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Thailand News Update | Thais are suffering from stress & Sandbox update

Many Thais are suffering from stress, depression and burnout, putting themselves at risk of committing suicide in the wake of nearly 2 years of Thailand’s Covid response.The Director-general of the Department of Mental Health has completed a comprehensive online survey and assessment of the mental health of more than 2.5 million people.Some of the headline findings…
  • 8.4% or respondents say they are suffering from stress.
  • 9.9% are prone to depression.
  • A worrying 5.5% are at risk of committing suicide.
  • And 4.2% say they are suffering from burnout.
She also noted that about half of post-Covid infection cases still have physical or mental health problems three months after their recovery and need ongoing mental health care, a situation that is now being identified in a sub-set of other post-Covid patients around the world.If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please Google the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline which provide services in English and Thai, or seek assistance from family and friends.Time now for a Sandbox update for people looking to join us here in Thailand. Aside from Phuket, vaccinated travellers can now travel to three other coastal and beach destinations in Thailand – Krabi, Phang Nga, and Koh Samui, which includes the other Gulf islands of Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. This is all under the revised Sandbox program which was re-opened yesterday, allowing foreign tourists to enter the kingdom without undergoing a strict and lengthy quarantine.The Sandboxes are also open to Thais travelling back to Thailand at this time… same rules for everyone.In the last two months, the Test & Go scheme drew in some 350,000 visitors… a tiny proportion of pre-Covid numbers but at least an opportunity for the tourism industry to open up the doors again. Phuket is still likely to be the focus of tourism for the immediate and near future with its range of flights from all over the world and 6 months of sandboxing under its belt.While referring to the recent outbreak in Phuket, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said they are now adding capacity for travellers to isolate themselves in hotel rooms to take the burden off the local hospital system.The local hotels association says they are receiving around 4,000 applications per day at the moment, with most applicants are from Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, the UK, US and France.Travellers for the Phang Nga and Krabi Sandboxes will all need to arrive through Phuket airport. After their 7 days in their Sandbox region, where they can roam freely around the whole region, they will be travel to any part of Thailand, following a negative PCR test.Fending off some criticism about special treatment for locals and foreigners who can pay for it, the public health minister says, that when it comes to a stay at a Thailand field hospital, there’s no VIP section.He noted that for people who are not eligible for home isolation, it’s either a field hospital, where the stay is free, but the beds are made of cardboard, or a hospital, which can be expensive.Along with cardboard beds, which we should add also have perfectly comfortable mattresses on them, some field hospitals are in facilities like gymnasiums where there are no windows or central air conditioning. Photos posted by the government show a fan by each bed along with a pack of water bottles.One foreigner told The Thaiger that the conditions at a field hospital were so bad, that they immediately enquired about other options. The next option was a hospital starting at 1,500 baht per night. Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul maintains that every patient will be treated equally according to their symptoms and reiterated that there are no special beds that can be requested at field hospitals.He urged home isolation and community quarantine to be the main treatment processes for patients with mild symptoms. Patients also have the right to use their personal health insurance for better rooms and facilities. But for expats without health insurance, you’ll have to pay up for a quality room.In our daily raid update, Pattaya police have raided a karaoke bar for allegedly breaking the latest restrictions in the city.The venue, Jacky Karaoke in Nongprue, was raided around 11:30 pm.Police found more than fifty people, many of them local tourists, drinking, dancing, and partying without masks or social distancing. Alcohol was still flowing and loud music was being played. Police immediately ordered the lights turned on, music turned off, and for patrons to put on masks.The 48 year old manager was arrested and taken to the Pattaya City Police station to face legal charges.Strict new rules are in response to a growing number of Covid cases in ChonBuri province since New Year.A 64 year old foreign has been pronounced dead after falling from a condo in Soi 7, Jomtien, south of Pattaya.The name of the condo complex has been withheld at this stage.The man has been identified as a Norwegian expat. He landed on an awning on the 2nd floor, wearing only his shorts. He suffered severe skull injuries with cuts of his left wrist. Police believe the wrist wounds were inflicted before the fall.The Philippines has reported 28,007 new Covid cases in a single day, three times higher than Thailand’s reported numbers yesterday.As of today, figures from the Filipino Department of Health show 41% of Intensive Care Unit beds across the country were already occupied, whilst 54% of Metro Manila’s beds were filled with Covid-related patients.