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Whale shark search starts off Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Yesterday (May 20) a team of officials led by Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Director-General Jatuporn Burutpat went in search of the whale shark that fisherman claim was alive after they freed it from their fishing nets. The searching covered 40 kilometres between Koh Lon, Koh Hey and Koh Bon. Binoculars, drones and echo sounding devices have been used in the search.

Mr Jatuporn says, “So far no whale shark has been found. The search will continue for about four days. If we find the live whale shark, it will be treated and released back to the sea. If we locate a dead whale shark an autopsy will be conducted to find the cause of dead and included in the legal case against the fishermen, the crew and the owners of the boats.

“Not more than 100 whale sharks have been seen in the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand which is a small number. Most of the dead whale sharks found have died from fisheries activities. “

“The captains of ‘Sang Samut 2 and 3’ fishing boats and the 15 boat crew are to face charges. We are paying attention to the plight of rare animals, but we also need cooperation from everyone involved. I want this incident to be the first and last time.”

Dr Kongkiet Kittiwattanawong, Chief of the Marine Endangered Species Unit at the the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) says, “The chance that we will find this whale shark alive is low. Whale sharks have soft bones. If they were brought up onto the boat, its organs inside are most likely injured.”

“The whale shark is heavy. It must not be brought up from water. Fishermen must release the whale shark in the sea freeing it from the fishing net and letting the whale shark swim out by itself. Most of fishermen should know how to release a whale shark.”

Boat crews got into the water to help the 1.5 tonne whale shark out of a fishing net Krabi this month .

Read more about the story HERE.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Wednesday Covid UPDATE: 24 deaths and 1,983 new infections

Tim Newton

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The Thai public health ministry is reporting an additional 34 Covid-related deaths and 1,983 new infections from the past 24 hours of Bangkok and provincial reports. We’ll post all the provincial numbers just after lunch when they become available.

• Bangkok health officials are aiming to get around 70% of the Bangkok’s residents – about 5 million people – vaccinated within 2 months.

Yesterday PM Prayut Chan-o-cha noted that the number of people registering for vaccinations with the government had fallen below target.

• Krabi’s tourism operators are urging the government to push forward with local vaccination plans and commit to regulations for the province’s national parks so they can proceed with plans to re-open on October 1.

Ekawit Pinyotamanotai, president of the Krabi Tourism Association, says that “vaccine readiness is the key factor to build the confidence of locals and tourists”.

• The Marine Department is imposing strict new social distancing and regular cleaning aboard boats on the capital’s main canal routes for passenger ferries. They are also ordering more frequent services to spread out the load on each boat.

Boat operators will now add more trips during the morning rush hour from 7am to 8.30am and in the evening from 4:30pm to 6pm. The service frequency will increase from 5-7 minutes to 2-3 minutes to prevent crowding on both boats and piers – Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

PM Prayut pushes vaccine priority for the national agenda

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: PM Prayut received the vaccine without side effects and has set it as a top priority on the national agenda. (via Thai Government Public Relations Department)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha asked the Thai cabinet to make the Covid-19 vaccine part of the national agenda in order to make it Thailand’s top priority. He urged Thai people through a Facebook post to get vaccinated and not hesitate. The PM reminded people that getting everyone vaccinated to the point of herd immunity is the only way to end the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. He also reassured people that all vaccines administered in Thailand are tested and approved by the Ministry of Public Health, and are safe.

Thailand is set to receive 100 million vaccines by the end of 2021 and plans are on the agenda to secure another 50 million jabs. The goal is to develop herd immunity to cripple Covid-19’s rapid spread by vaccinating 50 million Thai people. Domestic vaccine production is scheduled to manufacture a minimum of 61 million AstraZeneca vaccines with Siam Bioscience authorised to produce the jabs in Thailand. The company has a technological transfer agreement with AstraZeneca and hopes that it can ramp up production to be the hub of AstraZeneca’s distribution within Southeast Asia.

PM Prayut stressed the safety of the jabs after a few high-profile negative side effects have spread fear throughout the Thai population, slowing down his vaccine agenda. He asserted that all cabinet ministers had already received Covid-19 jabs and didn’t experience any side effects, with the PM himself having been filmed and photographed receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He reassured that side effects are generally minor and safer than Covid-19 itself and that severe or fatal side effects are exceedingly rare. Health systems are in place as part of the vaccine agenda to observe and treat anyone that experiences negative reactions after being vaccinated. Millions of people worldwide have been vaccinated already with very few negative effects. And even the vaccines that are less effective against Covid-19 completely have been proven to be extremely effective in reducing the severity of the virus, thus preventing hospitalisation and saving lives.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Thailand

Airlines can face penalties for failure to check passengers’ Certificate of Entry – CAAT

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Stock photo by Gerrie van der Walt for Unsplash

Airlines with routes to Thailand are told to check passengers’ Certificate of Entry, a required document to travel to Thailand, prior to departure. Airlines will face penalties if they allow passengers who don’t have the required documentation to land in Thailand, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand warns.

If passengers do not have their COE prior to boarding the aircraft, then the airlines must handle the situation. If the passengers have stopped for a layover, then the airlines must send them back to their country of origin, according to the CAAT.

“The authority will punish airlines that allow passengers who do not have a COE to enter the country under measures for permission to fly into the country.”

The statement from the CAAT comes after Thailand’s Foreign Ministry banned foreign arrivals from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal to prevent the emergence of the mutated Covid-19 variant that was first detected in India. Thai Embassies in those countries have temporarily suspended the issuing of COE. Thais and those with diplomatic passports travelling from countries from the country where the Indian variant has been reported can still enter Thailand.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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