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Health officials now checking Chinese tourists in Phuket hotels

Greeley Pulitzer

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Health officials now checking Chinese tourists in Phuket hotels | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Health officials and police check on Chinese hotel guests - The Chiang Rai Times
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Health officials in Phuket are checking up and visiting Chinese tourists at local hotels over worries about the Wuhan Coronavirus. Though there are no confirmed cases on the island, officials are performing the checkups as precautions intensify to contain the spread of the virus.

Phuket’s deputy governor says officials are now taking more proactive measures to combat the coronavirus, with a total of 2,230 officers now checking Chinese tourists’ health at hotels.

“They will check 3,438 Chinese tourists who arrived in tour groups at 31 local hotels. This is to monitor their condition and generate confidence among Phuket residents.”

He says provincial authorities of the Tourism and Sports Ministry office have opened a centre to help virus-affected tourists. The opening event was held at the provincial hall to show support for Chinese visitors.

Health officials now checking Chinese tourists in Phuket hotels | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Chiang Rai Times

Chalermpong Sukhonthapol, director of Phuket’s coronavirus response centre, says 29 people, all Chinese nationals, were placed under surveillance last month. Nineteen of them were cleared and discharged from hospital, while 10 still await test results as of today. Passengers passing through Phuket airport from mainland China are being screened for infection.

Meanwhile officials have confirmed Thailand’s first case of person to person transmission. The virus was contracted by a local taxi driver who has never travelled to China. He is one of five new confirmed cases, bringing the total number in Thailand to nineteen. The four others are Chinese nationals travelling from Wuhan.

Human to human transmission been confirmed in other countries, including Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Sopon says that compared to other countries, Thailand is at “greater risk” when it comes to human to human transmission, due to its high number of Chinese and foreign travellers.

Source: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus

Korean virus cases skyrocket; Japanese passenger turns positive

Greeley Pulitzer

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Korean virus cases skyrocket; Japanese passenger turns positive | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Medical workers in South Korea - File photo

The number of COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Korea has increased tenfold in just four days to 556, and a passenger on the virus-stricken Diamond Princess tested positive after arriving home in Japan, despite a negative result during the ship’s 14-day quarantine. Yesterday, China’s Hubei province, where the outbreak began, saw 96 deaths, another decrease, in line with the toll reported in recent days.

The US has raised its travel alerts for Japan and South Korea to Level 2, while China remains at Level 4, meaning “do not travel.” Britain “advise against all but essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo” in South Korea, and Italy, the country with the most infections in Europe, is banning passage to and from an affected area southeast of Milan.

Korean virus cases skyrocket; Japanese passenger turns positive | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Worldometers.info

China has pledged fiscal and monetary steps to help global growth rebound, even as finance chiefs from the world’s biggest economies, gathering in Saudi Arabia for the annual G20 meeting fret over the risks. The IMF says its baseline scenario is now for China to expand 5.6% this year, 0.4 of a percentage point lower than a January estimate, knocking 0.1 of a point off global growth.

SOURCE: Bloomberg News

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Coronavirus

China reports further reduction in new coronavirus cases, down to 397; Korea has a second death

Greeley Pulitzer

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China reports further reduction in new coronavirus cases, down to 397; Korea has a second death | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Staff at the workshop of Fusen Pharmaceutical China’s Henan Province. The company has resumed production to ensure the supply of medicines during the fight against the coronavirus - Xinhua

China’s National Health Commission announced today that the country had 397 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus infections as of yesterday, down from 889 cases a day earlier. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 76,288. The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China had reached 2,345.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 106 new deaths, 90 in the capital, Wuhan. New infections in China have been falling for days, although changes in how it counts cases have caused doubts about the true trajectory of the epidemic.

China last week began recording new cases without waiting for laboratory results, causing a significant spike in the number of cases reported. But on Thursday it returned to its original method of counting, and removed some cases from the tally because test results were negative. The changes are sure to aggravate observers who say consistency is key to understanding COVID-19’s path.

South Korea reported 142 more cases this morning, bringing the nationwide total to 346. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an additional death, bringing the total to two.

Among the latest cases, 92 were connected to a hospital in Cheongdo, a southern city connected to a religious sect. More than 150 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus have now been infected, after a 61 year old woman developed a fever on February 10 but attended at least four church services in the city of Daegu before being diagnosed. Cheongdo, around 27 kilometres south of Daegu, is the birthplace of Lee Man-hee, Shincheonji’s founder. County officials said yesterday that a three day funeral was held for his brother three weeks ago at a hall owned by the hospital, where the 92 new cases were confirmed today.

Iran announced three more infections Thursday, a day after it reported its first two deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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No virus cover-up, PM tweets

Greeley Pulitzer

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No virus cover-up, PM tweets | The Thaiger
PHOTO: CNN file photo

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha went on Twitter yesterday, in an apparent bid to counter “fake news,” and announced there is no COVID-19 coronavirus cover-up happening in Thailand. He insisted the government is neither hiding nor distorting the number of infections in the country and said citizens should “gain confidence” in its remarkable success managing the disease. Earlier in the day, Prayut had urged the public to stay calm and not share “fake news or hate speech” about the virus threat, “because everyone, especially medical personnel, will be working on it until the crisis has passed.”

Although several countries have expressed admiration for Thailand’s ability to stem the spread of the virus, some foreign experts on disease control have doubted the small numbers of confirmed and suspected cases officially reported. Thailand has reported a total of 35 confirmed cases, seventeen of whom have made full recoveries, and has reported no fatalities

“The situation in Thailand today is still in a range we can cope with, and the government will take care of all affected sectors of society.”

The PM came out of an afternoon meeting at Government House on the virus issue, saying the Cabinet will soon announce measures to support entrepreneurs who have been affected by the outbreak.

“Measures already taken have been able to control the situation effectively, but we plan to introduce more to help society cope and more again if the outbreak evolves to the next level. Meanwhile it’s important to shore up the production and distribution of protective facemasks, which is still falling short.”

Businesspeople, especially in the tourism sector, who’ve been hurt by the virus can count on state assistance, Prayut told reporters

“The virus has had an impact on all businesses, so we must resolve the problem in a comprehensive way. I thank all government agencies for their cooperation in helping solve these problems.”

SOURCE: The Nation

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