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Govt earmarks B100mn for Nepal; emergency team flies out

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Govt earmarks B100mn for Nepal; emergency team flies out
The Nation / Phuket Gazette


PHUKET: The government yesterday earmarked 100 million baht for agencies to use for relief efforts in Nepal, while 56mn baht was collected in donations from the public as of yesterday via different fundraising campaigns.

The devastating earthquake in the mountain kingdom has claimed more than 4,400 lives in Nepal so far.

A team of medical staff with expertise in disaster relief will fly to Nepal today, Dr Surachet Sathitniramai, deputy permanent secretary for the Public Health Ministry, said.

The 19-member Medical Emergency Response Team is comprised of four doctors specializing in emergencies, a surgeon, a psychiatrist, four nurses, six medical relief staff members, two communications experts and a medical specialist as team leader.

The team will be setting up workstations at four locations, including the Thai embassy, a Thai Buddhist temple, and the Nepalese public health ministry.

Three senior ministry officials arrived in Nepal yesterday to make preparations for the medical response team. Three similar teams will be prepared to take turns in operations in Nepal, Dr Wachira Pengjuntr, a deputy permanent secretary in charge of the ministry’s medical operation center, said.

Over the next two months, up to 10 tonnes of medical supplies will be delivered, he said, adding that the ministry has asked for 20mn baht to fund this operation. The medical supplies alone will cost around Bt8.3 million and will be provided by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization.

Dr Surachet said antibiotics would be needed to stop wounds from becoming infectious.

Meanwhile, the C-130 military transport plane will bring back Thai nationals stranded in Nepal, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said, without elaborating on arrangements.

Currently, 45 Thai nationals are being sheltered at the embassy, he added.

Separately, the 100mn-baht budget yesterday was approved by the Cabinet, in addition to the US$200,000 (6mn baht) the government donated earlier, $500,000 donated by the Thai Red Cross Society, plus 100,000 baht given by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.

All government agencies working on relief operations have been instructed to monitor the situation in Nepal and come up with contingency efforts upon receiving requests, deputy government spokesman Maj Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said.

A 67-strong team of military experts in disaster relief flew yesterday to Nepal, said deputy supreme commander Adm Thaweewuth Phongphiphat. The team has military surgeons, military engineers, satellite communication experts and search-and-rescue staff. Their operations change after the first seven days based on orders of the Defence Ministry, the admiral said.

The team took along equipment to produce clean drinking water, survival kits, generators, relief kits, instant food and medical supplies, Gen Sansern added.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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Thailand

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tourism

Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic

Maya Taylor

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Surveys show Thailand still one of the top holiday choices post-pandemic | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The Stockholm office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand has conducted a survey in which 62% of respondents say they want to spend winter in Thailand provided restrictions are lifted. The top destinations are Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok, and Hua Hin.

68% say they would cancel bookings if the 14-day quarantine remains in place. 26% say they would still go ahead, and 13% said they’d be in favour of quarantine being cut to 10 days. 99% of participants say they would be worried about testing positive for Covid-19 after travel plans have been made.

Meanwhile, the TAT’s London office has also been busy, carrying out a survey in conjunction with market research firm, YouGov. The idea behind the survey was to get an idea of the future of tourism once the pandemic is over.

4,127 people took part, with 75% of them saying they’re prepared to be vaccinated if it’s required for travel. 41% are against mandatory quarantine, although 52% would accept a 5-day quarantine. 62% of those planning holidays are over the age of 50 and interested in countries with low infection rates.

According to a Nation Thailand report, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot from the TAT says the findings of the survey indicate that up to 6 million people are interested in travelling to Thailand at some point this year.

Meanwhile, a number of online travel agency platforms in France have also carried out a survey. The poll, conducted by companies such as Go Voy, Opodo, and eDreams, showed that the number of hits to tourism-related websites rose by 15% once the success of Covid-19 vaccines was announced. The top destinations searched for were Dubai at 49%, Marrakesh at 27%, and Bangkok at 25%.

Another travel survey in the Americas found that most holidaymakers have chosen to postpone their trips by 7 months to a year, rather than cancelling completely. Siripakorn says that booking flexibility is a priority for Americans.

“Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility, and no deposit.”

Meanwhile, a report issued by Skift Research shows that travel will not recover until 2023 and will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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