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New Japanese Emperor to ascend throne at 5pm today

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New Japanese Emperor to ascend throne at 5pm today | The Thaiger
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Thailand’s not the only country with special royal occasions this week.

For the first time in more than 200 years, Japan’s emperor will abdicate today. His son will ascend the Chrysanthemum Throne which ushers in a new era for the world’s oldest monarchy. The historic abdication has resulted in an unprecedented 10 day holiday for Japan marked as special days to celebrate the new emperor combined with the traditional “Golden Week” celebrations each May.

At precisely 5pm local time, the 85 year old Akihito will formally step down in a 10 minute ceremony in the “Matsu-no-Ma” (Room of Pine) in the sumptuous Imperial Palace.

The ritual will be conducted in the presence of the imperial regalia — an ancient sword and jewel — considered crucial evidence of an emperor’s legitimacy.

But Naruhito will not become emperor of Japan midnight tonight. Then he will “inherit” the regalia at a second ceremony tomorrow at 10.30 am before making his first official public remarks shortly afterwards.

The popular Emperor Akihito stunned Japan when he announced in 2016 that he wanted to give up the Chrysanthemum Throne, citing his age and health problems. Since then he has been treated for prostate cancer and has also undergone heart surgery.

There have been abdications in Japan’s long imperial history, which has mythological origins and stretches back more than two millennia, but the last one was more than two centuries ago.

Akihito sought to modernise the imperial family in Japan, which has a sensitive position given the role his father Hirohito played in Japan’s militaristic past.

He and his wife Empress Michiko won plaudits for a popular touch, notably comforting people affected by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown that devastated whole swathes of east Japan and killed thousands.

Images of the couple kneeling and bowing to those in temporary shelters gave some heart to the stricken nation and Akihito took the rare step of giving a televised address to reassure his people.

In 1989, when Akihito ascended the throne, Japan ruled the world economically in the middle of a technology-fuelled boom that caused soaring land prices and sparked wild cost comparisons: the Imperial Palace grounds were worth more than all of Canada. Now, Japan’s population is in decline and it is on course to become the world’s first “ultra-aged” society, with 28% of its population over 65.

Japanese have seized on the opportunity of the unusual 10 day break to travel, with airports and bullet trains packed and roads jammed.

New Japanese Emperor to ascend throne at 5pm today | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers

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Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bloomberg

With the Covid-19 death toll exceeding 100,000 in the United Kingdom, the British government is considering a mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors entering the country. A quarantine system is considered to be an effective way to limit virus transmission and stop new coronavirus variants from spreading into the country.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with senior officials in a meeting yesterday, saying that the government will consider tighter border measures. UK citizens and residents arriving from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal, will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

Currently, people arriving in the UK from abroad must show the Covid-19 test results, while direct flights from South Africa, Brazil, and Portugal are banned to prevent the spreading of new variants in the Kingdom.

Hotel quarantine measures have been used in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and Singapore, but the disease control practice has not been widely used in Europe.

In Thailand, those who enter the country from abroad must quarantine for 14 days at either a state quarantine facility or at an alternative quarantine hotel. Travellers must also be tested for Covid-19 before their flight to Thailand and tested at least another 2 times before they are released from quarantine.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Mass Covid-19 immunisation in poor countries could take until 2024

Caitlin Ashworth

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Mass Covid-19 immunisation in poor countries could take until 2024 | The Thaiger
Stock photo by Gustavo Fring for Pexels

While developed countries, like those in the European Union, are likely to vaccinate most of the population within the next year, most poor countries won’t be able to reach mass Covid-19 immunisation until 2024, according to an analysis from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

84 of the world’s poorest countries will not receive enough vaccinations to reach herd immunity within the next year, according to the unit’s global forecasting director and author of the report, Agathe Demarais.

Agathe told the Guardian that disparity in vaccinations between the rich and poor countries will “define the global economy, the global political landscape, travel, pretty much everything.”

Poor countries may have poor medical infrastructure and few health workers that are trained to administer vaccines. Some countries may also have issues securing vaccine ingredients as well as production constraints and delays in delivery.

Countries with many people living in rural areas, like India and China, may also have problems reaching people in remote areas, according to Agathe.

SOURCE: Guardian

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World

Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants

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Moderna vaccine is proved ‘protective’ against Covid-19 variants | The Thaiger
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As fear over new variants of Covid-19 had prompted the travel restrictions to tighten worldwide, the United States biotech firm Moderna announced that its vaccine should protect against the variants identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Latest studies on the efficacy of Moderna vaccines confirmed that the vaccines are effective and protective against new variants. The company will continue more tests adding a second booster of its vaccine, bringing to 3 shots in a total.

“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should be protective against these newly detected variants.”

Last month, a private hospital in Bangkok advertised pre-orders for the Moderna vaccine, which still needs approval from Thailand’s FDA. Thailand’s Department of Health Service Support demanded that the hospital remove the advertisements.

In the ads, the hospital was charging 4,000 baht for a booking of the vaccine. In the post the hospital said the vaccine would arrive in Thailand in October 2021. They also announced that the vaccine would cost 6,000-10,000 baht.

Health officials say private hospitals will be allowed to administer vaccines that are approved by the FDA. So far, the Thai government has only approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Frontline health care workers and vulnerable groups in high risk areas will be first to receive the vaccine.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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