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Pro-vaping group to request public hearing to legalise vaping in Thailand

Jack Burton

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Pro-vaping group to request public hearing to legalise vaping in Thailand | Thaiger
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The below is the contents of a press release sent to The Thaiger by the consumer group End Cigarette Smoke Thailand. The opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect those of The Thaiger or its subsidiaries.

The Tobacco Control Research and Knowledge Management Center (TRC) revealed results from the meeting of the Ministry of Commerce’s review panel on e-cigarette import control measures on January 23 stating that the ministry has decided to continue with the ban without any change.

Mr. Maris Karanyawat, a representative of an e-cigarette user group known as ‘End Cigarette Smoke Thailand (ECST)’ comments:

“The panel did not listen to public opinion or the research from other countries that we submitted to them so their decision lacks of transparency, righteousness and the engagement of the people affected by the ban.

There was no careful consideration of information regarding advantages and disadvantages in all aspects, instead, the panel opted for the proposal of the TRC, which is an organization that has always been an advocate against e-cigarettes.

“We believe that people have the right to receive factual information and that Thai smokers should have access to less harmful alternatives to smoking. There are various proven studies and research papers from countries like the UK, US, New Zealand, Canada and many other countries in Europe. Currently, there are only over 30 countries that ban e-cigarettes, most of which are not advanced in public health.”

“The ban on e-cigarettes does not help the government to control the problem or the usage of them as seen from the widespread use of e-cigarettes, despite being banned. Smokers who want to minimize the harmful effects from smoking or want to reduce or stop cigarette smoking, can search for information from the internet by themselves as they don’t trust the information given by the Ministry of Public Health and the anti-smoking organizations.

The ban also causes e-cigarette smuggling, which leads to the loss of tax revenue. There are other issues such as illegal online purchases among young adults and arrests of e-cigarettes users and tourists. We believe that the government should properly regulate the products to protect children from having access to these products rather than having an absolute ban.”

Another representative from the same network, Mr. Asa Salikupta, adds that the results from the study of TRC contradict foreign studies, which indicate that no evidence confirming e-cigarettes cause young people to smoke cigarettes.

“Public Health England states that e-cigarettes has been able to help at least 20,000 smokers to quit cigarettes each year. In New Zealand, there is new research from the University of Auckland which found that e-cigarettes contribute to the lower smoking rates among young people aged 14-15. This shows that e-cigarettes are not a ‘gateway’ to smoking conventional cigarettes as some people have claimed.”

“The results from the study of the TRC and the resolution of the review panel to continue with the ban are totally in the opposite direction to international approaches. Therefore, we would like to call for the disclosure of the TRC’s study results to the public to see whether or not all the data has been considered in every aspect and whether the opinion of those who have been affected by the ban was taken into account.

We are preparing to submit a request to the House of Representatives to seriously investigate this matter in order to save the lives of over 10 million Thai smokers who need to have better alternatives than to continue smoking,” Mr. Maris concluded.

SOURCE: End Cigarette Smoke Thailand

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Thailand

Nightlife venues ordered to close after midnight tonight, nationwide ban on serving alcohol

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Nightlife venues ordered to close after midnight tonight, nationwide ban on serving alcohol | Thaiger

Health officials have announced new Covid-19restrictions targetting Thailand’s hardest-hit, or red zone, provinces. The restrictions, which will start tonight after midnight, include ordering all nightlife venues to close. Restaurants cannot serve alcohol and those dining-in must leave no later than 9pm. If you want to get take-away, you must do so before 11pm, unless you are in a province listed as an “orange zone.”

This is the 3rd consecutive day of the country reporting a record-breaking amount of infections. After saying that no curfew would be imposed, Taweesilp Wissanoyothin of the national pandemic task force said all gatherings should be kept to no more than 50 people, schools should avoid holding in-person classes, restaurants can no longer serve alcohol, nightlife venues must remain closed and hours limited at a number of businesses where people gather in the nation’s COVID-19 “red zones.”

At midnight tonight new restrictions come into force for red and orange zone provinces. Here’s a list of the “Red Zone” provinces.

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

59 “Orange Zones” restrictions include:

  • Restaurants can open for diners until 11pm.
  • Bans on serving on-site alcohol.

Nightlife venues ordered to close after midnight tonight, nationwide ban on serving alcohol | News by Thaiger

FULL LIST OF PRECAUTIONS (starting at 1 minute past midnight Sunday, April 18)

Across all provinces…

• Closures of schools, all nightlife venues, pubs and clubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours

(except for international schools running exams)

• No events can have more than 50 people

• Dining-in allowed until 9pm (but can do takeaway until 11pm)

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres and fitness centres to be closed by 9pm

(Sporting fields, exercise places, gyms and fitness clubs must close at 9pm)

• Convenience stores, markets, supermarkets must be closed by 11pm

Everywhere else…

• Dining-in allowed until 11pm

• Serving of alcohol banned

• Shopping centres to be closed by 9pm

Nationwide, all nightlife venues – such as bars, brothels and karaoke parlors – must remain closed until at least April 30. Gyms and fitness centers must close by 9pm. Convenience stores and night markets must close from 11pm to 4am.

The measures are imposed for at least 14 days or two weeks starting Sunday (April 18) before the task force will “consider” if the measures should be implemented further.

Today, the CCSA has announced that there are 1,547 new infections around Thailand, a slight drop from yesterdays’ 1,585 reported new cases. Today’s additional infections takes the total number in Thailand to 40,585 since the start of the pandemic.

All but 3 of today’s newly reported infections were local – 1,544.

Bangkok – 279

Chiang Mai – 140

Chon Buri – 99 (155 cases were reported by Chon Buri officials this morning which will go into tomorrow’s national totals)

Prachuap Khiri Khan – 58

Samut Prakan – 27

The CCSA reports that 11,916 people are still under care and supervision in Thai hospitals or field hospital facilities.

Covid UPDATE: 1,547 new infections, restrictions start after midnight tonight | News by Thaiger

Additionally, people are being discouraged from traveling to “Red Zone” provinces. Businesses are also being ‘asked’ to allow staff to work from home or introduce other measures to minimise risk of infection at the workplace. These workplace and travel ‘advisories’ will certainly be ramped up if the number of daily cases continue to rise.

SOURCE: Coconuts

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Covid-19 vaccinations for June still on schedule

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Covid-19 vaccinations for June still on schedule | Thaiger
PHOTO: 61 million Covid-19 vaccines are set for delivery from now until December

Covid-19 vaccinations in June are still set to proceed as scheduled according to the Department of Disease Control. They have ensured that production and distribution is on track, especially with AstraZeneca producing 6 million jabs domestically now. Local production in Thailand is ramping up, with 61 million AstraZeneca vaccines planned to be manufactured domestically by Siam Bioscience by the end of the year. PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Health Ministry, and the Division of Disease Control Emergency Situation have all spoke to reassure the public that distribution will not be delayed and production is on track.

586,000 vaccines, the combined total of AstraZeneca and the Chinese SinoVac jab, have been administered so far and the number is expected to surge as mass Covid-19 vaccinations begin across Thailand. The first batches were distributed across all 77 provinces in the nation with over 510,000 people receiving their first shot already. 75,576 people are fully vaccinated, having received their first and second shot already.

Officials are looking forward to AstraZeneca delivering ts batch of jabs in June when large-scale Covid-19 vaccinations will really get underway. Once delivery begins, AstraZeneca is contracted to send 10 million vaccines per month to Thailand for 5 months, from July to November, with December completing their contract on delivery of the final 5 million shots of the 61 million contracted.

Of the 586,000 vaccines administered already, they were mostly split between medical personnel and residents of high-risk areas, with both demographics receiving just over 40% of the injections each. The remaining 20% was split between officials, who received about 10% of the jabs, those over 60 years old, who accounted for 5%, and people with non-communicable diseases, making up just over 4% of the Covid-19 vaccinations.

In Bangkok, a new Covid-19 testing station has been set up and is prepared to test about 3,000 people per day. The station is for Social Security Fund members who believe they are at risk of being infected with Covid-19, and registration can be done online here. The testing location can be found at the Bangkok Youth Centre.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thai government hospital staff forced to quarantine after patients lied about Covid-19 contacts

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Thai government hospital staff forced to quarantine after patients lied about Covid-19 contacts | Thaiger

Over 100 of Thailand’s government hospital workers are now undergoing quarantines after their patients allegedly lied about being in contact with someone who was infected with Covid-19. Khon Kaen Hospital ordered 105 medical staff to immediately enter a quarantine, according to its Director, Nataya Mills. The hospital was forced to stop receiving new cases and has closed 2 medical wards and 1 paediatric ward.

“These personnel have been in contact with Covid-19 patients, so they are now treated as a high-risk group and need to go into a 14-day quarantine.”

Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital, which is located on Royal Thai Air Force premises in Bangkok, has also stopped receiving any new Covid cases from today until April 30 after medical personnel came into contact with Covid-19 patients. But the hospital did not disclose how many staff would be entering a quarantine.

Samut Prakan Hospital also said on Facebook that 2 doctors, 9 nurses and 6 others had been forced to self-isolate after a patient failed to provide information about having come into contact with an infected patient.

The hospital also warned it would take legal action against any patients who refused to provide full details of their contacts with Covid-19 infected people, an offence that carries a maximum fine of 20,000 baht. Samut Prakran yesterday reported 40 new Covid-19 cases, 27 local ones — 21 in Muang district and 6 in Bang Phli district — and 13 which originated in other provinces.

In Narathiwat, Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Hospital reported that 6 medical staff had contracted Covid-19 from patients who failed to give clear information about their previous contacts. The hospital said the infected medical staff had been admitted to a special ward, while those at risk had been quarantined for 14 days and would be tested. The facility has also been disinfected.

In Ratchaburi, Photharam Hospital also carried out a thorough cleaning and announced a brief closure of its emergency department, plus an indefinite closure of its dental, physical therapy and Thai traditional medicine departments, after finding that 6 medical staff had contracted the virus.

Health officials say those people and entertainment businesses who helped spur a third wave of Covid-19 in Thailand may face legal action against them. A 26 year old woman, who allegedly boarded a plane on April 11 in Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport after testing positive for the virus, has been pointed out by Chraspong Sukree, the chief of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s public health office. He says health officials are working with authorities in Bangkok to press charges against her.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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