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Thailand News Today | Vaccine passports announced, hospital-dodgers to be prosecuted | April 21

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The president of the Thai Hotels Association says many properties are now considering shutting down for the entire low season as a result of the Covid-19 resurgence. They claim that smaller hotels simply don’t necessarily have the resources of the larger chains and are struggling with cash flow and crippled by low tourist demand. They say many are considering shutting up shop between April and October or until demand resumes.

The THA chief says April’s occupancy rates are expected to plummet to single digits, as happened in January during the second wave of the virus. She adds that the level of business in the last 2 weeks of this month will determine whether or not many will close. There are now just 400,000 working in the hotel industry, a huge drop compared to just a few years ago.

They also called for the Thai government to speed up vaccines for people employed in tourism… well, join the queue.

Thailand’s Health Ministry says it may prosecute a number of Covid-19 patients who refused to be treated at field hospitals. It’s understood the 74 patients, most of whom are from so-called “hi so” families in Bangkok, told officials that a stay in a field hospital would be “inconvenient”. The deputy public health minister says these patients demanded to stay at home instead, violating the communicable disease laws.

A spokesperson re-iterated today that every Covid-19 patient must be taken care of by medical personnel at a ministry medical facility, otherwise they violate the law. The ministry is considering taking legal action against those who have refused to follow ministry regulations.

They confirmed that the patients in question are from the Thong Lor cluster of infections linked to nightlife venues in the capital. They say the patients insisted they would only stay in private rooms in hospitals. They pointed to the case of the Thai actor Kom Chuanchen, saying that the celebrity initially only developed mild symptoms after testing positive but is now in intensive care with breathing problems.

The Thai government has confirmed it has adopted a vaccine passport scheme, to provide vaccinated residents with proof of Covid-19 inoculation. The vaccine passport will be an official document which can be used by vaccinated people travelling abroad. Details of the scheme have now been published in the Royal Gazette, making it official.

The Covid passport covers have text in English and Thai, bearing the department’s name and that of the Public Health Ministry. It carries the national emblem of Thailand and the wording, “Covid-19 Certificate of Vaccination”.

The vaccine passport also contains the owner’s name, as well as his or her national ID or passport number. The vaccine passport must be signed by an approved disease control official,… currently there’s only 6 such officials to sign the document around the country.

No details yet about who will issue the passports, if the clinic or hospital will do the paperwork, or even ho much it will cost.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that he won’t be attending the ASEAN summit regarding Myanmar, but will send his Foreign Minister instead. The summit, to be held in Jakarta this Saturday will address the increasingly dangerous situation in Myanmar where fear is growing that the ongoing protests against the February 1 coup could descend into civil war.

The meeting will be the first of national leaders, minus PM Prayut, as previous discussion of Myanmar has been between foreign ministers. Myanmar’s army chief earlier said he would attend the Myanmar summit but currently appears that he will only be attending virtually online.

Indonesia, stepping into a peacekeeping middleman role Thailand had played in the past, has been pushing to quell the growing crisis. Thailand has not been forthcoming in any criticism of the current Burmese army chiefs instead saying that they hope the situation can be resolved peacefully.

A doctor at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says 7 people developed temporary partial paralysis after receiving a Covid vaccine. The 7 were all inoculated with CoronaVac, the vaccine from Chinese manufacturer, Sinovac Biotech. All were in the east of the country, with 6 in Rayong and 1 in Chon Buri.

The condition of all 7 improved after they were given medication. The side-effects were reported to the Public Health Ministry, saying the adverse effects might have been caused by a particular batch of vaccines, as opposed to the vaccine itself. Those investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, another Chulalongkorn doctor warns that this third wave of the virus is proving highly contagious, with an increase in the number of seriously ill patients in intensive care.

Dr Opass Putcharoen says that a growing number of young people who test positive are developing pneumonia and respiratory symptoms. He says that in the first and second wave, patients at risk of serious illness would show those symptoms around 7 days after infection. In the current wave, severe symptoms are developing much faster. He urged the government to fast-track its vaccine rollout.

Police are warning about another bank deposit scam spreading in Thailand. Police are warning people to beware of an SMS message notifying you of a money deposit along with an attached link to see the money. So far plenty of people have fallen for the scam. Victims have filed police reports and shared their info to the media. Most of them received notification of 100,000-200,000 baht deposited into their account requiring, of course, your email and bank usernames. The victims received messages that the personal information was vital to avoid someone removing money from their accounts.

Bottomline, just ignore any SMS messages from your bank and, if you are concerned, go into a bank branch in person to check. Don’t open the link!

Finally, 1,458 new Covid-19 cases and 2 deaths were reported today by the CCSA, stabilising the recent upward spike of new infections since the outbreaks at nightlife venues in Bangkok. Since April 1, 17,780 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths have been reported.

The 2 additional Covid-related deaths today were a 56 year old Thai woman from Bangkok, who also suffered from diabetes, and a 32 year old Thai man from Nonthaburi who had allergies and lung disease.

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Maff is hard

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Since April 1, 17,780 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths have been reported.

    0.000899887

    Its just a cold? Even 10x that and you’re still not even close to 1%.

    Now someone tell me how I’m calculating this wrong. Lol

  2. Avatar

    murika

    Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    @Maff is hard – the average covid death rate in the world is 3%, in those 17780 case many are still at risk to die, they are open cases not closed ones,

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monday Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths

Tim Newton

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Monday’s totals have been announced for Covid-19 infections and new deaths over the past 24 hours. The Thai public health ministry reports 22 deaths and 1,630 infections.

• The only 5 imported Covid-19 cases yesterday were from neighbouring countries, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. Authorities say that patrols will have to be stepped up at this time to control the illegal border crossings.

All 5 people caught were Thais who were were trying to cross back into Thailand without going through the border checkpoints. They’ve all been admitted to state hospitals.

• 100+ African gemstone traders have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 4 days in Chanthaburi, east of Bangkok. Authorities have confirmed that none were detected with the African or Indian variants of Covid-19.

The 109 traders tested positive between May 6 – 9.

• 63 new cases of Covid-19 have been announced in Chon Buri today (including Pattaya), a drop from totals reported over the past week. There’s also been 1 additional death reported. 1,507 people remain in medical care for the virus in the province.

• Meanwhile all public service and government offices, including Thai immigration, are closed for Monday. But it’s not a public holiday. Today is the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which is a traditional ceremony to forecast the season’s rice and wet season crops. His Majesty the King usually presides over the annual event at the royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Illegal border crossings bringing in new Covid-19 infections

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Covid-19 infected border hoppers cross borders like this one betwen Malaysia and Thailand (via Wikimedia)

Authorities are worried about illegal border crossings into Thailand bringing in the Coronavirus after 5 recent Covid-19 infections from such crossings. Bypassing all health and security checkpoints along the border, 5 Thai nationals were identified today as being positive for Covid-19 after they snuck into the country, according to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Authorities nabbed 2 after border crossings from Malaysia illegally on April 28 and May 3rd, while another snuck across the Burmese border into Tak on May 2. The last 2 came from Cambodia on Thursday across the Sa Kaeo border. All 5 illegal border crossers are now in state hospitals for Covid-19 treatment.

According to CCSA data in the first four months of 2021 a total of 15,378 people were arrested by Thai authorities while sneaking across borders. Even after security forces increased patrolling along the borders, people managed to sneak in from Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia. 6,700 of those who crossed the border were Burmese citizens, while another 1,700 of them were Thai nationals.

With nearly 400 lives lost to Covid-19 and over 83,000 people having been infected in the pandemic, the CCSA declared that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and National Security Council Secretary-General Natthapol Nakpanich agree that these illegal border crossers without Covid-19 screening are a serious problem.

Many Thai people work in Malaysia and as the pandemic drags on they are sneaking across the border, desperate to make it home to their family. Another recent case found illegal Burmese border hoppers in a taxi en route to Hat Yai after they crossed into Thailand from the Malaysian border. They were trying to travel incognito across Thailand in order to cross the border again back into their home country of Myanmar.

The dilemma is even worse at the Burmese border as the often violent protests following the February 1 military coup has been pushing much of the country into poverty, and creating refugees who are flocking to the border in hopes of crossing over to safety. Many are seeking to escape the conflict and find work in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Economy

Thailand Consumer Confidence Index hits record low

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Thailand's Consumer Confidence index slips again to below the pre-pandemic record. (via CNN)

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce has reported that the Consumer Confidence Index has hit another new record low of 46.0 in April. The Covid-19 global pandemic has had a devastating effect on the economy and consumer confidence has fallen frequently to the lowest points that it has seen since 1998.

The president of the UTTC believes that consumers generally don’t feel like there has been much of a recovery for the economy since the global pandemic began and without a stimulating event to motivate economic growth, the index is expected to continue to fall further. The university estimated that if the third wave of Covid-19 continues past the end of May the economy can expect to lose 400 to 600 billion baht.

The UTTC president stressed that the government should hasten to step up relief measures and make sure they continue relief and economic stimulus throughout the pandemic to avoid economic catastrophe. He predicted that the economy and the Consumer Confidence Index will continue on a downward slope without any hope of improvement until the vaccine rollout gets well underway towards herd immunity, and new Covid-19 infections are decreased dramatically.

Today saw another 2,101 new Covid-19 infections and 17 deaths in Thailand. Vaccination efforts are continually being stepped up, but still remain woefully slow.

The Consumer Confidence Index first started falling last year, with a drop below the previous record low in 1998 in April of 2020, when it fell to 47.2. A few months later, by July of last year, it had recovered significantly, climbing back over 50. But by March of this year, the index had fallen again to 48.5. With April’s tumble of 2.5 points, the Consumer Confidence Index pushes once again to a new record low.

SOURCE: Thai Business News

 

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