Author Topic: Covid-19:  (Read 34151 times)

Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 18 November 2020
« Reply #780 on: November 18, 2020, 01:37:28 PM »
Thailand situation, 18 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,880 (+2)
- Recovered: 3,729 (+5)
- Active cases: 91
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
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Re: Covid-19: Govt extends emergency to 2021
« Reply #781 on: November 18, 2020, 03:20:07 PM »
Govt extends emergency to 2021 to curb virus resurgence
The government will extend a nationwide state of emergency through Jan 15 to prevent a resurgence in coronavirus infections during the peak New Year’s travel period, an official said.

A meeting of the Covid-19 task force chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha approved the extension to help authorities enforce mandatory quarantines and streamline disease-control plans, Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the panel, told reporters in Bangkok on Wednesday.

The extension, which is expected to be approved by the cabinet next week, would be the eighth since the initial order in March. Authorities have gradually been relaxing some virus measures over the past several months to allow businesses to fully reopen and some visitors to return.

While Thailand has been largely free of community transmission of the deadly virus, the economy has been battered by the hit from the pandemic to the exports and tourism sectors, its two key growth drivers.

The Covid-19 panel discussed relaxing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from select low-risk countries but a decision was deferred following concerns raised by some officials, Dr Taweesilp said. The proposal included allowing visitors to leave the quarantine centres after 10 days and travel to some restricted areas, he said.

The country remains closed to most tourists though it has unveiled a long-stay visa programme to revive tourism, which generated about $60 billion in revenue in 2019. The Covid-19 panel approved use of golf resorts as quarantine centres, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said.

Chulalongkorn University will begin human trials of its Covid-19 vaccine from next year, Dr Taweesilp said. The cabinet on Tuesday approved a budget of 6.05 billion baht to secure 26 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc once they become available.

bangkokpost.com
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Re: Covid-19: Hotel operators beg govt to consider reopening Thailand soon
« Reply #782 on: November 18, 2020, 06:41:41 PM »
i wonder if they have read the world news :-[

Hotel operators beg govt to consider reopening Thailand soon
Hotel operators are pleading with the government to reopen the country and launch measures to help their business as soon as possible.

Suphajee Suthumpun, Dusit Thani’s group chief executive officer, said if the country is not reopened soon, hotel operators will suffer heavy losses. Also, she said, banks and financial institutions are not granting loans easily to tourism businesses to because of the risks.

“Hence, we want to ask the government to issue financial measures to support tourism businesses and to instruct the Thai Credit Guarantee Corporation to guarantee loans for small and medium enterprises,” she said.

“We also want to ask the central bank to ease rules related to debentures as many large enterprises’ debentures are nearing maturity.”

Suphajee also encouraged the Tourism and Sports Ministry to set up a tourism recovery fund that will allow hotel operators to borrow by using their hotel as a collateral.

“Since the Covid-19 vaccine is expected to be ready next year, the government should come up with an e-visa system to help tourists return to the country,” she added.

Chaiyapat Paitoon, Minor International’s chief strategy officer, said the company had lost more than Bt14 billion in the first nine months of the year, and its businesses in Thailand accounted for Bt2 billion of the losses.

He said the company may need to boost its liquidity, by either finding new capital or launching debentures if the government does not reopen the country soon.

“The government should look into travel-bubble schemes, ease self-isolation rules and launch measures to support entrepreneurs,” he said.

Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, executive vice president of Sukosol Hotels and chairperson of the Thai Hotels Association, said the government should launch measures to help hotels, such as paying 50 per cent of hotel staffs’ salaries as it has been doing for new graduates.

“The government should also extend its 2 per cent contribution to the Social Security Fund, set land and building tax at 10 per cent and ease self-isolation rules,” she said.

Parkpoom Prapasawudi, vice president of the Erawan Group’s Hotel Asset Management division, said hotel occupancy has been at 20 per cent for more than five months due to travel restrictions.

“The situation in Thailand is different from China and Europe, where occupancy rate is 50 to 60 per cent and 30 to 40 per cent, respectively,” he said, adding that the country must be reopened because hotels cannot survive if occupancy remains so low.

“If the government does not want to reopen the country, then it should launch measures to support the hotel business,” he said, adding that hotel operators were unable to come up with a business plan because the government has not provided any clear directions.

Supawan Tanomkieatipume, executive assistant manager of the Twin Towers Hotel Bangkok, said the government should launch a campaign to boost public awareness on reopening the country, because it is not possible for Thailand to be free of Covid-19 forever.

“Thailand and countries with low-risk of infections should work on travel-bubble schemes like Singapore and Hong Kong have done because hotel operators cannot bear high costs or inject more cash into their businesses,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) to work on establishing a tourism recovery fund to help the travel sector. This fund is expected to stand at between Bt50 billion and Bt100 billion.

“We will also discuss other proposals with the premier and CESA, especially e-visa options, so tourists can return to Thailand once the Covid-19 vaccine is ready,” Pipat said.

nationthailand.com
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 19 November 2020
« Reply #783 on: November 19, 2020, 11:32:37 AM »
Thailand situation, 19 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,888 (+8)
- Recovered: 3,742 (+13)
- Active cases: 86
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
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Re: Covid-19: CESA okays TAT's stimulus measures - subsidising expenses
« Reply #784 on: November 19, 2020, 11:39:33 PM »
CESA okays TAT's stimulus measures
The Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) has approved tourism promotion and stimulus measures proposed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to lure back foreign tourists to Thailand.

The measures comprise special tour packages and the approval for Thailand Elite Card holders to invest in property and other investments.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn, in partnership with tour operators and Thai Airways International Plc, said the packages will be offered to foreign tourists who pass the quarantine requirements, with the government subsidising transport expenses.

TAT plans to use 20 million baht of its own budget to subsidise free lodging and transport expenses to provincial areas for foreign visitors, he said.

The agency projects the scheme will attract 2,000 foreign visitors a month, spending 93,000 to 100,000 baht per person per head.

The programme will be implemented between December to March 2021, coinciding with the period when flights for the national carrier are scheduled to restart to Europe and the Asia-Pacific markets.

CESA also approved offering work permits and visas to Elite Card holders who invest US$1 million in Thailand within one year after approval.

They are allowed to invest in property, company shares and the Stock Exchange of Thailand. They are also required to maintain their investments for at least five years.

Existing holders of the Elite Cards are eligible to join the scheme on the condition they must have validity for their card for at least five years. New members who apply for the packages have to pay the card's fee, worth more than 1 million baht.

The TAT reported there were 372 foreign visitors travelling to Thailand between July 9 and Nov 16 under the special tourism visa scheme, most of them from China.

Danucha Pichayanan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council, said the centre also yesterday approved in principle the second phase of the co-payment scheme following a positive response to the first phase of the scheme.

The Finance Ministry was told to prepare more details of the new phase and propose them to the next meeting of CESA on Dec 2.

bangkokpost.com
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 20 November 2020
« Reply #785 on: November 20, 2020, 11:46:18 AM »
Thailand situation, 20 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,892 (+4)
- Recovered: 3,745 (+3)
- Active cases: 87
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 21 November 2020
« Reply #786 on: November 21, 2020, 11:05:26 AM »
Thailand situation, 21 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,902 (+10)
- Recovered: 3,756 (+11)
- Active cases: 86
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
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Re: Covid-19: learning to live with the pandemic
« Reply #787 on: November 22, 2020, 10:07:08 AM »
A very detailed and longish post from thethaiger.com with some interesting ideas about opening the country - four questions that are vital for managing epidemiological risk with quarantine-free travel when our only protection is a very recent negative Covid-19 test. These are…

• How can a lab test result or vaccination record from another country be trusted?
• Is the lab or vaccination facility accredited?
• How do we confirm the person who took the test, or received the vaccination, is indeed the person who is traveling?
• Does the traveler meet border entry requirements?


OPINION
by Julian Spindler
The Thai tourism new normal, learning to live with the pandemic
Thailand’s world-class tourism industry, one of the twin drivers of our economy, is in a deep, coronavirus-induced coma, close to death.

No life support is currently available. Pandemic paranoia has gripped the nation, freezing our bio-security risk management in full containment mode, meaning zero tolerance for local Covid-19 transmission. The socio-economic, and some might add political, impacts of this crisis are huge. If both direct and indirect contributions are included, tourism represents some 22 percent of GDP, according to Fitch Solutions, and as much as 25 per cent of employment.

The ongoing collapse of this vital pillar of the economy means massive and growing unemployment, potentially amounting to 4-6 million people, a wave of bankruptcies, both among SMEs and larger corporates, and untold misery among our huge informal workforce. These are the millions of food vendors, masseuses, taxi drivers, hotel clerks and, yes, sex workers, who together make up the vibrant and welcoming grassroots human infrastructure that last year attracted 39.8 million visitors, making Thailand the world’s 9th most visited tourist destination and Bangkok the world’s most visited city.

This closed-door public health security policy is not sustainable. According to the Bank of Thailand and international rating agencies there can be no recovery of our economy without a recovery of tourism, and no recovery of tourism without foreign tourists who account for at least 65-70% of the total industry.

To open or not to open, this is question being hotly debated in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), and its newer economic counterpart, the Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA), which currently run the country. The outcome to date, the much anticipated Special Tourist Visa (STV), satisfies only the public health voices in the debate. With its 14 day quarantine requirement, many other impractical hoops, and an initial limit of 1,200 foreign visitors per month, the zero tolerance, no local transmission risk profile is being maintained.

If this continues, Thailand’s tourism industry will die.

Let’s be very clear, only a quarantine-free welcome for foreign visitors can deliver the numbers needed to resuscitate the industry. The STV will allow 40 tourists a day to enter the Kingdom; in 2019 daily arrivals averaged nearly 110,000.

How to open safely?

This is the great conundrum facing Thailand and many other countries around the world for whom travel and tourism is a major economic driver.

We cannot wait for vaccines. They stand no chance of eliminating the disease globally. The idea that the only way to eliminate the threat of this disease somewhere is to eliminate it everywhere is simply misleading.

A more realistic solution is to be found in the words of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) European Director: “The end of the pandemic is the moment that we as a community are going to learn how to live with this pandemic.”

Enter the tourism industry’s new normal: Learning to live with the pandemic.

Learning to live with Covid-19 in Thailand means accepting there might be local transmission, accepting some people might get sick. It means opening our borders again, and quarantine-free entry for foreign tourists, albeit under controlled conditions.

If our Prime Minister has the courage to order the CCSA to make this policy shift, from total containment to managed risk, even as Covid-19 continues to ravage countries around the world, he should understand Thailand will not be alone. Many governments and many components of the international travel and tourism value chain are already rushing to construct the infrastructure necessary to rescue the industry from a global collapse.

For Thailand the first step must be to undo the pandemic paranoia conditioning affecting the whole country so people understand why we have to manage the risks and how we can do this safely, without overwhelming our health care system.

The second step is for all Government agencies and the entire tourism industry value chain to recognise the new normal requires maximum flexibility. For the government bureaucracy this means a dramatic change of mindset, from creating barriers to easing access. For the industry, it means no cancellation fees and full refunds, every step of the traveler’s way.

Keeping this new mindset front and centre, one can identify two types of visitors Thailand can manage for the foreseeable future: Those who are willing to accept and pay for 14-day quarantine, and those who are not.

For the former, the doors should be flung wide open with minimum barriers. Why not? After all this is zero risk for our country.

No restrictions on countries of origin, no pre-paid accommodation requirements and Covid-19 health insurance only for the quarantine period. Digital nomads, snowbirds, returning expatriates, long-stay tourists, businessmen, medical tourists, all should be welcome. The only requirement: A certifiable negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours prior to flying. Visas-on-arrival for as long as you want should be the order of the day, even year-long-stay visas with a work permit, for a modest sum, say US$1,000.

This new welcoming mindset would generate a small but useful and humane increase in essentially risk-free arrivals so it must be accompanied by a rapid increase in Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) accommodation throughout the country and in airlift capacity. Simplifying entry requirements would also largely obviate the inter-agency bickering that has bedevilled the STV to date.
Making it even more welcoming, for those who can prove they already have homes here, would be the self-quarantine option, as currently practised in Hong Kong. On arrival, visitors are given another rapid Covid-19 test and if negative, equipped with a GPS tracking wristband and escorted to their registered place of residence, where they remain for 14 days. The tracking devices are monitored to make sure visitors don’t stray.

However, STV arrivals alone will not save our tourism industry; only quarantine-free entry will.

Here’s how it can work, safely:

full article link above
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Re: Covid-19: Refugee in Tak province tests positive for Covid-19
« Reply #788 on: November 22, 2020, 10:22:18 AM »
Refugee in Tak province tests positive for Covid-19

A male refugee at the Umpiem refugee camp in the Phop Phra district of Tak province has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19.

A related authority was informed by Phop Phra's assistant chief district officer Puwadol Kaoklueng on Saturday that a 48-year-old refugee had high fever and was later found to be infected with Covid-19.

The patient was sent to a hospital. The authorities have ordered a lockdown of the camp.

nationthailand.com
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Re: Covid-19: STV stiff income requirement being wound back
« Reply #789 on: November 22, 2020, 11:07:17 AM »
Special Tourist Visa stiff income requirement being wound back
The hefty income requirement for Thailand’s Special Tourist Visa look like they’re being wound back following online backlash and low uptake. The STV was offering hope to potential travellers wanting to visit the kingdom but came with a long list of restrictions and costs. Previously, travellers were excited to learn they could visit a “Covid-free” Thailand, but their moods dipped after learning of the steep financial proof they needed in order to be granted the STV.

Now, some embassies and consulates worldwide have dropped the stipulation on their websites that had once listed a 500,000 baht bank account balance as a requirement for obtaining the visas. Such consulates as Los Angeles now list the requirements as being US$ 700 per person and US$ 1,500.

The London and Berlin embassies show no requirement on the websites which has signaled the news of a reversal. Such a change is expected to see more applicants for the visa, with Thailand set to see more tourists over the next few months, just in time for high season.

The income requirements are not uniform at this stage with different embassies listing different requirements around the world.

full article thethaiger.com
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 22 November 2020
« Reply #790 on: November 22, 2020, 12:09:03 PM »
Thailand situation, 22 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,913 (+11)
- Recovered: 3,761 (+5)
- Active cases: 92
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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Re: Covid-19: 1st anniversary of the coronavirus
« Reply #791 on: November 23, 2020, 11:05:58 AM »
“Sometimes the question should not be when will Thailand be ready to reopen, but rather when will other countries allow their people to venture out,”

Travel bubble fever
Global communities will mark the first anniversary of the coronavirus next month after China identified the virus for the first time as a “pneumonia of unknown cause” when it was discovered in Wuhan, central Hubei province on Dec 30, 2019.

The novel coronavirus or Covid-19 has unleashed massive devastation on most industries globally, with tourism bearing the brunt of the pandemic, as every country struggles to revive travel without triggering a fresh round of the contagion.

The terms “travel bubbles” or quarantine-free travel have emerged since early this year when countries had to seal their borders to foreign visitors.

Travel bubbles have not taken shape in many places as the spread of the deadly virus has sabotaged this strategy. This includes Thailand, where tourism revenue accounts for around 20% of GDP.

The lockdown policy is not the only factor hindering long-delayed negotiations of travel bubbles between countries.

Some countries, particularly those that have a substantial domestic market to rely on, are reluctant to allow their citizens to travel abroad over fears they could bring the disease back home.

These countries worry this could destabilise the domestic tourism market if people start travelling outbound.

China, the biggest outbound market recording around 170 million trips in 2019, is not recommending its citizens travel overseas for the time being.

The Chinese government imposed an international travel ban on group tours in late January and recently extended this order throughout the cool season, believed to be the peak season for spreading the virus.

Many officials from the Chinese government reportedly gave the same stern warning regarding strict virus prevention in recent months.

Luo Zhaohui, China's vice-minister of foreign affairs, was quoted saying this is not the right time to create travel bubbles with less affected countries, although he did not rule out such a possibility in the future.

“Sometimes the question should not be when will Thailand be ready to reopen, but rather when will other countries allow their people to venture out,” said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s tourism and sports minister.

The minister acknowledged there is pent-up demand among Thais who want to take outbound trips to lower-risk areas, something Thailand should carefully consider.

He said travel bubbles are hard to implement if there is not unanimous public consent for the scheme.

“Even if seven out of 10 people are ready to take the risk, those three voices against the idea are strong enough to delay the travel bubble plan further,” said Mr Phiphat.

LOCAL OUTCRY

Under the current regulations, Thai citizens returning from foreign countries are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, making travel for much of this year undesirable.

The quarantine rule will be in place as long as concerns abound about the virus, unless Thailand can successfully create travel bubbles with partner countries, said Mr Phiphat.

While the tourism minister said Thailand still wants to have talks about travel bubbles with low-risk countries, any bubble would happen in the future, not the near term.

Setting up arrangements to facilitate travel without quarantine for travellers between low-risk countries is vital for the industry, said Patrick Basset, chief operating officer of Accor for Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives.

But the government needs to balance public opinion versus business impact and rising unemployment.

He said public confidence remains a challenge because not everybody understands the risks involved in reopening to tourists are minimal if the right protocols are in place.

CHINA NOW, OR NEVER?

Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said Thailand stands a chance to implement successful travel bubbles because of its strong relationship with China and its ability to control the pandemic.

Yet he acknowledged setting up a travel bubble scheme with China is not easy.

Mr Vichit encouraged Thailand to show a sincere intention to reopen its borders to China. Both state agencies and the private sector have to repeat this message.

Beijing announced a travel warning for Thailand after the 2015 bombing at the Erawan shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection.

The Thai government and the private sector sent condolence letters and sought meetings with the Chinese embassy five years ago to seek a relaxation on the travel warning.

The Chinese government eventually lifted its warning, said Mr Vichit.

Tourism operators have high hopes the same effort will help the two countries finalise a travel bubble.

“At this moment, Chinese travel agents stand ready to send travellers to Thailand, once the government allows citizens to travel abroad,” he said.

“Chinese outbound tourists are eager to head out after a year of tight travel restrictions.”

Thirayuth Chirathivat, chief executive of Centara Hotels and Resorts, said hotel operators are ready to serve an influx of tourists, offering stringent safety and hygiene measures.

The government needs to communicate that travel bubbles will be conducted in the safest manner to gain the confidence of both Thai and international travellers, said Mr Thirayuth.

He said the short-haul market, including a travel bubble between Thailand and China, is expected to help tourism recover.

more on that @ bangkokpost.com
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 23 November 2020
« Reply #792 on: November 23, 2020, 11:22:07 AM »
Thailand situation, 23 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,920 (+7)
- Recovered: 3,766 (+5)
- Active cases: 94
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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Re: Covid-19: TAT to design special packages for unique group of tourists
« Reply #793 on: November 23, 2020, 07:53:54 PM »
TAT to design special packages for unique group of tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will next year launch campaigns and special travel packages that target a new, unique group of tourists.

Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT executive director of tourism products, said the aim was to create travel packages for single people, such as boat trips to temples where the traveller can make merit and pray for a partner.

She added that TAT has already discussed this idea with boat operators and a package should be ready before the end of this year.

Thapanee went on to say that TAT plans to design unique packages for groups like LGBTQ, food lovers, those seeking physical or spiritual retreats or even digital nomads.

nationthailand.com
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Re: Covid-19: “Thailand Plus” application for foreign tourists
« Reply #794 on: November 23, 2020, 07:58:50 PM »
Government to introduce “Thailand Plus” application for foreign tourists
The Thai government is to introduce a new application, called “Thailand Plus”, to enable the tracing of foreign tourists in the country.

Mr. Sompote Arhunai, CEO of the Energy Absolute Company, which developed the “Mor Chana” application, said that the Thailand Plus app functions like Mor Chana, but it will link to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regarding the certificate of entry (COE) of the arriving foreign tourists, for screening and tracing, from arrival in Thailand, for the prevention of COVID-19 spread.

Similar to a GPS system, he said that officials will know the whereabouts of the tourists during their stay in Thailand, in case any of them are found to have contracted the contagion, so that action can be taken immediately to prevent its spread.

He disclosed that, so far, as many as 600,000 Thais have downloaded the Mor Chana application, as he urged more Thai people to do so as a preventive measure, assuring that their privacy will not be compromised by the system.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has introduced a conditional special tourist visa (STV), for long-stay tourists from low-risk countries, in order to revive the tourism industry, which has been badly battered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the requirements to be met by such tourists include a 14-day mandatory hotel or hospital based quarantine period and health insurance of 400,000 baht minimum.

thaipbsworld.com
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Re: Covid-19: No vaccine, no entry + Qantas vaccination compulsory (video)
« Reply #795 on: November 24, 2020, 10:33:41 AM »
OPINION
No vaccine, no entry – the next challenge of Covid-19
With the announcements this week about several vaccine candidate trials, either being completed or at the end of their Phase 3 testings, and the applications to government bodies for ‘emergency approval’, we now have to face the next question.

What restrictions will be imposed on those people who don’t have the vaccine, or even actively choose not to have the vaccine?
   full article thethaiger.com

QANTAS CEO confirms that proof that you've been vaccinated for COVID-19 will be compulsory


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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 24 November 2020
« Reply #796 on: November 24, 2020, 11:26:44 AM »
Thailand situation, 24 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,922 (+2)
- Recovered: 3,772 (+6)
- Active cases: 90
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 25 November 2020
« Reply #797 on: November 25, 2020, 01:58:25 PM »
Thailand situation, 25 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,926 (+4)
- Recovered: 3,780 (+8)
- Active cases: 86
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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Re: Covid-19: Thais to get 1st Covid shots by mid-2021
« Reply #798 on: November 25, 2020, 02:10:05 PM »
Thais to get 1st Covid shots by mid-2021
AstraZeneca doses to be produced locally

Thai people will get their first jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford by mid-2021 at the earliest, said Dr Nakhon Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute (NVI).

The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford will be produced locally at the manufacturing plant of Siam Bioscience Group, located in Pathum Thani.

The Thai government is working with AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to jointly produce the vaccine at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant of Siam Bioscience Group near Bangkok. Siam Bioscience Group was selected by the UK-based pharmaceutical firm as its regional partner to produce the vaccine for the Southeast Asian region.

Dr Nakhon told media on Tuesday he was confident that the British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca will get vaccine approval soon from the United Kingdom's Food and Drug Administration after the announcement about the vaccine was made early this week.

Explaining the production time line, Dr Nakhon said it is now under the technology transfer process provided by the company. After that, the plant will commence the first batch of production for the process to submit the finished vaccine for the Thai Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval in March.

"If the vaccine gets approval from the Thai FDA, we will start our production for the public by the middle of next year. We are confident that the vaccine made by AstraZeneca will shortly get approval from the UK-based FDA, as it has a high efficacy rate of 70% that is higher than the WHO's requirement of 50%," he said.

The vaccine-makers announced that while the vaccine showed an average of 70% effectiveness, the level jumped to 90% depending on dosage.

About 3,000 people were given a half dose and then a full dose four weeks later, with data showing 90% were protected. In the larger group, given two full doses also four weeks apart, the efficacy was 62%.

With the raw materials directly shipped from the company, the vaccine will be produced made-to-order by the Department of Disease Control (DDC).

The department says that it requires two million doses per month from the plant, which can, at full capacity, produce 15 million doses per month.

Dr Opas Kankawinphong, acting director of the DDC, said that the government would spend 3.7 billion baht to prepare for the vaccine's transportation and storage, and its monitoring system as well as on a far-reaching campaign to raise public awareness about how to get the vaccine.

He said the Covid-19 vaccine will be the most extensive vaccination programme ever in Thailand.

"Giving 26 million doses of vaccine to over 13 million people is unprecedented in Thailand. The largest we ever provided were five million doses of a flu vaccine. So we need to make everything work, especially when it comes to creating awareness among the public," he said.

bangkokpost.com
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Re: Covid-19: The Best and Worst Places to Be
« Reply #799 on: November 25, 2020, 08:21:27 PM »
The Best and Worst Places to Be in the Coronavirus Era
As Covid-19 has spread around the world, it’s challenged preconceptions about which places would best tackle the worst public health crisis in a generation.

Advanced economies like the U.S. and U.K., ranked by various pre-2020 measures as being the most prepared for a pandemic, have been repeatedly overwhelmed by infections and face a return to costly lockdowns. Meanwhile, other countries—even developing nations—have defied expectations, some all but eliminating the pathogen within their borders.

Bloomberg crunched the numbers to determine the best places to be in the coronavirus era: where has the virus been handled most effectively with the least amount of disruption to business and society?

Top Performers
New Zealand tops the Ranking as of Nov. 23 thanks to decisive, swift action. The small island nation locked down on March 26 before a single Covid-related death had occurred, shutting its borders despite the economy’s heavy reliance on tourism. Early on, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government said it would target “elimination” of the virus, pouring resources into testing, contact tracing and a centralized quarantine strategy to snuff out local transmission. Having largely achieved it, New Zealanders are basically living in a world without Covid. The nation has seen just a handful of infections in the community in recent months, and live music and large-scale social events are back on. Though its tourism industries are suffering, New Zealand is also well-positioned for a vaccine with two supply deals in place, including one for the shot developed by Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE.

full article  bloomberg.com  (chart in the link) with New Zealand no.1 Thailand in 15th place
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Online Taman Tun

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Re: Covid-19:
« Reply #800 on: November 25, 2020, 09:53:08 PM »
Surprising the Bloomberg survey shows Thailand below Germany and just above Sweden.
If the old only could, if the young only knew.

Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19:
« Reply #801 on: November 26, 2020, 12:13:59 AM »
Surprising the Bloomberg survey shows Thailand below Germany and just above Sweden.
Yes T.T. i did wonder - but what is correct the supposably knowalls embarrassed themselves as leaders

Advanced economies like the U.S. and U.K., ranked by various pre-2020 measures as being the most prepared for a pandemic, have been repeatedly overwhelmed by infections
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: will be difficult for 40m Thais to get vaccine in 2021
« Reply #802 on: November 26, 2020, 11:00:39 AM »
Virologist says it will be difficult for 40m Thais to get COVID-19 vaccine in 2021

Thailand’s leading virologist Dr. Yong Pooworavan has admitted that it will be a challenge to get 60% of the Thai population, about 40 million people, vaccinated against COVID-19 next year because at least 80 million doses would be required.

He predicted, however, that the COVID-19 situation in Thailand will ease next year, although it will remain in the country for up to 2 years, after which the contagion will transform into a seasonal infection, like the flu.

He recommended Thai people adapt to the new normal by wearing face mask in public for, at least, another year, observe social distancing and cleanse their hands regularly with sanitizer.

Dr. Yong disclosed that Thai doctors have used plasma,extracted from a patient who recovered from COVID-19, to treat a Swiss patient in state quarantine who developed pneumonia and was on a respirator, adding that, after about ten days of treatment, his condition has improved.

He said that the Thai Red Cross Society has extracted about 600 bottles of serum from plasma, donated by people who have recovered from the contagion, and the serum will be used to treat severe COVID-19 cases.

full article thaipbsworld.com
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 26 November 2020
« Reply #803 on: November 26, 2020, 11:29:25 AM »
Thailand situation, 26 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,942 (+16)
- Recovered: 3,788 (+8)
- Active cases: 94
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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Offline thaiga

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Prime Minister and Defense Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on 26 November 2020 delivered a speech updating the people on Thailand’s direction for living with the global pandemic of COVID-19. Here is his speech on the country’s COVID-19 management progress.
Prime Minister’s speech

COVID-19 MANAGEMENT PROGRESS
26 November 2020


Thailand’s Direction for Living with the COVID-19 Pandemic
Today, I wanted to update you on our country’s direction in terms of living with the global pandemic that has devasted families and the economies of countries around the world.

The world is now in its worst resurgence of the COVID pandemic.

Hundreds of people are dying every day in countries in Europe and elsewhere, and even more in the USA, and there are protests and riots in almost 30 countries.

The WHO has recently warned that there could even be a third wave coming next year if countries are not disciplined in their approach to handling the crisis.

England is now in a national lockdown. Shops, restaurants, pubs, bars, entertainment facilities, sports facilities, other public facilities and most workplaces are closed. And just yesterday, it was just announced that the UK’s economy will contract by around 11%.

France closed for a national lockdown on 30th October, with their GDP forecast to shrink by 11% in 2020.

Spain declared a state of emergency which may last for months, as well as a nationwide curfew, with travelling and gatherings limited.

Holland has a lockdown with people only allowed to leave their homes with a signed document.

Belgium is in lockdown.

And in Germany, shops and restaurants are closed in a partial lockdown and gatherings restricted.

The health situation, as well as its impact on the economies of countries, is getting even more serious around the world.

The danger of this virus is not just in the people it kills directly. If it gets out of control, it will also kill many other people who are dependent on hospital and medical care. When hospital beds are full of COVID patients, and doctors and nurses are fully occupied with treating COVID patents, people suffering from many other illnesses may not get the treatment that they depend on. It is a nightmare situation when doctors have to decide who to treat and who they simply do not have time to assist. We have avoided that situation and we must continue to be firm to avoid it in the future.

I would like to thank all citizens in every part of the country and in all occupations and businesses who have sacrificed tremendously and tried to manage their very difficult circumstances so that we could protect our nation. Your sacrifices are helping us avoid falling into an even worse situation as we are seeing happen in many other countries.

I would also like to thank the WHO for recognizing Thailand as one of the best examples in the world for its ‘whole-of-government, whole-of-society, comprehensive approach’ to containing the virus and saying that our good results were not coincidental. I would like everyone in Thailand to take pride in this exceptional recognition and to continue to work together in the spirit of national unity that we have all shown in these difficult times.

Let me now report to you that we are preparing for the next phase in managing the COVID crisis so that it does not do even greater damage to our country’s economy and people’s livelihoods.

The long-term solution to overcoming the crisis of the COVID pandemic is the availability and use of a vaccine. There are now several vaccine candidates in advanced stages of development and safety testing and certification. We know that many advanced countries have been locking up their place in the queue for a vaccine. Thailand, too, must be able to get sufficient doses of a successful vaccine early.

That is why, a few months ago, I made the decision for Thailand to seek to partner in vaccine production with an eminent vaccine research group as a way of securing a vaccine early. 

Last month we signed an agreement with Oxford University and AstraZeneca to produce vaccines in Thailand should their research lead to a successful vaccine. And tomorrow, we will sign a further agreement on the purchase of vaccines.

Just a few days ago, we heard the wonderful news that the Oxford University-AstraZeneca team announced that the vaccine they are developing has been found to have between 70-90% efficacy.

Next to that, this particular type of vaccine is much cheaper to produce in mass quantities than some of the other advanced vaccine candidates. But even more importantly, it will be right for Thai conditions. While other advanced vaccine candidates need to be kept in exceptionally cold temperatures of between minus20C to minus70C, this vaccine can be stored in regular refrigeration temperatures of +2C to +8C, which will make it easy for us to get it to everyone around Thailand rather than only have it available where there are specialized refrigeration facilities.

We expect this vaccine to be properly certified, approved for use and produced by the middle of next year. The sooner we can advance this timetable, the sooner we can open our doors to large numbers of visitors and begin the task of rebuilding our economy. I am now working on trying to find ways in which our processes may be accelerated so that we can get to mass vaccinations in Thailand sooner.

In the meantime, as we enter the holiday season, I ask everyone to keep up their guard and to continue with their discipline in wearing masks, their hand hygiene, and social distancing so that we may continue to work our way through this crisis and avoid the virus spreading in our country and causing even greater economic suffering.

Thank you.

thailand.prd.go.th
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: Don’t rush to open the country
« Reply #805 on: November 27, 2020, 11:10:53 AM »
Don’t rush to open the country, warns former WTO chief
Former director general of the World Trade Organisation, Supachai Panitchpakdi, has urged the Thai government not to rush to open the country to foreign tourists amid the ongoing threat from Covid-19.

He pointed out that Western countries are loosening and re-imposing lockdowns in a cycle that is resulting in a large number of infections and deaths, as well as severely hurting economies.

He warned of the long-term impact of Thailand lifting its restrictions on foreign travellers.

“Thailand should gradually open the country, because human resources are the most important factor. It takes about 20 to 30 years for human development, and if those people die it will be very difficult to restore the lost human resources,” he said.

Saving lives is the best way to aid economic recovery post-Covid-19, said Supachai, who is also a former secretary-general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The government has opened the country to a limited number of foreign tourists, in a bid to help tourism recover from the devastating impact of the virus.

Supachai noted the economy is expected to contract 5 to 6 per cent this year, up from the previous forecast of 7-8 per cent contraction.

He expressed optimism that Thai economic growth and exports would return to positive territory next year. Faster recovery of China and Asean countries would benefit Thai exports, he predicted.

However, he warned exporters not to rely on a weaker baht. Baht appreciation could dampen exports, so exporters should reorganise their businesses to increase their competitive advantage, he suggested.

Meanwhile he urged the central bank to raise the interest rate since its low level of 0.5 per cent was hitting savers’ income.

Rising household debt was also a worry, he said. Thais are getting into debt at a younger age, in contrast to people in other countries who don’t get indebted until much older, he added.

nationthailand.com
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 27 November 2020
« Reply #806 on: November 27, 2020, 11:21:23 AM »
Thailand situation, 27 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,961(+19)
- Recovered: 3,790 (+2)
- Active cases: 111
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: marking the next step forward in the battle against the virus
« Reply #807 on: November 27, 2020, 11:22:52 AM »
PM set to ink vaccine deal
AstraZeneca contract 'next virus fight step

An advance contract to acquire a Covid-19 vaccine that can be produced locally will be signed today, marking the next step forward in the battle against the virus, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.

He gave the details in a video posted on the government's Facebook page on the eve of the contract signing between the National Vaccine Institute and vaccine developer AstraZeneca Plc.

The contract is for the purchase of 26 million doses, enough for 13 million people.

Gen Prayut said the world was suffering the worst-case scenario, with the Covid-19 pandemic claiming a large daily death toll, the World Health Organization warning of a possible third wave, and lockdowns in many European countries.

Cooperation from all parties had prevented an uncontrollable Covid-19 situation that could have overloaded the national health system and affected the treatment of people with other illnesses, Gen Prayut said.

"We are preparing for the next phase in managing the Covid crisis, so it does not do even greater damage to our country's economy and to people's livelihoods.

"The long-term solution to overcoming the crisis is the availability of a vaccine and its adequate distribution to people," he said.

There were three to four groups of vaccine producers likely to succeed and big countries were trying to reserve vaccines.

"Thailand, too, must be able to get sufficient doses of a vaccine early," Gen Prayut said.

"That is why, a few months ago, I made the decision for Thailand to seek to partner in vaccine production with an eminent vaccine research group as a way of securing a vaccine early."

The government's efforts bore fruit last month when it signed a contract with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to produce a vaccine in Thailand and to receive the production technology.

"And tomorrow [today], we will sign a further agreement for the purchase of the vaccine," he said.

The prime minister said the vaccine the two organisations were developing showed an efficacy rate of 70% to 90%.

Gen Prayut said the vaccine would be relatively cheap and suitable for Thailand's needs as it fights the epidemic. It could be stored at 2C to 8C, which allowed for convenient nationwide distribution.

Vaccines from other producers must be stored at between -20C and -70C, and this would mean transport difficulties.

"We expect this vaccine to be properly certified, approved for use and in production by the middle of next year," the premier said.

"The sooner we can advance this timetable, the sooner we can open our doors to large numbers of visitors and begin the task of rebuilding our economy," the prime minister added.

Pending local vaccine production, the country could still celebrate festivals but people should continue to help contain Covid-19 by regularly wearing face masks, washing their hands and observing social distancing, he said.

bangkokpost.com
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Offline thaiga

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Re: Covid-19: High-income tourists to return next year
« Reply #808 on: November 27, 2020, 05:42:10 PM »
the first group of tourists to visit Thailand will be high-earners, as they will be among the first to obtain the vaccine commercially :uhm

High-income tourists to return next year despite K-shaped recovery: TDRI
Somkiat Tangkitvanich, president of Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), says the global economy is recovering in a K-shaped trend, meaning some countries are recovering fast while others spiral downwards despite the discovery of Covid-19 vaccines.

“TDRI estimates the global economy will contract by 4.4 per cent on average [this year], with China growing fastest thanks to its effective outbreak management and strong economic structure,” Somkiat told a seminar titled “Global and Thai economy after Covid-19”. And while Covid-19 was not the deadliest disease, it is the biggest threat to the global economy since the 2008 global depression, he added.

“A Covid-19 vaccine should be available by mid-2021, with pre-orders now surpassing 3 billion doses,” he said.

“The arrival of vaccines will enable Thailand and other countries to open for tourism. We calculate the first group of tourists to visit Thailand will be high-earners, as they will be among the first to obtain the vaccine commercially,” he added.

Although Thailand had successfully contained the outbreak, resulting in only 60 domestic deaths, the country still needed to improve in other aspects, Somkiat said.

“The World Economic Forum reported that Thailand is still suffering from wealth distribution issues where development is only occurring in the Central region and rarely in rural areas,” he said. “This has resulted in economic disparity and lack of progress in technology and innovation at regional levels.”

He prescribed three ways to improve the Thai government’s efficiency – eradicating corruption, reforming laws and regulations, and improving government services.

“Thailand has large tax revenues as well as natural resources to support national development. But corruption, legal obstacles and lack of efficiency in government services have hindered both short- and long-term development.”

He said Thailand should learn from Estonia, which has been leaping forward after the government applied digital technology to all its services, enabling citizens to complete any government-related transaction using only an ID card.

nationthailand.com
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Re: Covid-19: Thailand situation, 28 November 2020
« Reply #809 on: Yesterday at 11:09:58 AM »
Thailand situation, 28 November 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,966 (+5)
- Recovered: 3,798 (+8)
- Active cases: 108
- Deaths: 60 (+0)
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