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Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

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• The nationwide Emergency Decree has been extended until the end of February.

The decree gives the Thai government the ability to set policies and procedures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 such as restricting travel and setting up road checkpoints. The emergency decree was first declared in April last year and has been extended, month by month, ever since.

365 new Covid-19 cases and 1 additional death have been announced today during the CCSA daily briefing. There are now 4,847 active Covid infections in Thailand.

A total of 9,331 Covid-19 cases have been reported since the start of the outbreak, more than 100% rise in infections over the past 2 weeks alone.

The latest coronavirus-related fatality is a 63 year old man who drove migrant workers to and from work in Samut Sakhon. He was admitted to the hospital on December 27 and died yesterday due to multiple organ failure. There was no report of underlying conditions.

Locally, Chon Buri had the most new cases, followed by Samut Prakan, Chanthaburi and Bangkok.

In addition to the 365 new infections reported today, there has also been an announcement of 900 more Covid-19 cases detected in Samut Sakhon.

Officials are looking to turn some of the factories in the area into quarantine facilities and field hospitals.

There’s now been 2,296 Covid-19 infections recorded in the province, just southwest of Bangkok, the hotspot in the latest outbreak that kicked off on December 20.

The vast majority of patients are Burmese migrants working at various seafood processing factories throughout the province.

And included in today’s announcements are additional restrictions on people travelling out of red zone provinces, that includes Bangkok. One of the requirements will be a tracking app that will have to be installed on the traveller’s phones. No further details have been announced at this stage.

There’s also been some additional restrictions put on British citizens who are currently, or will be staying, at ASQ hotels for their mandatory quarantine period. The restrictions limit the occupant’s access to outside areas, including rooftops, during their ASQ stay.

Details on all these latest limitations and rules are available at thethaiger.com

Beyond Samut Sakhon, illegal gambling has become the current focus as health officials try to track down elusive gamblers after the Covid-19 outbreak in Rayong province 10 days ago.

Officials say that compulsive gamblers tend to frequent various venues and also travel in groups.

Police are focussing their attention on the numerous gambling hubs around Bangkok… gambling dens that apparently don’t exist, according to the Deputy PM, Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday.

Over 10,000 schools, in at least the 28 ‘red zone’ Thai provinces, are to close until the end of this month and switch to online learning.

Additionally, on the southern resort island of Phuket, the Governor has ordered all schools to close from tomorrow until January 20 as a preventative measure. The order has caused some confusion (and a bit of panic) among islanders, given that the same governor confirmed the island’s 3 Covid patients had recovered and were being discharged from hospital.

Phuketians have voiced their concerns over the number of out-of-province visitors to the island during the recent New Year holiday.

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Thailand News Today | Island Party Crackdown | January 28

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Thailand News Today | Island Party Crackdown | January 28 | The Thaiger

Around 9,000 people will face criminal charges for allegedly defrauding the “We Travel Together” subsidy scheme which was launched to stimulate the local tourist economy and to help hotels and restaurants ravaged from the long list of restrictions and international border closure.

The national police chief says the police plan to prosecute around 9,000 people for conspiring with hotel operators and shop owners to cheat the government subsidy scheme. The scheme, launched by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, covered 40% of room rates and issued 600 baht and 900 baht food vouchers for food and travel.

Lower rates on rooms were intended to draw in more travellers, but a number of hoteliers allegedly raised their prices to get more of the subsidies. Some even created fake hotel bookings. Last month, TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn filed a complaint against 312 hotels and 202 shops for allegedly cheating the scheme, saying legal action needed to be taken before the launching the second phase of the scheme.

You go out and grab a beer from tomorrow… but at a restaurant only. Bars in “red zones” around the country, including Bangkok, are still closed. But restaurants will be able to go back to serving alcohol and can offer dine-in services until 11pm.

The restrictions on restaurants are to be eased in all provinces except for Samut Sakhon. The easing of restrictions are set to be approved by a panel chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha tomorrow.

While restaurants will be able to serve alcohol and host music performances, dancing is still prohibited in provinces classified as “red zones” and “orange zones.” Restaurants must arrange place tables and chairs to comply with social distancing guidelines.

Bars, pubs and karaoke venues in “red zones,” which include Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Nonthaburi and Pathum Thani, must remain closed.

Police raided a party in Koh Pha Ngan and arrested 111 on charges of violating Covid-19 disease control measures under the Emergency Decree. Immigration police and tourist police raided the event at Three Sixty Bar, a venue on a hilltop near Mae Haad Beach on the island known for its amazing view.

Out of the 111 people arrested, 89 are foreigners and 20 are Thais. Police say 2 other people admitted to organising the party and were charged with colluding in operating an entertainment venue without permission. All 111 people were taken to the police station for legal action.

According to chief of Surat Thani immigration, police heard about party tickets being sold online. The bar wasn’t exactly discrete about hosting the event. Various posts were made on Facebook advertising the “360 Blast & Addict Party” with DJs on 2 dance floors, a music line up until 2am and a “Crazy Market” with clothes, jewelery and food.

Massage shops and spas as well as other similar venues in Chon Buri, including Pattaya, will be allowed to reopen after being closed for nearly a month due to strict Covid-19 control measures. Massage and spa workers gathered earlier this week, lobbying the government to allow their businesses to reopen.

Along with massage shops and spas, tattoo studios and beauty clinics are also allowed to reopen, but must abide by Covid-19 prevention measures like checking customers’ temperatures, supplying hand sanitiser and enforcing social distancing.

Gyms, pools, fitness centres, saunas and massage shops offering “soapy massages” are not included in the order.

Although Chon Buri has gone 6 consecutive days without a local Covid-19 case, it is still classified as a “red zone”, as of today.

A Covid-19 nasal swab test isn’t pleasant. Many will say the long stick inserted deep inside the nasal cavity feels like it’s hitting their brain.

But. Don’t worry, now there’s a new test… an anal swab test. And, they say, it’s more effective at detecting a coronavirus infection.

After a Covid-19 infection was detected at primary school in Beijing, more than 1,000 teachers, staff members and students were tested using the anal swab method as well as the usual nose and throat swab tests.

According to doctors, the alternative anal tests can “increase the detection rate” and is likely to be used more often. We’re sort of hoping the new test doesn’t catch on.

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Thai herb studied for alternative Covid-19 treatment

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Thai herb studied for alternative Covid-19 treatment | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Herb "Fah Talai Jone"

A study on the efficacy of a Thai herb for treating Covid-19 will move forward after a trial which alternative medicine officials say had promising results. Although, the trial was basic and only involved 6 people.

Initial results show that the herb “andrographis paniculata,” or “fah talai jone” in Thai, can improve patients’ conditions and relieve symptoms without major side effects.

The second phase of the study aims to confirm whether the herb is efficient and safe in treating the patients alongside standard treatment, according to the Department of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine.

Following the new wave of infections last month, the department teamed up with Samut Prakan Hospital to launch a pilot study, but just on 6 patients. The 6 Covid-19 patients were given 180 grammes of the herb extracts each day. By the third day, their conditions of cough, sore throat, phlegm, runny nose, muscle pain, and headache had gradually improved.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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15,000 people in Samut Sakhon at high risk of infection, health officials concerned

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15,000 people in Samut Sakhon at high risk of infection, health officials concerned | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nikkei Asia

The rising number of infections in Samut Sakhon, most detected through proactive testing, has prompted serious concerns over a “high risk” group of 15,000 people, many who still work and travel as normal.

The number for the high risk group is a rough estimate based on the assumption that there are at least 3 people who came in close contact with each of the 5,000 infected people in Samut Sakhon.

Senior public health officer, Naretrith Katthaseema, says the amount of people at high risk is concerning and poses a challenge to health officials who are working to contain the coronavirus.

He also reiterates that health officials need full cooperation the public to help slow the spread of the virus. Agencies and all parties relating to the industrial factories with a large number of workers should take full responsibility to make sure that disease control measures and related laws are strictly practiced.

SOURCE: Thaivisa

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