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Public Health Ministry speculates new infections likely to slow by end of January

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Public Health Ministry speculates new infections likely to slow by end of January | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s Public Health Ministry speculates that the 2nd wave of Covid-19 infections is likely to “slow down” by the end of this month. However, Dr. Opas Kankawinpong, the director-general of the Disease Control Department is warning that the virus could spread in office buildings and congested areas after such infections has been detected found in a few Bangkok offices.

“We have seen no new cases in seven days in 20 provinces, which is very good and a positive sign.”

“If we can continue our efforts to limit the outbreak from spreading, we will see an obvious decrease in the number of new daily cases by the end of this month.”

“Under the current situation, we can say that we have done well to control the outbreak.”

Opas spoke optimistically during the daily press briefing at the Ministry of Public Health, after it reported 205 new Covid-19 cases, a drop from the day before.

“This is a good result from effective action to control the disease, done by many provinces, including efforts to quickly find the infected persons… and people’s strong awareness about wearing masks and having clean hands.”

Since the recent outbreak was detected between December 15-20 at the seafood markets in Samut Sakhon province, just southwest of central Bangkok, the number of Covid-19 infections detected jumped by 5,604, accounting for more than half of the total amount of cases reported in Thailand since the pandemic began up to December 20. As of yesterday, the amount of infections had risen to 10,053, along with 67 deaths.

Samut Sakhon province has seen 2,981 infections, and in the eastern region there have been 1,597 cases reported, mostly linked to illegal gambling dens. Bangkok has seen 519 cases so far, and the western region has seen 146 cases. But since the pandemic started, the fatality rate has been low, with only about 7 new deaths being added since December 20.

The ministry says all 12 public health regions need to prepare 1,000 field hospital beds in case of an emergency, but is still remaining optimistic.

Phuket province has introduced new arrival restrictions and quarantine requirements. Read about that HERE.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

The birthday party of Techin Ploypetch, better known as “DJ Matoom”, is now considered a super-spreader source of Covid-19, with 19 people already found infected after attending the event. According the CCSA spokesperson during the daily briefing today, “Transmissions in Bangkok should be highlighted. They show the possibility of a person becoming a super-spreader”.

The birth of the super spreader birthday party started with a guest to the DJ’s party who had visited a well-known entertainment venue in Chiang Mai between January 1 and 4. He sought a Covid-19 test on January 5 following news that infected people had visited the pub, but tested negative. He should have self quarantined for 14 days, but he still flew to Bangkok and then attended the DJ celebrity’s birthday party on January 9.

DJ Matoom says he met the guest, one of his friend, on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

According to Dr Tanarak Plipat, now acting inspector-general of the Public Health Ministry, an infected person can transmit disease to two others on average, while a “super spreader” will transmit to multiple people.

DJ Matoom and the party’s guest were criticised of violating the disease control measures.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants | The Thaiger
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As fear over new variants of Covid-19 had prompted the travel restrictions to tighten worldwide, the United States biotech firm Moderna announced that its vaccine should protect against the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Latest studies on the efficacy of Moderna vaccines confirmed that the vaccines are effective and protective against new variants. The company will continue more tests adding a second booster of its vaccine, bringing to 3 shots in a total.

“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok advertised pre-orders for the Moderna vaccine, which still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA. Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support demanded that the hospital remove the advertisements.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. They also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Health officials say private hospitals will be allowed to administer vaccines that are approved by the FDA. So far, the Thai government has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Frontline health care workers and vulnerable groups in high risk areas will be first to receive the vaccine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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