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New Covid-19 variant prompts many countries to stop travel from the UK

Caitlin Ashworth

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New Covid-19 variant prompts many countries to stop travel from the UK | The Thaiger
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A new strain of Covid-19 quickly spreading in southern England has prompted a number of countries to ban travel from the United Kingdom while other nations are mulling similar restrictions.

The new coronavirus variant is said to spread more quickly than others. British PM Boris Johnson placed London and southeastern England on a Tier 4 lockdown. He announced that both Christmas shopping and holiday gatherings are cancelled. Yesterday, the UK reported a record high of daily Covid-19 cases with 35,928 new cases.

“The spread is being driven by the new variant of the virus… It appears to spread more easily and may be up to 70% more transmissible than the earlier strain… This is now spreading very fast. It is with a very heavy heart that I say we cannot continue with Christmas as planned.”

So far, Thailand has not announced travel restrictions from the UK. All international arrivals still must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine before travelling in Thailand.

Here’s some of the countries that have set travel restrictions on UK travellers so far.

Canada, Argentina, Chile and Colombia, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

  • Canada is banning passenger travel from the UK for at least 72 hours.
  • Argentina, Chile and Colombia have suspended direct flights from the UK.
  • France is suspending travel from the UK for 48 hours while officials come up with a plan.
  • Germany banned all flights from Britain except for cargo flights.
  • The Netherlands banned flights from the UK for the rest of the year.
  • Ireland issued a 48 hour flight ban.
  • Italy announced flights from the UK would be banned until January 6.
  • Belgium announced a 24 hour travel ban from the UK as a “precautionary measure.”

SOURCES: CNN | Associated Press

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    indisPC

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    On average, two new SARS2 mutations are found every month.

    There are three possible outcomes from these mutations:

    1) The virus mutates into a more deadly form
    2) The virulence stays the same
    3) The virus mutates into a weaker form

    Scientifically speaking, scenario 3 is the most likely. Viruses are most successful when they don’t harm their hosts. They’re also more likely to accumulate deleterious mutations over time because genetic recombination in viruses is rare.

    But which of these 3 scenarios do you think the media will focus on more? I’ll give you a hint: scenario 3 will be widely censored.

  2. Avatar

    London Al

    Monday, December 21, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    This is the UK government yet again trying to control the narrative in order to deflect from their own incompetence, as usual thay haven’t thought it through properly and now we’re the world’s biggest leper colony.

    We’re told this incredibly virulent new strain has actually been around since September but somehow it didn’t become incredibly virulent until December, not only is it unique to UK but it’s unique to London and the South-East, quite extraordinary, and the announcement just happens to coincide with the cancellation of Christmas, which 4 days earlier we were told wasn’t going to happen.

    There has been one cock-up after another here for 9 months but it’s never their fault, this latest idea for shifting the blame is already backfiring horribly, I actually find their behaviour embarrassing.

    • Avatar

      Robert Bunker

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Bang on the money. ‘World beating’ incompetence from both government and their “expert” advisors. I hope and pray that I am wrong but it does also seem to provide a perfect scare scenario for blundering Boris to extend the Brexit transition phase come 31st.

    • Avatar

      James R

      Monday, December 21, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      The reason we know about the number of cases and the new strain is that we are testing tens of thousands of people a DAY.

      Many countries are not testing and are keeping their head in the sand, pretending they have hardly any cases, it will all come out later.

      It is easy to blame the government over and over again, things are changing on a daily basis and the government is doing its best to keep it under control, I doubt if you and the other constant moaners could do any better.

      But never mind the rest of us are pulling together in true Brit style and we will get out of this eventually.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      No, the reason you “know about the number of cases and the new strain” is because of the numbers dying and filling up the hospitals which you can easily directly compare with other countries.

      Ask any expert and all are now unanimous that mass testing doesn’t work and is as impossible as it is pointless given the current technology, particularly using the UK’s test of choice for mass testing which the BMA and SAGE have both already said is inaccurate in over half the tests even compared to PCR tests – literally over half.

      … and of course it’s “easy to blame the government” – they’re the ones in charge, and the ones making a monumental cock up of everything they’re doing, “on a daily basis”.

      It’s their responsibility, for crying out loud.

      … and so what if the government’s “doing its best”? My dogs could “do their best”, but I wouldn’t put them in charge of anything – not that they could do much worse.

      Governments aren’t paid to do their best – they’re paid to do their job, and if they can’t do that they shouldn’t be doing it.

      As for “pulling together in true Brit style”, according to SAGE only 20% of the country are obeying quarantine regulations even when directly ordered to self-quarantine on return from abroad or as a result of the UK’s track’n’trace (in turn, yet another dismal government failure).

      “Pulling together” demands a lot more than standing outside your front door once a week to “clap for the NHS” (yet another dismal government failure, with a Covid death rate for those hospitalised that’s twice as bad as Germany’s) or ringing a bell for Christmas.

      I hate to agree with London AI, but “embarrassing” is an understatement.

  3. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Issan John

    I could answer your points in detail but as they are all wrong I won’t bother as it would be a waste of time.

    Most of us here are doing the right thing, not the 20% nonsense you are coming out with.

    Enjoy the false stats in Thailand, keep your head in the sand, I am sure the dictatorship of a government there is giving you all the right facts.

    Once we are inoculated here with our own vaccine we might sell Thailand a few doses at the right price, you farangs will be at the end of the queue of course.

    🤣🤣

    • Avatar

      Patrick Kelly

      Thursday, December 24, 2020 at 8:16 am

      What’s embarrassing is Thailand’s spot on line for the vaccine. Now that’s truly an abomination. Pray that this outbreak stays contained.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

World

Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021

Caitlin Ashworth

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Australia might keep borders closed throughout 2021 | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Josh Withers for UnSplash

It might be a while until tourists can visit Australia. Borders might not be fully reopen until at least 2022. Australia is rolling out its immunisation program next month, but even if most of the population is vaccinated against Covid-19, the Australian government says it will probably wait to make sure the vaccine prevents the transmission of the virus before fully reopening borders.

Australia’s borders are only open for citizens, residents, those with family in Australia and travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days. All incoming travellers must quarantine for 14 days unless they come from an area classified as a “green safe travel zone.”

There are currently 1,881 active Covid-19 cases in Australia, according to Worldometers. No local Covid-19 cases were reported today. Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has reported more than 22,000 local cases and 909 deaths related to Covid-19.

The state of New South Wales is a main focus for Covid-19 prevention measures at this stage and some neighbouring states have imposed travel restrictions on those from the state. NSW state Premier Gladys Berejiklian floated the idea about allowing venues in the area to ban entry to those who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19.

“Already airlines have indicated that if you’re not vaccinated you can’t travel overseas and I think that’ll be an incentive to a lot of people… We’ll also consider whether we allow venues … make up their own rules if they have a business or run a workplace about what they feel is Covid safe.”

SOURCE: Aljazeera

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Politics

Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident

The Thaiger

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Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident | The Thaiger

Corporate America is adding its weight in response to the insurgency at the Capitol building on January 6, and are pulling out from any association with the Trump brand after the storming of the capitol incidentwhich economists say will have a profound medium and long-term effect on his business interests. Recently, Signature Bank closed Trump’s personal accounts and the PGA of America stopped plans to hold its 2022 championship at Mr. Trump’s New Jersey golf course.

Such a parting of ways signals the business community’s weariness in being associated with a political figure that has attracted worldwide attention and is indicative of what may happen to the Trump brand. The president’s role in the incident, confirmed by his impeachment by the House this week, has gained criticism from the Business Roundtable to the AFL-CIO labour federation.

Michael D’Antonio, the author of a Trump biography, says the capitol incident has been a game-changer for the support of extreme politics.

“Trump’s name is really an albatross. He is the most disgraced president in history. This is a person who’s synonymous with a mob attacking the US Capitol. I just think this went a step too far.”

Other experts like Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, say Trump’s brand will inevitably suffer long-term.

“Before his term, Trump stood for wealth, success and over-the-top luxury. Now the brand has associations with anti-government views, racism and extremism. This makes the brand fairly toxic.”

Deutsche Bank, to which Trump reportedly owes around $400 million, is also planning to stop engaging in business with him. But the president dismissed any business challenges in an October 15 televised event by saying that the $400 million he owed was “a tiny percentage of my net worth.”

It appears true that some of Trump’s properties have benefitted from his presidency as taxpayer revenue has continuously flowed into his golf courses and clubs where he stays with his family, the secret service and the White House staff.

In fact, CREW estimates that Trump’s properties took in over $100 million from more than 500 visits by the president, according to a report in September 2020. But even that business transaction has received widespread criticism as many say Trump should not have mixed politics with his personal businesses.

D’Antonio predicts that Trump may sell current assets to pay off his Deutsche Bank debt, which means there could be fewer to none Trump hotels, golf courses or towers in the next 10 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Norway adjusts advice after 28 possible vaccine-related deaths of elderly people

The Thaiger

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Norway adjusts advice after 28 possible vaccine-related deaths of elderly people | The Thaiger

The deaths of 23 elderly people are being investigated after dying a short time of receiving their first Covid-19 vaccine in Norway. Apart from the 23 deaths, medical officials are also reporting several people falling ill after receiving their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

At this stage there has been no direct correlation between the people’s deaths and inoculation wit the Pfizer vaccine, but medical officials report that 13 out of 23 people who died showed “common side effects of mRNA vaccines” such as “diarrhea, nausea and fever”.

mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies – cdc.gov

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has taken the action of cautioning against vaccinating elderly people above 80 years of age saying “those with a short life span may not benefit much from the jab”.

“For those with the most severe frailty, even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences.”

“The agency listed fever and nausea as side effects which may have led to the deaths of some frail patients.”

Earlier this week, the Public Health authority noted that “any side effects of the vaccine will be outweighed by a reduced risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 for elderly, frail people.”

Steinar Madsen, the medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, says that it may be a coincidence, “but we aren’t sure”.

Pfizer and BioNTech are actively working with the Norwegian authorities to investigate the death.

“The regulator discovered the number of incidents so far is not alarming and in line with expectations.”

But experts are of “the strong opinion” that doctors need to exercise caution in vaccinating people in the wake of the deaths of the 23 elderly people. The Norwegian Medicines Agency also reported that 21 women and 8 men reported side effects. Apart from the 23 deaths, 9 people have reported “serious side effects” without fatal outcomes such as “allergic reactions, strong discomfort and severe fever. Seven people reported less serious side effects such as severe pain at the injection site”.

Norwegian medical staff had administered at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna coronavirus vaccines to approximately 33,000 people as of the end of December.

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