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  • Thailand - 10 Covid deaths, 1,871 new cases

    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

    The government on Thursday reported 10 Covid-19 deaths and 1,871 new cases, bringing the toll to 188 fatalities and 63,570 cases.

    Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said the people who died were 45-91 years old. Two of them were women.

    Six of the fatalities were in Bangkok. The rest were in one each Nakhon Sawan, Samut Prakan, Yasothon and Ayutthaya.

    Five of them had diabetes. Other existing conditions they had were hypertension (4), stroke (2), obesity (1), heart disease (1), high cholesterol (1), chronic lung disease (1), chronic kidney diseases (1). Three said they had no existing conditions, or had not been aware of them.

    Two of the people who died had met with infected relatives. Another two had dined with infected colleagues. One was bed-ridden and his caregiver had been infected. Another had attended a seminar with an infected person. One worked at a karaoke shop. Risk factors could not be identified for the remaining three.

    Five of them died within 6-16 days after their infection had been confirmed. Two passed before the infection was confirmed and one died on the day the test result came.

    "Deaths come faster and symptoms are more severe in many cases," Dr Taweesilp said.

    Of the 1,871 new cases, 1,864 were local infections — 1,830 confirmed at hospitals and 34 via mass testing. Only 2% of the people in active case finding tested positive, he said.

    By administrative area, Bangkok continued to log the most cases, at 689, down from 830 on Tuesday. Samut Prakan followed with 151, down from 161. Chon Buri was next, with 112, up from 108, followed by Chiang Mai 89, up from 55, and Pathum Thani 81, up from 57.

    The seven imported cases were quarantined arrivals from India (2), Malaysia (2), Switzerland (1), Japan (1) and Hungary (1).

    Of the 63,570 total cases, 35,394 (55.68%) recovered, including 992 discharged over the past 24 hours, and 27,988 were at hospitals, 786 of which were serious cases, A total of 230 patients were dependent on ventilators.

    In the third wave this month, the total cases stood at 34,707 and the death toll was 94.:

    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • ‘Long Hauler’ Study Shows Covid Can Kill Months After Infection

      One of the largest studies of Covid-19 “long haulers” has proved what many doctors suspected: Not only are many patients suffering a raft of health problems six months after infection, they’re also at significantly greater risk of dying.

      Survivors had a 59% increased risk of dying within six months after contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Nature. The excess mortality translates into about 8 extra deaths per 1,000 patients -- worsening the pandemic’s hidden toll amid growing recognition that many patients require readmission, and some die, weeks after the viral infection abates.

      “When we are looking at the acute phase, we’re only pretty much looking at the tip of the iceberg,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of the research and development service at the St. Louis VA Medical Center in Missouri, who led the study. “We’re starting to see a little bit beneath that iceberg, and it’s really alarming.”

      Al-Aly and his colleagues documented the cascade of debilitating effects that plague survivors months after diagnosis, from blood clots, stroke, diabetes and breathing difficulties to heart, liver and kidney damage, depression, anxiety and memory loss. They also found the risk of complications was far higher than with the flu.

      Covid survivors were more likely to require assistance for additional medical problems than almost 5 million users of the Veterans Health Administration system who didn’t have Covid-19 and weren’t hospitalized. These included:

      respiratory conditions
      nervous system disorders
      mental health problems
      metabolic and cardiovascular disorders
      musculo-skeletal pain

      Individuals experiencing long-term symptoms also showed an increased use of various medications, including antidepressants and drugs to treat anxiety and pain.

      Globally, more than 143 million people have tested positive for Covid-19, and more than 3 million have died from the disease. Some studies indicate about 10% of patients may become so-called long haulers.:
      • Coronavirus Cases: 150,377,507

      Deaths: 3,167,198

      Under reported US death count: 588,337

      American Civil War Casualties (North and South) - 214,938

      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
      it's been blown way out of proportion.
      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


      • Bangkok’s first community isolation facility set up in Khlong Toey

        The first community isolation facility in Bangkok is scheduled to open tomorrow (Friday), with the goal of separating those infected with COVID-19 from their crowded community, before they go to hospital.

        The pilot project is a joint effort by the Office of National Health Committee (ONHC), the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and health networks. The facility is located in the grounds of Saphan Temple, in Phra Khanong district, which is adjacent to Khlong Toey, the largest slum in Bangkok.

        Dr. Prateep Thanakitcharoen, secretary-general of the ONHC, said today that the project is a model of community-based management, for the prevention and control of diseases by community committee, with the support of the public and private sectors.

        The facility will accommodate those infected with COVID-19,who will be separated from their families and communities, to prevent the spread of the disease. They will be given proper care while they are waiting to be taken to a general or a field hospital, said Dr. Prateep.

        925 people in Khlong Toey slum were tested yesterday and 50 of them tested positive for the virus.:

        Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
        Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • Thailand - Face masks required in all but 4 provinces

          People in 73 provinces, including Bangkok, now face fines for not wearing face masks outside their home, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday morning.

          Violators coud be fined up to 20,000 baht. First-time fines were set at 6,000 baht, but courts have discretion to reduce the amount based on the circumstances. Repeat offenders face increasing fines, up to the 20,000-baht ceiling.

          The four exceptions at this time were Phayao, Mae Hong Son, Rayong and Samut Sakhon provinces.

          Disease control committees of these provinces had yet to discuss the matter.

          However, authorities in Samut Sakhon have already asked local people to cooperate with Covid-19 control efforts by voluntarily wearing face masks. The province was an epicentre of the disease in December.:

          Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
          Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • Phuket closes all land borders after 11pm daily until May 12

            All land borders in Phuket, including the Tha Chat Chai checkpoint in Thalang district, will be closed from 11pm to 5am until May 12 in a bid to curb Covid-19 infections.

            The closure was ordered by Phuket governor Narong Woonsiew on Wednesday.

            However, ambulances and trucks transporting food, medicine or important chemicals. Drivers of exempted vehicles should either be inoculated against Covid-19 or be able to produce negative test results.:

            Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
            Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • Only in Thailand - ‘This is a field hospital, not a motel’: woman complains about another patient

              A woman went online to complain about another female patient sleeping with her boyfriend in a field hospital in Chiang Mai despite zones clearly separating male and female patients there.

              The woman voiced her complaint via the Facebook page of on Wednesday.

              According to a photo of the chat box published on the page, the complainer said she wanted to voice “her rights” at the field hospital.

              She explained that her rights were violated after a woman in her female zone at the field hospital allowed a boyfriend in so she could sleep with him. She also claimed that the boyfriend’s friend followed his mate into the female zone despite a clear separation of the zones for male and female patients.

              The complainer added that when she informed hospital staff about this, they simply suggested that she move to another bed.

              “This is a field hospital, not a motel,” she concluded.:

              Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
              Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • Thailand’s daily COVID infections down to 1,583 today, 15 more fatalities

                Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                Thailand’s Disease Control Department (DCD) reported 1,583 new COVID-19 cases today (Friday), down from yesterday’s 1,871, and 15 more deaths, raising cumulative infections to 36,290 and 109 fatalities since April 1st.

                Dr. Taweesap Siraprapasiri, a senior doctor at the DCD, told the media today that 786 of those being treated in hospitals are suffering from lung infections and, of these, 230 are in a severe condition and on ventilators. They are occupying 80% of the ICU beds available in hospitals in Bangkok and its suburbs.

                Although new daily infections are gradually reducing across the country, he said that severe cases are increasing rapidly, to the extent that they may overwhelm the capacity of medical services to handle this severe crisis.

                He noted that several of those who died did not know they were infected and, when they went to a hospital for treatment, it was already too late, adding that many of these cases contracted the disease from family members, colleagues in work places, at seminars or from visiting high-risk areas.

                Cumulative infections, since early last year, are 65,153, with 203 fatalities.:

                Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                • Private sector unsure on jab imports

                  The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) will go ahead with its plan to import vaccines for companies which want to distribute them to employees, while the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) accepted that it might be too late for the private sector to procure vaccine supplies amid intense global demand.

                  A statement issued by TCC says the government can afford to buy enough vaccines for people, so "the private sector does not need to acquire more and add financial burden to company budgets already affected by Covid-19".

                  However, FTI said in a statement: "The government stressed it welcomes the private sector's help to import vaccines under the Public Health Ministry's regulations."

                  TCC and FTI were among key business groups that met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Wednesday to discuss ways to speed up vaccinations in Thailand.

                  "We've pushed ahead with the vaccine import plan from the beginning. We cannot retreat," said FTI chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree.

                  FTI has started negotiations with vaccine companies to acquire various brands of vaccines, including the US' Moderna, Russia's Sputnik V and China's Sinovac, he said.

                  "Companies affiliated with FTI are willing to buy vaccines for their employees," said Mr Supant.

                  "They hope the vaccines will prevent disease transmissions in factories, boosting safety confidence among their foreign customers."

                  But TCC is worried it may not be easy to import vaccines due to the current huge demand worldwide.

                  "The private sector is negotiating to import 'alternative vaccines', but it's difficult and we have to wait in a long queue because many countries are scrambling for them," said TCC chairman Sanan Angubolkul.

                  "It may be next year when we receive vaccines, which is too late to achieve our target to have 70% of the population vaccinated within this year."

                  Gen Prayut said last Friday his administration plans to distribute a total of 100 million doses of Covid-19 to 50 million people by the end of 2021.

                  The government already secured a purchase of 64 million doses of AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines.

                  Authorities have to buy 36 million doses more and are working on the purchase.

                  "The government successfully negotiated to acquire 5-10 million doses of Sputnik V and 5-10 million doses of Pfizer," Gen Prayut said during a live TV broadcast last Friday night.

                  Mr Sanan said the TCC believes the government can manage to procure more vaccines as, during the Wednesday meeting, "Gen Prayut made a solemn promise to secure extra vaccines."

                  TCC senior chairman Kalin Sarasin said the private sector has already contacted a manufacturer, but received the response that it can allocate vaccines by the end of the year which will be too late to help strengthen the herd immunity.

                  "It's too late to procure vaccines by ourselves as global demand surges dramatically. Even though the government didn't oppose the idea, most of us will back off from self-sourcing and just wait for the government's allotment," he said.

                  "However, there might be some private hospitals that remain steady with the self-procurement plan.":

                  Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                  Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • Phuket wants to buy its own jabs

                    Phuket's authorities have asked for permission to organise their own purchase of Covid-19 vaccines so they can expedite their plans to reopen the resort island for international tourism.

                    Thanusak Phungdet, president of the Phuket Chamber of Commerce, said local bodies wanted the province to purchase its own Covid-19 vaccines and the right to search for vaccine makers at home and overseas to accelerate its vaccination rollout.

                    He said plans to reopen the island without visitors needing to quarantine, known as the Phuket Tourism Sandbox, has been approved by the cabinet but delayed by the latest Covid-19 wave.

                    If the government allowed the province to source its own vaccines it had a better chance of implementing its tourism plan, Mr Thanusak said.

                    Phoomkit Raktae-ngam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said the Sandbox plan had been hindered by the government's decision to divert vaccines destined for the island to other, worse-hit areas. The province therefore hoped the government would give the province permission to find its own vaccines to replace its lost quotas and help restore its vital tourism industry.

                    Zapping the bugs: A UVC disinfection robot yesterday makes its way through and disinfects Nimibutr Stadium which is now being turned into a field hospital for Covid-19 patients in Bangkok. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

                    Kongsak Koopongsakorn, president of the Southern Thai Hotel Association, said a successful Phuket reopening would not only boost the province but the entire country.

                    Tour companies from countries across the world, including Europe's largest economy, Germany, had already begun contacting the province to get up-to-date information about its tourism packages, he said.

                    At least one airline had already pencilled in plans to operate two charter flights a week from Oct 10, Mr Kongsak said, while Scandinavian companies had also requested details of what exactly tourists needed to do.

                    The province had already given them its latest tourism plans and didn't want to retract them.

                    Thanet Tantipiriyakit, acting president of the Phuket Tourism Council, said the Sandbox plan had been conceived in January to conveniently welcome foreigners from July without the need to quarantine.

                    Having more vaccines would help restore Thailand's reputation and restore tourists' trust in the country, he said.

                    Chernporn Kanjanasaya, president of the Phuket Industry Council, said 94,000 local residents would have had their two vaccine doses by the end of today.:

                    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • awful news out of Thailand
                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • Three royal ceremonies in May cancelled in bid to contain Covid-19

                        The Bureau of the Royal Household announced on Thursday that three royal ceremonies scheduled for May have been cancelled in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

                        Three royal ceremonies in May cancelled in bid to contain Covid-19
                        The announcement, signed by HM the King’s secretary Air Chief Marshal Sathitpong Sukwimol, said that the cancellation of the events was in line with the emergency decree on public administration in an emergency situation that the Prime Minister had announced on March 26, 2020 and then periodically extended until May 31, 2021.

                        The cancelled events are:

                        1. Coronation day ceremony and merit-making for royal ancestors from May 2-4.

                        2. Royal ploughing ceremony on May 9-10

                        3. Visakha Puja ceremony on May 25-26.:

                        Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                        Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • BMA aims to have 70% of Bangkokians jabbed by December

                          Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is aiming to vaccinate some 70 per cent of Bangkok residents, aged 18 and over, in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.

                          Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang announced the plan on Friday, saying this measure is part of the second phase of vaccine rollout now that frontline medics and others at risk have been inoculated.

                          Vaccinations will be delivered at BMA-run hospitals as well as department stores specified by the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

                          The governor added that 10 million doses will be delivered between June and December, which works out to 40,000 to 50,000 jabs a day.:

                          Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                          Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • Island banking on Samui Sealed Route

                            The Samui Sealed Route model is committed to the same schedule to bring back vaccinated travellers from July 1 despite hurdles from the fresh round of infections.

                            Ratchaporn Poolsawadee, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said vaccine rollouts have already gathered pace in Koh Samui as approximately 30% or 25,000 people already received two doses, while reports of side effects are very few.

                            However, as vaccines have to be distributed to other provinces to fight the contagion, vaccine shipments to Samui of around 160,000 doses for 80,000 residents might be delayed.

                            He said once another batch arrives, vaccinations can begin a few days later. The island has the capacity to administer 25,000 shots within five days at four vaccine centres.

                            "We firmly believe that the vaccination process will be completed by June which will be in time for the reopening plan," said Mr Ratchaporn.

                            In the meantime, Surat Thani province and the island have to tighten travel restrictions and disease control measures to contain the viral spread with 50 cases found in Koh Samui.

                            He said the number of new cases continued to slow after the spreading cluster was detected and controlled. It helped prove the efficiency of public health services in case of an emergency situation as the island can offer medical care for up to 100 Covid patients at the same time.

                            Mr Ratchaporn urged the government to take decisive action to stop inter-provincial travel to flatten the curve. This measure is more important than ordering businesses to close for 14 days and possibly extend indefinitely.

                            Moreover, the country's effective virus containment will boost confidence and benefit operators to run marketing campaigns with international tourists.

                            The island now has one direct flight per week from Singapore.

                            At present, potential markets such as Israel, Australia, Russia and Southeast Asian countries have informed operators that once the island is open, they are ready to visit.

                            He said operators are drafting tour progammes for the Samui Sealed Route in which tourists can travel to sealed beach areas at Tham Rang in Angthong National Marine Park or do wellness activities such as yoga, spa treatments and meditation.

                            Prior to sealed route trips, tourists have to stay in their rooms on the arrival date and take a swab test the second day, then they can leave their rooms and use other hotel facilities.

                            Travellers can step out of the hotel from the fourth day, and get another test on the seventh day. With a negative result, they can continue their trips in Koh Samui or to other destinations.:

                            Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                            Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                            • 50 infected by virus in Klong Toey

                              At least 50 people in a Klong Toey community in central Bangkok have been confirmed as being infected with the Covid-19 virus.

                              Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang announced on his Facebook page that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention had used an express analysis mobile unit to test 925 residents in the community on Tuesday.

                              The district office and Erawan Medical Centre have been ordered to take the infected to field hospitals as quickly as possible.

                              Meanwhile, the BMA and institute are continuing to proactively search for Covid-positive people.

                              Pol Gen Aswin also led officers from Medical Service Department and Bangkapi district office to inspect Baan Thai Boutique Hotel, on Ramkhamhaeng Road in Bangkapi district ahead of its opening as a 300-bed hospital-cum-hotel, or "hospitel" today.

                              The operation is being run with the BMA-run Taksin Hospital to accommodate patients with mild symptoms.

                              The Baan Thai hospitel will have a 24-hour emergency medical service plus rescue vans that aim to deliver patients to hospital inside 15 minutes.

                              Also prepared in the hospitel are X-ray machines to examine especially sick patients and telemedicine software that will enable doctors from Taksin Hospital to liaise online with patients and advise them speedily.

                              Patients will also be able to report their daily health condition to an online platform, arranged by the National Innovation Agency. The platform can track patients' locations, record their health information and allow them to chat with doctors through chats and video calls.

                              The National Health Commission Office, BMA and civil networks have set up a community isolation centre at Saphan temple in Phra Khanong district to isolate patients from the Klong Toey community while they await hospitalisation.

                              Dr Prateep Thanakitcharoen, secretary-general of National Health Commission Office, said the isolation centre would be opened today and run by Klong Toey communities.:

                              Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                              Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • Labour union urges extra vaccinations

                                A labour group yesterday called on the government to speed up Covid-19 vaccine distribution to all the country's workers, including migrants, as part of their demands to mark Labour Day on Saturday.

                                Chalee Loysoong, vice president of the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC), said workers nationwide have been badly affected by the pandemic and the first thing the government should do is speed up vaccine distribution to them.

                                "If the majority of workers are vaccinated, it can help reduce infections and will clear the way for schemes to revive the economy," he said.

                                Mr Chalee suggested that the government consider extending the Mor 33 Rao Rak Kan financial aid scheme if the outbreak did not subside soon, saying the scheme did answer to the workers' needs.

                                Rao Rak Kan is a financial remedy to assist employees covered by Section 33 of the Social Security Act. Those eligible for the aid get a 4,000-baht subsidy which can be used until the end of May.

                                However, he said the government should review the eligibility criteria which excluded those having more than 500,000 baht deposited in bank accounts as of December 2020 from the project.

                                According to Mr Chalee, there was progress in the group's proposed establishment of a "labour bank" to offer low-interest loans to help workers. More details were expected within this month.

                                The proposed bank was designed as a specialised system for providing financial assistance to low-income workers, many of whom were in the clutches of loan sharks.

                                It was floated in July last year at a seminar on the Social Security Fund(SSF), whose assets at that time stood at about 2 trillion baht, 80% invested in security assets and 20% in high-risk assets.

                                One of the models discussed at the seminar was that the SSF members would invest about 3,000 baht each to raise 30 billion baht to be the source of funds.

                                Those eligible to obtain loans must be subscribers of the SSF, who could be granted credit no more than three times their salaries or not exceeding 45,000 baht.

                                Repayment would be deducted from their salaries.

                                Sawit Kaewvarn, president of TLSC, said the virus crisis had worsened the quality of life of workers nationwide and the government needed to implement more measures to alleviate hardship.

                                He said the relief measures should also cover expenses such as power, water and phone bills and a reduction in tuition fees, as well as support the private sector to secure vaccines for their employees.

                                Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin yesterday accepted the petition from the labour representatives and promised to look into their plight.:

                                Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
                                Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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