Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

• Starting off in the capital today, where officials in Bangkok say they may look at lifting some restrictions, despite yesterday’s reported infections going up by another 37, to a total of 1,989.

But officials say they’re optimistic about the overall situation. The BMA has announced that, provided the capital avoids any further “super-spreader” events, officials may consider lifting restrictions in coming weeks.

They’ve also revealed that patients in the first cluster visited or worked at restaurants, nightlife venues, or massage parlours in the capital. Officials are now tracing other customers or employees from those venues. Nearly 16,000 “at risk” people, who visited markets in the city, have already been tested.

• Meanwhile, down south in Phuket, bars and other entertainment venues are being told to close at midnight, according to the latest order imposed by the Phuket Governor. Restaurants can stay open late, but are ordered to stop selling alcohol at midnight. The order is effective from today until at least January 20.

Phuket also recently announced travel restrictions for arrivals on the island. Those travelling from the “highest-risk” areas within the “red zone” provinces “must now self-quarantine for 14 days” upon arriving to Phuket. That includes people arriving from Bangkok.

All arrivals are also being instructed to download the Mor Chana application and fill out the short questionnaire.

• 287 new Covid-19 infections have been reported across Thailand today, most of them from the original Samut Sakhon cluster that kicked off the latest wave back on December 20. There are currently 4,035 active Covid-19 cases. Of the 287 cases reported today, 153 were local transmissions, 125 were detected through active case finding among a mostly migrant worker community in Samut Sakhon and 9 cases were detected in quarantine facilities for those arriving from overseas.

• The national police are investigating what they say is a new illicit drug cocktail suspected of being linked to 6 deaths in Bangkok on Sunday. While autopsy results declaring the cause of death have not been released yet, police say 6 people in Bangkok died on the same day apparently after consuming the drug mixture called “K powdered milk” or K Nompong, in Thai.

Police say the incident, where so many people died on the same day, and possibly from the same illicit concoction, has never happened before. 5 of the 6 people who died in the Wat Phraya Krai district were found with a white powder at the scenes.

“K powdered milk” is a combination of a variety of other illicit narcotics and an off-the-shelf sleeping tablet, according to the national police chief. The drugs are crushed up together and resemble powdered milk.

Last night police arrested a 23 years old female suspected of selling the drugs in the Sai Mai district, near the Don Mueang Airport.

We’ve got a full video about this dangerous new concoction on Bangkok’s streets at our YouTube channel.

• Health officials have formed a sub-committee to oversee the rollout of the various Covid-19 vaccines in Thailand. The team will be responsible for the overall vaccine program, including deciding priority groups.

Meanwhile the Department of Disease Control has announced that private hospitals can also go ahead with offering approved Covid vaccines, outside of the government’s free program.

In the announcement it said…. The situation with the pandemic is changing fast. We are going to see more pharmaceutical companies requesting Thai Food and Drug Administration approval and that means private hospitals will be able to provide Covid-19 vaccines.”

The Thai government has ordered 2 million doses of the Chinese vaccine, and 60 million doses from AstraZeneca. It’s understood frontline medical workers, healthcare volunteers, and high-risk groups will be the first to get the 2 million Chinese doses when the rollout begins next month.

• An angry motorbike passenger involved in a collision that injured 3 in Pattaya has attacked the driver involved in the crash. The Pattaya News reports that 3 people were injured after a motorbike drove into road barriers at an intersection on South Pattaya Road.

Emergency workers arrived at the scene to find a damaged motorbike and the injured driver and his 2 passengers. The driver had sustained injuries to his face and was bleeding heavily. Both passengers had sustained minor injuries. None of the injured have been named.

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