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Health Minister considers making lawbreakers pay for Covid treatment

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Health Minister considers making lawbreakers pay for Covid treatment | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s Public Health Minister is considering making lawbreakers pay for their own Covid-19 treatment after pointing out that those who put the public at risk for the coronavirus should foot the bill for treatment.

Anutin Charnvirakul floated the idea on his Facebook after a meeting yesterday raised concerns about illegal gambling activities and human-smuggling that has contributed to the rise in infections, especially those migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, Thailand’s new Covid hotspot.

Now, as Thailand has reached 10,053 infections, with around 6,000 occurring during the second wave, the focus is turning to those who cross the border illegally. Some 200-300 Thais had allegedly crossed the border in the north to work at casinos and were trying to return home after such places were closed due to Covid.

It is estimated that more than 100 Thais were left stranded just across the border in Myawaddy, Myanmar after the shutdowns occurred. And now, the chief of police has travelled to Tak province’s Mae Sot district, where the migrants are largely coming back from Myanmar.

The chief is inspecting border control areas as 40 Thai people recently returned from Myanmar, with 17 testing positive for Covid. However, that group of returnees reportedly cooperated with law enforcement and entered quarantine upon arriving.

Security officials from both countries are currently discussing how to control the situation after finding out that a casino in Myanmar, which employs 300 local and Thai staff, experienced a Covid outbreak.

A coordinating centre was set up to work with the Sky Complex Casino in Myawaddy town to make sure that all Thai staff who wished to return are following the law. Regardless, Anutin says law breakers are putting a strain on the public health system and depriving others of medical attention as hospitals were forced to ration out medical services.

“The money that is supposed to be spent to provide medical care to the public will be used to look after those who break the laws and who knows for how long and how much. And for how long other people will lose their income and opportunities?”

“So the question is, should the government pay for treatment of the law-breakers, or it should pay and send the bills to those responsible for bringing in new patients?”

“I’ll discuss this issue with agencies concerned to deter irresponsible acts because they think it is the government’s job to provide free medical treatment when they’re ill.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jeff

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Hold people accountable for their actions…what a novel idea. Duh!

    • Avatar

      dispensePC

      Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      Agreed! Every time you hop on that scooter, you should be punished for all the lives you shortened.

      Frankly, any time you engage in ANY economic activity, you should be punished for all the damage you’ve done… to yourself, to others, and to the children. shame Shame SHAME!

  2. Avatar

    Keith

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Makes no difference to farangs, we have to pay anyway

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Counter-productive, though, if it gives people not only more reason to avoid being tested but more reason not to be honest about where they could have caught the virus.

    Let’s see … just tested positive for Covid, so do I say that I’ve just been gambling in Pattaya and risk jail time and paying for my hospital bill, or that I’ve just bought some prawns …

  4. Avatar

    Dirty farang

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Another brain fart from Anutin.

    • Avatar

      Mister Stretch

      Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 8:10 pm

      A 64-year old Singapore woman did that recently and got sentenced to several months in prison.

      She didn’t want people to think she was having an affair with a 72-year old male friend.

      Authorities felt a message needed to be sent to the population…lie and pay the consequences.

  5. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    It’s foolish, false economy to fail to treat or deter people from seeking treatment for a highly infectious disease. Saving a couple of thousand baht at a cost of several millions, does not make any sense whatsoever.

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights

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Covid-19 travel pass to pilot on Etihad and Emirates Airways flights | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travel Daily

A travel pass for passengers inoculated against Covid-19 or who have tested negative will be piloted on flights for Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways. With the travel pass issued by the International Air Transport Association, passengers can keep control of their data and share their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

The travel pass will be offered on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter, and will expand the pass to other destinations of the trail is successful. Emirates is going to implement phase 1 of the travel pass in April for flights departing from Dubai.

Recently, the IATA travel pass programme has been also tested in International Airlines Group and Singapore Airlines.

SOURCE: Reuters

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Outbreak in Samut Sakhon is “worrying,” CCSA spokesperson says

Caitlin Ashworth

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Outbreak in Samut Sakhon is “worrying,” CCSA spokesperson says | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Matichon

While the number of daily new Covid-19 cases continues to drop, health officials are still scrambling to contain the virus in the prime hotspot: Samut Sakhon. The outbreak in the coastal fishing province is “worrying,” according to Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin.

Health officials rolled out a proactive mass testing campaign after a spike of Covid-19 cases in mid-December. The vast majority of cases were concentrated around the Central Shrimp Market in the Mahachai fishing hub, which affected a large migrant population. The virus has since spread to 61 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.

With the help of proactive testing, more than 4,000 cases were reported in Samut Sakhon. Field hospitals have been set up on the fly to treat and quarantine those that are infected.

But public health officials are still racing to test as many people in the province as possible with plans to inspect 600 factories and test 50 factory workers per day. There are 12,000 factories in Samut Sakhon and Taweeslip says health officials are speeding up testing to “isolate infected people as soon as possible.”

“The outbreak in Samut Sakhon is worrying. It is difficult to conduct active case-finding there. There are many obstacles, including the number of factories… Meanwhile, factory owners and workers must cooperate. There are more than 10,000 small factories where 1-200 people are employed.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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