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Thailand News Today – Friday, June 12

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4 Thais repatriated from India found with Covid-19 today

Today the government announced 4 new cases of Covid-19, all were reported as repatriated Thai citizens from India.

All have been quarantined in Chon Buri and tested positive during their 14 day stay. All have been mostly asymptomatic.

India had the most Covid-19 cases in Asia with a total of 298,283 cases and ranked 4th globally, and rising. So far 2,445 Thai people had returned from India as part of the government’s repatriation program.

Thai doctors warn about the dangers of fashion braces

Those in Western countries don’t typically look back fondly on teenage years with a mouth full of braces and painful trips to the orthodontist. But in Thailand, having braces is seen as a symbol of wealth.

They’ve even become a fashion trend with many fake braces now being sold illegally. Thai doctors are warning about the risk of serious infection and death from fashion braces.

Doctors warn that many fake braces are made with toxic metal, such as cadmium, as well as mercury, arsenic and lead.

The fake braces sell for around 1,400 baht at fake orthodontist clinics while actual braces from professional orthodontists are 50,000 baht+.

Thailand talking “travel bubbles” with low-risk Covid-19 countries

Thailand is considering the idea of forming “travel bubbles” with countries that have demonstrated similar success in suppressing the Covid-19 virus.

The announcement comes as a number of nations, including South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, China and New Zealand have expressed interest in forming a reciprocal travel pact with Thailand.

This would involve governments agreeing their citizens could travel back and forth between the countries within the “bubble”, without imposing conditions such as mandatory quarantine or self-isolation. The term “green lanes” has also been used to describe the reciprocal arrangements between low-risk countries.

Long road to recovery for Phuket property sector

The Vice-President of the Phuket Real Estate Association says there will be no quick bounce-back for the island’s property market, saying it will take at least 2 years for things to recover.

The owner of Boat Lagoon, says the fall-out has been particularly severe in Phuket because the province relies so heavily on tourism. And, for now, there are no tourists on the island except for a few interprovincial Thai tourists. The island’s airport was closed to all traffic on April 3 and has remained closed ever since.

Khun Boon says that about 70-80% of the province’s economy has traditionally been driven by tourism, leading to Phuket taking a much heavier hit than many other parts of the country. He suggests that one way the government might prevent this happening again would be to shift the focus away from tourism and rebrand Phuket as a medical and educational destination.

Mr. Boon anticipates that any recovery will be driven initially by expat buyers from places like Singapore and Hong Kong, many of whom may wish to move because of the high cost of living in the former and the current political unrest in the latter.

Alcohol association begs government for trial re-opening of bars

The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing Emergency Decree have caused immeasurable economic impact across the country, especially entertainment and nightlife venues.

Although alcohol sales appear set to resume in restaurants next week, around 10,000 pubs, bars and entertainment venues nationwide – and their many casual staff – are struggling to survive after being shuttered for nearly 3 months, so the alcohol industry is asking the government to allow a trial reopening of the entertainment sector.

The government faces a quandary, since the entertainment sector has been a hotspot for potential contagion. In Phuket, the popular Bangla Road entertainment district became a Covid-19 hotzone and the host for most of the island’s infections.

The president of the Alcohol Beverage Business Association says the government should relax restrictions and run a trial reopening of hotel bars and restaurants’ alcohol service, to gauge whether the rest of the sector can safely resume operations.

Thai Health Minister Anutin takes to TikTok

TikTok Thailand says only 1% of its users are aged 45-55. Turns out one of them is Thailand’s mercurial Health Minister, Anutin Charnvirakul. Remember him?

He disappeared from Twitter after his comments about “dirty farang” in the early days of the Covid-19 crisis, where he accused foreigners of being the cause of the outbreak in Thailand.

Now, he’s back, at least on TikTok. He’s posted a couple of videos on the site.

Anutin is believed to be the first prominent Thai politician to join the network (the rest of the Thai cabinet has so far resisted the temptation to follow Anutin’s lead).

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues

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PM Prayut postponing Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is postponing his inaugural Covid‐19 vaccination citing paperwork issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine shipment. According to Khaosod English, the vaccine shipment was sent to Thailand last Wednesday from South Korea, but was missing the additional required paperwork.

Prayut was supposed to receive the vaccine tomorrow, but the highly‐publicised event will not be happening. According to Khaosod English, an official at the Secretariat of the Prime Minister has also confirmed the news of the postponement without citing a reason.

Although the Sinovac vaccine is also being administered in Thailand, healthcare officials say Prayut is too old to receive it as its age limit is 60. Prayut is 66 years old, which is well over the oldest age that can receive the vaccine.

The Sinovac vaccine drive is set to commence on Monday, 2 weeks behind schedule. Those frontline health workers, hospitality workers and vulnerable groups will receive the vaccines first.

Meanwhile, Phuket is waiting for the green lightto start administering vaccines and has already held a vaccine administration rehearsal overseen by Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

The government pandemic center reported 72 new confirmed infections on Friday, after first only reporting 45 new cases. 37 of those cases were locally-transmitted, and one 6 year old Thai girl returning from the UK was found to have tested positive for the virus. Samut Sakhon, again, reported over half of the new cases yesterday, as it remains the epicentre of Thailand’s second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

The total virus tally in Thailand sits at 25,764, with 83 fatalities. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has not yet announced the amount of new cases for today.

There is no word yet on when PM Prayut will be rescheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26

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Thailand News Today | Week In Review | February 26 | The Thaiger

Thailand News Today usually covers five days of the news week. This week only four days as today (Friday) is a public holiday. Now we have a weekend edition which goes over the biggest, or best stories, from the past week. Out every Saturday afternoon, catch up with Jett and Tim’s major Thai news stories. Welcome to the Thailand News Today Week in Review. Tim and Jett give you a quick recap of the main news stories.

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update

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45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | The Thaiger

Thailand reports 45 new cases of Covid-19cases today, with 37 infections being locally-transmitted. 8 of those infections were imported, raising the total amount of infections since the pandemic began to 25,809.

The Department of Disease Control reports that 32 cases were confirmed at hospitals with 5 confirmed through active case finding in communities.

Samut Sakhon province, the 2nd wave epicentre, reported over half of the new cases at 19. 14 of those cases were confirmed at hospitals and 5 were detected in Myanmar communities. Bangkok has reported 3 new cases, Nakhon Nayok reported 5, Chai Nat 3, Nakhon Pathom 3, Saraburi 2, Prachuap Khiri Khan 1, and Samut Prakan 1.

45 new cases today, 37 local‐Covid‐19‐Update | News by The Thaiger

The 8 imported cases were those under quarantine arriving from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Kuwait. The case from the UK was that of a 6 year old Thai schoolgirl.

Globally, Covid-19 cases rose by 444,466 over the past day to 113.54 million. The worldwide death toll increased by 10,552 to 2.52 million. The United States still has the most cases at 29.5 million, with the most deaths at 520,785.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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