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Thailand News: Flu kills 50; Pheu Thai disses Prem’s royal move; Pattani slayings afore Krue Se massacre anniversary

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

50 dead as number of influenza cases jumps dramatically
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Fifty people have been killed by seasonal influenza, which has hit more than 30,000 people this year, prompting the Public Health Ministry to be on alert.

Public Health permanent secretary Narong Sahametapat said he had instructed all public and private hospitals to be on alert for possible cases of infection with the H1N1 virus, a virulent seasonal-flu virus.

Doctors were asked to administer the Oseltamivir drug to patients immediately if their condition does not improve in two days.

Narong said the Public Health Ministry had received reports that since the beginning of the year till Friday, there had been 30,024 seasonal influenza cases, and most of the illness was caused by the H1N1 virus.

Compared with the same period last year, the influenza cases jumped by 36 per cent, he said, adding that no one was killed by influenza last year.

Narong said most Thais did not have a strong immunity against the H1N1 virus so it was expected that many people would be hit by the virus.

He said the ministry had formed a panel of experts to monitor the situation to provide advice to doctors nationwide around the clock.

Narong added that the ministry would soon provide vaccinations against H1N1 to the most at risk groups.

Pattani couple killed, as alert intensifies in lead-up to anniversary of Krue Se massacre today
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Assailants yesterday shot dead a couple in their tobacco shop in broad daylight in a fresh market in Pattani’s Ma-Yor district and fled in the victims’ pickup truck.

The suspects, two men, later left the pickup behind after being chased in Yarang district.

Initial police investigation reveal the victims – Suchart and Kesorn Chantibhodi, both from Nakhon Si Thammarat, were selling tobacco in Palas market at about 11am when the two men approached them, pretending to be customers.

The suspects suddenly drew out guns and opened fire. They then stole the couple’s car keys and drove off in their pickup, which was loaded with tobacco.

Kesorn succumbed to head and body wounds on the way to hospital while Suchart was announced dead at the hospital.

At 2pm, soldiers and village volunteers spotted the pickup in tambon Korlam, Yarang district. They followed it and later found the vehicle abandoned in Kuvae village.

Meanwhile, authorities in the South have beefed up security measures ahead of the 10th anniversary today of the massacre at the Krue Se mosque.

In 2004, dozens of Islamic militants launched coordinated pre-dawn attacks before about 30 assailants barricaded themselves inside the historic Krue Se mosque in Pattani.

They were all killed by the army. The shootings angered local Muslims and the army was criticised for using excessive force.

The authorities strengthened their screening of vehicles and people at existing checkpoints in Yala’s Betong district, particularly those leading to Betong municipality and exits to the Thai-Malaysian border.

Fourth Army Region Commander Lt-General Walit Rojanaphakdee has issued an order for all security units in the deep South to be on alert for possible attacks today.

Intelligence units in the area have reported that insurgents may stage bomb attacks including car bomb attacks to “commemorate” the people killed at the site. Alerts have been issued in all areas, particularly Thai Buddhist communities, as well as economic and business areas.

Pheu Thai mocks move to seek royal help
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A claim that the Privy Council president agreed to a proposal to seek assistance from His Majesty the King to help end the political crisis has come under attack from key Pheu Thai Party men.

Lawyer Noppadon Pattama said he had no knowledge of whether Privy Council chief General Prem Tinsulanonda had accepted the Man of State group’s proposal. But he personally believed that Prem, who holds the high post of Privy Council president and is regarded as one of the country’s most respected figures, would not accept the proposal, as there were no laws to support it.

Saiyud Kerdphol, a retired Army general who is a former armed forces supreme commander, said on Friday that Prem would submit to HM the King an appeal by the group for a royal command to solve the political crisis, which has dragged on for six months.

“Saiyud should urge the Election Commission to hold a snap election and the Democrat Party to take part in the election besides asking the People’s Democratic Reform Committee to stop its rallies. Do not opt for measures beyond the charter boundaries, as the country has not reached a dead-end,’ he said.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit quoted Prem’s close aide Lt General Pitsanu Phuttha-wong, chief of the Office of the General Prem Tinsulanonda Statesman Foundation, as saying that Saiyud met Prem but did not agree with the proposal. Prompong quoted Prem’s aide as saying the statesman felt strange about a former high ranking military man who was also Pollwatch chairman stage a political move that may cross lines of the charter.

“The country is facing problems. While people want to take a step towards an election, Saiyud wants to lead them by jumping through the window. The proposal could upset the King. Privy Councillors should be above politics,’ he said.

“Saiyud risks becoming a wreck late in life. I believe he is a medium of anti-government groups and his move has a political implication,’ Prompong said.

The spokesman questioned Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s motive to seek co-operation from all sides to end the political impasse. He said if Abhisit was sincere and was seeking redemption for teaming up with anti-government groups in plunging the country into a crisis, he should vow to take part in the election as soon as possible and declare an iron rule to make party members who have joined the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) stop carrying out any activities with the group.

He said he suspected Abhisit only faked his fights with PDRC chief Suthep Thaugsuban to shore up the Democrat Party’s image.

Pheu Thai’s director on political affairs Udomdej Rattanasatien said Abhisit’s latest political move was a last-ditch attempt to restore the party’s name as an institution that upholds democracy. “When he sees that the PDRC and Abhisit’s common ground of having reform before an election was not feasible, he was forced to do a U-turn to show a commitment to democracy and election,’ he said.

PDRC co-leader Sakoltee out on bail after arrest at airport
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: A leader of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was detained for about 12 hours by police yesterday after returning from a trip to the United States.

Sakoltee Phattiyakul was arrested i

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monks gather for a special ceremony in Pattaya to pray Covid-19 away

Tanutam Thawan

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Hands placed together in the “wai” position and seated in chairs placed a safe “social distance” apart, monks in Pattaya gathered together at a local temple for a special ceremony to pray Covid-19 away.

The Wat Chai by the Pattaya Walking Street was given special permission to hold the event where dozens of monks from other temples in the area came together to pray. To prevent the spread of Covid-19 at the ritual, monks wore face masks, practised social distancing, used hand sanitiser and had their body temperature checked.

The monks chanted several mantras and performed rituals that they believe will help slow the spread of Covid-19 in Chon Buri and help the local economy recover.

SOURCE: Pattaya News

 

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Bangkok

Protest leader tests positive for Covid-19 a week after being released from jail

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul

A pro-democracy movement leader has tested positive for Covid-19 after she spent 8 weeks in jail awaiting a trial on lese majeste charges which prohibit statements that insult or defame the Thai Monarchy. 2 other protest leaders facing similar charges have tested positive for Covid-19 while in court detention.

After being released from the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on May 6, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul spent most of her time at home. She went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing venue on May 10. She went by the Bangkok Remand Prison the next day for the release of 2 other protest leaders, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Chai-amorn Kaewwiboonpan. Rung has now been admitted to the Thammasat University Hospital in Pathum Thani for treatment.

Rung says had been denied an earlier Covid-19 test because she did not have some of the symptoms of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister)

The daily Covid-19 death toll hit a record high today with 34 deaths reported. 1,983 new Covid-19 infections were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 88,907 Covid-19 infections and 486 coronavirus-related deaths.

There are now 29,378 active Covid-19 cases in Thailand. Active cases peaked at just over 30,000 infections last week and have been on a very slight downward slope. The number of patients with severe symptoms has slightly increased to 1,200 with 401 of them on ventilators.

Around 75% of the new Covid-19 infections are in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. While the infection rate remains high in the capital, several provinces have reported no Covid-19 infections and many provinces report under 10 infections.

Most of the new Covid-related fatalities reported today are patients with underlying conditions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. 12 of the 34 patients who died had contracted Covid-19 from family members, a trend in the deaths of patients. The elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at the highest risk of a severe Covid-19 infection.

A CCSA spokesperson notes that migrant workers are entitled to treatment under social welfare programs regardless of their legal status in Thailand.

“Legal or not, they will be treated. Legal status is not an issue at all. The priority is to get them treated and recovered as soon as possible.”

To combat the spread of Covid-19 in Bangkok, the CCSA is expediting the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in high-risk areas like Bangkok’s Khlong Toey slum. Since the nationwide vaccination campaign was launched in late February, 1.89 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. Only 530,000 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Provinces with the highest number of new Covid-19 cases…

Province New cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 976 21,405
Nonthaburi 266 4,035
Samut Prakan 110 3,420
Chon Buri 57 3,489
Surat Thani 53 1,256
Ayutthaya 38 743
Samut Sakhon 36 1,627
Chanthaburi 32 562
Pathum Thani 29 1,477
Pattani 28 240
Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Daily Covid-related deaths in Thailand as of 11 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 11 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by ThaigerCovid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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