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Anti-government activists moved to Bangkok’s Thon Buri prison

Maya Taylor

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Anti-government activists moved to Bangkok’s Thon Buri prison | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

Officials say 3 protest leaders have been transferred from Bangkok Remand Prison to Thon Buri Prison, in the Bang Bon district of the capital, to avoid overcrowding. Panupong Jadnok (“Mike”), Piyarat Chongthep (“Toto’’) and Jatupat Boonpattararaksa (“Pai Dao Din’’) underwent processing and health checks in the reception area of Thon Buri prison before entering 14-day quarantine. The Bangkok Post reports the 3 protest leaders are being held in separate rooms, although each room also houses other detainees.

The 3 face serious charges as a result of their participation in anti-government rallies and have been denied bail. Panupong and Jatupat have been charged with violating section 112 of the Criminal Code (also known as the lèse majesté law, which prohibits criticising, insulting, or otherwise defaming the monarchy). Piyarat has been charged with violating the emergency decree.

Ayut Sinthoppan from the Corrections Department says prison officials from Bangkok Remand Prison will arrive to escort the 3 activists to court for the duration of their trial. He adds that the prison has 24-hour security and the 3 are not currently allowed any visitors as they are carrying out 14-day quarantine.

Meanwhile, fellow protest leader Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, aka, “Rung’’, is being held at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution and is also in 14-day quarantine. The prison director, Soraya Rit-aram, says only her lawyers have permission to visit her.

The Bangkok Post reports that yesterday, the Justice Minister, Somsak Thepsutin, referred to plans to expand the prison to house political prisoners, so as to alleviate overcrowding when family members or fellow activists visit. However, he added that the proposal would need to be investigated further.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers

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Website, self-quarantine for post-Songkran Bangkok travellers | Thaiger
PHOTO: bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th website to register people returning to Bangkok.

Bangkok is taking proactive steps to deal with the likely surge of Covid-19 cases after the Songkran holiday, asking those returning to Bangkok to submit their timelines online and self-quarantine 14 days. Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang is urging all people entering Bangkok to visit a website where they can perform a self-evaluation to assess their Covid-19 risk.

The website, bkkcovid19.bangkok.go.th, allows travellers returning to Bangkok to input their travel timelines and their personal information after scanning a QR code. The system will help with contact tracing, aggregating all the travel information to make following any threads of Covid-19 spread much more efficient. Health officials will be able to access and contact anyone thought to have come in contact with a Covid-19 infected person.

Songkran is usually one of the busiest travel periods of the year with millions of people going on holiday or visiting relatives. The government launches road safety campaigns to combat the swell in traffic and accidents. And even with Covid-19 cancelling most Songkran celebrations, Bangkok still saw nearly 8 million vehicles coming and going this festival period. A swell in Coronavirus infections spread throughout the country is likely as people travelled all over Thailand and back to celebrate the Thai New Year’s holiday.

Governor Aswin explained the platform is hoped to help contain possible outbreaks by providing crucial information to health officials to trace Covid-19 spread. The system will analyze infection risk for each person who registers and give them instructions on how to proceed. People deemed to be at risk will receive a free Covid-19 swab test from Bangkok health officials, while low-risk cases will be instructed to self-quarantine for 2 weeks.

SOURCE: The Pattaya Mail

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals.

Tim Newton

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Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | 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 tally in this latest cluster to 156 infections*.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by ThaigerOnly 2 cases today were imported, everyone else who tested positive were 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.

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.

*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.

Covid UPDATE: 1,767 new infections for Sunday. Provincial totals. | News by Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Should International IB schools in Thailand be conducting on-site exams at this time?

Tim Newton

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Should International IB schools in Thailand be conducting on-site exams at this time? | Thaiger

A student has sent The Thaiger this email addressing their concerns about the continuation of exams in the current situation. The government have closed down all schools and any further teaching needs to be online. Except, it appears, for some international schools which seem intent on going ahead with on-site exams. What do you think about this person’s letter? The Thaiger has decided to withhold the writer’s name.

Share your thoughts below.

Verbatim…

Dear Sir/ Madam

I’m currently doing my IB Diploma Programme here in Thailand, it is with great concern that I’m writing this email as such a situation has never happened to me before as Thailand is experiencing a third wave more powerful than the previous waves of the current ongoing pandemic.

44 IB Schools in Thailand have transmissions within the communities of every prominent international school in Thailand, a new strain of covid, record-breaking case numbers, a lockdown being passed through today, and then there is the audacity to act as if it is fine to do exams. Compared to the rest of the examinations such as IGCSE, GCSE, CIE etc. Have all been cancelled, but the IB is still reluctant to cancel theirs. Currently, as per the governmental order in Thailand, all schools, malls and social gathering have to be closed for two weeks with also a limitation of up to 50 people in a room like environment.

Having said that most of the international schools are protesting against this idea as they think it’s perfectly fine to continue with examinations, aren’t we humans? Aren’t we individuals that are vulnerable to such a pandemic? In the end, if we end up getting covid it will be blamed as our fault, will our school take responsibility for it? Would the IBDP take responsibility for each and every single person infected with the virus? Or in a worst-case scenario, we won’t be able to sit exams hence it will be postponed, this is such an absurd concept some of us have been selected into universities, where such an option will keep us in a bad position.

I do not understand how even now the IB is not considering the life of students that will be impacted by this decision. You are placing a group of students who have visited numerous locations outside the school environment who may have interacted with different people outside their family, been to covid-risk areas, in a room with the rest of the students. Isn’t the IBDP thinking about the possible transmission through airborne interactions with peers and teachers? Sitting at the same desk the student has interacted with for multiple tests with different people. Life is at stake, please understand the concept that we are students, we are normal people and some of us do not have a strong financial hold so getting such a virus or even an infection puts us in a vulnerable situation with the existing problem.

Thank you for taking your time to read this email. I hope that you understand that cancelling CIE, IGCSE and GCSE have forced multiple concerns to arise, that being said we are also students just like them, and the IB should realize that soon enough so they can make a change, because at the end of the day if one of us gets infected that’s fully impacting us personally, not the schools making us sit exams. Could you please write something on this please as many of us students are affected by this.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

(Writer’s name withheld)

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