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Woman from Guinea cleared in Ebola tests

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Woman from Guinea cleared in Ebola tests
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Laboratory tests have cleared any concern that a woman travelling from Ebola-hit Guinea may have developed the deadly infection. The 24-year-old woman had been under quarantine for a day pending test results.

Dr Narong Sahamethapat, Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, said yesterday that results from both Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine and Department of Medical Sciences showed that the woman had tested negative to the Ebola virus.

The woman arrived from Guinea on August 20 and nine days later consulted doctors after her body temperature rose to 38.8 degrees Celsius, and she developed a runny nose, sore throat and began vomiting. She was admitted to a provincial hospital on Monday. She had no fever when she passed through Suvarnabhumi Airport, Narong said.

“She was the first suspected Ebola case in Thailand,” he pointed out. The hospital took her blood samples for testing and the results came out yesterday.

“Her fever has already subsided. Doctors are checking her pulse and temperature every four hours. A second blood test will be conducted on Thurs-day to confirm the result,” Narong said.

He stressed that the woman had not been confirmed as being infected with Ebola. She merely was presented with a fever after visiting a country that has been hard hit by the Ebola outbreak.

The doctor said 16 others, both Thai and foreign, who have been in close contact with the patient are also being closely monitored.

“If they show signs of possible infection, they will be taken to the isolation ward in the hospital until the 21-day incubation period passes,” he said.

He also provided assurances that personnel taking care of the woman were wearing high-grade protection gear and appliances were being strictly sterilised.

Dr Sophon Mekthon, director-general of the Disease Control Department, said the woman was categorised as being on the first tier of procedures for preventing Ebola, as she had fever after returning from an affected area.

Chookiat Ophaswongse, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters Association, said some Thai rice exporters had faced problems in shipping rice to West Africa as some international freighters and charters refused to go to ports of countries hit by the Ebola outbreak. Their crews were highly concerned about being infected by the disease.

As a result, some rice stocks had backed up in Thai warehouses, causing problems for exporters. Delays also caused local prices of rice to drop to only Bt7,800-Bt8,000 a tonne this week.

Africa is a major market for Thai rice. Normally, Thailand exports about 45 million tonnes to Africa, mostly to Benin and Nigeria.

Vichai Sriprasert, president of Riceland International, one of Thailand’s leading exporters of parboiled rice, said a shortage of labour and the Ebola outbreak had caused problems for Thai rice exporters. He said most shippers refused to carry rice to West Africa. Some companies that had agreed to do so had asked for higher payments.

The International Trade Promotion Department of the Commerce Ministry is closely monitoring the situation in West Africa, and the Thai Trade Office in Nigeria is estimating the situation daily. So far, shipments to Nigeria have not been affected by the Ebola outbreak.

Exports to Africa dropped by 1.5 per cent in July to US$765 million. Shipments to the region rose slightly, by 0.9 per cent, to $4.82 billion in the first seven months year on year.

Total shipments to five countries in West Africa facing the Ebola outbreak were worth a $490 million last year. Most were to Benin ($262.3 million), followed by Nigeria ($205.3 million), Guinea ($8.6 million), Sierra Leone ($7 million, and Liberia ($5.3 million).

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Thailand

‘Safe zone’ in Thailand for refugees fleeing Myanmar violence

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Karen Information Centre

Due to the ongoing violence between the Myanmar military and ethnic troops, the Thai military has set up a “safe zone” for thousands of refugees in Mae Hong Son near the Salween River, the natural border between Thailand and Myanmar.

The prominent armed wing of the Karen National Union has openly supported the anti-coup movement in Myanmar, leading to clashes with the military junta. Recently, the Karen National Liberation Army reported took over a military outpost near the Thai border. Those just across the Salween River in Thailand said they could hear the gunshots and explosions.

Defence Ministry spokesperson Kongcheep Tantravanich says shelter and humanitarian assistance are being provided for around 2,200 people who have fled Myanmar.

Kongcheep says the “safe zone” is under tight security and only those authorised can enter. There are strict health and disease control measures are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

His statement comes after the local civil rights group People of Salween River Basin Network called on the Thai government not to push refugees back, claiming that Thai soldiers had been ordered to tell the refugees to return to their home country due to a potential negative impact with border trade.

They say the Myanmar military has been carrying out airstrikes on Karen army bases and many Karen villagers fear for their safety.

Mae Hong Son governor, Sitthichai Jindaluang, also told a United Nations representative last week that refugees have been given shelter and assistance.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูล COVID-19

1,630 new Covid-19 cases and 22 coronavirus-related deaths were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. There are now 29,376 active Covid-19 cases. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 85,005 Covid-19 cases and 421 Covid-related deaths.

Out of the 22 deaths, most of the patients had chronic illnesses. Many contracted the virus from family members or close friends.

Most of the new cases were detected in Bangkok, particularly in districts with crowded communities and markets. While cases in Bangkok continue to be high, CCSA spokesperson Natapanu Nopakun says the number of new cases in most other provinces in Thailand is decreasing.

Health officials are rolling out proactive case finding campaigns in several high-risk communities, testing 9,000 to 10,000 per day, Nopakun says, adding that officials are working to provide the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

Those who test positive for Covid-19 and are asymptomatic must stay at an official field hospital for 14 days and then self-isolate at home for another 14 days.

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

 

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Thailand

Thailand donates cash, equipment to Laos to help combat Covid-19 outbreak

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Royal Thai Embassy Vientiane

With Laos, just north of Thailand, under lockdown measures to control a spike of Covid-19 infections, the Royal Thai Embassy to Laos helping the country combat the outbreak and has donated cash and materials valued altogether at more than 16 million baht.

While cases have remained low in Laos since the start of the pandemic last year with active cases typically under 10, there was a spike in cases in mid-April and active cases are now at 1,302. The country reported its first coronavirus-related death yesterday.

Thailand donates cash, equipment to Laos to help combat Covid-19 outbreak | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Laos as of 9 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Donations from Thailand help supply mobile biosafety labs to conduct swab Covid-19 testing and beds for Covid-19 patients as well as protective equipment such including 50,000 medical masks and more than 2,000 Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, outfits.

An order of supplies valued at 8.5 million baht is set to be delivered by the end of the month. That order will have 2,000 more PPE outfits, Covid-19 test equipment, DNA/RNA extraction kits, and 2,500 test kits. Other equipment provided by Thailand include a defibrillator, patient monitoring machine, infrared thermometers, oxygen regulators, and pulse oximeters.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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