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Philippine President Duterte: “Shoot them dead”

Jack Burton

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Philippine President Duterte: “Shoot them dead” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Straits Times
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The president of the Philippines is warning that those who violate his coronavirus lockdown could be shot. He also says abuse of medical workers is a “serious crime that will not be tolerated.”

In a nationally televised address, President Rodrigo Duterte said it’s crucial that everyone cooperates and follows home quarantine measures to try to slow the spread of Covid-19 and prevent the country’s fragile health system from being overwhelmed.

As of yesterday the Philippines had confirmed 96 coronavirus deaths and 2,311 confirmed cases since the breakout. New infections in the Philippines are now being reported in the hundreds every day.

“It is getting worse. So once again I’m telling you the seriousness of the problem and that you must listen. My orders to the police and military … if there is trouble and they fight back and your lives are in danger, shoot them dead. Is that understood? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I will bury you.”

His confronting comments come after reports of a disturbance and several arrests on Wednesday of residents in a poor area of Manila who were protesting about government food aid. They also follow outrage among the medical community about social stigma and cases of hospital workers suffering violence and discrimination. Duterte says this “must be stopped.”

Activists criticise Duterte for his fierce rhetoric and say he’s inciting violence and vigilantism, citing his war on drugs, in which police and gunmen have killed thousands accused of using or selling drugs. Police say their actions in the anti-drug campaign have been lawful. Duterte’s office typically calls his remarks “hyperbole to underline his point.”

The Philippines’ national police chief yesterday said police understood that Duterte is demonstrating his seriousness about public order, and that no one will be shot.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14

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First phase of Thailand’s Covid-19 vaccinations to start on February 14 | The Thaiger
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The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

At the Covid-19 vaccination administration subcommittee meeting today, Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19,014,154 Thai people in 4 priority groups…

  • 1,700,000 health workers in both public and private health care sectors.
  • 6,163,095 populations with underlying conditions.
  • 11,136,059 people aged over 60 years
  • Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine availability remains limited and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan, according to permanent secretary of public health Kiattiphum Wongrajit. The vaccines will be free and are not compulsory, Anutin says.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month. The Chinese vaccine is expected to be approved by Thai drug regulators within the next 3 weeks.

The second phase of the 3-part plan is scheduled to run from May to December, offering vaccinations in all regions. Thai officials aim to have at least 50% of the Thai population vaccinated by the end of the year. The final phase will be rolled out in January 2022, with the goal to have enough vaccines to distribute to create herd immunity.

The government is also launched a Line Official Account called “Mor Prom”, translated as “doctor’s ready” to facilitate the vaccination administration. People can register to make appointments for vaccination, while health authorities can monitor the adverse effects of the vaccines. The platform is expected to launch on February 12 to serve the health workers before opening to the public in April.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post| Thairath online

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Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval

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Eating out until 11pm in Bangkok is waiting for approval | The Thaiger
PHOTO: GQ Thailand

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal by the Thai Restaurant Association is given a green light, it may lead to the lifting ban of alcohol drinking.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok are ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales are banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue. The lifting of the ban is then believed to stimulate the economy.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

SOURCE: Coconuts Bangkok

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

At least 19 Covid-19 cases linked to 2 parties, including celebrity’s birthday

Caitlin Ashworth

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At least 19 Covid-19 cases linked to 2 parties, including celebrity’s birthday | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter: @matoom_efm

At least 19 Covid-19 cases are related to 2 parties – a 5-day New Years celebration in Chiang Mai and a birthday party in Bangkok for a famous TV and radio host Techin Ployphet, aka DJ Matoom, on January 9.

A senior police officer in Bangkok is the latest case possibly linked to the Bangkok “party cluster.” The officer tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with someone who attended the celebrity’s birthday at the Vertigo restaurant and bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel.

After the party, the actor, as well as other attendees, later tested positive for Covid-19. DJ Matoom also attended a New Year’s celebration in Chiang Mai from January 1 to 5, which is also linked to a number of cases.

Department of Disease Control director general Opas Karnkawinpong says a man who attended the Chiang Mai probably carried the virus to Bangkok and spread it at DJ Matoom’s birthday party.

Since the police officer’s positive test result, the Criminal Records Division at the Royal Thai Police headquarters is temporarily closed for cleaning after a senior police officer tested positive for Covid-19.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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