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Bangkok officials check controversial Phuket dolphinarium [video]

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Bangkok officials check controversial Phuket dolphinarium [video] | Thaiger

PHUKET: Department of Fisheries officials from Bangkok examined the hotly contested Nemo Dolphinarium today.

“Five officers came to inspect the facility and question the owners,” Suchart Youngsup, acting chief of the Phuket Fisheries Office told the Phuket Gazette. “Everything is being taken care of by Bangkok officials. We are just supporting them as necessary.”

With renowned dolphin-rights activist Ric O’Barry leading the charge, the debate about Phuket’s dolphinarium has gone international.

“If Phuket actually imports dolphins from Taiji, it’s going to be a blemish on tourism in Phuket on an international

Phuket risks great harm to its reputation as an international tourist destination if a dolphin park is allowed to open here, explained dolphin-rights activist Ric O’Barry in an exclusive interview with the Gazette. Video: PGTV

scale, because Phuket will be supporting this dolphin slaughter,” Mr O’Barry told the Gazette in an exclusive interview earlier this year (story here).

A direct connection between five wild caught dolphins bound for the dolphinarium and the annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins at the Taiji cove in Japan was later confirmed by Asia Director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Gary Stokes (story here).

“The dolphinarium has become a sensitive issue. We are aware that such facilities are banned in some other countries,” Mr Suchart said.

Director of the Fishery Management Bureau Marnop Chaengkij earlier this year confirmed to the Gazette that if the facility did meet the department’s standards, there would still be a “long way to go” before it would be able to open its doors.

“Even if they are allowed to operate the dolphinarium, we must ensure that all of their paperwork is legal first,” Mr Marnop said.

“We will check where the animals are being exported from, and we won’t just believe whatever is written in the application. We will do our homework.”

However, Mr Marnop noted that Thailand does not have any embargo on dolphins from Ukraine or Japan, as long as the correct documentation is provided.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Health officials race to vaccinate 70% of Khlong Toey slum residents

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/กรุงเทพมหานคร โดยสำนักงานประชาสัมพันธ์

Health officials are racing to vaccinate 70% of residents in Bangkok’s Khlong Toey neighbourhood, the largest slum in the city where hundreds have tested positive for Covid-19 since April. With people living in crowded conditions and many unable to take off work to self-isolate, Thai authorities have been rolling out proactive Covid-19 testing and a mass vaccination campaign in an effort to contain the virus.

A third vaccination unit has been set up in the district at the Port Authority Stadium, adding to the units at Tesco Lotus Rama IV and Wat Khlong Toey School. Around 50,000 of the 80,000 residents in the Khlong Toey slum need to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to reach herd immunity, according to Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang.

As of Sunday, 11,211 people had been vaccinated at the mobile units and each vaccination unit has been handing out 1,000 queue cards each day. With the third vaccination unit, city officials plan to inoculate 2,500 to 3,000 people per day until May 19.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration launched a proactive testing campaign on April 27 in the Khlong Toey district. Since then, 19,983 people have been tested with 654 people positive for Covid-19. 5,700 people are waiting for the results to come back and the others are negative.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Monday Covid UPDATE: 1,630 new cases and 22 deaths

Tim Newton

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Monday’s totals have been announced for Covid-19 infections and new deaths over the past 24 hours. The Thai public health ministry reports 22 deaths and 1,630 infections.

• The only 5 imported Covid-19 cases yesterday were from neighbouring countries, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. Authorities say that patrols will have to be stepped up at this time to control the illegal border crossings.

All 5 people caught were Thais who were were trying to cross back into Thailand without going through the border checkpoints. They’ve all been admitted to state hospitals.

• 100+ African gemstone traders have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last 4 days in Chanthaburi, east of Bangkok. Authorities have confirmed that none were detected with the African or Indian variants of Covid-19.

The 109 traders tested positive between May 6 – 9.

• 63 new cases of Covid-19 have been announced in Chon Buri today (including Pattaya), a drop from totals reported over the past week. There’s also been 1 additional death reported. 1,507 people remain in medical care for the virus in the province.

• Meanwhile all public service and government offices, including Thai immigration, are closed for Monday. But it’s not a public holiday. Today is the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which is a traditional ceremony to forecast the season’s rice and wet season crops. His Majesty the King usually presides over the annual event at the royal parade grounds of Sanam Luang.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

9 student nurses experience side effects from Sinovac vaccine

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Side effects were felt by 9 nursing students after receiving the Sinovac vaccine. (via Jernej Furman / Flickr)

After receiving the Sinovac vaccine, 9 student nurses at Thammasat University have complained of side effect according to the Facebook page of the Student Organization of Thammasat University. After 88 student nurses received the Chinese-made vaccine on April 23 and May 5, 2 experienced minor side effects of a little pain in the arm they were vaccinated in, while 7 felt substantial reactions including chest pain, muscle pain, dizziness, fatigue, breathing problems, numbness, and facial tics.

One case of severe side effects was a female nursing student with an underlying allergy who felt fatigued immediately after receiving the jab. she felt better an hour later, but was placed under observation. 2 days later she briefly felt that her legs and hands were numb but soon felt better. Later that evening, symptoms strengthened, with eye and facial spasms, dizziness, fatigue, and weakness in her hands.

She visited a doctor twice for the side effects and the first time was given sleeping pills and vitamin B, but the second time after a blood test, doctors concluded that the symptoms were unrelated to the Sinovac vaccine. She had been previously prescribed Clonazepam, and that prescription was changed to Pyridostigmine.

The remaining more severe side effect sufferers were as follows:

  1. One male nursing student found he had difficulty breathing and dizziness for 3 days after receiving his jab.
  1. A female nursing student reported that just 30 minutes after receiving the injection she felt shortness of breath and the next day had some numbness in her body.
  1. 14 hours after receiving the jab, a female nursing student said that she felt side effects of fatigued and had trouble breathing and had to use pillows to help her breathing difficulties.
  1. Another female student felt muscle pain and dizziness the next day after receiving the vaccine.
  1. A female student ended up receiving Vitamin B and Amitriptyline from a doctor for her side effects. She reported to initially feel something in her arm and hand where she was injected, and then numbness in her left leg and in her fingertips on both hands.
  1. For the 3 days following her inoculation, the last female nursing student had side effects of chest pains and shortness of breath.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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