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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Lampang province sets example for vaccine registration

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Vaccine hesitancy is hampering Thailand's quest for herd immunity. (via Pixnio/Freepix)

Vaccine hesitancy is proving to be a big problem in the quest to reach herd immunity and reopen Thailand, but Lampang province has outdone all the others in jab registration. In the northern province with just 740,000 people, nearly 224,000 have already registered for their Covid-19 vaccine, a number only topped by Bangkok’s 7 million residents registering just over 500,000 appointments. In fact, Nontha Buri is third-ranked with less than a quarter of the number of registered vaccine appointment that Lampang has, and only 22 of Thailand’s 77 provinces registered more than 10,000 people.

The low registration numbers is a disappointing setback in Thailand rush to achieve a 70% vaccinated population necessary for reaching herd immunity. The figures show that the public is either distrustful of vaccines or disinterested in being vaccinated to help reopen the country.

The chief medical officer for Lampang credits their success to a vaccine rollout that started with public health officials and health volunteers, and then progressed to their relatives and then on to the public. Along with the health officials and their families, the jabs were given to retired civil servants to send out the message that while occasional side effects may occur, they were rare and local medical facilities were prepared to address any negative reaction to vaccines.

The vaccinated medical personnel were able to reach out and educate residents and show that they personally experienced no negative side effects from being vaccinated. This education and awareness plan has been ongoing for several months in the province with door-knocking in neighbourhoods to reassure people and help them book vaccine appointment. Lampang also took proactive steps online by launching their own Lampang Prom system that was later dovetailed into the national Mor Prom Line account in order to sidestep rollout snafus.

The vaccine messaging was further bolstered by a 10 line call centre to help people make their appointments online. Divisions of the hospital that were underused due to Covid-19 like social medicine, dental, rehabilitation, and PR were able to provide staffing for the call centre from 8 am to midnight.

This preparedness and education of residents have served Lampang well, and it is hoped that other provinces learn from their example and start getting the Thai population registered to vaccinate Thailand’s way to herd immunity.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

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Bangkok

Protest leader tests positive for Covid-19 a week after being released from jail

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul

A pro-democracy movement leader has tested positive for Covid-19 after she spent 8 weeks in jail awaiting a trial on lese majeste charges which prohibit statements that insult or defame the Thai Monarchy. 2 other protest leaders facing similar charges have tested positive for Covid-19 while in court detention.

After being released from the Central Women’s Correctional Institution on May 6, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul spent most of her time at home. She went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing venue on May 10. She went by the Bangkok Remand Prison the next day for the release of 2 other protest leaders, Parit β€œPenguin” Chiwarak and Chai-amorn Kaewwiboonpan. Rung has now been admitted to the Thammasat University Hospital in Pathum Thani for treatment.

Rung says had been denied an earlier Covid-19 test because she did not have some of the symptoms of the virus.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 infections cast doubt on plan to reopen Phuket July 1

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Phuket may not be ready to welcome back visitors July 1st.

With surging Covid-19 infections, the original plan for Phuket to reopen the international border to tourism on July 1st without quarantine may be unlikely. The governor warned today that the plan may be in jeopardy if they don’t reach the proposed May 15 goal of reducing infections to less than 10 each day. Governor Narong Woonciew called on everyone to work together to keep the infections down as the current rate of 10 to 15 per day will almost definitely delay the sandbox plan for international visitors to arrive in Phuket without quarantine in July.

Daily infections are on the rise in Phuket and high-risk people in local quarantine are still spreading infections, according to the provincial health officer’s assessment of the Covid-19 situation. During proactive screening an active case finding, new clusters of infections continue to be uncovered, a problem that has been attributed to continued partying and social gatherings that violate current Covid-19 restrictions. The health officials warned that, as a result, more aggressive actions may be necessary to control the spread of the Coronavirus in Phuket if it is to reopen in July.

Under the current restrictions of the Covid-19 emergency decree, even two people that aren’t from the same household joining together for socializing or mingling could be considered a gathering and punishable with legal action. Officials are speaking out about the threat of more Covid-19 outbreaks due to large gatherings, citing several events that were broken up recently.

One such group in Phuket garnered a lot of attention online with many people surprised that it was considered a gathering and busted up. A group of six British and Thai people that the police raided yesterday at a home in Thalang were reportedly drinking and celebrating. This is a violation of the disease decree and local Covid-19 safety measures, and 2 British nationals were charged a 6000 baht fine each.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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