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    • BoT warns of tourism meltdown

    Thailand's tourism industry will face greater risks next year if the government continues to restrict foreign travellers from entering the country, says the Bank of Thailand.

    Foreign arrivals could be downgraded from a projection of 8 million this year and 16 million next year, said Don Nakornthab, senior director of the economic and policy department.

    The Tourism and Sports Ministry and the National Economic and Social Development Council already cut their projections for this year's foreign tourist arrivals to 6.7 million and next year's to 12 million.

    The difference of 1.3 million foreign arrivals this year in projections from the central bank and the two state organisations would result in a 0.5% decline in Thailand's GDP, said Mr Don.

    Thailand received no foreign tourist arrivals for the fourth consecutive month in July as international travel restrictions remain in place to safeguard against a second outbreak.

    Foreign arrivals to Thailand reached 40 million in 2019, with revenue generated from the tourism industry contributing almost 20% of GDP.

    With inbound flight restrictions still in place, the ratio of foreign travellers is expected to shrink by 100% year-on-year between April and December, said Mr Don.

    He said the government should consider looking into proper measures to allow foreign travellers to return to stir tourism and economic growth momentum.

    "If foreign travellers still cannot visit the country, this will impact Thailand's economic growth more severely next year. The government should strike a balance between tourism measures and outbreak containment," said Mr Don.

    The central bank also factored in the possibility of a second wave outbreak, as in other Asian countries. New infections of around 20-30 cases per day are acceptable, he said.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning...erbox#cxrecs_s

    Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
    Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

    Comment


      • Another COVID Mystery: Patients Survive Ventilator, But Linger in a Coma

      Leslie Cutitta said yes, twice, when clinicians from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston called asking whether she wanted them to take — and then continue — extreme measures to keep her husband, Frank Cutitta, alive.

      The first conversation, in late March, was about whether to let Frank go or to try some experimental drugs and treatments for COVID-19. The second call was just a few days later. Hospital visits were banned, so Leslie couldn’t be with her husband or discuss his wishes with the medical team in person. So she used stories to try to describe Frank’s zest for life.

      “Frank used to joke that he wanted to be frozen, like Ted Williams, until they could figure out what was wrong with him if he died,” said Leslie Cutitta. It wasn’t a serious end-of-life discussion, but Cutitta knew her husband would want every possible lifesaving measure deployed.

      So the Cutittas hung on and a small army of ICU caregivers kept working. On April 21, after 27 days on a ventilator, Frank’s lungs had recovered enough to remove the breathing tube.

      After the removal, it typically takes hours, maybe a day, for the patient to return to consciousness. The body needs that time to clear the drugs that keep the patient sedated and comfortable — able to tolerate intubation and mechanical ventilation.

      But doctors across the U.S. and in other countries have noted a troubling phenomenon associated with some COVID cases: Even after extubation, some patients remain unconscious for days, weeks or longer. There’s no official term for the problem, but it’s being called a “prolonged” or “persistent” coma or unresponsiveness.

      Frank Cutitta, 68, was one of those patients. He just didn’t wake up.

      “It was a long, difficult period of not — just not knowing whether he was going to come back to the Frank we knew and loved,” said Leslie Cutitta. “It was very, very tough.”

      Doctors studying the phenomenon of prolonged unresponsiveness are concerned that medical teams are not waiting long enough for these COVID-19 patients to wake up, especially when ICU beds are in high demand during the pandemic.

      As Frank’s unresponsive condition continued, it prompted a new conversation between the medical team and his wife about whether to continue life support. Although he no longer needed the ventilator, he still required a feeding tube, intravenous fluids, catheters for bodily waste and some oxygen support.

      Leslie Cutitta recalled a doctor asking her: “If it looks like Frank’s not going to return mentally, and he’s going to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for the rest of his life in a long-term care facility, is that something that you and he could live with?”

      She struggled to imagine the restricted life Frank might face. Every day, sometimes several times a day, she would ask Frank’s doctors for more information: What’s going on inside his brain? Why is this happening? When might something change?

      Their candid and consistent answer was: We don’t know.

      “Because this disease is so new and because there are so many unanswered questions about COVID-19, we currently do not have reliable tools to predict how long it will take any individual patient to recover consciousness,” said Dr. Brian Edlow, a critical care neurologist at Mass General.

      Given all the unknowns, doctors at the hospital have had a hard time advising families of a patient who has remained unresponsive for weeks, post-ventilator. Some families in that situation have decided to remove other life supports so the patient can die. Edlow can’t say how many.

      “It is very difficult for us to determine whether any given patient’s future will bring a quality of life that would be acceptable to them,” Edlow said, “based on what they’ve told their families or written in a prior directive.”

      Theories abound about why COVID-19 patients may take longer to regain consciousness than other ventilated patients, if they wake up at all. COVID-19 patients appear to need larger doses of sedatives while on a ventilator, and they’re often intubated for longer periods than is typical for other diseases that cause pneumonia. Low oxygen levels, due to the virus’s effect on the lungs, may damage the brain. Some of these patients have inflammation related to COVID-19 that may disrupt signals in the brain, and some experience blood clots that have caused strokes.

      “So there are many potential contributing factors,” Edlow said. “The degree to which each of those factors is playing a role in any given patient is still something we’re trying to understand.”

      One of the first questions researchers hope to answer is how many COVID-19 patients end up in this prolonged, sleeplike condition after coming off the ventilator.

      “In our experience, approximately every fifth patient that was hospitalized was admitted to the ICU and had some degree of disorders of consciousness,” said Dr. Jan Claassen, director of neurocritical care at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center. “But how many of those actually took a long time to wake up, we don’t have numbers on that yet.”

      An international research group based at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center expects to have in September some initial numbers on COVID-19 brain impacts, including the problem of persistent comas. Some COVID patients who do eventually regain consciousness still have cognitive difficulties.

      To try to get a handle on this problem at Columbia, Claassen and colleagues created a “coma board,” a group of specialists that meets weekly. Claassen published a study in 2019 that found that 15% of unresponsive patients showed brain activity in response to verbal commands. A case reported by Edlow in July described a patient who moved between a coma and minimal consciousness for several weeks and was eventually able to follow commands.

      This spring, as Edlow observed dozens of Mass General COVID-19 patients linger in this unresponsive state, he joined Claassen and other colleagues from Weill Cornell Medical College to form a research consortium. The researchers are sharing their data to determine the cause of prolonged coma in COVID-19 patients, find treatments and better predict which patients might eventually recover, given enough time and treatment.

      The global research effort has grown to include more than 222 sites in 45 countries. Prolonged or persistent comas are just one area of research, but one getting a lot of attention.

      Dr. Sherry Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is leading the international effort.

      Chou said families want to know “whether a patient can wake up and be themselves.” Answering that question “depends on how accurate we are at predicting the future, and we know we’re not very accurate right now.”

      A CT scan of Frank Cutitta’s brain showed residue from blood clots but was otherwise “clean.”

      “From what they could tell, there was no brain damage,” Leslie Cutitta said.

      And then, on May 4, after two weeks with no signs that Frank would wake up, he blinked. Leslie and her two daughters watched on FaceTime, making requests such as “Smile, Daddy” and “Hold your thumb up!”

      “At least we knew he was in there somewhere,” she said.

      It was another week before Frank could speak and the Cutittas got to hear his voice.

      “We’d all be pressing the phone to our ears, trying to catch every word,” Leslie Cutitta recalled. “He didn’t have a lot of them at that point, but it was just amazing, absolutely amazing.”

      Frank Cutitta spent a month at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He’s back home now, in a Boston suburb, doing physical therapy to strengthen his arms and legs. He said he slurs words occasionally but has no other cognitive problems.

      While he was in the ICU, Cutitta’s nurses played recorded messages from his family, as well as some of his favorite music from the Beach Boys and Luciano Pavarotti. Frank Cutitta said he believes the flow of these inspiring sounds helped maintain his cognitive function.

      The Cutittas said they feel incredibly lucky. Leslie Cutitta said one doctor told the family that during the worst of the pandemic in New York City, most patients in Frank’s condition died because hospitals couldn’t devote such time and resources to one patient.

      “If Frank had been anywhere else in the country but here, he would have not made it,” Leslie Cutitta said. “That’s a conversation I will never forget having, because I was stunned.”

      Frank Cutitta credits the Mass General doctors and nurses, saying they became his advocates.

      It “could have gone the other way,” he said, if clinicians had decided “‘Look, this guy’s just way too sick, and we’ve got other patients who need this equipment.’ Or we have an advocate who says, ‘Throw the kitchen sink at him,'” Frank said. “And we happened to have the latter.”

      Many hospitals use 72 hours, or three days, as the period for patients with a traumatic brain injury to regain consciousness before advising an end to life support. As COVID-19 patients fill intensive care units across the country, it’s not clear how long hospital staff will wait beyond that point for those patients who do not wake up after a ventilator tube is removed.

      Joseph Giacino, director of rehabilitation neuropsychology at Spaulding, said he’s worried hospitals are using that 72-hour model with COVID-19 patients who may need more time. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, some neurologists questioned that model. In 2018, the American Academy of Neurology updated its guidelines for treating prolonged “disorders of consciousness,” noting that some situations may require more time and assessment.

      Some patients, like Frank Cutitta, do not appear to have any brain damage. Whatever caused his extended period of unconsciousness cleared.

      Unless a patient has previously specified that she does not want aggressive treatment, “we need to really go slow,” said Giacino, “because we are not at a point where we have prognostic indicators that approach the level of certainty that is necessary before making a decision that we should stop treatment because there is no chance of meaningful recovery.”

      Doctors interviewed for this story urged everyone to tell their loved ones what you expect a “meaningful recovery” to include. If confronted with this situation, family members should ask doctors about their levels of certainty for each possible outcome.

      Some medical ethicists also urge clinicians not to rush when it comes to decisions about how quickly COVID-19 patients may return to consciousness.

      “A significant number of patients are going to have a prolonged recovery from the comatose state that they’re in,” said Dr. Joseph Fins, chief of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College. “This is a time for prudence because what we don’t know can hurt us and can hurt patients.”

      Leslie and Frank Cutitta have a final request: Wear a mask.

      “This disease is nothing to be trifled with,” Leslie Cutitta said. “It’s a devastating experience.”

      Frank Cutitta worries about all of the patients still suffering with COVID-19 and those who have survived but have lasting damage.

      “I’m not considering myself one of those,” he said, “but there are many, many people who would rather be dead than left with what they have after this.”: https://khn.org/news/another-covid-m...ger-in-a-coma/
      • Coronavirus Cases: 25,715,093

      Deaths: 856,180

      Underreported US death count: 187,839

      US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

      World War I - 116,516
      Vietnam War - 58,209
      Iraq War - 4,576
      War in Afghanistan - 2,216
      911 Casualties – 2,977

      Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 184,494

      Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
      it's been blown way out of proportion.

      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

      Comment


      • Thailand - Border school closed over Covid-19 scare

        KANCHANABURI: A school in Thong Pha Phum district has been temporarily closed after three students were found to have been in close contact with three men who illegally crossed the border from adjoining Myanmar and stayed in their house, health officials said.

        The three students are in 3rd, 4th and 7th grade at Ban Kui Yae School, which has 857 students and 45 teachers.

        The three Myanmar men illegally slipped across a natural border pass in tambon Huay Khayeng on Aug 23 and stayed in Ban Phu Lo in tambon Lin Thin, at the house where the three students live.

        On Aug 31, two of them went to tambon Kui Yae Hospital after falling sick. They were found to have a high fever, with temperatures of 39°C and 40°C. The hospital reported the cases to Thong Pha Phum health office, suspecting the men may have Covid-19.

        The three men were detained for illegal entry and Thong Pha Phum health office gave instructions they be admitted to Thong Pha Phum Hospital for a Covid-19 test.

        The office also said the three students who had been in close contact with them should stay at home for 14-days isolation.

        The principle then closed Ban Kui Yae School for three days, Sept 1-3, pending the result of the Covid-19 tests on the three Myanmar men.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...erbox#cxrecs_s

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


        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

        Comment


          • Link found between metabolic syndrome and worse COVID-19 outcomes

          A new study has found that people with metabolic syndrome, which refers to a cluster of conditions that increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular issues, are more likely to have worse COVID-19 outcomes — including requiring ventilation and death.

          As journals started publishing the results of observational studies drawing on data from the first wave of the pandemic, it became clear that some underlying medical conditions were associated with a greater chance of a person developing severe COVID-19.

          According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some groups most at risk of severe disease include older adults and those with certain underlying medical conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

          The new research highlights that obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, in particular, are more common in people who die from COVID-19 than heart or lung conditions.

          Metabolic syndrome linked to death
          The researchers compared the patients with metabolic syndrome with those without, looking at the severity of COVID-19 as measured by admission to intensive care, ventilation, the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), or death.

          Of the patients with metabolic syndrome:

          56% required intensive care (vs. 24% of those without metabolic syndrome)
          48% required ventilation (vs. 18% of those without metabolic syndrome)
          37% developed ARDS (vs. 11% of those without metabolic syndrome)
          26% died due to COVID-19 (vs. 10% without metabolic syndrome)

          People with metabolic syndrome were also almost five times as likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit, need ventilation, or develop ARDS.

          Interestingly, the researchers found that there was no association between the individual conditions that collectively make up metabolic syndrome and death due to COVID-19.

          However, obesity and diabetes were associated with a higher likelihood of needing admittance to intensive care and requiring ventilation.

          According to lead study author Dr. Joshua Denson, an assistant professor of medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA: “Together, obesity, diabetes and prediabetes, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels are all predictive of higher incidents of death in these patients. The more of these diagnoses that you have, the worse the outcomes.”: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/art...inked-to-death
          • Coronavirus Cases: 25,859,210

          Deaths: 859,325

          Underreported US death count: 188,709

          US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

          World War I - 116,516
          Vietnam War - 58,209
          Iraq War - 4,576
          War in Afghanistan - 2,216
          911 Casualties – 2,977

          Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 184,494

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

          Comment


            • 100 days free of local virus cases, but Thailand pays heavy price

            Thailand has reported zero locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases for 100 days in a row, joining a small group of places like Taiwan where the pathogen has been virtually eliminated.

            The country hasn’t recorded any community transmission since May 26, data from the Health Ministry on Wednesday showed. Authorities are still finding infections among travellers arriving at the tourist hotspot’s borders, but these people are quarantined and only allowed into the community after they’re recovered.

            Like Taiwan and New Zealand, another country that made it past 100 days before local infections re-emerged, Thailand’s success has relied on strictly-policed borders that have been closed to foreigners for months. The strategy has come at great cost to people’s livelihoods, with its iconic beaches and cultural sites making it one of the most tourism-reliant economies in the world.

            That makes the milestone a bittersweet one for the country, coming amid growing pressure from business to re-open the borders to save the ailing tourism sector, which accounted for 20% of Thailand’s pre-pandemic economy. The government has in principle agreed to open to tourists again ahead of the northern hemisphere winter, but is yet to release many details about how it will do so safely.

            “We contained the virus, and now is really the time to focus on the economy -- the longer we close the borders, the more damage it will have,” said Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at Bank of Ayudhya Plc in Bangkok. “Without proper policies, the exit of some businesses and workforces could cut the country’s long term growth by 0.5% each year, which is significant for a country that’s also rapidly ageing.”

            Thailand’s dilemma illustrates the difficult balance governments across the world are trying to strike between public health and economic survival. While many countries quickly shut down to curb the virus’s spread earlier this year, the economic fallout soon became too much to bear, and places from the US to India pushed to re-open despite the virus continuing to run rampant, fuelling new spikes of infection.

            Other tourist-reliant economies like Aruba in the Caribbean have seen a resurgence of cases after allowing travellers back in, and European countries are bracing for new waves seeded during the recent summer vacation period.

            Thai officials remain wary of a possible resurgence of infection like in New Zealand and Vietnam, two other countries which had appeared to eliminate local transmission only to see unexplained flare-ups later on.

            New Zealand, which went without a case of transmission within the community for 102 days, had to impose a lockdown in Auckland last month to contain a fresh outbreak in its largest city, while Vietnam saw deaths grow from zero to 30 in a month after a resurgence in the coastal area of Danang.

            First Outside China

            Thailand’s 100-day feat is all the more impressive given that it was the first country outside China to detect the coronavirus, on Jan 13. The country has so far reported 3,425 cases and 58 fatalities, with only 93 patients still being treated in hospitals.

            The government imposed a national lockdown in March but has since relaxed some restrictions to allow businesses to re-open. The country’s track record has been maintained by compliance with mask-wearing and an army of health volunteers who act as village gatekeepers. Universal health coverage -- and a strong medical system by developing country standards -- also encourages people with symptoms to come forward for testing and treatment.

            Although the local population is being encouraged to travel domestically and spend, the activity can’t compensate for the loss of income from international tourists. In 2019, Thailand received nearly 40 million foreign visitors, but so far this year less than 7 million have entered the country.

            Thailand’s other economic pillar besides tourism -- manufacturing -- has also been battered by a global slump in demand amid the pandemic, and the country faces one of the worst outlooks among emerging economies in Asia. The Finance Ministry forecasts Thailand’s economy will shrink by 8.5% this year, heading for its worst contraction on record.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...ys-heavy-price

            Originally posted by Somchai Boonporn View Post
            Perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Golden Land.
            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

            Comment


            • Originally posted by S Landreth View Post

              Underreported US death count: 188,709

              US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

              World War I - 116,516
              Vietnam War - 58,209
              Iraq War - 4,576
              War in Afghanistan - 2,216
              911 Casualties – 2,977

              Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 184,494

              [/SIZE]
              Maybe it's cosmic karma?

              The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths[1] and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
              Dead seppos: 116,516

              Vietnam war casualties
              Total deaths: 1,353,000
              58,290 dead seppos

              Iraq war casualties
              109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.
              3,836 dead seppos.

              Afghanistan War Casualties
              Est. 200,000~
              2,216 dead seppos

              Dont get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while

              Comment


              • Thailand - Govt plans new cash handouts, job measures worth B68.5 bn

                The government plans new cash handouts and job measures worth about 68.5 billion baht to support an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic, an official said on Wednesday.

                The announcement comes one day after the surprise resignation of newly-appointed Finance Minister Predee Daochai, which the prime minister said earlier would not impact economic policy or investor confidence.

                The government plans to spend 45 billion baht on 3,000 baht handouts for 15 million people to boost domestic consumption, said Danucha Pichayanan, a spokesman of the government's task force, at a news briefing. It has earmarked 23.5 billion baht to help the private sector hire 260,000 new graduates for a year.

                "The government will continue introducing additional measures" to help domestic activity and investment, said Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, at the same briefing held after a meeting on stimulus measures.

                The economy suffered its deepest contraction in over two decades in the second quarter as the pandemic hit tourism and domestic activity, even as the country saw a more modest number of coronavirus cases compared to some of its peers.

                The government also said civil servants would be given two days leave to make the most of subsidies for domestic tourism offered by the government since June to offset the drop in foreign visitors from the border closures in April.

                Overall, the measures will be financed by the government's 1 trillion baht borrowing, part of a bigger 1.9 trillion baht coronavirus response package to help an economy which the finance ministry expects to shrink by a record 8.5% this year.

                The state planning agency earlier said there were about 2 million job losses as a result of the tourism slump. It expects only 6.7 million visitors in 2020, after last year's record 39.8 million tourists whose spending made up 11.4% of GDP.

                Thailand said last month it would allow foreign tourists to visit the resort island of Phuket for long stays from October with a quarantine, replacing a previous "travel bubble" proposal due to new outbreaks around Asia.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business...worth-b68-5-bn

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

                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                Comment


                • Might be a good outline.
                  • Federal panel lays out initial priorities for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

                  Initial doses of a COVID-19 vaccine should go to front-line health workers, first responders and people at serious risk for infection, according to new draft guidelines released Tuesday by a federal advisory panel.

                  The draft guidelines were developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to help U.S. officials plan for an equitable allocation of an eventual vaccine.

                  The final report will be released later this fall.

                  The committee recommended a four-phased approach, at least when the initial supply of a vaccine is limited, "guided by evidence to achieve the primary goal of maximizing societal benefit by reducing morbidity and mortality caused by the transmission of novel coronavirus."

                  The panel said the plan will be incrementally phased in as the vaccine supply increases with the goal of targeting people most at risk for catching the virus as well as for transmitting it.

                  Committee co-chair Helene Gayle said the panel's task is to make the "tough choices ... for allocating the tightly constrained initial supplies."

                  The first phase, dubbed the "jumpstart phase," includes front-line health workers and first responders, followed by people with underlying health conditions that put them at risk, as well as older adults in dense living settings, such as assisted living or nursing homes, as well as multi-generational homes.

                  The group includes about 15 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which specifically mentions the need to vaccinate not just assisted living and nursing home residents but also the staff.

                  "Vaccinating these individuals not only enables them to provide these services, but also reduces the risk that they will spread the infection as they work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home care, and group homes, or return to their own homes,” the report said.

                  The second group would cover an estimated 30 to 35 percent of the U.S. population. It would include essential workers "at substantially high risk of exposure," such as teachers and school staff, people in jails, prisons and homeless shelters, people with moderate-risk conditions, as well as older people not included in the first group.

                  A third phase would include providing the vaccine to young adults and children, as well as workers at increased risk of exposure not included in previous phases.

                  These include service industry workers and people who work in banks, libraries, hair and nail salons, and exercise facilities.

                  The fourth phase would include everyone else, which should happen no later than 12-18 months after the initial rollout, the panel said.

                  Many of the leading vaccine candidates in final trial stages are being developed with substantial government investment. The panel recommended officials should ensure vaccines are available to everyone no matter their social and economic resources, employment, immigration or insurance status.

                  "In the national interest, Medicare and Medicaid should require free vaccine administration; providers should not charge private plans or consumers; and private insurers and employers should not charge co-pays or deductibles for vaccine administration," the panel recommended: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcar...e-distribution
                  • Coronavirus Cases: 26,148,855

                  Deaths: 865,995

                  Underreported US death count: 189,883

                  US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                  World War I - 116,516
                  Vietnam War - 58,209
                  Iraq War - 4,576
                  War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                  911 Casualties – 2,977

                  Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 184,494

                  Originally posted by Boon Mee View Post
                  it's been blown way out of proportion.

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                  Comment


                  • Thailand - Double-track rail projects reviewed amid Covid-19 impact

                    The Transport Ministry is reviewing double-track rail projects worth Bt270 billion that it says have been hit by fallout from the Covid-19 crisis.

                    The State Railway of Thailand will now study seven projects, headed by the Khon Kaen-Nong Khai link in the Northeast.

                    “We need to review phase 2 of all the double-track railway projects, as we have to assess economic returns amid rising public debt,” Sorapong Paitoonphong, director-general of the Department of Rail Transport, said on Wednesday after meeting with senior officials.

                    The review is expected to begin next month and conclude within three months before being sent to the Transport Ministry.

                    The SRT proposed investing a total Bt271 billion in the double-track projects back in May.

                    However, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), a state think-tank, has now asked more for details and investment priorities after the Covid-19 fallout triggered mounting public debt and big changes in logistics and transportation.

                    Sorapong said concerned parties have agreed that construction of the double-track link between Khon Kaen and Nong Khai provinces is urgent since it will connect with the China-Loas high-speed railway which is scheduled to begin operating in December next year.

                    The SRT has already completed studies on the environmental impact study and feasibility of the 167-kilometre route, which is expected to cost Bt25.84 billion.

                    According to the feasibility study, the route will transport about 12 million tonnes of goods per year until 2037, with estimated economic returns of 19 per cent. An inland container depot (ICD) has been added to the original plan to accommodate cross-border goods transportation.

                    The SRT has been given one month to study the project, with the outcome dictating whether or not next year’s investment can go ahead. If so, the Khon Kaen-Nong Khai project will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval this year and bidding for construction will be held next year, he said.

                    Investment in other double-track rail routes may be deferred, but they would not be cancelled, he assured.

                    The other six projects are the 285km Pak Nam Pho-Denchai route (Bt62.86 billion), 189km Denchai-Chiang Mai (Bt56.84 billion), 308km Chira Junction-Ubon Ratchathani (Bt37.53 billion), 186km Chumphon-Surat Thani (Bt24.29 billon), 321km Surat Thani-Songkhla (Bt57.38 billion) and the 45km Hat Yai-Padang Besar route (Bt6.66 billion).: https://www.nationthailand.com/busin...ernal_referral

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

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                    Comment


                    • Thailand - Govt plans cash handout/B45bn economic stimulus for millions of Thais

                      The government plans to spend 45 billion baht on 3,000-baht cash handouts to 15 million people affected by the economic fallout caused by Covid-19, which is expected to inject a cash flow of about 90 billion baht in the economy and boost domestic consumption.

                      Danucha Pichayanan, deputy scretary-general of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said on Wednesday that a meeting of the Centre for the Administration of the Economic Situation Affected by Covid-19, approved an economic stimulus measure proposed by the Finance Ministry.

                      Under the measure, the government will give 3,000-baht cash handouts to people to buy consumer goods.

                      They are required to register for the cash and the money will be transferred through the Pao Tang app's G-wallet app, similar to the Chim Shop Chai (taste-shop-spend) relief scheme, Mr Danucha said.

                      The Finance Ministry will prepare details of the cash handouts scheme to present to the centre again and the measure is expected to be implemented from next month until the end of the year, he said.

                      The measure is aimed at helping 15 million people. Spending under the measure will be initially capped at 100-250 per person per day, he said.

                      For shops and businesses that want to join the programme, priority will be given to small entrepreneurs, as well as street vendors and hawkers, Mr Danucha said.

                      The cash handouts are intended to ease the burden of rising living costs, boost domestic consumption and help more than 80,000 small entrepreneurs, street vendors and hawkers, Mr Danucha said, adding the government will subsidise 50% of their spending.

                      The measure is expected to stimulate cash flow of about 90 billion baht in the economy and boost the economy by 0.25%, he added.

                      Meanwhile, the Centre for the Administration of the Economic Situation Affected by Covid-19 also approved the Labour Ministry's request for 23.47 billion baht to hire new graduates.

                      Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin told the media his proposed project for hiring new graduates was approved by the centre.

                      The next step will see the project sent to the National Economics and Social Development Council, which will work on the project.

                      The 23.47 billion baht will come from the 400-billion-baht loan borrowed by the Finance Ministry to tackle the economic effects of the pandemic.

                      The minister said the project was the right solution to the unemployment problem faced by new graduates.

                      Under the budget, 260,000 new graduates nationwide are expected to be hired for 12 months, from Oct 1 this year to Sept 30, 2021, with the government paying 50% of their monthly salary based on their highest education level but not exceeding 7,500 baht per person.

                      Graduates qualified for the project must be Thai nationala aged under 25 years old.

                      Those who are older than 25 years must graduate during 2019–2020.

                      The second part of the project is the "Thailand Job Expo 2020" job fair tentatively scheduled to take place at the end of this month.

                      Around one million positions in the public and private sectors will be available at the event. Candidates and jobs will be matched using the platform "Thai Mee Ngan Tham" (Thais Have Jobs).

                      Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior has instructed all provinces to organise a walking street to promote tourism and revive the grassroots economy, while strictly complying with preventive measures imposed by the Centre for Covid-19 Administration Centre (CCSA).

                      The event must be held at least once a month, said permanent secretary for Interior Chatchai Phromlert.

                      The meeting also approved new ministerial regulations governing state procurement to support small-and medium-sized entrepreneurs and promote the use of domestically made materials.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand...s-cash-handout

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

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                      Comment


                        • NIH panel: No data to support effectiveness of plasma treatment for COVID-19

                        A panel of experts at the National Institutes of Health on Tuesday weighed into the FDA's emergency use authorization (EUA) of convalescent plasma as a coronavirus treatment, stressing that "there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against" the use of plasma to treat COVID-19 patients.

                        Why it matters: President Trump and other officials pressured the FDA to grant an EUA for plasma despite warnings from public health experts, including those at the NIH, that data from randomized clinical trials was needed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

                        • The objections against the authorization continued after FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn oversold the benefits of convalescent plasma as a coronavirus treatment at a press conference with President Trump. He later apologized.

                        What they're saying: "There are currently no data from well-controlled, adequately powered randomized clinical trials that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19," the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel wrote.

                        • The panel added that convalescent plasma "should not be considered standard of care for the treatment of patients with COVID-19."

                        The bottom line: The NIH panel called for "prospective, well-controlled, adequately powered randomized trials" to "determine whether convalescent plasma is effective and safe for the treatment of COVID-19."
                        https://www.axios.com/nih-plasma-cor...d02e8fe00.html
                        • Coronavirus Cases: 26,369,928

                        Deaths: 870,646

                        Underreported US death count: 190,628

                        US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                        World War I - 116,516
                        Vietnam War - 58,209
                        Iraq War - 4,576
                        War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                        911 Casualties – 2,977

                        Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 184,494

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

                        Comment


                          • Malaysia expands entry ban to US, UK, France pass holders

                          Malaysia on Thursday added at least nine more countries, including the United States, Britain and France, to its list of long-term immigration pass holders to be barred from the country, national news wire Bernama reported.

                          Malaysia's government on Tuesday said it would from Sept 7 bar entry of pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines in a bid to curtail imported coronavirus cases in Southeast Asia's third-largest economy.

                          The ban will now include all countries that have reported more than 150,000 coronavirus cases, the report said, citing Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

                          Malaysia, which has reported just 9,374 Covid-19 cases and 128 deaths as of Thursday, has banned tourists and business traveller from entering the country since March, when it imposed strict curbs on movement and commerce to contain the spread.

                          The move to further tighten entry restrictions follows the discovery of new clusters sparked by infections among returnees and undocumented migrants.

                          The expanded list also includes Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Bangladesh.

                          "We will add more (countries) that are considered high risk," Ismail Sabri was quoted as saying by Bernama.

                          Ismail Sabri had earlier said that the ban would include permanent residents, expatriates, students and those on spouse visas and participants of Malaysia's My Second Home programme.: https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/19...erbox#cxrecs_s
                          • Coronavirus Cases: 26,489,636

                          Deaths: 873,552

                          Underreported US death count: 191,058

                          US conflicts and 911 Casualties………

                          World War I - 116,516
                          Vietnam War - 58,209
                          Iraq War - 4,576
                          War in Afghanistan - 2,216
                          911 Casualties – 2,977

                          Total US Casualties in the conflicts above and 911 Casualties: 184,494

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

                          Comment


                          • The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million: estimates range from around 15 to 22 million deaths[1] and about 23 million wounded military personnel, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
                            116,516 dead seppos

                            Vietnam war casualties
                            Total deaths: 1,353,000
                            58,290 dead seppos

                            Iraq war casualties
                            109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths.
                            3,836 dead seppos.

                            Afghanistan War Casualties
                            Est. 200,000~
                            2,216 dead seppos
                            Dont get sick of me just yet, for I will be here for quite a while

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by serrollt View Post
                              Vietnam war casualties
                              Total deaths: 1,353,000
                              58,290 dead seppos
                              Fun Fact

                              S Landreths Generals deemed it okay that if they killed 10 gooks then 1 seppo casualty was acceptable

                              Comment


                              • ^not my generals

                                Originally posted by Mr Tinkles View Post
                                ….nobody ever reads his posts



                                Last edited by S Landreth; 09-05-2020, 03:50 AM.
                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer

                                Comment

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