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Arrivals from West Africa on Ebola watch, fears grow of outbreak in Europe

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Arrivals from West Africa on Ebola watch, fears grow of outbreak in Europe
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Thai authorities have joined the rest of the world in monitoring the spread of the Ebola virus and are closely screening all arrivals from West Africa, a source at the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Countries across the world have raised their alert over the outbreak in West Africa after a doctor in charge of an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone became the latest victim of the deadly virus this week.

The United Kingdom regards the outbreak as a “serious threat”, and a commercial airliner has suspended all flights to two African countries.

Dr Sheik Umar Khan succumbed to the virus on Tuesday, according to the medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

“Dr Omar Khan died at 2pm,” Brima Kargbo, chief of Sierra Leone’s health services, announced.

Dr Khan was admitted to a treatment facility run by MSF after he tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses a “very serious threat”. He made the point just before chairing a meeting with COBRA, the UK government’s crisis response committee tasked with assessing the country’s preparation to cope with any possible outbreak of the disease.

The UK Department of Health confirmed that one person in Britain was tested for the virus but tests had proved negative. Reports suggest that this person had travelled from West Africa to central England.

Meanwhile, Pan-African ASKY Airlines announced on Tuesday that it was suspending all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone, the two countries that have been hit by the Ebola outbreak.

This move by the Togo-based carrier came after the death of one of its passengers who had been travelling from Liberia to Nigeria via the Togo capital of Lome.

The 40-year-old man, an employee of the Liberian government, died in Lagos on Friday in what was Nigeria’s first confirmed death from Ebola.

The source at the Foreign Ministry said Thai officials were checking the travel history and health condition of all travellers from West Africa before allowing them into the Kingdom.

Dr Wongwat Liulak, who heads the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s Disease Control Division, reckoned there is a possibility that during the virus’s incubation period, some infected persons may not be aware they are carriers and hence continued travelling. He added that the virus was transmitted via direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected humans or animals. High fever is one of the key symptoms of Ebola virus disease or Ebola haemorrhagic fever.


No infections in Thailand

So far, there have been no Ebola infections in Thailand. “But the Public Health Ministry is closely monitoring the situation,” Wongsawat said, adding that Thailand had experience in controlling some epidemics before, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Meanwhile, the non-profit organisations that have lost two American employees to the virus have closed their Liberia treatment centre due to civil disturbances and plan to evacuate 60 members of staff due to the disease risk.

Protesters apparently “got out of hand” outside an Ebola treatment centre in Foya, near the Guinean border, leading the two North Carolina-based agencies to shut it down, Bruce Johnson, an executive with SIM USA, said.

“It was a growing civil unrest and the local authorities were not able to secure the situation,” Johnson said.

Ebola has claimed 672 human lives in four West African nations since March, the worst outbreak since the virus was first reported in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976.

The Ebola virus first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The virus, for which there is no known cure so far, starts with high fever, followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and later bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose. As many as 90 per cent of the infected are killed by the virus. The World Health Organisation said in a statement on Sunday that there have been 1,200 infections so far this year.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | German Embassy, More STV tourists, Thanathorn in trouble | October 27 | The Thaiger

Today’s latest Thai news from The Thaiger, hosted by Tim Newton with full, echoey sound! Sorry about the minor audio issues!

From Bangkok to Berlin – protesters deliver letter to German Embassy

Protesting students last night submitted a letter to the German Embassy, to be passed on to the German Government. The protest started around 4pm when the rally gathered at the Sam Yan intersection, near the Chulalongkorn University, and made its way along Rama IV Road to the German Embassy in Sathorn Road, some 1.5 kilometres.

After some 10,000+ students descended on the Embassy compound in Sathorn Road, the German embassy said it would be “ready to receive the petition and convey it to Berlin on condition it was conveyed in a peaceful manner”.

The rally disbanded peacefully at around 9pm. Here are a few lines from the letter… the full contents are published on thethaiger.com

Addressed to His Excellency German Ambassador to Thailand.

During the last few days, we believe that Your Excellency have had the occasion to observe numerous alarming human rights violations in The Kingdom, including the excessive use of force against peaceful protestors and the suppression of free speech.

The protestors. at the receiving end of these egregious violations, were advocating for nothing more than democracy and accountability from the Government.

One of the most significant and courageous demands from the protestors is the accountability of the monarchy as an institution under the constitution.

In this regard, we are certain that Your Excellency is well aware of the open secret that H.M. does not habitually reside in Thailand, but rather in Bavaria, Germany. Khana Ratsadon International profoundly believes that this violates International custom, law, as well as Article I of the German Constitution.

We sincerely hope that Your Excellency would convey our grievances to the German Government.

Yesterday’s Germany’s Foreign Minister responded directly to the situation out side the German Embassy in the German parliament….

“Of course we are following developments taking place in Thailand, and know there are demonstrations and people taking to the streets for their rights. And, of course, I am also watching what the Thai King gets up to in Germany.”

Earlier yesterday a group of some 500 supporters of the government and royalists dressed in yellow shirts also demonstrated outside the gates of the German Embassy voicing their support for His Majesty and a continuation of the current system.

Both rallies outside German Embassy broke the law – deputy police chief

Meanwhile both of the rallies outside the German Embassy in Bangkok – the royalists and government supporters earlier yesterday afternoon and the pro-democracy protesters in the evening – have been deemed illegal by Thai police.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Chief says both rallies held outside the embassy on Sathorn Road did not have the permit required to hold a gathering and demonstrators violated Covid-19 prevention measures under the emergency order (presumably the Covid 19 emergency decree as the State of Emergency was rescinded last Thursday by the Thai PM).

Around 500 royalists got to the embassy first in the afternoon to show support for the Thai Monarch. Most were dressed in yellow, the colour representing the Thai Monarchy, and many waved the Thai flag and held up photos of the Royal family.

6 face extortion charges after allegedly posing Thai immigration police officers

Police have arrested 3 people and issued arrest warrants for 3 others on extortion charges after they allegedly posed immigration police officers in Rayong and visited business owners with migrant staff, asking them for money.

Police say 6 men wearing immigration police uniforms visited business owners in Rayong on September 15. They allegedly asked for money from the businesses with migrant labourers.

Investigators where able to track down 3 of the suspects and found the immigration police uniforms they allegedly used.

145 more on Special Tourist Visa arrive in Bangkok

145 people on the new Special Tourist Visa arrived in Bangkok yesterday from Guangzhou, China, the second group after Thailand’s 7 month ban on international tourists.

39 people on the new long stay visa arrived last week, a small, yet significant step forward for Thailand as it pries open the borders for tourists, albeit with a lot of paperwork, restrictions AND the 14 day quarantine.

In 2019, nearly 40 million tourists visited Thailand.

3 Chinese casino workers arrested with 8 million baht after illegal crossing from Myanmar

Officers from the Thai police and military have arrested 3 Chinese nationals after they crossed illegally into Thailand from the Burmese town of Myawaddy.

The 2 women and 1 man were workers at a casino in Myanmar and were arrested in possession of 8 million baht in Mae Sot, Northern Thailand. Officers detained them as they were getting into 2 cars allegedly arranged for them by 2 Thai men .

Thanathorn, other former Future Forward Party officials, are facing criminal charges

16 people from the dissolved Future Forward Party, including the former leader Thanathorn , could face criminal charges pressed by the Election Commission.

The charges are over a large donation that allegedly exceeds the maximum allowed under the Political Parties Act. The timing of the politically-charged legal action coincides with a peak of anti-government protest activity.

The 191 million baht loan, which exceeds the limit of 10 million baht per donor per year, led the Constitutional Court to dissolve the Future Forward Party back in February. The Court also ordered the party’s executive MPs be stripped of their parliamentary status and banned from politics for 10 years.

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Visa

Don’t forget to extend your visa! Thai Immigration warns about fines for late applicants

Caitlin Ashworth

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Don’t forget to extend your visa! Thai Immigration warns about fines for late applicants | The Thaiger

Still need to extend your visa? You have until Halloween, October 31. With the visa amnesty deadline approaching, Thai Immigration Bureau is reminding foreigners to get their visa in order by the end of this month. Late applicants will be fined, they say.

No matter when the visa is extended, as long as it’s before the deadline, it will go into effect on November 1 and allow a 60 day stay. The immigration bureau says foreigners should file an application with their local immigration office.

Since the recent amnesty period was put in place a few days after the initial September 26 deadline, those who paid 1,900 baht for 30 day visa extensions last month are now allowed to stay until November 30, but they need to go to immigration to get a stamp with the new expiration date.

The amnesty was first put in place in April due to travel restrictions and the global spread of the coronavirus. The grace period was set to end in July, then extended to late-September, and then extended again after many were unable to leave the country or get their visa in order before the deadline.

SOURCE: Thai Immigration

Don't forget to extend your visa! Thai Immigration warns about fines for late applicants | News by The Thaiger

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Thailand

145 more on Special Tourist Visa arrive in Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth

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145 more on Special Tourist Visa arrive in Bangkok | The Thaiger
PHOTO: 77 kaoded

145 people on the new Special Tourist Visa arrived in Bangkok yesterday from Guangzhou, China, the second group after Thailand’s 7 month ban on international tourists. 39 people on the new long stay visa arrived last week, a small, yet significant step forward for Thailand as it pries open the borders for tourists, albeit with a lot of paperwork, restrictions AND the 14 day quarantine.

The country went from welcoming millions of tourists each month before the pandemic to zero from late-March until a few weeks ago. In 2019, nearly 40 million tourists visited Thailand.

All the tourists passed the Covid-19 screening upon arrival at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. They are now required to go through a 14 day quarantine at an approved hotel or facility before travelling the country.

The tourists were on the same China Southern Airlines flight as 118 foreigners with Thai work permits who were entering Thailand for business purposes, according to the airport’s deputy director Kittipong Kittikachon. 16 Thais were also on the flight, travelling back home from China.

While some have been concerned that opening the borders to foreign tourists could cause another outbreak (even though the tourists are also required to quarantine), Kittipong says there is “no chance” that the coronavirus will spread from the tourists. He says strict health measures are in place and the tourists are coming from areas that are considered a “very low risk” with no recent local transmissions of the virus.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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