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15% of Phuket’s advanced bookings cancelled

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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15% of Phuket’s advanced bookings cancelled | The Thaiger
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About 15% of advance bookings have been cancelled in the past week in the wake of the boat capsize 8 days ago. Chinese tourists are voting with their bookings citing a loss of confidence in Phuket marine safety, and safety generally.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Pongpanu Svetarundra says, “Chinese tourists are Thailand’s most important market at the moment. The Phuket boat tragedy has already affected not only Phuket’s tourism but also mental and economic confidence. We are seeing clear signs of a back-lash.”

“There are more than 10 million Chinese tourists visiting Thailand each year which has already generated more than 500,000 million baht. More than 3 million of them are travelling to Phuket each year which has generated at least 150,000 million baht.”

“About 15% of advance rooms booking have been canceled. Chinese tourists are not confident in Phuket safety at the moment. The Chinese government has also made announcements about tourism safety in Phuket and Thailand.”

“I am also the president of the Tourism Assistance Fund. We are funding compensation to be paid to boats tragedy victims as soon as possible. We need to get back Chinese tourist confidence after this boat tragedy as fast as possible. We are keen for Chinese tourists to keep coming to Thailand and Phuket. ”

15% of Phuket's advanced bookings cancelled | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Strong winds “blow” shipping container off a stack and onto a truck, injuring the driver

Caitlin Ashworth

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Strong winds “blow” shipping container off a stack and onto a truck, injuring the driver | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook

A truck driver was critically injured after strong winds from last night’s storms caused a shipping container to fall from a 7 storey stack at the Samut Prakan port, south of Bangkok, and smash down onto an 18 wheel truck with the driver inside.

Workers rushed to pull the driver, Raphin Noiwanit, out of the crushed truck. They say he was unconscious and ruched to Pu Chao Saming Phrai Hospital. 5 other shipping containers were knocked off from the 7 storey stack during the storm around 9:30pm last night. Only 1 of the containers landed on the truck parked below. The workers say it was “unbelievable” that the winds could be strong enough to take down 6 heavy shipping containers.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Dengue fever antibodies might contribute to Thailand’s low Covid-19 count

Caitlin Ashworth

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Dengue fever antibodies might contribute to Thailand’s low Covid-19 count | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr

Antibodies from dengue fever might raise immunity against Covid-19, according to study done in Brazil. It suggests a correlation between the mosquito transmitted illness and the coronavirus, citing lower Covid-19 cases in areas with past dengue outbreaks, like south east Asia. Thai doctor Manoon Leechawengwongs says this might be why Thailand has significantly less Covid-19 cases than other countries around the world.

Since the start of the outbreak, many scientists have been confused by south east Asia’s generally low infection rate and posited various theories about some local “immunity”.

Thailand has more than 100,000 dengue patients every year, he says, adding that many locals take the BCG vaccine for tuberculosis to prevent dengue. There have been 3,545 Covid-19 cases in Thailand with 59 deaths and 3,369 recoveries.

Duke University professor Miguel Nicolelis led the study and recently spoke to Reuters reporters about his findings. He says the study first focused on the spread of Covid-19 in Brazil and they came across the correlation between dengue and the coronavirus by accident. The study says areas in Brazil with high numbers of dengue infections had a comparatively low number Covid-19 cases while areas with low numbers of dengue cases had a high number of Covid-19 cases.

“This striking finding raises the intriguing possibility of an immunological cross-reactivity between dengue’s Flavivirus serotypes and SARS-CoV-2 … If proven correct, this hypothesis could mean that dengue infection or immunization with an efficacious and safe dengue vaccine could produce some level of immunological protection (against the coronavirus).”

Miguel adds past studies found that those with dengue antibodies can falsely test positive for Covid-19.

“This indicates that there is an immunological interaction between two viruses that nobody could have expected, because the two viruses are from completely different families.”

The study was posted on MedRxiv, but has not yet been peer reviewed. Manoon warns that Thai people should still abide by coronavirus prevention measures to prevent a possible second wave.

Click HERE to read the study on how dengue fever may have influenced the spread of Covid-19 in Brazil.

SOURCES: Reuters | Nation Thailand|Worldometer

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Bangkok

Bangkok heist nets gold ornaments valued at 5.6 million baht

Caitlin Ashworth

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Bangkok heist nets gold ornaments valued at 5.6 million baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

Police are searching for a man who allegedly robbed a Bangkok gold shop at gunpoint, stealing gold ornaments valued around 5.6 million baht. The man allegedly pointed a gun at employees, forcing them to hand over 3 trays of gold ornaments.

The Yaowarat Krungthep shop is located at the entrance of Tesco Lotus in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao district. Since the shop is near the building’s entrance, it was easy for the alleged robber to escape and drive off on a motorcycle, according to Chokechai police.

The selling price for the gold ornaments are 28,350 per piece, according to the Gold Traders Association. Altogether, it’s estimated the alleged robber ran off with about 5.6 million baht worth of gold.

Police are reviewing the shop’s surveillance camera footage as well as video from outside the Tesco Lotus and nearby roads. Deputy police chief Suchart Theerasawat says they have a lead on the suspected robber, but are fact checking evidence before making an arrest.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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