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Covid UPDATE Saturday: 18,912 infections, news briefs

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Today the Public Health department has announced 18,912 new infections and 178 Covid-related deaths for the past 24 hours around Thailand. There were 810 cases from Thai prisons. Today’s totals are a new record for daily cases since the start of the pandemic. We will announce the provincial totals just after lunch, Thai time.

• 10,678 patients were released from medical care yesterday. And there have now been more than 17 million cumulative vaccinations in Thailand.

• The Chon Buri Public Health department has announced another 1,062 new infections for Saturday and 6 new deaths. This statistic will be included in the Sunday totals.

• The Phuket Provincial Public Health department announced 35 new Covid infections for Friday. This takes the total over the past 7 days to 209. Before the opening of the Sandbox, public health officials set a threshold of 90 cases in a 7 day period as a trigger to review the future of the Phuket Sandbox.

• In a post to Facebook this afternoon, Bangkok Airways announced that they will be extending the suspension of their domestic flights until August 11. They will ground all flights except flights connected to the Phuket Sandbox and Samui Plus international reopening programs.

• Dr. Manoon Leechawengwongs, a respiratory diseases specialist at Vichaiyut Hospital, spoke yesterday saying that the Delta variant of Covid has further intensified the spread of the disease as it is 1,000 times more intrusive in a person’s perspiration than its predecessor.

He added that the latest wave of infections in Thailand has mostly been within households, diluting the effectiveness of lockdowns.

He recommended people wear protective masks in the home the same as they would outside, especially those who regularly leave their homes for work or to buy necessities. He further stated these individuals should immediately wash their hands with soap or alcohol when arriving back home and then continue to keep their masks on for the safety for their families.

The doctor remarked that the Delta variant wasn’t present during the study and would likely have increased the infection rate beyond 39 percent, had it been. He reasoned that the findings should prompt people to wear a mask even when at home.

• The public health ministry says that half of the 1.54 million Pfizer vaccine doses donated from the US will be allocated as a booster for 700,000 frontline medical staff across Thailand.

• Phuket has become like one island but 2 different worlds, depending on your vantage point. A look at the news over the past few days has been a dizzying mix of the Phuket Sandbox pushing forward, some successes in statistically low Covid-19 infection and death, especially compared to the rest of Thailand, a green light for the Sandbox to continue despite obstacles, and the island sealing off to outsiders.

Announcements regarding the Sandbox being allowed to continue under close supervision came within hours of government orders essentially banning all domestic travel to the island. Now, your chances of travelling to Phuket are very much dependent on whether you are an international traveller or a domestic one. Details about the new restrictions for domestic travel HERE.

• Thailand’s Ministry of Labour has clarified details of the compensation packages being offered during the tightened lockdown measures in 13 COVID-19 dark-red zone provinces, after people complained that they had been unfairly excluded from the scheme – NBT

SOURCES: FRB | NBT | The Phuket News

 

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