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37 inmates at Chiang Mai prison test positive for Covid-19

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Chiang Mai Central Prison/ Photo via Facebook/ เรือนจำกลางเชียงใหม่

At least 37 new inmates at Chiang Mai Central Prison have tested positive for Covid-19 in routine testing during the quarantine period for new inmates before they enter the general prison population. Provincial public health chief Jatchuchai Maeerat said the inmates who tested positive for the virus were sent to a field hospital at the prison in Chiang Mai’s Mae Taeng district.

The Chiang Mai public health office is now urging other prisons in the area, particularly the Chiang Mai Women Correctional Institution and the Fang District Prison, to follow similar protocols as the Central Prison to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among the general prison population and the staff, Jatchuchai says.

“We test new inmates after they have been monitored for symptoms during a 14-day quarantine and then sent to the inner zone… All infected prisoners are separated and sent to a field hospital within the prison.”

Since April 1, there have been 2,448 Covid-19 cases reported in Chiang Mai. So far, 134 patients have recovered and have been released from the hospital. The Chiang Mai public health department has 16,000 tablets of the antiviral medication Favipiravir. He says it’s enough to treat the patients in Chiang Mai.

Earlier this month, there was a Covid-19 outbreak at a prison in the southern province Narathawit. The outbreak prompted prison officials to cancel visits to contain the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Malcolm Hughes

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    If you know anything about the conditions I’m surprised there’s only 37 inmate infected, well that’s what they admit to, especially if you see the cramped sleeping conditions where inmates sleep on the floor like spoons in a box. Don’t be fooled by the outside façade, window dressing, if you go inside, and I don’t mean the prison guided tour, but the real inside you’d be horrified.

  2. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 23, 2021 at 4:41 am

    “If you know anything about the conditions I’m surprised there’s only 37 inmate infected, well that’s what they admit to, …”

    These are only “new inmates” who are quarantined before joining the main prison population.

    The “field hospital within the prison” seems the ideal place for those avoiding / refusing quarantine in a normal field hospital.

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Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai restaurants want dine-in ban revoked as infections drop

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Siripanna Chiang Mai

The governor of Chiang Mai has called for the ban on dining in at restaurants to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm. Charoenrit Sa-nguansat’s request follows a drop in Covid-19 infections in the northern province.

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has colour-coded Chiang Mai “dark red”, making it a maximum control zone, along with the central provinces of Bangkok, Chon Buri, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, and Samut Prakan. According to restrictions imposed on maximum control areas, in-house dining is prohibited at restaurants, which are only permitted to remain open for takeaway orders up to 9pm.

The Bangkok Post reports that Charoenrit has appealed the ban in a letter to the CSSA, after daily new infections dropped from triple digits to double digits. In his letter, he attached a copy of a petition from the Chiang Mai Restaurant and Entertainment Venue Association, who last week called for the dine-in ban to be lifted, pointing out that it’s having a significant impact on more than 14,000 restaurants and 80,000 workers. The association also argues that there have been no infections linked to local restaurants.

Charoenrit, who also heads up Chiang Mai’s communicable disease control body, says he supports the association’s petition, adding that case numbers have been following a downward trend in the last week and calling on the government to lift the dine-in ban in the province.

According to the Bangkok Post, an innovative restaurant thought it had found a way around the ban when it opened up a “drive-in” service, in which customers could order and consume food in their own cars for up to 2 hours. Alas, the move was opposed by health officials, who pointed out the small gap between vehicles and voiced concerns that diners could use the opportunity to mingle.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Thailand

Chiang Mai on track to reopen 2 districts to foreign tourists in October

Thaiger

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Photo via Pexels

Chiang Mai is still on track to reopen to foreign tourists under the sandbox model this October. The so-called sandbox model would allow foreign tourists, who are vaccinated against Covid-19, to travel to designated areas in Thailand without undergoing quarantine. In Chiang Mai, tourists will be able to travel in the area with tour guides on designated routes. Phuket is set to reopen under the scheme on July 1.

In Chiang Mai, the districts Mae Rim and Mae Taeng are planned for the sandbox model. President of the Tourism Council of Chiang Mai, Punlop Saejew, says those areas have a low population density and around 400,000 vaccine doses are needed for residents in both districts.

With Phuket set to reopen in July, tourism operators expect other tourist destinations in Thailand will benefit from the potential influx of foreign visitors.

“The Phuket sandbox model will create opportunities for other provinces… However, we have to prepare for our reopening regardless of what happens with Phuket because the country cannot afford another lost year.”

Health officials have said there are a limited amount of vaccine doses with priority given to those in high risk areas. Both Chaing Mai’s public and private sectors are planning to procure more doses, just in case, the government cannot provide the vaccines in line with the reopening schedule.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Drugs

Opium and Heroin seized at Chiang Mai checkpoint

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Large drug busts this week in northern Thailand.

500 grams of heroin and 50 kilograms of raw opium were seized at a Chiang Mai checkpoint by Pha Muang Force soldiers. The cache was confiscated Tuesday evening in the Chai Prakan district’s Pha Hong checkpoint in Tambun Si Dong Yen. The soldiers stopped 2 drivers who aroused suspicion and who promptly fled when stopped. The motorcycle was left with 2 bags, with one containing 500 g of heroin and the other 50,5 kg of raw opium which had been packaged into 31 separate packets.

The bust is part of a line of recent drug seizures that have seen about 30.5 million baht worth of drugs recovered while thwarting the trade networks of 3 major drug rings in the Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, and Tak provinces. These drug cases have all been linked to Wichit Arphonrungroj, the chief of Phop Phra tambon administrative organization. While Wichit is still at large with police hunting for him, several other arrests linked to the busts have been made. Four warrants were issued and police are actively pursuing more accomplices.

The first raid on Monday in Tak came as police continued investigating and expanding the scope of a huge drug bust in October 2019 where police seized 1.5 tons of crystal methamphetamine. Police later seized 2 million baht of drugs in a bust of a man in Sukhothai. And in Phitsanulok, a 20 year old man was arrested after being unable to clarify the source of 20 million baht wired into his bank account. He had been selling drugs online, using a Facebook page called “Phee Laem Pilok”.

Last December police confiscated drug assets valued at 100 million baht in Bangkok. And just a few weeks ago police took in 100 kg of ketamine and crystal meth in a drug bust in Lat Phrao.

With the Covid-19 pandemic crippling the economy and many jobless and increasingly desperate, Thailand has seen an increase in drug use and trafficking. Add to that the civil unrest in Myanmar, where illegal drug manufacturers are using the turmoil to sneak drugs across a tumultuous border, and Police have seen the need to implement a widespread crackdown on drugs throughout Thailand.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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