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Europe is warned of rising Covid-19 rates as it enters the autumn season – WHO

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Europe is warned of rising Covid-19 rates as it enters the autumn season – WHO | The Thaiger
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“We are by no means out of the woods” – WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The World Health Organisation is warning that Europe will face a rising death toll from Covid-19 during the northern hemisphere autumn. The warning comes as the number of world daily infections hit a record high. The WHO reported 310,692 new cases worldwide on September 11, with the weekly trend starting to spike again after levelling off over the past month. The trend in daily deaths, however, continues to drop as treatments for severe Covid-19 cases continue to improve.

Europe is warned of rising Covid-19 rates as it enters the autumn season - WHO | News by The Thaiger

India, the US, Brazil, Argentina and France led the way yesterday as the countries adding the most new cases in the world. Regionally, the Americas, the Asian sub-continent and Europe remain the major concerns at this phase of the Covid-19 response. (Figures from September 14, according to worldometers.info)

Europe is warned of rising Covid-19 rates as it enters the autumn season - WHO | News by The Thaiger

The WHO Europe director Hans Kluge, speaking to AFP, say that the situation… “is going to get tougher. In October, November, we are going to see more mortality.” Europe’s 55 members have been meeting with the WHO yesterday and today, focusing on their virus response as the global death toll crossed 932,000 and expected to reach a million deaths within the next 10 days.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus punctuated the situation.

“We are by no means out of the woods.”

Around the world the Covid-19 hangover continues as some country’s try and re-open their borders and restart their battered economies, others re-open and then re-apply restrictions as cases rise, and others just keep their borders sealed for now. The UN World Tourism Organisation reports that 53% of the world’s tourist destinations have now started easing travel restrictions government’s imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

• In advanced economies, 79% of tourism destinations had already started easing restrictions. In emerging economies, less than half, just 47% of destinations, have started the process.

• 64% of those destinations which have eased have a “high or medium dependence” on airlines to deliver international tourists to their location. Island destinations are particularly at risk at this time as the air lift is critical to their tourist success.

• 43% of all worldwide destinations continue to have their borders completely closed to all tourism, of which 27 destinations have had their borders “completely closed” for at least 7 months.

• 50% of destinations in the survey, with borders completely closed to tourism, are listed as being among the “World’s Most Vulnerable Countries”. They include 10 Small Island Developing States, 1 Least Developed Country and 3 Land-Locked Developing Countries.

The cities of Marseille and Bordeaux in France have announced a series of new restrictions on public gatherings as Covid-19 infections soar in the country with a second wave of infections more pronounced than the first European wave in March and April this year.

The latest surge is sparking alarm across Europe, and reviving debate over how quickly to re-open businesses and borders, and the best way to fight the rise in infections. Currently England has restricted social gatherings to no more than 6 people from yesterday. At the same time millions of schoolchildren around Europe are heading back to their classrooms for the first time in months. The UK’s Institute for Employment Studies has just released a report showing how Covid-19 may cost 1 million jobs in Britain this year.

But while Europe is coping with a a new wave of infections, other parts of the world are prying open their borders and easing restrictions. Saudi Arabia announced it would partially lift a 6-month suspension of international flights this week. South Korea says it would ease rules around Seoul after cases declined in the capital.

Meanwhile clinical trials continue on a range of vaccines around the world. Researchers on the AstraZeneca-Oxford University project, who aim to conclude testing by the end of 2020, had “voluntarily paused” the trial last week after a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.

But the WHO’s European director Hans Kluge is urging the public not to put all their hopes on a single vaccine from just one country.

“I hear the whole time… the vaccine is going to be the end of the pandemic. Of course not. The end of the pandemic would come when communities learn to live with the disease.”

Meanwhile, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board is warning that… ” far too little is being done to prepare for future, possibly even more damaging pandemics.”

“The crisis had revealed how little the world had focused on preparing for such disasters, despite ample warning.”

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Mike

    September 15, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Check the cases in Europe which are increasing day by day and the very very low death rate. We are having a casedemic, not a pandemic. Look at the science not a fear and control.

    • Avatar

      Rinky Stingpiece

      September 15, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      I would like to see the correlations between mortality and obesity, mortality and age, and mortality and urban population density… there is also a cultural dimension, of those more tactile cultures, and also a sanitation correlation… and all of this is linked to poverty and education.

      • Avatar

        Perceville Smithers

        September 15, 2020 at 3:14 pm

        What news have you been watching or listening to? That info, at least as it relates to the U.S., has been reported for months.

        • Avatar

          Rinky Stingpiece

          September 15, 2020 at 10:52 pm

          I was looking at the latest figures, showing India, Brazil, Mexico, lots of Latin america and Phils and Indo, Israel, places with dense populations, and not all the healthiest either.
          I know they reported this a while back, but it was premature to say, places like Italy had more elderly, and you had to wait and see how places like Japan fared in comparison.
          I’m trying to get a sense of where things might go over the next 3 or 6 months. Obviously, parts of Europe are also facing a bumpy winter in terms of their graphs.

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        September 16, 2020 at 1:15 pm

        “UK EUROPE have a very low death rate but high infection rate nobody knows why ….”

        The death rate world wide is 3.2% (32 deaths per thousand cases). Holland has one of the highest rates at 80 per thousand, the US in the middle at 30 per thousand, Thailand one of the lowest at ‘only’ 17 per thousand.

        The suggestion is that the variation in rates probably isn’t due to the standard of treatment (Thailand’s is unlikely to be four times better than Holland’s, to be realistic) but in varying strains, as you say, and in early detection (which isn’t necessarily related purely to testing).

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        September 16, 2020 at 1:20 pm

        I’m far from sure that “co-morbundities” clarify the situation or reduce the risk of ill effects (such as death) as much as is often suggested.

        These include everything from obesity to diabetes, high blood pressure to “old age” (over 60), and anything in between, and that’s at least a third of the population in most countries.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      September 16, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      Agreed, “look at the science”.

      In Holland the death rate is 80 per thousand (8%).

      World-wide it’s 32 per thousand (3.2%).

      If that’s “very, very low” then I suppose QAnon’s got it right.

  2. Avatar

    Mark

    September 15, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    UK EUROPE have a very low death rate but high infection rate nobody knows why doctors in hospital have the thought that there is 2/3 different Covid virus with the original virus which called L from China the other thoughts is the virus is less dangerous over the next 3 months we will see at present all people are 14 day quarantine maybe this will be the normal for 2021 even if a vaccine is found it will take at least a year Or two to vaccinate the world

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      September 16, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      “UK EUROPE have a very low death rate but high infection rate nobody knows why ….”

      The death rate world wide is 3.2% (32 deaths per thousand cases). Holland has one of the highest rates at 80 per thousand, the US in the middle at 30 per thousand, Thailand one of the lowest at ‘only’ 17 per thousand.

      The suggestion is that the variation in rates probably isn’t due to the standard of treatment (Thailand’s is unlikely to be four times better than Holland’s, to be realistic) but in varying strains, as you say, and in early detection (which isn’t necessarily related purely to testing).

      • Avatar

        Thailover

        September 18, 2020 at 6:26 pm

        Where is the stated number based on, the 80 per thousand death rate? The dutch institute publishes 0.9%, but data experts in Holland are convinced this number is far to high, in reality it’s 0.23%.
        Right now the number of check cases is rising rapidly, but the number of hospital admissions is low. So in fact the covid-19 is less mortal than participate in traffic.

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Top 10 things that have changed in Thailand during the Covid-era

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Top 10 things that have changed in Thailand during the Covid-era | The Thaiger

Things have changed. In some cases they’ve changed a lot and may never be the same again. Many people are suffering as a result of the impacts of lockdowns and the border closures. Entire industries, like aviation and entertainment, have been profoundly affected. Some people are being forced to re-invent their lives as a result. Fears over Covid-19 are causing people to change their habits and re-evaluate their lives. Here are some of the main things we believe have changed since January this year.

Face Masks

The now ever-present face mask will be with us for a long time. In Asia, it was never uncommon to see people wearing face masks for traffic, air pollution, fears of disease or just as a fashion statement.

In the Covid-era, mask wearing will now just become part of what we wear when in public spaces. When we leave home we’ll check if we have our keys, our wallet AND our face mask. Even when the government relaxes the current laws about the wearing of face masks, most people, we predict, will continue to wear them anyway, at least in the medium to long term.

Taking Your Temperature

It’s everywhere, it doesn’t appear to be very effective or reliable, but it’s not uncommon to have your temperature taken by someone pointing an infra-red thermometer at your head numerous times a day. The only people that appear to have benefitted from these temperature checks are the manufacturers of infra-red temperature check machines. But in the Covid-era they remain an ever-present reassurance that at least businesses are trying and want to be seen as contributing to the broader public health safety.

Flying in the Covid-era

While the domestic carriers are all flying again, they’re doing it tough. Planes are sometimes half-empty and there’s certainly less choice of times and destinations, compared to before the Covid travel restrictions set in.

But it hasn’t stopped the budget airlines from making the situation extremely competitive with the fares still very low. The aviation industry will certainly re-emerge with fewer airlines as some will be unable to weather the Covid storm. Even the Thai government’s announcement of soft-loans to airlines, with 2% interest, will do little to help and simply kicks the bankruptcy can down the road a few more months.

Confidence

Many business had to close during the lockdown. Some have re-opened. Others tried to re-open but have since closed again. Some are struggling along as best they can, tweaking their business models to cope. But people, through fear or simply being unable to afford it, are going out less and spending less. People are rediscovering the values of close communities, family or the joys of Netflix and at-home entertainment.

The impacts of recessions across the region will have long-lasting, profound effects on consumer confidence and behaviour. People’s renewed confidence will lag behind any eventual economic recoveries.

Eating Out

There’s been few clear winners in all this Covid mess. But delivery companies are one of them and the local motorcycle delivery services in particular. Grab Food and Food Panda are just two examples of the new way we eat and many restaurants are changing their table service model, and even their take away services, to suit the new normal of food-on-demand. Some restaurants have even closed their doors forever and turned into virtual restaurants, delivering food exclusively through the convenience of app ordering and delivery.

Even as the situation has eased to a large degree in Thailand where a lot of daily living is back to ‘normal’, people simply aren’t going out as much, have pivoted to the delivery services for some shopping and eating, and finding new ways of running their lives, closer to home and with less household outlay.

The Travel Industry

Apart from the obvious lack of international tourism, there’s no doubt we’re simply going to be travelling less in the short to medium term. Many people will be unable to afford the long holidays of the pastand may travel less, or not at all. For business we’ve found efficient ways to keep in contact without meeting face to face. Had anyone ever heard of “zoom’ video conferencing software before Covid?

For the communities that relied on tourism, the changes in their situation has been profound. Businesses are having to reinvent their model to cater for domestic tourism or simply find other ways to diversify their business plan, or just wait out the situation. That wait will eventually kill off a large chunk of local and foreign businesses.

The Economy

Thailand is in recession. So is everywhere else, and the situation, sadly, is likely to get worse as the Covid-era stretches out beyond 2020 and restrictions hold back investment. Some previously good businesses are now out of business. Businesses that were struggling before have been proven unsustainable and closed, probably never to re-open.

Globally, the government stimulus poured into local economies has caused artificial spikes in some stock markets. All this debt will need to be repaid at some stage. In other countries, where the government paid salaries for companies that were forced to close up or sack staff, are finding it hard to ween people off the grants and get them back to work.

In Thailand the economy has been hit hard, particularly in the export , tourism and hospitality industries. The downstream effects of all the staff losing their work, will have an effect on the local economy for many years.

Thailand, reliant on international tourism, has found itself exposed once the borders were closed. As the situation extends way past the ‘few months’ people were expecting, the full impact is starting to hit hard, particularly in places like Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Their reliance on tourism has exposed their economies and left thousands wondering what else they can do to sustain themselves.

Whilst Thailand has recovered quickly from past political unrest, tsunamis and past pandemic threats, this time there will be a much longer path to recovery and will force many businesses to re-evaluate their businesses.

Work from home

Both Thailand’s commercial property market and businesses that have previously had centralised offices, have seen a big shift in behaviour. Driven by the need to work from home during the lockdown in April and May, many businesses magically discovered that they can actually function perfectly well with their employees working from home. The flow-on effects of all this is reducing traffic on the roads, lighter peak traffic loads, flexible hours and, of course, larger businesses wondering why they’ve been renting all this expensive commercial building space. Freelance work is a boom industry as company’s work forces move online instead of in-office.

The red light industries

The reality has certainly hit home for tens of thousands of Thailand’s sex workers. Although not officially recognised in Thailand, prostitution has been a huge local underground (and not-so-underground) industry in the past, creating its own micro-economy involving locals and international tourists.

Without official government acknowledgment, the jobs of Thai sex workers are not recognised and their salaries vanish once the bars and borders close. No rights, no unemployment pay. The number of prostitutes in Thailand is upwards of 100,000, and these workers have had to head home, many back to the northern and northeast provinces. Thailand’s red light districts were locked down for almost 3 months and bars and clubs, and the bar girls and boys, have been struggling ever since.

The pause button

There are few people that have not been profoundly affected by the impact of the coronavirus. Whilst some have been confronted directly with health issues, and even the deaths caused by Covid-19, of friends or relatives, others have had to put their lives and businesses on hold.

People have been unable to travel, business doors have been closed, many people have lost their job and thousands of events have had to be cancelled or postponed.

Even though many parts of the economy are being to grind back into action, there will be a lingering hang-over for just about everyone as they re-orient their lives to suit the new situation. In some cases, the pause button may have to be hit again, as the world continues to battle Covid-19, and find new ways to live with it.

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Thailand seals its 2,000 kilometre border with Myanmar

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Thailand seals its 2,000 kilometre border with Myanmar | The Thaiger

Thailand’s Department of Disease Control remains on alert, and patrols increased along the Thai/Myanmar border, as Thailand’s western neighbour continues to register a spike in new Covid 19 cases – between 430 and 670 people each day, over the past 4 days. The DDC director-general Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai told Bangkok Post that Thai “business operators should stop hiring foreign workers, especially Myanmar people, to help prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections in Thailand.”

Myanmar’s number of confirmed cases has now reached 7,177 with 129 Burmese succumbing to the virus at this stage. Yesterday the four national papers suspended circulation, waiting out the sudden surge of cases.

Thailand seals its 2,000 kilometre border with Myanmar | News by The Thaiger

Further west, in Bangladesh, the country is registering 1,600 – 1,800 new cases per day, but falling, and India, which is still registering 75,000 – 97,000 cases per day (over the past week), is likely to surpass the US total in the next few months if the present case trends continue.

The fluid borders in the region continue to worry Thai officials who are scrambling to better secure the long border between Thailand and Myanmar, which runs from Chiang Rai in the north to Ranong in the south. Even Malaysia, to the south of Thailand, has had a recent spike of new cases, some of the outbreaks in the northern Malay state of Kedah which shares Thailand’s southernmost border.

Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, is now in a deep lockdown, including directing people to stay home, except for emergencies or to buy food, most schools around the city are now closed and residents are not allowed to visit neighbour’s homes and 2 people outside is considered a ‘gathering’.

Meanwhile the border checkpoints have become busy where Burmese are trying to cross into Thailand as fears sweep their country about the rise of the cases. The DDC chief says that “tough legal action will be implemented against those found to be involved in human smuggling gangs”.

Yesterday a Burmese teenager, living near the Thai-Myanmar border tested positive for Covid-19. The 17 year old boy tested positive for Covid-19 last week in Myanmar’s Payatongsu district, about 5 kilometres from the Three Pagodas Pass checkpoint bordering Kanchanaburi. The Pass, and the border zones around it, are a fluid mix of Thai and Burmese locals doing day-to-day trade. The teen started having symptoms on September 11 and tested positive a week later.

In another case, a 2 year old Burmese child tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand. A report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department says the child most likely contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar around September 4 to September 10. The family travelled to Mae Sot and entered Myanmar through natural passageways. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

In some border districts, police have placed barbed wire along the leaky jungle border to deter people from crossing the 2,000 kilometre-long border illegally. Security has increased and dozens of migrants have been arrested in the past month for trying to cross into Thailand illegally. Even volunteers have stepped up to patrol the borders. No migrants arrested for allegedly crossing the border have tested positive for the virus at this stage.

SOURCES: Bangkok Post | Reuters | Chiang Rai Times

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Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19

Caitlin Ashworth

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Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath

A Burmese teenager who lives near the Thai-Myanmar border tested positive for Covid-19. Now, Thai border patrol officers are tightening security even more to make sure Myanmar’s outbreak doesn’t cross the border and cause a second wave in Thailand.

The 17 year old Burmese boy tested positive for Covid-19 last week. Reports say the teen was in Myanmar’s Payatongsu district, about 5 kilometres from the Three Pagodas Pass checkpoint bordering Kanchanaburi. The teen started having symptoms on September 11 and tested positive on September 17.

Only around 13 people were reportedly in close contact with the teen and they are now in quarantine at a district school. Health officials suspect the teen was exposed to the virus from his uncle who had travelled to Moulmein, a large city near Yangon which had a spike in coronavirus cases. The uncle has been tested and is in quarantine, but his test results are still pending.

In another case, a 2 year old Burmese child tested positive for Covid-19 after leaving Thailand. A report from Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health Disease Control Department says the child most likely contracted the virus while travelling from Thailand to Myanmar around September 4 to September 10. The family travelled to Mae Sot and entered Myanmar through natural passageways. 2,635 people in Mae Sot tested negative for Covid-19.

Since Myanmar reported a surge in cases, starting mostly in the country’s Rakhine state on the western coast, Thailand has been increasing border patrol to make sure people are not entering Thailand illegally and potentially spreading the virus. Now that there are cases in some Myanmar border towns, Thailand checkpoints are on high alert.

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. The country reported a total of 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

In some border districts, police have placed barbed wire along the border to prevent people from entering illegally. Security has increased and dozens of migrants have been arrested in the past month for allegedly entering Thailand illegally. Even volunteers have stepped up to patrol the borders. No migrants arrested for allegedly crossing the border have tested positive for the virus.

Daily new Covid-19 cases in Myanmar

Teen near the Thai-Myanmar border tests positive for Covid-19 | News by The Thaiger

The daily number of Covid-19 cases in Myanmar continues to rise. As of September 22, the country reported 6,471 cases with 100 deaths and 1,445 recoveries, according to Worldometer.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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