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Started by thaiga, March 24, 2020, 08:38:19 PM

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Thailand situation, 29 July 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,298 (+1, Thai)
- Recovered: 3,111 (+0)
- Active cases: 129
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 30 July 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,304 (+6, Thai)
- Recovered: 3,111 (+0)
- Active cases: 135
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Don't panic as the heading The worst of Covid-19 is yet to come  :(  bit frightening that sounding - article from Chartchai Parasuk, PhD, who is a freelance economist. the worst to come meaning the covid has knocked the stuffing out economy wise, but teflon Thailand, as we have seen in the past always seems to get back on his feet.

The worst of Covid-19 is yet to come
I am not talking about the pandemic. I optimistically assume the Covid-19 pandemic is over for Thailand as we have had zero domestic infections for almost two months. The lockdown, aimed at barring visitors from entering Thailand, is substantially relaxed and most economic activities are permitted to resume.

So, what I am fussing about? Shouldn't the bottom of the economy already have been reached in the second quarter when the lockdown was enforced? Even Virathai Santipraphob, then governor of the Bank of Thailand, said earlier this month the economy bottomed in the second quarter and would recover in the third and fourth quarters of this year. By the end of next year, the Thai economy would be at the same level as the pre-Covid time of 2019.

I disagree with this prediction for three reasons.

First, the lockdown comes with many assistance packages. The lockdown in the 2nd quarter did bring a great havoc to the economy. But, at the same time, the quarter benefitted from numerous fiscal stimulus packages worth 1.9 trillion baht. Admittedly, not all the money came in that quarter, but a huge amount of 352 billion baht in cash handouts from "Leaving No One Behind" and "Farmer's Relief" schemes was distributed to 15.1 million people and 10 million families in the farm sector during those three months.

That amount is equivalent to 8.3% of quarterly GDP and provides financial relief to more than half of the Thai population. That is not all. The Bank of Thailand allows small, individual debtors to postpone loan payments for six months. So far, 11.5 million debtors with a total loan value of 3.8 trillion baht have opted for such assistance. The programme will end in September and small debtors will have to resume at least 100 billion baht of monthly loan payments.

With no more cash handouts and resumption of loan payments, how will the third and fourth quarters be better for Thai people? For those who love numbers, the extra income from the two main packages is 626.5 billion baht in the second quarter, reduced to 350 billion baht in the third quarter, and becomes zero in the fourth quarter. How will the economy recover with less and less extra income?

Second, outbreaks have worsened in the major economies. No country is infection-free like Thailand. Even Vietnam is now locking down Da Nang and evacuating 80,000 people over fears of a second wave outbreak. Hong Kong does not allow gatherings of more than two people. And Texas hospitals are sending patients to die at home as hospitals are way over-capacity. In light of this, Thailand can pretty much forget about recoveries of export demand for this entire year. Of course, foreign tourist income will be likely to remain nil until the end of year or until an effective vaccine is found.

That is not good news for a country where 60% of GDP depends on export of goods and services while private consumption accounts for only half of GDP. There is no possible way the economy will bounce back without recovery in export and tourism sectors. Maybe it is time to promote a "Get Fat for Thailand" campaign to boost consumption of domestic products. But where would Thai consumers find money to consume in the first place?

Third, massive lay-offs will happen in the third and fourth quarters. This is a delayed effect of economic contraction. Businesses will hold on to their valuable workforce until (a) they are sure their businesses will not recover any time soon, and (b) they run out of cash to operate the businesses. That is happening right now. The World Bank has estimated that 8.3 million Thai workers, or 21.7% of the total workforce, could risk unemployment or reductions in income. At present, layoffs are concentrated in the tourism sector and export-oriented industry. But it will not be long before lay-offs spread to all sectors as the World Bank has predicted.

GDP figures are a bunch of numbers but unemployment is the real tragedy of the economy. The Great Depression of 1930s is remembered for images of jobless workers lining up for food, not for negative GDP growth figures. Even if the economy, for whatever reason, improves in the second half of this year as the governor said, millions of Thais will still be thrown out of jobs from the tourism and export sectors. What should the government do to prepare to lessen the pain of jobless and starving Thais?

The answer could not be anything but more stimulus packages. The European Union has approved a new stimulus package of 750 billion euros and US Republicans are proposing an extra US$1 trillion package to extend unemployment benefits. You will see more and more of these bigger stimulus packages coming out around the world. No economist disagrees with more stimulus packages. The question is: Can the governments afford them?

In most countries, these stimulus packages will be financed by having central banks printing money as domestic and international savings are not enough to finance them. The world's savings are about 25% of GDP and half of that, 12.6% of world GDP, has already been used for the first-round stimulus packages of $11.1 trillion. The second, or maybe the third and fourth, packages will have to be financed by printing money. No other choice, unless the country is prepared to borrow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In the case of Thailand, domestic savings are clearly not enough to finance any more government debt. The option of borrowing from the IMF or abroad is not acceptable politically or economically. Therefore, the remaining option is for the Bank of Thailand to print money. The consequences are inflation and current account deficits. Luckily, Thailand has international reserves equivalent to 12 months of imports of goods and services, and we can sacrifice half of that to finance more fiscal stimulus packages.

Before raising your eyebrows, Singapore is using its international reserves to finance part of the Covid-19 stimulus package. An amount of $11.78 billion in reserve drawdown has been approved in principle.

Based on this idea, the Bank of Thailand can support new stimulus packages up to 4.2 trillion baht or equivalent to 25% of GDP before destabilising the economy. That should give the government room to breathe during this difficult time and save millions of Thais from starvation.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Repatriation flights laid on for those stuck abroad
Special flights are being organised to pick up Thais stranded overseas after a student died of the coronavirus in Egypt, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.

The premier said he had ordered the Foreign Ministry to urgently arrange the "rescue" flights.

Speaking after yesterday's cabinet meeting, Gen Prayut said repatriation flights would be provided on an ongoing basis to bring back tens of thousands of Thais now waiting to return home.

Gen Prayut said he was concerned for the welfare of the stranded Thais and had also asked the ministry to provide them with essential supplies.

The Thai embassy in Egypt was first alerted to a male university student being seriously ill there on July 24. Officials arranged with the Egyptian public health ministry to immediately take him to hospital.

The embassy said it learned four days later that the student had died due to lung inflammation caused by Covid-19. This was the first case of a Thai national dying in Egypt of Covid-19.

Cherdkiat Atthakor, a spokesman for the ministry, said a friend of the sick student contacted the embassy in early July and reported he had a cough.

It was not until three weeks later that the student was diagnosed as having a problem in his lungs.

He was sent to a hospital but his condition kept worsening. He died on Tuesday and was buried on the same day at an Islamic graveyard in Cairo.

More than 300 Thais who returned on a repatriation flight from Egypt yesterday were tested for Covid-19 by the embassy. Six of them failed to pass screening.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in Egypt on Tuesday was 92,482 and the death toll 4,652. It is known that 127 Thais in the country have contracted the virus, with 100 receiving treatment, 26 recovered and one died.

Three Thai monks at a temple in Las Vegas, Nevada, have reportedly been infected with the virus -- two were so sick they were taken to hospital and required the use of a respirator. The other had only mild symptoms and has been isolated at the temple.

In Taiwan, 29 people who had been in close contact with an infected Thai factory worker have been tested for Covid-19 -- 28 have been given the all-clear and the other result is still due.

Meanwhile, 54 Thais were arrested for allegedly sneaking back into the country in Narathiwat's Sungai Kolok district yesterday. They were fined and placed in state quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


CAAT launches public survey: 'What will affect your decision to travel?'

PHUKET: The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has launched an online survey asking what factors would affect travellers' decision to fly to Thailand, whether for business, a holiday or personal reasons.

Google Translate offers a clear enough version of the survey launched by CAAT for English speakers to take part. Image: CAAT / Google Forms

The survey is titled "(For the general public survey): Questionnaire for survey of traveling by airlines affecting the situation of Covid-19".

"The results of the questionnaire will be used for policy recommendations and measures for the recovery of tourism and the aviation industry," the survey header explains.

The survey has been posted in Thai language only, but is written in simple enough language to allow Google Translate to give a reliable translation for English speakers to complete.

The questions asked include which protection measures inspire confidence in the decision to travel, and which aspects of travel travellers are most concerned about at airports, including handing their passport and other travel documents to officials and airline staff and having to receive them back in hand, waiting in queues and collecting luggage.

Concerns to be rated about while travellers are inside the aircraft include, using toilets, sitting next to unknown passengers, breathing inside the cabin, touching seats and overhead cabins as well as handling magazines and other materials while in-flight.

The survey also asks whether airline ticket prices would directly affect respondets' decision to travel to thailand.

One key question posed is "When do you think it is possible to travel safely by air again?" Answers available are: 1) Between 1 - 3 months from now; 2) Between 3 - 6 months from now; 3) Between 6 - 12 months from now; and 4) More than a year after this.

The survey does ask whether airline ticket prices would deter people from travelling and the last page of the survey asks respondents to declare their monthly personal income in Thai baht. This last question is non-optional.

The survey is anonymous but does ask people their age range, gender, postcode of address and occupation. All these fields are required in order to submit the completed survey.

To take part in the survey, click here.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 31 July 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,310 (+6, Thai)
- Recovered: 3,125 (+14)
- Active cases: 127
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Everyone must help prevent second wave of Covid-19 infections: virologist
In a Facebook post on Friday (July 31), virologist Dr Yong Poovorawan called on people to work together in preventing a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

The expert from Chulalongkorn University said a second wave of infections has emerged in several Asian countries like Hong Kong, Vietnam and China, while the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan are getting up to 1,000 new Covid-19 cases daily.

"Until a vaccine or medicine is found, we have to do our best to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Thailand," he said, adding that as more people are returning to normal life, the number of children and adults with respiratory complaints is increasing.

"If a second wave emerges, medical personnel will have to conduct Covid-19 tests on these patients as well," he said. "This is why, we must all help each other so we can lead normal lives."

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Covid 19 Daily Briefing 31 July , 2020

An update from the Thai government regarding Thailand's #COVID19 situation, reporting from the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) at Government House

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


There is no 'zero risk' in easing travel restrictions, WHO says
(Reuters) – There is no "zero risk" strategy for countries easing international travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and essential travel for emergencies should remain the priority, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

In a long-awaited update to its guidance on travel, the United Nations global health agency said cross-border trips for emergencies, humanitarian work, the transfer of essential personnel and repatriation would constitute essential travel.

"There is no 'zero risk' when considering the potential importation or exportation of cases in the context of international travel," it said in the updated guidance posted on its website on Thursday.

A surge of new infections in many parts of the world has prompted some countries to reintroduce some travel restrictions, including testing and quarantining incoming passengers.

The WHO had said in June it would update its travel guidelines before the northern hemisphere summer holidays.

The WHO's guidance can be used by governments and industries to help shape policies, but is not enforceable.

The updated travel advice is little changed from previous guidance, which also included infection control advice applicable to other settings such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands and avoiding touching the face.

The WHO urged each country to conduct its own risk-benefit analysis before lifting any or all travel restrictions. Authorities should take into account local epidemiology and transmission patterns, it said, as well as national health and social distancing measures already in place.

Countries that choose to quarantine all travellers on arrival should do so after assessing the risks and consider local circumstances, the WHO said.

"Countries should continuously plan for and assess their surge capacities for testing, tracking, isolating and managing imported cases and quarantine of contacts," it said.

The WHO said this week that international travel bans cannot stay in place indefinitely, and countries will have to do more to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus within their borders.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 1 August 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,312 (+2)
- Recovered: 3,135 (+10)
- Active cases: 119
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph

2 new Thais in state quarantine returned from Serbia (1) Denmark (1)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 2 August 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,317 (+5,  all Thai)
- Recovered: 3,142 (+7)
- Active cases: 117
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Will we ever rid of this evil thing, i can see masks being worn forever, you can never let your guard down, not for a moment, here in my area i have noticed folk not wearing masks as like they used to, giving alms early morning they don't, but the monks do. what a shame for Vietnam after 99 days of success, this could go on for a long time. let's hope n pray that the fat lady sings soon. as the article reads. When you haven't heard about new virus cases for a while, you begin to forget very quickly and you return to normal life.

After 99 days of success, virus returns to haunt Vietnam

Vietnamese COVID-19 patients in protective gear, holding Vietnamese flags and carrying a portrait of the national leader Ho Chi Minh, arrive at the Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The 129 patients who were working in Equatorial Guinea are brought home in a repatriation flight for treatment of the coronavirus. (Tran Huy Hung/VNA via AP)

(AP) — For 99 days, Vietnam seemed to have defeated the coronavirus. There wasn't a single reported case of community transmission. Not a single death. A handful of cases were caught and isolated at the border, but otherwise people were returning to their normal lives. The country of 96 million people was hailed globally as a standout success.

But then a week ago, an outbreak began that has now grown to 48 cases in six parts of the country, including three of the largest cities, and forced authorities to reimpose restrictions many thought they had put behind them. And experts worry the outbreak could be much larger than currently known.

The outbreak began last Thursday in the picturesque coastal city of Da Nang, where thousands of tourists were taking their summer vacations on golden beaches. A 57-year-old man was hospitalized with a fever and tested positive. His condition soon worsened and he was put on a ventilator.

Health authorities swung into action. But the man's case was puzzling. He hadn't left his hometown for over a month and tests on his family and 100 other possible contacts all came back negative.

Then health workers found three other infections in Da Nang over the weekend. And then on Monday, another 11. All of those were other patients or health workers at the Da Nang Hospital, where the man remains in critical condition.

On Monday, authorities encouraged 80,000 tourists to leave the city by providing extra flights. Hotels emptied out and thousands canceled their plans to visit.

Then on Tuesday, the city was put into lockdown. The packed beaches were closed, roamed only by patrolling security guards. But the order of events left some scratching their heads. Surely the fleeing tourists had the potential to spread the virus further?

Indeed by Thursday, authorities had found 43 cases, including two people in the capital, Hanoi. All of the cases seemed to link back to Da Nang and returning travelers.

The cases included an American who had been a patient last week at Da Nang Hospital before moving to another hospital in Ho Chi Minh City in the south. His companion also tested positive.

Authorities are now reimposing broader restrictions. They're closing nonessential services and banning large public gatherings in Da Nang and other nearby cities, and closing bars and clubs in Hanoi. They're also planning to test 21,000 people in the capital who recently returned from Da Nang.

Pham Hien, owner of a noodle restaurant in Hanoi, said she will no longer have seated guests and instead will offer only takeout service or deliveries. She said her business is hurting but she will abide by government recommendations.

"What is important now is that all citizens join hands together with the government in this fight," she said.

Just how the virus crept back remains a mystery. Authorities say they think the source was from outside Vietnam because this time the virus is a different strain.

"One big difference I've noticed between this wave and the previous one is that the cases we have right now, a lot of them are severe," said Marc Choisy, a Hanoi-based bio-mathematician with the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit.

He said such a high proportion of severe cases could indicate that hundreds more asymptomatic cases remain undetected in the community.

"It's very likely the disease is transmitting silently at the moment," he said.

The government, meanwhile, has been cracking down on people being smuggled into the country to avoid quarantine, making a string of arrests in cases of smuggled Chinese nationals. But authorities have yet to make any direct links between the people smuggling and the new outbreak.

Vietnam's struggle to contain the virus even after its initial success has been reflected in other places around the world. Australia was down to single-digit daily increases when an outbreak exploded in the city of Melbourne this month. On Thursday, authorities reported more than 700 new cases in and around Melbourne, a record. Other places from Hong Kong to Spain are battling new outbreaks after seemingly having the virus under control.

Vietnam's quick actions in the face of its latest outbreak reflect the speed with which the government reacted to the initial virus threat, which experts say helped halt its spread.

In mid-February, for example, Vietnam put all 10,000 residents of the town of Son Loi, near Hanoi, under a three-week lockdown, even though there were only 16 confirmed cases in the entire country at that time.

The Communist government also used texts and social media to deliver concise instructions to its citizens. It even added short messages to every phone call.

By March 22, Vietnam had essentially closed itself off to the outside world, stopping most international flights and shutting down the 900-mile (1,440-kilometer) land border it shares with China.

Whenever authorities saw even a single case of community transmission, they jumped on it with contact tracing, lockdowns and widespread testing. The country also drew on its past experience defeating the SARS outbreak in 2003 and was able to limit its confirmed coronavirus cases before the recent outbreak to just 416.

But Choisy, the bio-mathematician, worries authorities have caught this coronavirus wave much later in its cycle than the first wave.

"When you haven't heard about new virus cases for a while, you begin to forget very quickly and you return to normal life," Choisy said. "You get used to it."

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


I can't see tourists going through all the trouble of getting here with the paperwork, tests, and rules, masks and the rest of it, only to be contained to phuket, after coming all that way, i should imagine they will want to travel around, Bangkok, Khaosan rd. and all that goes with it.

Tourism chiefs mull ways to open safely
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says that if the country remains closed in the last quarter of the year, the number of foreign tourists will dramatically shrink to seven million for 2020.

TAT deputy governor for tourism products and services Thapanee Kiatphaibool said while domestic tourism has started to rebound, most businesses are still feeling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first six months of this year, the number of foreign tourists stood at 6.69 million, a contraction of 66% compared with 2019.

The industry, however, has been helped by Thai tourists, who numbered 54.5 million over the same period, she said.

This year's tourism revenue has been forecast by the TAT at 1.23 trillion baht against 1.93 trillion baht in 2019. The number of foreign tourists will likely stand at just seven million, lower than the TAT's target of nine million.

Yet some foreign visitors such as film crews, some businessmen and people seeking medical treatment have been permitted to enter the country.

Soon 200 foreigners with the Thailand Elite Card are expected to travel to Thailand as the government eases lockdown measures in the sixth phase, according to the TAT deputy governor.

Following an increase in demand for Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ), many hotels in Bangkok and other provinces such as Phuket have expressed an interest in registering with the Health Service Support Department to operate the service.

Direct flights to Phuket will be provided to take travellers to ASQ hotels, said the deputy governor. She expected that entry will be allowed for foreign travellers in October this year.

Director-general of the Department of Health Panpimon Wipulakorn said Phuket is a closed area where it is easier to manage pandemic control efforts, when asked about the government's plan to open Phuket first to foreign tourists.

The Urban Design and Development Centre and Centre of Excellence in Urban Strategies (UddC-CEUS) recently also proposed a project to revive tourist cities using Phuket as a case study to design a tourism ecosystem that suits public health measures.

The project's main objective is to attract a new group of tourists who are looking for a sanctuary from the pandemic.

The UddC-CEUS seeks to turn Phuket into a safe destination for travel by making the island an isolated community to reassure visitors of its virus-free status during their stay.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


WHO praises Thailand for its actions to prevent COVID-19

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, Thailand is one of the countries that has carefully and consistently followed the WHO's guidelines and suggestions to prevent COVID-19.

He stated that when the public follows preventive measures, for example, keeping physical distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands, new cases in that country go down. Therefore, informing, engaging, and listening are key pillars that will help us get through this worldwide crisis together.  facebook.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 3 August 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,320 (+3,  all Thai)
- Recovered: 3,142 (+7)
- Active cases: 120
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph    new cases are Thais state quarantine  UAE  2 and India  1
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand lifts barriers for more foreigners
Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said on Monday (August 3) that more types of foreigners will be allowed to return to Thailand, such as:

• Foreigners who hold a residential permit as well as their spouse and children;

• Foreigners who hold a work permit and their spouse and children, as well as migrant workers who hold official documents allowing them to stay and work in Thailand;

• Foreigners granted entry under special agreements, such as Thailand Elite cardholders.

These groups are required to follow the Public Health Ministry's measures strictly and spend 14 days at an alternative state quarantine site.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand confirmed these measures.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation update on COVID-19, 4 August, 2020
Confirmed total 3,321 cases (1 new case).
- Admitted 121 cases.
- Discharged 3,142 cases.
- Death 58 cases.
   credit @ pr_moph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


♥ ♥ ♥ Petition lobbies Thai govt to allow unmarried couples to enter Thailand ♥ ♥ ♥
Not sure whether this article should be in half as serious thread. where would you draw the line on this one, petition has been started to open up Thailand to couples separated by the pandemic @ change.org urging the government to Safely open the Thai borders for love! LoveIsNotTourism.

The closure of international borders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic was - and still is - sensible and even necessary. It is obvious that we must halt tourism to protect us and others.

But love is not tourism. This is not just about a summer holiday, it is about mental health and the future of people all around the world.

International lovers and families urge the Thai authorities to amend their travel restrictions.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


That's bad luck on the guys petition on the above post, as they say ... if your names not down you can't come in even if you are in love  :-[ i found in life the harder you make something available, the more it's wanted

CAAT lifts entry ban on select foreigners
'Ordinary tourists' still not allowed in

The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) has lifted its entry ban on four groups of foreign nationals, in line with the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration's (CCSA) easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

CAAT director Chula Sukmanop said the agency's easing of travel restrictions for non-Thai nationals, which will take effect today, does not apply to ordinary tourists, but only to select groups of foreigners.

The four groups are non-Thai nationals with a certificate of permanent residency, including their spouses and children; non-Thai nationals with work permits, including their spouses and children; non-Thai nationals permitted to enter under a special arrangement, and migrant workers whose employers are allowed to bring in workers.

According to Mr Chula, all incoming visitors are required to strictly observe the country's disease-control measures.

To be allowed to enter Thailand, they must have a certificate of entry issued by a Thai embassy or consular office in their country, a health certificate showing they are free of Covid-19 and a health insurance policy. Upon arriving, they will be quarantined for 14 days at state venues or alternative locations.

Meanwhile, the CCSA yesterday reported three new imported Covid-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 3,320.

Seventy days have elapsed since the last confirmed case of local transmission of the novel coronavirus.

All of the new cases involve recently repatriated Thais, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday.

Two were returnees from the United Arab Emirates -- a 26-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man -- who are staying a state quarantine facility in Chon Buri. The third case was a male student, 19, who arrived from India and was placed in state quarantine in Bangkok.

CCSA spokesman Taweesilp Visanuyothin said the CCSA was concerned about a possible resurgence of the virus, as new waves have wreaked havoc in Australia, Hong Kong, Israel and Croatia.

"We hope to delay [any rebound] as long as we can," Dr Taweesilp said.

"It would be even better if we have no second wave."

Dr Taweesilp also assured that health screening procedures would remain as strict as it was prior to the easing of travel restrictions.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Joint US military drills get thumbs down from Thais amid COVID-19 fears
This month's joint US-Thai military exercises in Thailand have drawn criticism from Thais on social media after authorities announced that dozens of visiting American troops would be undergoing their mandatory 14-day quarantine in Bangkok hotels.

About 106 American soldiers will join three separate exercises from Aug 18 to 30 in three provinces, and would be subjected to the same requirements as anyone entering the country, said the head of the Thai Army's anti-coronavirus unit, Nattapon Srisawat.

Thailand has gone over two months without a local transmission of COVID-19 and has kept infections to just over 3,300.

It has closed borders and airspace to tourists to keep the virus out and allows entry only to Thai repatriates or foreigners with special permission. All must undergo quarantine.

A popular Thai Facebook page attracted 25,000 likes when it questioned the necessity of holding joint exercises between the two historic allies amid a global health crisis.

"Is it really necessary to take in foreign soldiers now? If it does not impact the relationship just postpone it," it said.

"Even citizens who need to travel have delayed their plans, why can't the military training be postponed?"

More than 70 American soldiers arrived from the US Pacific territory of Guam on Monday and would be staying in alternative state quarantine, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the country's coronavirus task force, referring to the mandatory quarantine that foreigners must undergo at their own expense.

More troops were due to arrive on Tuesday from Japan.

Asked about the criticism of the drills, Nattapon said that participants will have undergone two tests and would not be exposed to the public during the exercises.

"These soldiers will not be able to leave the barracks," he added.

The exercises come as Thailand's military suspended sending forces abroad after nine Thai personnel tested positive for the coronavirus upon return from training in Hawaii.

The US embassy in Bangkok did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 5 August 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,328 (+7, Thai/ Foreigner)
- Recovered: 3,144 (+2)
- Active cases: 126
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Operators await clarity on travel bubble progress
Inbound tour operators want a clear decision on travel bubbles from the government so they can prepare marketing campaigns in advance, saying 80% of them may exit the market if no new tourists arrive this year.

"Thailand has allowed some groups of travellers, but it's definitely not enough to feed the whole supply chain of the industry," said Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents.

At Atta's annual meeting on Thursday, operators voiced concern about the current situation as the government continues to ponder travel bubbles for leisure tourists.

Mr Vichit said most inbound operators are calling for the same thing, namely practical terms for the travel bubble schemes that the Tourism Minister aims to implement in October.

He said tour operators will have to prepare services two months in advance to ensure that the new conditions are well received.

Atta will urge the government to connect Thailand with coronavirus-free cities first and ask regulators to settle the travel rules and requirements for travellers as soon as possible, as operators have to contact other services in the system, such as airlines and ticket agents, about cooperation.

They also have to partner with provinces that consent to receive international tourists to arrange routes and services in those destinations.

"Without sufficient inbound revenue this year, most of us will not survive," Mr Vichit said.

Tourism operators in Phuket are urging the government to allow international direct flights to the province as demand from foreigners for alternative state quarantine (ASQ) increases.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said international flights can consist of both chartered flights and private jets, for which there have been many requests.

At present, Phuket has three ASQ facilities. Another 16 hotels are awaiting approval.

Mr Bhummikitti said tourists in ASQ will help drive the industry and are likely to stay longer than the 14-day quarantine period, while tourists under travel bubbles may have a shorter length of stay.

The province is preparing capacity for up to 20,000 tourists a day with 50 ICU beds equipped for coronavirus cases.

The plan to open the province to chartered flights and become an ASQ destination was discussed with the Phuket provincial governor last week. The idea of welcoming private jets from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore will be discussed later.

"If Phuket cannot get international flights until the end of the year, then the province will have only 80 billion baht in tourism inflow, compared with 440 billion baht last year," Mr Bhummikitti said.

In regard to the conflict between operators and Germany's TUI Group, he said the tourism company has come up with more practical conditions to repay local operators and some hotels have received payment already.

The company also asked about bringing in tourists during the upcoming high season.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Global coronavirus deaths exceed 700,000, one person dies every 15 seconds on average
(REUTERS) - The global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday (Aug 5), according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities.

Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks.

That equates to 247 people per hour, or one person every 15 seconds.

The US and Latin America are the new epicentres of the pandemic, and both are struggling to curb the spread of the virus.

The coronavirus was initially slower to reach Latin America, which is home to about 640 million people, than much of the world.

But officials have since struggled to control its spread because of the region's poverty and densely packed cities.

More than 100 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean live in slums, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme.

Many have jobs in the informal sector, with little in the way of a social safety net, and have continued to work throughout the pandemic.

The US, home to around 330 million people, has also been battered by the virus despite being one of the richest nations in the world.

The US government's top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, on Monday said states with high coronavirus case counts should reconsider imposing lockdown restrictions, emphasising the need to get cases to a low baseline before the autumn flu season.

Even parts of the world that appeared to have curbed the spread of the virus have recently seen single-day records in new cases, signalling the battle is far from over.

Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Bulgaria, Belgium, Uzbekistan and Israel all recently had record increases in cases.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Proportion of youth with COVID-19 triples in five months: WHO
(Reuters) - Young people who are hitting nightclubs and beaches are leading a rise in fresh coronavirus cases across the world, with the proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected rising three-fold in about five months, the World Health Organization said.

An analysis by the WHO of 6 million infections between Feb. 24 and July 12 found that the share of people aged 15-24 years rose to 15% from 4.5%.

Apart from the United States which leads a global tally with 4.8 million total cases, European countries including Spain, Germany and France, and Asian countries such as Japan, have said that many of the newly infected are young people.

"Younger people tend to be less vigilant about masking and social distancing," Neysa Ernst, nurse manager at Johns Hopkins Hospital's biocontainment unit in Baltimore, Maryland told Reuters in an email.

"Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19," she said, adding young people are more likely to go to work in the community, to a beach or the pub, or to buy groceries.

The surge in new cases, a so-called second wave of infections, has prompted some countries to impose new curbs on travel even as companies race to find a vaccine for the fast-spreading virus that has claimed more than 680,000 lives and upended economies.

Even countries such as Vietnam, widely praised for its mitigation efforts since the coronavirus appeared in late January, are battling new clusters of infection.

Among those aged 5-14 years, about 4.6% were infected, up from 0.8%, between Feb. 24 and July 12, the WHO said, at a time when testing has risen and public health experts are concerned that reopening of schools may lead to a surge in cases.

Anthony Fauci, the leading U.S. expert on infectious diseases, urged young people last month to continue to socially distance, wear masks and avoid crowds, and cautioned that asymptomatic people could spread the virus, too.

Indeed, health experts in several countries have urged similar measures as they report that infected youth show few symptoms.

"We've said this before and we'll say it again: young people are not invincible," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news briefing in Geneva last week.

"Young people can be infected; young people can die; and young people can transmit the virus to others."

Last month, Tokyo officials said they would conduct coronavirus testing in the city's nightlife districts, and instructed nightclubs to provide customers with enough space with good ventilation and to ask them to avoid speaking loudly.

In France last month, authorities shut down a bar where people breached hygiene rules and caused an outbreak.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


'No Immediate Plan' to Permit More Foreigners Into Thailand
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday said there is currently no plan to expand the list of foreigners allowed to enter the country, including retirees with homes and families in Thailand.

Press officer Yajai Bunnag said only four groups of non-Thai nationals announced in the latest regulation are permitted into the Kingdom at the moment. They include those holding a certificate of permanent residency, a work permit, those who have a special arrangements with the government, and migrant workers.

Many had hoped the list would be expanded to cover retiree visa holders and unmarried couples.

One of the campaigns was launched by Love Is Not Tourism Thailand, a Facebook page dedicated to couples and families who are torn apart by the pandemic. They are calling on the government to take their loved ones into consideration.

"We're asking the government to issue visas or allow entry for family members and lovers to reunite with each other for humanitarian reasons," the page wrote. "Evidence such as a passport with an entry stamp into Thailand, photos, and text messages should be able to verify their unions."

Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, Thailand closed its borders to tourists and visitors, standing many Thai overseas and foreigners in the kingdom.

full article  khaosodenglish.com
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Gov't seeking reopening guidelines balancing safety, and economics  thainews.prd.go.th
(NNT) - The Prime Minister has ordered related agencies to devise guidelines allowing foreign nationals to enter the kingdom under strict measures mandated by the CCSA, while the government is seeking to raise public confidence following a COVID-19 scare in Rayong last month, by holding a mobile Cabinet meeting there on 24-25 August.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, announced that the Prime Minister has ordered the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) and the Ministry of Public Health to find ways to safety allow foreign nationals to enter the country, in order to allow economic activities to proceed.

The initiative to allow foreign nationals to enter the country will be focused first on trade persons conducting business negotiations, as well as technicians and installers of specific machinery, whose visits are generally short and less than the 14-day quarantine period.

An allowance of limited international arrivals must ensure public safety and help stimulate local economies, and strike a balance acceptable to all sides, without raising complaints of unfair treatment among people required to enter 14-day quarantine.

The DPM and Public Health Minister also disclosed that the Cabinet will be holding a mobile meeting in Rayong on 24-25 August, in an attempt to boost public confidence in the province.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


'Safe and Sealed' brings hope for tourism rally
Industry survivors hanging by a thread

Tourists take sunset pictures at Promthep Cape in Phuket. A new plan aims to draw at least 500,000 tourists to Thailand. Sarot Meksophawannakul

Tourism operators are proposing a new inbound tourism plan, called Safe and Sealed, to replace travel bubbles and keep Thailand from realising the worst-case revenue scenario of 675 billion baht next year, down from 3.01 trillion baht in 2019.

At Wednesday's joint meeting of the Tourism and Sports Ministry and the private sector chaired by Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, tourism-related groups offered a proposal to let inbound tourists restart their trips to Thailand in the fourth quarter with safer screening and more flexibility for many countries than the bilateral travel bubble scheme would have afforded.

Vichit Prakobgosol, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said that while Thailand has started to welcome certain groups of foreigners, the total will be fewer than 100,000 visitors and cannot prevent tourism-related businesses from falling into bankruptcy.

The new inbound plan is expected to draw at least 500,000 tourists to Thailand and generate 50 billion baht in revenue. The cost of the package would be 100,000 baht per person, higher than the average price of 50,000 baht before the pandemic.

Mr Phiphat said the scheme is the last bid to let the majority of tourism businesses survive and avoid layoffs in the fourth quarter if Thailand continues to close its borders to international tourists.

"Safe means we will select only guests from a city with a record of no infections for at least 30 days, and they can travel under the sealed conditions provided by tour operators in designated hotels and provinces that agree to welcome those tourists," he said.

Other necessary screening processes are also required, such as an infection-free certificate 72 hours before a flight, as well as insurance and swab tests.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said Mr Phiphat will forward the proposal to related organisations, including the idea of setting up a tourism fund to provide soft loans to the industry, which has struggled to secure loans from commercial banks.

Tourism businesses want the government to help start the fund with a 100-billion-baht budget.

Mr Yuthasak said employment in the tourism sector totalled 4 million workers before the outbreak.

As most operators have had zero revenue in the past six months, unemployment in the sector could grow to 2.5 million as businesses cannot bear more losses, he said.

The agency also shared its 2021 tourism scenario with representatives from the private sector.

The worst case sees Thailand earning just 675 billion baht in revenue, down 9% from this year, which is likely to close at 742 billion baht, down 75% from the 3.01 trillion baht obtained in 2019.

If Thailand can gain momentum by receiving international tourists, the best case shows that tourism revenue can climb to 50% of 2019 levels, or 1.52 trillion baht.

The National Economic and Social Development Council previously set the tourism revenue goal at 3.9 trillion baht for 2021.

Mr Yuthasak said the goal has become a far-fetched ambition unless a vaccine is found.

Supawan Tanomkieatipume, the Thai Hotels Association president, said the Thai hotel industry saw 30-40% of 1.5 million jobs vanish during the past six months and just 50% of hotels have reopened.

She said the greatest burden for hotel operators is loan payments for investments made before the outbreak, an amount totalling roughly 700 billion baht.

Hotel operators are asking banks to extend the suspension period for principal and interest payment for an additional six months because tourism has yet to recover.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 6 August 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,330 (+2, Thai)
- Recovered: 3,148 (+4)
- Active cases: 124
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Asymptomatic coronavirus carriers have high viral loads: South Korean study
(AFP) - People who are infected with the coronavirus carry similar levels of the pathogen in their nose, throat and lungs whether they have symptoms or not, a new study from South Korea showed on Thursday (Aug 6).

The paper, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, is an important biological line of evidence in support of the idea that asymptomatic carriers can spread Covid-19.

Until now, experts have relied on inferring asymptomatic spread when people contract the virus without contact with a known carrier.

A team of researchers led by Seungjae Lee at Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine analysed swabs taken between March 6 and March 26 from 303 people isolated at a centre in Cheonan, following an outbreak among a religious group in another city.

The group ranged in age from 22 to 36 and two-thirds were women. Of the total, 193 were symptomatic and 110 were asymptomatic.

Among those who were initially asymptomatic, 89 never developed symptoms at all - about 30 per cent of the total.

This finding itself helps gives a sense of what portion of infected people are truly asymptomatic rather than merely "presymptomatic", a subject of confusion.

All were sampled at regular intervals after day eight of isolation, and the samples returned comparable values of the virus' genetic material from the upper and lower airways.

The median time taken for the patients to return negative tests was marginally less for asymptomatic patients compared with symptomatic: 17 and 19.5 days, respectively.

The authors wrote their findings "offer biological plausibility" to reports of asymptomatic transmission.

But they added that their study only looked at the amount of viral genetic material present and did not attempt to follow the subjects to see if that translated to the spread of infectious virus.

Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.


Thailand situation, 7 August 2020
- Total confirmed: 3,345 (+15, Thai)
- Recovered: 3,148 (+0)
- Active cases: 139
- Deaths: 58 (+0)
credit @ thaimoph 
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

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