Archive for the ‘pandemic’ Category

A Thai Hospital in Chonburi Builds A New Field Hospital To Deal WIth COVID-19 Patients

August 15, 2021

The Sirraj Hospital is building a field hospital with a 20-bed intensive care unit to accommodate Covid-19 patients.
Wisit Wamwanit, director of Siriraj Hospital, said on Saturday that the hospital has expanded its ICU to help admit critically ill patients.
The field hospital, located near Chalermprakiat park and Rot Fai pier inside the hospital compound, is scheduled to open on Aug 30, 2021.
The number of patients with chronic diseases and medical emergencies is on the rise, so they need negative pressure cabinets to maintain special care.
As part of plans to expand capacity for patients of all diseases, Siriraj Hospital, Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital, and Golden Jubilee Medical Centre have coordinated the field hospital’s operations.
he said. Construction began on July 28 by the Siam Cement Group (SCG).
The hospital was built in two modules to speed construction.
As an ICU, each module contains 10 beds, negative pressure cabinets, and medical innovations.
In order to increase the safety of officers, a PPE dressing room will be set up, as well as safety systems such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, CCTV, patient monitoring, emergency power supplies, medical gas, and information technology.
The back office will be housed in containers for work offices, rest areas, and drug and medical equipment storage in five cupboards. There will be toilets and showers available.
Dr. Wisit said that the hospital has a budget of about 100 million baht.
Another 13 Covid-19 deaths and 1,254 new cases were reported in Chonburi recently.
Since July 29, the number of daily cases in the province has exceeded 1,000.
With the new infections, the provincial total now stands at 44,356.
Over the past 24 hours, 23,702 cases have recovered, with 1,037 discharged. Those who had recovered were still in hospitals.
An update posted on the province’s Facebook page on Saturday said the 13 deaths brought the total to 235.
Si Racha had the highest number of new infections (346), followed by Muang (296), Bang Lamung (216), Phan Thong (106), and Ban Bung (95).
Three hundred fifty-one of the 1,254 new cases caught the bug from family or friends, 186 from colleagues, 26 from close friends, and seven from parties.

Thai Health Official Thinks That COVID-19 Could Last Another Year In Thailand

July 24, 2021

Covid-19 could continue for a few months or for a year, depending on the actions taken by the government and the people of Thailand. Director-General Somsak Ankasil made that statement this week in a video message to thank medical officials nationwide.
Several factors will affect our future and the future of the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand, he said. He believes that Covid-19 can be brought under control in about 3 months, or possibly as early as one month. If improperly handled, or if more problems and obstacles arise, the Covid-19 pandemic could last for another year.
Covid-19 may last a few months or a year, depending on the government and the people of Thailand. Somsak Ankasil made that statement during a video message to thank medical officials nationwide this week.
Several factors will affect our future and the future of the Covid-19 pandemic in Thailand, he said. He believes that Covid-19 can be brought under control in about 3 months, or possibly as early as one month. If improperly handled, or if more problems and obstacles arise, the Covid-19 pandemic could last for another year.
Even after a year and a half of dealing with Covid-19, Somsak called for unity and support in his message. The Thai government should be proactive in developing policies that will control Covid-19 infections directly and effectively, as well as contain outbreaks, something the government has been criticized for recently as people lose confidence in leadership’s ability to battle the virus.
As the fatigue of an 18-month pandemic wears on, the Director-General expressed the importance of residents of Thailand being vigilant and committed to safety. For the general public’s safety, he recommended continuing to wear masks, maintain social distance, and follow all restrictions and requirements. Though he acknowledged that citizens who were once willing to band together and accept restrictions for the greater good had now lost their patience and had become restless and frustrated.
In closing, he reaffirmed the commitment of the 18,000 members of the Department of Medical Services to work with the Thai people to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to make the Thai people’s health and safety their first priority no matter what it takes.

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Thai Bits: Thai Government Starts New COVID-19 Services For Elderly Expats, New Lockdown Could Hurt Thai GDP

July 23, 2021

Thai Government Has Launched COVID-19 Vaccinations Services For Elderly Expats

In Thailand, the Disease Control Department, the Central Vaccination Centre, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry have launched Covid-19 vaccination services for elderly foreigners.
From Monday at Bang Sue Grand Station in Bangkok, the ministry’s Consular Affairs Department will offer mass vaccinations to foreigners living in Thailand.
Foreigners over 75 who have not received a jab can come to Gates 2, 3, and 4 from 9 am to 4 pm for vaccinations, according to the departments.
Passports and proof of residence, such as a visa or work permit, are required.
Pre-registration is required for those aged 60–74 residing in Bangkok and the surrounding five provinces (Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon), and who have never received a vaccine.
Upon completing registration, individuals will receive an appointment notification and additional information via SMS or email within two days.
As of July 22, 2021, at 1 pm, 1,966 foreigners aged 60-74 had registered for vaccination.
Tanee Sangrat, the ministry’s spokesman, tweeted that this vaccination drive is only for those over 60 years of age. Many foreigners under the age of 60 showed up at the vaccination center, he said.

New COVID-19 Measures Could Hurt The GDP In Thailand

The Bank of Thailand predicts the government’s tougher measures to contain new infections will reduce economic activity by 0.8 to 2 percentage points.
In the best-case scenario, GDP would drop by only 0.8 percentage points, said Chayawadee Chai-Anant, senior director for the economic and policy department.
The assessment was made on July 16 and is based on the effectiveness of lockdown measures.
If containment measures are highly effective and new infections decline by 40%, the outbreak should be contained in August and the government can relax the measures by the middle of August, according to the central bank. Economic activity would contract by 0.8 percentage points in this scenario.
Unless lockdown measures are more effective and new infections drop by only 20%, the government would need to maintain tougher measures until the end of the year, keeping more people at home. Economic activity would contract by 2 percentage points in this scenario.
Chayawadee stated that the Monetary Policy Committee will continue to discuss growth projections for this year and 2022.
As a result of new government measures to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, including curfews and lockdowns, economic activity has slowed across the country.
Despite the containment measures for the third-wave outbreak, economic activity has fallen to almost the same level as in April last year, when the government implemented lockdown measures nationwide.
In 13 provinces, the government has imposed curfews and other tight restrictions.
The curfew from 9 pm-4 am and other restrictions have been in force since July 19 in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Pathum Thani, and Nakhon Pathom, as well as the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.
Chon Buri, Chachoengsao, and Ayutthaya provinces were also placed under lockdown.
Among the restrictions are the closing of all stores in malls at 8 pm except for those deemed essential, such as supermarkets, and those selling medical equipment and communication equipment.
Restaurants, wet markets, and convenience stores must close between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. as part of the ban on dining in.
In its June 22 report, the central bank estimated that the Delta variant would spread into restricted areas and that the government would gradually relax containment measures in the second half of the year.
Chayawadee said fiscal policy plays a key role in sustaining economic momentum.
In 2020, government subsidy measures through Finance Ministry packages led to a marginal contraction of 1% in domestic consumption, she said.
According to Chayawadee, domestic consumption would have contracted 6.3% without the fiscal measures.

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Thai Government Looking To Start An Andaman COVID-19 Sandbox Plan

July 21, 2021

On July 20, 2021, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced that Phangnga and Krabi are preparing to welcome back foreign tourists under the “Andaman Sandbox” scheme.
If all goes according to plan, the provinces that lie along the Andaman coastline will be the next to reopen to foreign tourists. Thailand debuted its sandbox model on July 1, while Samui Plus went live last Thursday.
According to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn, the proposal for the Andaman Sandbox scheme will be submitted to the Centre for Economic Situation Administration on Wednesday for further consideration.
A TAT official in Phangnga has stated that tourists who have already visited Phuket, followed by a week in Phangnga or Krabi, would be permitted to visit Koh Yao, Koh Panyee, and the Khao Lak coastline if approved.
He said eligible tourists will be able to visit attractions along a specified route from Ban Nam Khem in Khao Lak to Koh Yao Noi-Yai and Koh Panyee in Ao Phangnga National Park.
Trackers provided by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the private sector will be used to monitor the tourists’ movements during their 14-day stay, similar to the one used in the Phuket Sandbox.
The Safety & Health Administration (SHA) has also certified more than 300 businesses providing hospitality services in the area, he said.
In the wake of their 14-day stay in Phuket, the first group of tourists under the Phuket Sandbox scheme made their way to Phangnga on Friday. Chuchart said more tourists are expected in late October.
According to Yuthasak, once the Andaman Sandbox has been approved, the TAT will ask to approve similar schemes in Chiang Mai, Buri Ram, Bangkok, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Khan in time for October reopening.

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Samui Plus Is The Next Thai COVID-19 Plan To Start After The Phuket Sandbox Plan

July 16, 2021

The “Samui Plus” tourism scheme kicked off on July 15th, 2021 to welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists, two weeks after the Phuket Sandbox reopening.
Meanwhile, in Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the launch via Thai Khu Fa Facebook live to welcome the tourists.
The first flight landed shortly after 11 am with 10 visitors from the UK, Germany and France. They were all members of the media invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to inspect the program.
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, TAT deputy governor of marketing for Asia and the South Pacific, said the Samui Plus scheme was not in a rush and it was expected to welcome 1,000 tourists in the first month.
He said authorities were preparing to launch marketing plans in low-risk countries such
The Samui Plus model covers Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
Visitors are required to stay at approved hotels on Samui for a week and can leave their accommodation on day four.
Under the Phuket Sandbox launched on July 1, fully-vaccinated travelers do not have to quarantine in a hotel but cannot leave Phuket for two weeks.
Tanes Petsuwan, TAT deputy governor for marketing communications, said the visitors are required to follow standard operating procedures during their visit.
After the first three days, visitors are allowed to travel on “sealed routes” and they must travel with service operators that have received approval under the Samui Plus scheme.
If they test negative in their third test, which is taken on day 12 or day 13 of their arrival, they can travel to other provinces after completing the 14-day Samui Plus program.
He said tourism authorities expect soft demand in the early stages due to the surge in Covid-19 infections in the country.
Tanes said the Samui Plus model was launched earlier than planned. Authorities gave it the green light to open ahead of schedule on Sept 1 after reviewing the details.
Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto expressed confidence the province’s Covid-19 protection measures will keep travelers safe following the launch of the Samui Plus scheme.
Under the plan, stringent measures including restricting people’s movements would be implemented if Covid-19 cases exceed 20 within two weeks.
The decision to terminate Samui Plus would be made by the Covid-19 Centre of Koh Samui.

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Thai Officials Want To Arrest People For Fake COVID-19 News

July 14, 2021

False claims regarding Covid-19 are being attacked by Thai authorities. Since last month, the Anti-Fake News Centre of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society reported more than 50 cases of fake news, most involving Covid-19 or vaccines. The cases are now being investigated by the police. Posters and sharers of misleading information that threatens national security or causes public panic can be punished under Thailand’s Computer Crime Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine up to 100,000 baht.
Following the government’s request last month for Bangkok residents to avoid travel and work from home, more misleading posts were made, Royal Thai Police deputy spokesperson Krisana Pattanacharoen said, adding that people are spending more time on social media.
In the over 50 cases of fake news being investigated, over 30 cases are related to Covid-19… Posters of fake news that provoke confusion or panic are prohibited by law and are subject to five years of imprisonment, a fine of THB100,000.
The Anti-Fake News Centre has fact-checked a variety of claims widely shared on social media. It was reported that a government tax increase increased the price of Moderna Covid-19 by 100%. There is no truth to the claims, according to the Thai Customs Department. One source claimed PM Prayut Chan-o-cha received four injections of the Covid-19 vaccine. It is also not true.

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Greater Bangkok Is Essentially Going Into Lockdown After July 12th, Will Even Have Curfews

July 10, 2021

Bangkok and its five adjacent provinces will be under a curfew for at least 14 days starting July 12th to curb the rapid increase in Covid-19 transmissions.
When the kingdom recorded 9,276 new cases of Covid-19 and 72 deaths recently, the decision was made. The new measures aim to curb the rise in cases within two to four weeks.
Greater Bangkok, which includes the capital and the provinces of Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Prakan, and Samut Sakhon, will be under a curfew from 9pm-4am.
According to the announcement by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), the same curfew hours will be implemented in the four southern border provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani, Songkhla, and Yala.
During the curfew, people seeking medical attention at hospitals, medical personnel, and utility workers are allowed to travel.
The CCSA agreed that the measures, effective Monday, would last for at least 14 days or until the situation eased.
Additionally, interprovincial travel will be restricted to Greater Bangkok and the four southern provinces. On Saturday, checkpoints will be set up to discourage movement. At the checkpoints, people must explain their reasons for traveling.
The Greater Bangkok Area will also see the closure of department stores and shopping malls. The supermarkets will be allowed to operate until 8 p.m.
Malls and department stores will allow banks, pharmacies, shops selling communication devices, and vaccination centers to stay open until 8 p.m.
All restaurants in Greater Bangkok close at 8 p.m. Businesses are encouraged to enforce work-from-home policies, and public transportation services will cease between 9pm and 3am.
Parks will close at 8 p.m. Businesses considered to be at risk of spreading infections, including salons, spas, and traditional massage parlors, will be closed. Gatherings of more than five people will not be permitted, except for religious events. Lessons are only to be conducted online in schools. From 8 pm to 4 am, convenience stores and night markets will close.
Three virus outbreaks began in Greater Bangkok in early April, triggered by the arrival of the Delta strain. Thailand’s health officials predict it will soon dominate the country.
There has been no let-up in the number of transmissions, despite the fact that all construction worker camps have been closed and eating in eateries has been banned since Monday.
With more patients staying longer in hospitals and the rate of discharge slowing, there is also a severe bed shortage.
Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber supported the new measures placed on the provinces.
The measures are necessary to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19, he said, noting that the private sector is willing to comply.
Nonetheless, he said that the measures would cause economic damage of 50–100 billion baht, or about 3–5 billion baht each day.
As a result, the government may have to inject more cash into the economy to compensate for the damage, he said, adding that it is important to control the outbreak quickly in order to limit the damage.
He said the government must take remedial measures to help businesses affected by the measures by leveraging the 500 billion-baht loan.
Sanan said the government should do everything possible to procure more vaccines for people as a result of the tough measures to slow transmission rates.
8,975 of the newly recorded cases involved local infections, 23 were imported, and 278 were found in prisons.
Thailand’s capital recorded 3,116 cases; Samut Prakan had 437, Lop Buri had 341, Chon Buri had 317, Ayutthaya had 265, Chachoengsao had 243. Nonthaburi had 236.

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Thai BIts: Thai COVID-19 Agency Does Not Want People To Travel in Thailand, A Factory Explodes in Samat Prakun

July 6, 2021

Don’t Travel Around Thailand, CCSA Warns

Health officials urge people not to travel as the number of Covid-19 patients is at an all-time high, and the fast-spreading Delta variant is becoming more prevalent. A spokesperson for Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said during the daily press briefing, “the CCSA would like to encourage everyone to avoid trans-provincial travel at all costs.”
We urge travellers, if travel is necessary, to isolate themselves and to inform Village Health Volunteers or local health authorities of their arrivals as soon as they reach their destination as well as to follow the measures announced by the provincial health authorities.”
Domestic travellers are required to be tested for Covid-19 before entering some provinces. Thailand as well as Surat Thani, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao require travellers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result issued no more than 72 hours before arrival. Individuals who have received both doses of Sinovac or at least one dose of AstraZeneca can enter the islands without being tested.

Facttory Explodes in Samut Prakan

A plastics facility exploded near Bangkok in Samut Prakan province recently. Several people were injured in the explosion.
Around 9:30 am, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and Bang Phli district chief Somsak Kaewsena advised people living in a five-kilometer radius to evacuate. Residents have also been cautioned to avoid inhaling the smoke.
Around 3 am, the Ming Dih polystyrene factory caught fire. Witnesses report hearing multiple explosions in the area. Ten people were injured, and two were seriously hurt. It was also reported that a huge fireball erupted from the factory.
The fire that turned the factory into a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie is still under investigation.
Pattanaka was able to see smoke from the fire almost 20 kilometres away.
More than 60 people were hurt in the fire at a chemical factory in Samut Prakan, just outside Bangkok. The Ming Dih Chemical Co factory blew up overnight, sending black toxic smoke into the sky.
By this evening, the flame-retardant foam was sprayed at the scene. By late afternoon, the fumes were heading toward Bangkok. Residents within a 5-kilometer radius of the factory were asked to evacuate.
Thai media reports say 18-year-old Kornsith Laophan died in the fire.

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6 Thai Provinces Welcome Back COVID-19 Infected Residents To Ease Bed Crisis

July 5, 2021

Six provinces are welcoming back residents who had worked in Greater Bangkok and other places with open arms in an attempt to prevent new infections.
Several provinces have separately introduced a “no one left behind” program since labour camps in Greater Bangkok were ordered to close for a month on June 28.
Both programs have the same objective: containment of Coronavirus by discouraging infected people, such as construction workers, from returning home, thus exacerbating the risk of the virus spreading across the country.
There are conditions that apply to residents returning to their home provinces for treatment, including not using public transportation, as that could spread the virus.
“We should let them back in openly so we can isolate them from others,” Lampang governor Narongsak Osottanakorn said on Thursday.
Bangkok hospitals reported a shortage of beds, and closures of camps in Bangkok and five surrounding provinces forced workers to return to their home provinces before enforcement began last Monday. Since then, some workers have returned home.  
It is unknown how many workers fled. According to the latest information published on Friday by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, about 200 workers in Greater Bangkok have tested positive, most of them in the northeastern region.
There have been 27 infected returnees reported in Chaiyaphum, while at least ten returned to Phitsanulok since the camps in the capital area were closed. Three days ago, 75 people arrived at Nakhon Ratchasima. In the other three provinces, data were not available immediately. 
Infected workers from Bangkok are being treated at Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Assisting director Jade Boonyawongwirote said on Sunday the province decided to admit them to the hospital because they had little chance of finding beds in Bangkok.
Both the energy of the health personnel and the number of beds in the hospital were being drained by the welcome-back project. He said only 18 hospitals were left to handle coronavirus cases, but more hospitals in the province would be contacted to ease the incoming cases from Greater Bangkok.

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Pattaya Area Officials Have To Close Markets and Businesses Due To COVID-19

July 4, 2021

Chon Buri provincial officials have temporarily closed 3 markets in the city, as well as 2 businesses, following the discovery of new clusters of Covid-19 in Pattaya. In Pattaya City, the following markets have been ordered closed: New Market Nakla, Amorn Nakhon, and Lan Poe Naklua. Yian Hai Electronics Company Limited and Huay Yai Jeen Ice Factory are closing.
In Pattaya, three markets were closed after 37 people were found infected with Covid-19. Coronavirus was discovered through proactive testing in three markets that involved 1,450 people in total. So far, the closure order is only for one day while they clean each market thoroughly.
The 3 Pattaya markets are being cleaned and disinfected to prevent the possibility of Covid-19 spreading. Officials are also seeking to prioritize and speed up vaccination in the marketplaces by designating them as high-risk locations.
Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City says that the biggest problem facing them right now is untested and underreported cases. Many people are not taking Covid-19 tests and are thus spreading the virus unintentionally and unaware of their actions. Others are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 but either ignore them or choose to isolate themselves instead of reporting them to medical facilities where they could be checked into a hospital or field facility for 14 days.
Unlike the one-day closure of Pattaya markets, the electronics company in Thung Sukhala, Si Racha, has been told to close from yesterday until July 11. The ice factory in Huayyai, Bang Lamung, has also been closed since yesterday and has been ordered closed until July 15. There is no exact figure for Covid-19 infections, but officials intend to assist those who were stopped from working and placed in quarantine, regardless of whether they were infected. All workers, managers, and owners on-site will be required to follow strict safety regulations.