Archive for the ‘COVID-19’ Category

Myanmar WIll Get More Vaccine From Global Health Partner

October 8, 2021

Myanmar will receive more than 6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from a global health partnership that is helping the world’s most vulnerable populations get vaccinated, after seeing a delay in the shipping of the vaccines the country was initially promised through the initiative.
The country’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday that it held a series of meetings with representatives from GAVI and its partners WHO and UNICEF from late July through late August on providing vaccines. GAVI is a private-public global health alliance that aims to increase access to immunization in poor countries.
The ministry said GAVI would provide more than 4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, while UNICEF will support the ultracold chain system that is essential to keep the vaccine at the recommended storage temperature of as low as -70°C. It will also provide more than 2.2 million doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinovac.
Myanmar has been hit hard by the third wave of COVID-19. In July alone, a total of 6,000 people died from the disease, mostly due to the regime’s mismanagement. The country reported its first case of coronavirus in late March last year. As of Wednesday, Myanmar had reported 473,025 positive cases and 17,988 deaths.
Myanmar’s ousted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD) government started to purchase vaccines in late 2020 and launched a nationwide vaccination program in January 2021. It also reached out to COVAX, an UN-backed initiative that is co-led by GAVI, to get 27 million doses, which were scheduled to arrive starting from March. Then, the coup in February threw everything into disarray, including vaccinations and the shipment from COVAX.
Following the coup, the regime intermittently resumed immunization and geared up in August with vaccines donated and purchased from China, vowing that half of the country’s more than 55 million population would be jabbed by the end of this year. As of Monday, the regime said, 3.92 million people had been fully vaccinated.

Fully Vaccinated Expats From Any Country Can Now Be Part of The Thai Sandbox Tourism Program

October 5, 2021

Thai authorities eliminated their list of “approved countries” to open up the sandbox tourism program to all fully vaccinated visitors from anywhere in the world. Thailand’s Tourism Authority has welcomed the decision, which means Indonesian and Malaysian tourists can now visit the country. According to Covid-19, Malaysia was Thailand’s second-largest source of foreign arrivals, with over 4 million Malaysian tourists arriving in 2019.
Furthermore, the recently-announced reduction in mandatory quarantine also applies to those participating in sandbox programs, with tourists now only required to spend 7 days in their original destination before traveling abroad. Now, Sandbox tourists can visit Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phang Ngan, Koh Tao, Khao Lak, Koh Yao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Ngai, and Railay Beach.
Since the Phuket Sandbox Program was launched on July 1, it has welcomed over 38,000 foreign visitors and generated around 2.3 billion baht, according to officials. The Bangkok Post reports, however, that tourism operators on the southern island are pessimistic about the coming high season. 90% of the island’s hotels are closed, so they are urging the government to simplify the entry process and reduce the cost of mandatory PCR tests.
Foreign tourists are also deterred by the fact that Thailand is on a “no-go” list in some countries. The United States and the United Kingdom both warn their citizens against traveling to Thailand because of the high infection rate and low vaccination rates. The UK currently requires hotel quarantine and two Covid tests for tourists returning from Thailand.

Thailand Has Four Phases Of Reopening The Country To The World

September 29, 2021

The Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced its plan to gradually reopen Thailand. CCSA’s plan includes four phases that take into account tourism revenue, geography, and COVID prevention.
Pilot phase: October 1 to October 31. Phuket, Surat Thani, including Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, and Koh Tao islands. Phang Nga, including Khao Lak coastal area and Koh Yao island. Krabi, including Koh Phi Phi and Koh Ngai islands, Railay, Khlong Muang and Tub Kaak beaches. Also included in the Pilot Phase are the Phuket and Samui Sandbox programs that were previously launched over the last couple of months.Phase 1: November 1 to 30 Bangkok, Krabi, Phang Nga, Prachuap Khiri Khan, including Hua Hin and Nong Kae subdistricts. Phetchaburi, including the Cha-am district. Chonburi, including Pattaya City, Jomtien, and Bang Saray subdistricts. Ranong, including Koh Phayam. Chiang Mai, including Muang, Mae Rim, Mae Taeng, and Doi Tao districts. Loei, including the Chiang Khan district. Buriram, including the Muang district.Phase 2: December 1 to 31. Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun, Phrae, Nong Khai, Sukhothai, Phetchabun, Pathum Thani, Ayutthaya, Samut Prakan, Trat, Rayong, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Yala, and Narathiwat.Phase 3: January 2022-TBD. Surin, Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Tak, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan, Bueng Kan, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani, Nan, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Satun.

Pattaya City’s mayor also confirmed that Pattaya will not reopen until November.

Thai Restaurant Operator Has Sued Thai PM For Ineffective COVID-19 Policy

September 28, 2021

Restaurant operators have sued Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for 50 million baht in damages resulting from ineffective measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the court said Never-Ending Summer Co represented 39 restaurant businesses in a class-action lawsuit. As a result of examining the petition and request, the court has set Nov 9 for a hearing via Zoom.
In the petition, Never-Ending Summer said its business suffered from the government’s decision to temporarily close restaurants during the fight against the virus because the emergency decree failed to control the situation.
“According to the petition, it is claimed that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha declared a nationwide emergency under the Covid-19 pandemic and had acted willfully or negligently, resulting in several disease clusters,” the court said.
According to the report, vaccination campaigns, antigen test kits, and drugs to alleviate Coronavirus were conducted in an inadequate manner.
The filing also names the Public Health Ministry, Interior Ministry, and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
The group’s compensation was calculated from March 17 last year. It coincided with the early stages of the first outbreak of the disease that has crippled the economy.
The Never-Ending Summer restaurant is located in the compound of Jam Factory in Bangkok’s Klong San district.

Thai Health Official Thinks COVID-19 Will Become Endemic

September 22, 2021

Kiatiphum Wongrajit, public health permanent secretary, predicted that due to the relaxation of regulations for businesses and activities, it is unlikely that the number of Covid-19 infections would fall below 10,000 and that the disease would become endemic.
Dr. Kiatiphum said that the rate of daily Coronavirus infections would gradually decrease but likely stay around 10,000 and will not reach zero.
In places like Bangkok and Phuket, where people do not exhibit severe symptoms and people are well vaccinated, such as Covid-19 disease, may soon become endemic.
The hospital bed shortage problem has gradually improved, according to Dr. Kiatiphum. However, people should not be careless and should wear face masks, regularly wash their hands and observe social distancing, he added.

Most Bangkok Residents Wear Their Masks According To Weekly Mask Survey

September 12, 2021

Bangkok residents now wear their face masks properly, and residents in the provinces are being encouraged to follow suit, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) said.
The CCSA’s spokesman, Dr. Taweesilp Visanuyothin, reported that 99.7% of people surveyed in Bangkok by the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation’s “AI Mask” project wore their face-covering properly.
A weekly survey shows that 0.26% of respondents wear face masks incorrectly and 0.02% do not observe disease control measures. In 29 districts, 1633 people were surveyed.
“Other provinces should follow Bangkok’s lead,” he said.
Despite the survey result, Bangkok reported the newest cases of Covid-19 to CCSA yesterday. 3,495 new cases were reported in the capital, up from 3,736 the previous day.
Thailand reported 14,403 new cases of Covid-19 and 189 additional deaths, while 15,610 Covid-19 patients were discharged from hospitals.
The second-highest number of Covid-19 cases was reported in Samut Prakan (1,037), followed by 802 in Chon Buri, 678 in Samut Sakhon, 615 in Ratchaburi, 496 in Nonthaburi, 402 in Narathiwat, 399 in Prachin Buri, 393 in Rayong, and 321 in Saraburi.
39 of the new fatalities, down from 220 the previous day, were caused by underlying health conditions, and one died at home in Nakhon Sawan province.
Among Thailand’s neighbors, Bangkok had the highest death toll with 25 (down from 43 on the previous night) while Samut Prakan (14), Samut Sakhon (12), Pathum Thani (10), and Nonthaburi (6), reported 42.
According to Dr. Taweesilp, 29 provinces continued to experience heavy caseloads even though infections were declining.

COVID-19 Is Keeping Thai Government From Achieving Economic Goals

September 10, 2021

Covid-19 is a major threat to Thailand’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, warns the government’s planning unit.
Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the Covid-19 outbreaks which have happened since early 2020 pose more risks for Thailand to reach the SDGs by 2030, especially on poverty, hunger eradication, public health, and well-being, education, gender equality, decent work, and economic growth, and peace, justice, and strong institutions.
SDGs are a collection of 17 interconnected global goals designed to be a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all.
The UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and expects to achieve them by 2030.
Zero poverty; zero hunger; strong health, justice, and strong institutions; clean water; affordable and clean energy; quality education; gender equality; sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below the water; life on land; peace, justice, and strong institutions.
Thailand achieved between 74% and 100% of the SDGs between 2016 and 2020, according to NESDC, thanks to economic stability, increased development of infrastructure, higher investment in research and development, and efforts to reduce inequality.
Nonetheless, the state think tank noted Thailand had achieved 50-73% of the goals on hunger eradication, good health and wellbeing, clean water and sanitation, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, life below water, and peace, justice and strong institutions.
NESDC recommends partnerships among public and private sectors, civic organizations, and NGOs to accelerate development, focusing on small categories such as poverty eradication.
A number of other topics should also be considered, such as social protection, violence against women and children, water treatment, the arms trade, information access, and basic freedom.
The government should also develop a data center to develop a better monitoring system for efficiency development and raise quality standards.
Vice-chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Vichai Assarasakorn, said Thailand’s top priority at present is to address poverty, citing poverty as a cause of current problems such as hunger, disparity, education, public health, and political unrest.


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Thai FDA Considers Approving COVID-19 Vaccine For 3 Years-Old And Up

September 9, 2021

Thai Food and Drug Administration said it will consider a request from Sinopharm’s local representatives in Thailand to use their vaccine for children ages 3 and older. Biogenie Tech Co distributes the Sinopharm vaccine in Thailand and has requested permission to lower the age group for which the vaccine is approved, from 18 years old to children aged 3 and older.
Deputy Secretary-General of the FDA says their committee is considering the request and whether the vaccine is effective and safe enough to lower the age limit. They promise to confirm or deny the request within 30 days. With both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the youngest age for vaccination is currently 12 years old.
Pfizer plans to start inoculating 4 million students with vaccines next month to make classroom learning a safe possibility sooner rather than later. 50,000 students are being signed up for Sinopharm vaccines as a result of Chulabhorn Royal Academy’s opening.
Educational institutions can request vaccines for their students on the application, with the goal of getting them vaccinated as fast as possible, in hope of building immunity in schools as students return to in-person learning.
Starting on September 20, 2021, the academy will announce the inoculation schedule after registration opens.


I am still sick and I am probably going to the hospital today.

It is still raining in Ubon. Bring umbrella if you come to Ubon.

Survey of Thai Hotel Operators Shows That Most of Them Want To Close Temporarily

September 8, 2021

52% of hotel operators are thinking about temporarily closing, while 9% want to close permanently if the Covid-19 pandemic persists longer than expected.
A joint survey by the Bank of Thailand and Thai Hotels Association (THA) found that 62% of hotel operators planned to reduce labor costs in order to deal with the financial effects of the pandemic.
61% of respondents said they planned to cut other expenses.
In the survey conducted between Aug 13-28, the central bank and THA surveyed 234 respondents, 14 of whom were alternative state quarantines and five were hospitals.
A total of 38% of Phuket Sandbox respondents said foreign tourist arrivals were lower than expected, but 35% said the numbers were what they expected.
The occupancy rate averaged 15%.
Surat Thani, the host of the Samui Plus model, reported fewer travelers than expected, with an average occupancy rate of 4%.
Over half of hotel operators reported income below 10% of pre-Covid levels, and 17% earned 11-30% of their pre-outbreak income.
According to THAI president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, hotels nationwide had an occupancy rate of 10.6% in August, only slightly higher than the previous month’s 9.6%.
65% of hotel operators said they were only able to survive for less than three months.
Marisa said that while 17% of them remained closed, the number of active hotels increased from 40.1% in July to 48.4% in August, mainly driven by hotels in Bangkok, which turned to the long-stay market, and in Phuket, which has its quarantine-free program for inoculated tourists.
A recent drop in confidence in Koh Samui prompted tourism operators to call for a relaxation of the Samui Plus model, which still requires inbound tourists to stay at quarantine facilities for three days.
She suggested applying the quarantine-free approach to other destinations to stimulate demand, which could help hotels survive the tough financial crisis.
By September 6, Samui had received only 621 tourists via the pilot program, while over 400 tourists had completed the program in Phuket and then traveled to Samui.
Starting July 15, tourists spent 7,136 nights in Samui Plus destinations, and another 8,335 have been reserved in advance.
Phuket saw 176,128 and 125,434 room nights booked in August and September, respectively.

Thai Bits and Crime: You Will Need Proof of Vaccination Or Negative Result On COVID0-19 Test To Eat In Dark Red Restaurants, 25 People In Chaing Mai Drink Alcohol In Restaurant And Get Arrested

September 7, 2021

Can’t Drink Alcohol In Thai Bar Or Restaurants Without Proof In Dark Red Provinces

Restaurants within the “dark red” zones will require proof of vaccination, or a negative antigen test result, starting on October 1, 2021. According to the Bangkok Post, the negative test result must be no older than a week old, and people who have had Covid-19 must show medical records proving they are healthy.
According to Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai from the Health Department, the rule was introduced to allow businesses to re-open during a pandemic. Using the government app, “Thai Save Thai”, customers will be required to provide information on their infection risk prior to entering a restaurant as part of the measures. People entering barbershops and hair salons, as well as spas and beauty treatment centers, are also subject to the measure.
Additionally, business operators will be required to adhere to strict regulations, including ensuring all staff is fully vaccinated, observing social distancing measures, and being screened weekly for the virus. Every 1 – 2 hours, each premise must also disinfect common surfaces and those that are touched frequently. Furthermore, businesses must be properly ventilated and air-conditioning units must have high-efficiency particulate air filters.

Thai Crime: 25 People Arrested At Chiang Mail Restaurant For Drinking Alcohol In Restaurant

Chiang Mai, a northern Thai province, was raided yesterday and 24 people, including the bar owner, were arrested for allegedly gathering to drink alcoholic beverages, a violation of the emergency decree.
Police say the 25 suspects were seen drinking alcohol and dancing to a band playing at a bar. In addition, police say the suspects disregarded provincial control measures by not wearing face masks or avoiding eye contact.
25 suspects were taken to Chang Puak Police Station for further legal proceedings. The 24 bar patrons are currently charged with violating the order of the Chiang Mai Communicable Disease Committee, which prohibits the consumption of alcohol. By allegedly allowing customers to consume alcoholic beverages at his bar, the bar owner violated the provincial order. Media outlets did not identify the bar.
In Thai establishments, alcohol consumption is still largely prohibited as the government has yet to reopen bars, and restaurants are also prohibited from selling alcohol.

Note: Chiang Mai is the second-largest city in Thailand.