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Thailand News Today | Vaccine schedule for Thailand and new train hub | February 4

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Thailand News Today | Vaccine schedule for Thailand and new train hub | February 4 | The Thaiger

While there’s no exact date on the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, Thailand’s Public Health Ministry is assuring the public that the first order of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive this month, despite the E’s restrictions on Covid-19 vaccine exports at the moment.

The National Vaccine Institute is working on getting the first shipment by the end pf February, according to the ministry’s permanent secretary.

Thailand ordered doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, and China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine, which is also expected to arrive this month. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for emergency use in Thailand and the first 50,000 doses, which would be shipped from Italy, are still expected to arrive this month despite the new restrictions requiring all vaccine exports to be authorised by the EU.

In Thailand’s first phase of immunisations, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered to frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable groups in areas considered to be at the highest risk of Covid-19.

Indonesia approved the Chinese-made vaccine, and administered the first injection in the country to President Joko Widodo last month.

Meanwhile… 809 new Covid-19 infections were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Thailand now has 7,181 active coronavirus cases under supervision by health officials. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported at total of 22,058 cases and 79 coronavirus-related deaths.

The overall coronavirus situation in Thailand is improving. The CCSA report that most new cases are typically clustered in certain locations, like Samut Sakhon.

751 cases were detected in pro-active case detection, mostly in Samut Sakhon. Many infections clusters in the coastal province were detected at factories and among migrant worker dormitories. 9 of those factories have now been locked down completely until the end of February as the government aims to contain the situation around the coastal seafood markets.

And in some good news, the government reports that 46 Thai provinces have had no new case of Covid-19 for a week now. Another 14 provinces haven’t recorded any infections at all in the latest outbreak. However, both the central province of Maha Sarakham, and the northern province of Tak, have recorded a small rise in cases.

Phuket is going it alone and aiming at a herd immunity as the only lifeline for its devastated tourism industry. Business groups have announced a plan to finance the vaccination of 70% of the island’s population, in the hope of being able to open to foreign tourists from October this year.

The groups involved, which include the Phuket Tourism Association and the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, say they cannot afford to wait for the government’s national vaccine rollout, although their plan will still require government approval.

Business groups say they plan to pool resources to fund the vaccination of 70% of over 18s in the hope this will give the local population herd immunity and enable the island to re-open to international tourism by October.

As part of the plan, called “Phuket First October”, the current mandatory 14-day quarantine would be waived for vaccinated arrivals.

A Foodpanda driver has gone above and beyond the call of duty to deliver a meal to a customer. After picking up the order and driving from the restaurant, the driver took a small motorboat out to a customer who was out fishing on Chachoengsao’s Bang Pakong River.

Still wearing his hot pink motorbike helmet, the driver boated across the river and then paddled to the customers who were fishing. One person posted photos on Facebook with the caption “Food Panda has launched a water delivery service.”

When arriving at the pinned location, the driver called the customer, who said that he was out working on the river. The driver then took a motorboat that was docked along the river to reach the customer. There wasn’t a Grab Boat service available at the time.

The new Bang Sue Grand Station is now just months away from completion and will transform rail travel in Thailand. We have an early glimpse for you…

Tipped to open to the public in July, before commercial trains will operate by November, the station will be the largest and most modern in ASEAN once it is fully operational. The new railway hub will replace the 109 year old Hua Lamphong Station situated in downtown Bangkok.

Apart from being the hub for local trains, Bang Sue Grand Station will also become the home for Thailand’s new high speed rail links, from Bangkok to Nong Khai and Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

The new station will consist of 26 platforms and will be able to accommodate Thailand’s existing diesel rolling stock and the new electric trains for which the new dual track railways are currently being constructed throughout Thailand.

The station, which is spread over three floors and has a mezzanine area and retail space will also have an elevated walkway to the new Mo Chit Bus Terminal. It also links to the Mo Chit BTS and the MRT network situated near Chatuchak Market, north of the main city centre.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Rahul

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Thailand will realize when travelers will find another tourist attraction instead of Thailand and by that time it will be too late to react.
    Already people started opting other options instead of Thailand.
    If you open without Quarantines in future also it will not help.
    You need to be first or quick to open soon.

    It will be too late to realize when Thailad will loose tourist destination.

  2. Avatar

    Stephen Westrip

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    I would not trust Chinese Sinovac Biotech vaccine until they publish the details of the clinical trials with accompanying results. If I was a Thai being offered this vaccine I would refuse and hold out for the AZ vaccine. There is plenty of trial and post-trial data (and more emerging every week) for this vaccine that has been analysed by many independent and reputable bodies.

  3. Avatar

    The0ne

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 1:05 am

    Improving? I’m confused. There are 800+ cases daily vs the handful in the beginning. So with more cases the restrictions are easing. Sounds like a great plan.

  4. Avatar

    Ian

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 2:29 am

    The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing what a farce of a government ,covid is getting worse so let’s open up omg crazy ,all I can say is you fools look at my great country England for a realisation check what happens when you open up to early 1,000 plus dead each day

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Crime

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ ยงข่าวร้อน

A gunman shot and killed a woman running for mayor and wounded 4 others at a funeral in Ratchaburi, a province west of Bangkok near the Myanmar border. Police say they suspect the shooting was politically motivated. Out of the 4 people injured, 3 were running in the March 28 municipal election while another was the kamnan, a government official of a tambon, which is a sub district.

The gunman is still at large, but police say they suspect the shooter is Wanchart Niamraksa, a member of the Ratchaburi provincial administration organisation.

The gunman opened fire just as the kamnan of tambon Don Sai, Yingpan Kanket, was lighting candles and incense sticks under a Buddha image to start the ceremony, witnesses say. Shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image at the temple’s open prayer hall, witnesses say.

Bullets hit 5 people, including Yingpan who is in critical condition. Varaporn Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was shot and died at the hospital. Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham, who are all running for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai, were shot.

Police found 2 spent .22 cartridges and a 11mm spent shell at the scene. The suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder, carrying firearms and ammunition without permission and carrying them in public without a proper reason.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission | The Thaiger
Stock photo via Pexels

A medic for the Royal Thai Army was dismissed and his medical license revoked after injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccines during a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. The “vaccine” was actually just water. The medic, who is also a lieutenant, apparently injected 273 Thai troops with the water shot and charged 607 baht, or around $20 USD, per injection.

A soldier noticed the bottles the medic was using for the injections were unlabelled. A superior then launched an internal investigation and found that the bottles were just filled with water. Under the UN’s orders, the medic was dismissed and sent back to Thailand. His medical license was also revoked.

Thai media first reported the news, saying that a Thai army doctor at a South Sudan field hospital was suspended from duty due to an investigation into alleged fraud. The medic reportedly worked at the hospital from December 2019 to December 2020.

Following the news report, Thai Supreme Commander General Chalermphol Srisawat confirmed that a medic had been injecting troops with water and claiming it was a Covid-19 vaccine.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Nation Thailand

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