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New crowd-sourced data shows Phuket yacht sighting, MH370 flight path correlate

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New crowd-sourced data shows Phuket yacht sighting, MH370 flight path correlate | Thaiger

PHUKET: Crowd-sourced research plotting the projected flight path of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 by using data from Inmarsat satellites may have confirmed that a British woman sailing from India to Phuket spotted the ill-fated flight over the Andaman Sea.

British sailor Katherine Tee, 41, was sailing from Cochin, India to Phuket with her husband when on March 7 she saw what looked like a plane on fire crossing the night sky, with a plume of black smoke trailing behind it (story here).

The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), the Australian organization tasked with co-ordinating the search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean, confirmed to the Phuket Gazette today that the crowd-sourced data is now under review by the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB).

imageFlight test engineer Stewart Stoddart correlated the yacht’s course and the projected flight path of MH370 by using a flight simulator and satellite data. Image: Stewart Stoddart

“The ATSB received, via the JACC, a message from a member of the public reporting that they had seen what they believed to be a burning aircraft in the sky above the Indian Ocean on the night of the disappearance of MH370,” the Gazette was told by email.

“That information has been reviewed by the ATSB’s MH370 Search Strategy Working Group for review, along with a range of other material from members of the public.

“The Search Strategy Working Group is concluding its assessment of the likely flight path of MH370 and expects to publish the results by the end of this month.”

At this stage, the theory posted on the popular sailing portal Cruisers Forum (click here) is commensurate with, but does not prove, current theories suggested by expert search analysts.

Volunteer members of the public, one of them a flight test engineer who used flight-simulator software, compared the logged course of Ms Tee’s yacht SY Aaza Dana as it passed south of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and cross-correlated it with data from the International Maritime Organization navigation and communications satellite network, Inmarsat.

Inmarsat has already confirmed that according to its data, MH370 flew west over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands before making possibly two course corrections as it headed south (story here).

The Inmarsat data indicated a final “ping” – or electronic “handshake” – between MH370 and the satellite network near a “communications arc” at 00:11 UTC that led the massive international search effort to hunt the missing aircraft to deep waters in the southern Indian Ocean far off the west coast of Australia.

In publishing the Inmarsat data, however, the Malaysian government emphasized that the last handshake should not be interpreted as the final position of the aircraft due to evidence of a partial handshake between the aircraft and a ground station at 00:19 UTC.

Ms Tee provided the Gazette a copy of her report of the latest findings to the JACC (to read her report in full, click here), in which she detailed the sighting of a buoy and the glow of a “bright orange light” from beyond the horizon, which she saw after March 7.

imageAn image highlights the yacht’s course as given by GPS data and the location of the ‘bright orange light’ Ms Tee reported as glowing from beyond the horizon. Image: Cruisers Forum

“If the [projected] flight plan is correct, and I genuinely believe it is, since it illustrates exactly what I saw, and where and how the trajectory changed, then this flight headed off back over our track,” Ms Tee told the Gazette.

“That meant the plane headed towards military exercises where we had seen what we now believe to be a military convoy, and an isolated marine buoy that was either a submarine buoy or an acoustic target buoy (used for missile practice).

“Now, I know that big military convoys have excellent radar tracking systems and etc, and yet they didn’t see this and report it? I don’t believe that, and don’t understand why not.”

Following the posting of the new data, Ms Tee said she now felt some sense of relief.

“[The] flight path (now verified on a 777 simulator), and a visual illustration of elevation angles suggested by an independent investigator perfectly illustrates what I saw when I was out there,” she said.

“Thanks to the science and logic, at least I now believe what I saw. That has been painful to deal with in itself.”

— Chris Husted

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test

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Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Checkpoints in Phuket will only allow Covid-19 tested or vaccinated travellers in.

To help wrangle the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in Phuket, strict controls for everyone entering the island go into effect today until the end of April. The provincial communicable disease committee approved the measures in an effort to stop the proliferation of Covid-19 in the province. The new regulations state that only people who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or have tested to be Coronavirus-free within 3 days of arrival, will be allowed to enter Phuket. Proper certification or documentation must be presented to verify this information – either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or the results of a recent negative Covid-19 test.

Anyone attempting to enter Phuket without two jabs of the vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours will be charged 300 baht for a rapid antigen test at their port of entry. These tests generate results in about 15 minutes and then negative-tested visitors will be allowed to proceed. If a person receives the test and is diagnosed positive for Covid-19 they will be sent to medical facilities immediately for treatment.

All entrants to Phuket are also required to use the Mor Chana Covid-19 contact tracing app to check in and record their travel timelines. That mobile app is available at gophuget.com.

The new restrictions apply to local and foreign travellers except for people making deliveries that are not staying overnight. Those people will get a special certification from their companies to present at the checkpoint entrance to the island.

Phuket is now classified as a Red Zone province, one of 19 provinces throughout Thailand where infections are on the rise. 208 current Covid-19 infections were registered at the start of this week in Phuket.

In response to the increasing Covid-19 infections in Phuket, Surat Thani has made special restrictions for anyone travelling from Phuket to Surat Thani. Those people will be required to scan and register their trip through the “Save Surat” website before being quarantined for 14 days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Those flying into Phuket face Covid tests from tomorrow

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Those flying into Phuket face Covid tests from tomorrow | Thaiger

Starting tomorrow, those who fly into Phuket International Airport will face a Covid-19 “Antigen Rapid Test” unless they have proof of being fully vaccinated or a previously negative Covid test within 72 hours of arriving. The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee announced the new rule last night, and will go through April 30. The measure also includes those coming from red zones. The test is 300 baht with travellers being required to foot the bill. Results are expected to take 15 minutes.

For those entering the province by road, only those from red zone provinces will be required to be tested. All arrivals must install the MorChana app, register their travel details through the www.gophuget.com web portal, and have their arrival and travel details reported to the Emergency Operations Center for the area where the traveller is staying. Those who are only transporting goods and don’t stay in Phuket overnight are exempt from the new rules. But, they must show a permission document.

The government is asking people to limit their travel, particularly to red zone provinces. Here’s a list of the red zone provinces.

1. Bangkok
2. Chiang Mai
3. Chon Buri
4. Samut Prakan
5. Prachuap Khiri Kan
6. Samut Sakhon
7. Pathum Thani
8. Nakhon Pathom
9. Phuket
10. Nakhon Ratchasima
11. Nonthaburi
12. Songkhla
13. Tak
14. Udon Thani
15. Suphanburi
16. Sa Kaeo
17. Rayong
18. Khon Kaen

You can expect other provinces to introduce similar restrictions over the next few days. We’ll keep you up to date on thethaiger.com

Phuket requires Covid paperwork to enter from red zone provinces from Wednesday (April 21) | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile, Phuket is receiving almost 100,000 Covid-19 Sinovac doses to administer second vaccine rounds to those who received their first jabs earlier this month. Thailand today, has recorded 1,443 new daily Covid-19 infections. 4 more deaths have also been recorded. 55 people are now on ventilators under state care. The government claims there are 1,000 ventilators available. 666,210 people in Thailand have now received at least 1 dose of a Covid vaccine. Only 2 of today’s reported cases were imported.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Almost 100,000 Sinovac doses delivered to Phuket for second round of jabs

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Almost 100,000 Sinovac doses delivered to Phuket for second round of jabs | Thaiger

Phuket is receiving almost 100,000 Covid-19 Sinovac doses to administer second vaccine rounds to those who received their first jabs earlier this month. 99,480 doses were delivered yesterday at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town. 30,000 doses will be delivered to Thalang Hospital, 20,000 to Patong Hospital and 10,000 to Chalong Hospital. Vachira hospital’s director posted last night detailing the vaccines’ distribution, noting that Vachira will keep the rest in store.

The vaccine doses will help continue the mass-vaccination campaign which will continue until April 30. About 90,000 people and 9,000 medical and public health personnel are scheduled to receive their 2nd vaccine doses. 480 military, police, and frontline personnel are also on the list.

The Phuket Provincial Health Office has made a goal of inoculating 8,000-9,000 people per day, but many have criticised that number as being unachievable. Chalermpong says SMS services will be used to notify those of vaccine appointments.

The Phuket News reports that people who have already had their first injection but who have not received an SMS confirming the second vaccination appointment can check at the “Phuket Must Win” website. Chalermpong says if you cannot find your name, then you can visit the vaccination station and present your certificate to staff after 3pm each day.

Other provincial authorities joined in giving their advice with the PPHO chief reminding that even if you are vaccinated, you could still be infected, but the symptoms won’t be very bad. The Vice Governor also chimed in saying if you want the first injection, they are open for registration today. But if you want to be vaccinated in May you must have an appointment as authorities are trying to reduce congestion.

Meanwhile, Phuket’s plans to reopen by July to vaccinated tourists may be stalled due to the 3rd wave of Covid and a slower rollout of vaccine administration than previously planned. New restrictions from entering the province have also been announced. Currently, you’ll need either a certificate of proof that you’ve had both doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine, a Covid-19-free certificate, not older than 72 hours, or you’ll have to do a Rapid Covid Test at a cost of 300 baht at the airport.

This situation will apply until at least the end of April. The downside of coming to Phuket at this time will be risking a positive Rapid Covid Test, if you don’t have the other paperwork, and ending up in a field hospital.

If you’re arriving in Phuket by road, through the Thachatchai road checkpoint at the top of the island, only travellers from the red zone provinces will be affected by the new restrictions. If you’re from an orange zone you’ll be able to enter without the paperwork, for now anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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