said yesterday that the enhanced hygiene measures will bolster passengers’ confidence. Immigration checkpoints will be cleaned hourly with disinfectant and alcohol spray, especially in areas where officers and passengers interact. Immigration officials at all airports will wear masks and gloves, as they must handle many passports and frequently converse with passengers.

Hand sanitiser bottles for passengers will be placed on immigration counters for passengers to use, and officials will increase their surveillance of coughing and sneezing passengers, who will be referred to the airport’s health control team. Officials’ will also be monitored, and those showing symptoms will be sent to doctors immediately.

There are currently no confirmed cases of Wuhan Coronavirus infection in Yala or southern Thailand, but Betong district is considered to be at high risk as it welcomes many Malaysian-Chinese and Singaporean-Chinese tourists.

In Samut Songkhram, southwest of Bangkok, the district chief has delivered sanitary masks to vendors at Amphawa floating market, in an attempt to reduce the chances of infection. Amphawa has ordered hotels and homestays to monitor the health of their guests, and notify authorities should any guest show symptoms.

Amphawa floating market is a tourist attraction popular among Chinese, with about half of all visitors coming from China.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Coronavirus

Korean virus cases skyrocket; Japanese passenger turns positive

Greeley Pulitzer

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Korean virus cases skyrocket; Japanese passenger turns positive | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Medical workers in South Korea - File photo

The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Korea has increased tenfold in just four days to 556, and a passenger on the virus-stricken Diamond Princess tested positive after arriving home in Japan, despite a negative result during the ship’s 14-day quarantine. Yesterday, China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak began, saw 96 deaths, another decrease, in line with the toll reported in recent days.

The US has raised its travel alerts for Japan and South Korea to Level 2, while China remains at Level 4, meaning “do not travel.” Britain “advise against all but essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo” in South Korea, and Italy, the country with the most infections in Europe, is banning passage to and from an affected area southeast of Milan.

Korean virus cases skyrocket; Japanese passenger turns positive | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Worldometers.info

China has pledged fiscal and monetary steps to help global growth rebound, even as finance chiefs from the world’s biggest economies, gathering in Saudi Arabia for the annual G20 meeting fret over the risks. The IMF says its baseline scenario is now for China to expand 5.6% this year, 0.4 of a percentage point lower than a January estimate, knocking 0.1 of a point off global growth.

SOURCE: Bloomberg News

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Coronavirus

China reports further reduction in new coronavirus cases, down to 397; Korea has a second death

Greeley Pulitzer

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China reports further reduction in new coronavirus cases, down to 397; Korea has a second death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Staff at the workshop of Fusen Pharmaceutical China’s Henan Province. The company has resumed production to ensure the supply of medicines during the fight against the coronavirus - Xinhua

China’s National Health Commission announced today that the country had 397 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus infections as of yesterday, down from 889 cases a day earlier. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 76,288. The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 2,345.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 106 new deaths, 90 in the capital, Wuhan. New infections in China have been falling for days, although changes in how it counts cases have caused doubts about the true trajectory of the epidemic.

China last week began recording new cases without waiting for laboratory results, causing a significant spike in the number of cases reported. But on Thursday it returned to its original method of counting, and removed some cases from the tally because test results were negative. The changes are sure to aggravate observers who say consistency is key to understanding COVID-19’s path.

South Korea reported 142 more cases this morning, bringing the nationwide total to 346. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional death, bringing the total to two.

Among the latest cases, 92 were connected to a hospital in Cheongdo, a southern city connected to a religious sect. More than 150 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus have now been infected, after a 61 year old woman developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services in the city of Daegu before being diagnosed. Cheongdo, around 27 kilometres south of Daegu, is the birthplace of Lee Man-hee, Shincheonji’s founder. County officials said yesterday that a three day funeral was held for his brother three weeks ago at a hall owned by the hospital, where the 92 new cases were confirmed today.

Iran announced three more infections Thursday, a day after it reported its first two deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus

No virus cover-up, PM tweets

Greeley Pulitzer

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No virus cover-up, PM tweets | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CNN file photo

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha went on Twitter yesterday, in an apparent bid to counter “fake news,” and announced there is no COVID-19 coronavirus cover-up happening in Thailand. He insisted the government is neither hiding nor distorting the number of infections in the country and said citizens should “gain confidence” in its remarkable success managing the disease. Earlier in the day, Prayut had urged the public to stay calm and not share “fake news or hate speech” about the virus threat, “because everyone, especially medical personnel, will be working on it until the crisis has passed.”

Although several countries have expressed admiration for Thailand’s ability to stem the spread of the virus, some foreign experts on disease control have doubted the small numbers of confirmed and suspected cases officially reported. Thailand has reported a total of 35 confirmed cases, seventeen of whom have made full recoveries, and has reported no fatalities

“The situation in Thailand today is still in a range we can cope with, and the government will take care of all affected sectors of society.”

The PM came out of an afternoon meeting at Government House on the virus issue, saying the Cabinet will soon announce measures to support entrepreneurs who have been affected by the outbreak.

“Measures already taken have been able to control the situation effectively, but we plan to introduce more to help society cope and more again if the outbreak evolves to the next level. Meanwhile it’s important to shore up the production and distribution of protective facemasks, which is still falling short.”

Businesspeople, especially in the tourism sector, who’ve been hurt by the virus can count on state assistance, Prayut told reporters

“The virus has had an impact on all businesses, so we must resolve the problem in a comprehensive way. I thank all government agencies for their cooperation in helping solve these problems.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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