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Koh Samet to close from today for at least 2 weeks, Koh Chang may follow

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Stock photo of Koh Samet via Wikimedia Commons

The island of Koh Samet, in Thailand’s eastern Rayong province, is closing to visitors and non-residents for at least 14 days to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The province saw 21 new infections yesterday, with at least 1 being linked to Koh Samet. The shuttering is effective as of today with another popular island, Koh Chang, also possibly following suit. is only allowing residents to enter and leave the area from Na Dan Pier for essential travel to and from the mainland during the closure period.

The Rayong Governor signed the order yesterday along with the public health coordinator to shutter the island from today until at least May 10th. The island’s hotels, resorts and other accommodations are to close and the entire island is to be disinfected and cleaned. The Governor says those who reserved rooms should contact the property they were planning to stay at to postpone or cancel their reservations. He says they should be refunded by the properties and asked for island business owners to cooperate in refunding customers who had pre-booked stays.

Despite the governor reminding such businesses that they could collect social security payments, it is understood that a majority of tourism industry workers are informal and not qualified to receive social security payments. Those payments, if one is qualified to receive, can make up for 50% of one’s overall salary.

The island of Koh Chang may also follow suit as leaders are discussing the move today. The closures come before this weekend’s 4 day holiday which features labor day and His Majesty the King’s coronation anniversary day for government workers on Monday and Tuesday of next week. But due to Covid, many provinces have placed travel restrictions and are discouraging any non-essential travel, with 14 day quarantines mandatory for those arriving from red zone provinces or presenting a negative Covid test.

Today, Thailand is reporting 2,179 new Covid-19 infections and 15 coronavirus-related deaths. Since the start of the pandemic last year, Thailand has reported 59,687 Covid-19 infections and 163 coronavirus-related deaths.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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    QR

    Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 6:23 am

    What is the cycle threshold used in the PCR testing? Without that info, all stats are essentially worthless.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Chachoengsao villagers say homeless man’s mysterious death could be from Covid

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Photo via Sanook

Chachoengsao province villagers suspect a homeless man’s death may be due to Covid-19. Chachoengsao is just to the east of Bangkok. The man died under a pavilion by the road with relatives saying he chose to be homeless. They also say he had existing health problems but was not high-risk and hadn’t been in contact with anyone infected. But somehow, the community has concluded that he had the virus.

The Bang Pakong Police Station received a notification on May 2 that a man was dead at a road intersection. The police captain says they found 58 year old Lotok’s body. They say he was quite thin and was about 160 centimetres tall. The man was by a mosquito net and had other daily use items including a wheelchair. They say he was using the pavilion he was under as a home.

54 year old Jakpan and 56 year old Thawee, Lotok’s relatives, say he had diabetes and high blood pressure. But they say he has no history of visiting Covid high risk areas. They say he couldn’t walk and would always stayed around the pavilion. Relatives usually helped take care of him but he always refused staying in a house and would always come back to the pavilion or spend time at a local temple.

In Chachoengsao, there have been 343 infections of Covid with 2 deaths in total. Where Lotok was found, in the Homsil sub-district, there have not been any reported cases of Covid during the third wave. The numbers are related to the third wave of Covid that swept the country stemming from entertainment businesses.

It is not known whether an autopsy or tests will be performed to determine if he had Covid-19 or the cause of his death in general. Police have appeared to not be releasing any more information to the media surrounding his death. But, if that information is released, we will update the story.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

 

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Drugs

Pedigree cats seized in drug raid find new home with “cat lady”

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A cat lady has taken in 6 pedigree cats who were auctioned off yesterday after their owner was arrested in a drug raid. The auction proceeds went to the Narcotic Control Fund, which organises drug raids. The 6 cats, consisting of 5 Scottish Folds and 1 Bengal breed, were sold to Nutch Prasopsin, who owns a Facebok fan page called, “Kingdom of Tigers.” Her page is followed by 3 million cat lovers, who pitched in to help her raise the 100,000 baht winning bid.

“I was very excited. I had very much hoped that the cats would end up in my care. I’ve been following their status since the very first day.”

Regardless, the newly adopted cats will share a home with Nutch’s other 20 felines. Pornthip Jampong of the regional narcotics board emphasized that the cats needed to be adopted as a group as they had been through quite an ordeal.

“They were living together so they would be familiar with each other. If we separate them, this may cause them to stress or have psychological effects.”

The owner, was arrested and charged with being involved in an illicit drug trafficking network. He goes by the name of Soradet Sonsiri, better known as “Kook Rayong.” It is unclear why he didn’t show up to claim the cats, as there is no information on whether he is currently jailed. If he didn’t show up, the reasons are due to his incarceration or his inability to prove that he didn’t purchase the pedigree cats with drug money.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Eastern Thailand

Officials investigating woman’s alleged attempt to sell national parkland for 350 million baht

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PHOTO: Bianca / Flickr

Officials in eastern Thailand are investigating a Facebook post in which a woman allegedly attempted to sell 298 rai of national parkland. According to a Bangkok Post report, the land is located on Koh Wai, part of the Mu Koh Chang Marine National Park, in the eastern province of Trat. Damras Phoprasit from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation says officials were alerted to a Facebook post advertising the huge piece of land for sale for 350 million baht.

“The department has checked the total amount of land on Koh Wai island, and we found it is impossible for anyone to own 298 rai plots in the national park. We now know the identity of the person who posted this and we will launch an investigation.”

The island is around 932 rai in total and was declared part of the Koh Chang marine park in 1982. At the time, 3 local fishermen were awarded small sections of land as they had lived on the island for decades before it attained national marine park status. However, Damras says that the vast majority of the island is still state land.

“We will investigate this and take legal action against anyone who is found to have encroached on park land.”

It’s understood the land was advertised for sale by a woman named as Minky Arisara. In a Facebook post, she colourfully described the island as, “the Maldives of the east,” adding that her family owned 298 rai of it. The Bangkok Post reports that some time later, she edited her post, apologising for having provided in accurate information.

“We only have a small piece of land on this island which we use to make a living. I am so sorry I did not check the information – I did not think anyone would be interested.”

Meanwhile, a source familiar with the island says there are 2 resorts on Koh Wai currently trying to sell their land, adding that the properties are not breaking the law as they can show they hold the title deeds. It’s understood they bought their land from villagers on the island around 30 years ago, prior to it becoming a national park.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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