Phuket hopes to overcome virus crisis and welcome foreign tourists from July #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000059

Phuket hopes to overcome virus crisis and welcome foreign tourists from July


The next two months are crucial for Phuket as it attempts to surmount the current Covid-19 crisis and see the government’s widely welcomed “sandbox” scheme for the tourism hub go ahead in July as planned.

Phuket hopes to overcome virus crisis and welcome foreign tourists from July

Governor Narong Woonciew meanwhile voiced confidence that his province would be able to deal with the health crisis.

Under the scheme, foreign tourists who have been inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed entry into the province from July 1 without having to undergo quarantine.

Phuket authorities wholeheartedly believe the scheme will draw tourists back to the province.

Narong told the press that the province is trying to control and defeat the present Covid-19 wave in order to attract more domestic tourists from May and receive foreign tourists from July.

“We plan to control the new wave of pandemic within the last two weeks of April in a bid to at least draw more domestic tourists to Phuket,” he said.

Narong said 15 per cent of tourists cancelled their trips to Phuket during the Songkran holidays, while 30 per cent suspended their travel and the remaining went ahead and visited the province.

By June 15, some 70 per cent of Phuket’s population must be vaccinated, he said.

Presently, more than 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been used to inoculate 22 per cent of the population.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic took Thailand by storm, Phuket earned tourism revenue of more than Bt470 billion a year.

Other top destinations such as Pattaya, Krabi, Phang-nga, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai will also later be opened to international tourists once more people have been vaccinated and preventive measures are firmly in place.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : The Nation

Ministry aims to vaccinate 300,000 medical professionals within this week #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000057

Ministry aims to vaccinate 300,000 medical professionals within this week


The Public Health Ministry aims to provide 600,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to 300,000 medical professionals, who work in close contact with the patients, by April 25 to cope with rising infections, permanent secretary Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said on Wednesday.

Ministry aims to vaccinate 300,000 medical professionals within this week

“The vaccine will come from the 1 million doses of Sinovac vaccine that we received recently. This will drive up the total to more than 1 million doses since we started inoculations in late February,” he said.

“On April 24 another 500,000 doses will arrive. The ministry is also finalising a deal to import 1 million more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Kiattiphum said the ministry has also ordered 2 million Favipiravir tablets after the number of domestic infections has been rising.

“Before the new wave we had around 700,000 tablets in stock, which was enough to treat patients back then,” he said. “However, the new wave has driven up demand to over 20,000 tablets per day, prompting the ministry to order more tablets. We are also looking into buying the Remdesivir drug to inject those in risky groups.”

The Public Health Ministry urged hospitals to reserve an adequate supply of medicines and equipment as the treatment of patients infected with the UK B 1.1.7 Covid-19 strain will require at least 14 days of continuous treatment instead of 10 days compared to patients with the normal strain.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

Family taken to hospital after infected father, denied treatment, has to wait 3 days for ambulance #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000055

Family taken to hospital after infected father, denied treatment, has to wait 3 days for ambulance


A family of five living in Soi Saimai 85 in Bangkok’s Saimai district were transported to hospital for treatment after contracting Covid-19 from an infected father, who was forced to stay home awaiting an ambulance for three days after being denied immediate treatment by a private hospital because it had reportedly run out of beds.

Family taken to hospital after infected father, denied treatment, has to wait 3 days for ambulance

The father, aged 58, reportedly took a test at the private hospital on April 13 after one of his friends whom he had dinner with on April 8 informed him that he had tested positive for Covid-19. When the father’s test came back positive, the hospital told him to wait at his house and they would send an ambulance to pick him up.

However, when three long days passed and no ambulance showed up, the father finally decided to send five of his family to Bhumibol Hospital for a test. They were all found to be infected.

A family of five living in Soi Saimai 85 in Bangkok’s Saimai district were transported to hospital for treatment after contracting Covid-19 from an infected father, who was forced to stay home awaiting an ambulance for three days after being denied immediate treatment by a private hospital because it had reportedly run out of beds.

An ambulance finally arrived from the private hospital at 2pm on Tuesday to pick up the father for treatment.

At 9.30pm that day, Mongkutwattana Hospital director Dr Rianthong Nanna sent an ambulance to collect the rest of the family so they could be treated at his hospital.

Rianthong reportedly said he had contacted Ekaphop Leuangprasert, assistant to Saimai Pheu Thai Party MP Anudit Nakhonthap, to send a sanitation unit to disinfect the patients’ house and surrounding houses in the neighbourhood to prevent the infection from spreading.

A family of five living in Soi Saimai 85 in Bangkok’s Saimai district were transported to hospital for treatment after contracting Covid-19 from an infected father, who was forced to stay home awaiting an ambulance for three days after being denied immediate treatment by a private hospital because it had reportedly run out of beds.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

DSI submits documents to NACC in Orange Line investigation #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000048

DSI submits documents to NACC in Orange Line investigation


The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Tuesday submitted 1,940 pages of documents to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to follow up on an investigation into a case involving possible corruption in the bidding for construction of the Bt128-billion Orange Line western train section.

DSI submits documents to NACC in Orange Line investigation

Srisuwan Janya, secretary-general of the Association for Protection of the Thai Constitution, had earlier submitted a petition to the DSI to investigate the change in the terms of reference (TOR) in the bidding criteria by the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) after the bidding envelopes were sold, which could possible obstruct certain bidders.

One of the bidders, Bangkok Mass Transit System Plc (BTSC), had filed a lawsuit at the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases against the MRTA, claiming that the bid conditions had been altered at the request of Italian-Thai Development despite opposition from fellow bidder BTSC.

The ensuing legal dispute saw the bidding scrapped altogether on February 3 for the 13.4-kilometre line, which is to run from the Thailand Cultural Centre to Bang Khun Non.

The DSI has since then been gathering information from all related parties including the MRTA, the State Enterprise Policy Office, the Budget Bureau, BTSC and Italian-Thai Development before concluding that MRTA executives had abused their power as government officials, in violation of Criminal Code Section 1 (16) of the Organic Act on Offences by Government Officials or State Agencies, and sections 11 and 12 of the Organic Act on Offences Relating to the Submission of Bids to State Agencies, leading it to submit the case to the NACC for further investigation.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

BMA to allow more ‘hospitels’ as Covid cases rise #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000046

BMA to allow more ‘hospitels’ as Covid cases rise


The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to establish more hospitels, or hotels converted into hospitals, for patients without severe Covid-19 symptoms to cope with the increasing number of serious virus patients in the province, Governor Aswin Kwanmuang said on Tuesday.

BMA to allow more ‘hospitels’ as Covid cases rise

“Hospitels will help take care of patients with no progressive symptoms and reduce crowding at public and private hospitals, which should be focusing on treating more serious patients,” he said.

“We are now screening hotels that will take in patients from hospitals under the BMA to make sure they are well equipped and safe for both patients and staff,” Aswin said.

“Hotels that are interested in becoming a hospitel can contact the environment division at their district office,” the governor added.

The Public Health Ministry stipulated that to become a hospitel, a hotel should have more than 30 rooms with a separated ventilation system, necessary medical and office equipment, and be staffed with adequate medical professionals who have sufficient protective gear. The building must also have an efficient waste management system to prevent an environmental impact on surrounding communities.

On Tuesday Bangkok reported 350 new infections, driving the accumulated cases in the province since April 1 to 3,965 patients and rendering it the province with the highest number of infections in the country, followed by Chiang Mai at 2,366 and Chonburi 1,362.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

Hot, hazy day forecast for upper Thailand, thundershowers in South #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000040

Hot, hazy day forecast for upper Thailand, thundershowers in South


Upper Thailand will experience a temperature rise and haze during the day amid a low heat cell as well as thundershowers in some areas, while the lower North, the Northeast, the Central region including Bangkok and its vicinity, and the East will all see a hot day, the Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.

Hot, hazy day forecast for upper Thailand, thundershowers in South

Many areas of the South will be hit by thundershowers as southerly and southwesterly winds prevail across the Andaman Sea and the region, the department added.

It also mentioned that typhoon Surigae over the Pacific Ocean tends to move north and farther from the Philippines and will not affect Thailand.

Here’s the weather forecast for the next 24 hours:

Bangkok and surrounding areas: Hot day with haze and thundershowers in 20 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 25-27 degrees, highs of 33-37 degrees Celsius.

North: Hot day with haze and thundershowers in 10 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 22-25 degrees and highs of 34-39 degrees Celsius.

Northeast: Hot day with haze and thundershowers in 30 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 22-25 degrees and highs of 35-36 degrees Celsius.

Central: Hot day with haze and thundershowers in 20 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 23-25 degrees, highs of 35-38 degrees Celsius.

East: Hot day with haze and thundershowers in 30 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 24-26 degrees, highs of 32-35 degrees Celsius; waves less than a metre high and over 1 metre during thundershowers.

South (east coast): Thundershowers in 40 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 23-25 degrees, highs of 33-36 degrees Celsius; waves a metre high and 1-2 metres during thundershowers.

South (west coast): Thundershowers in 60 per cent of the area; temperature lows of 22-25 degrees, highs of 32-33 degrees Celsius; waves 1-2 metres high and 2 metres during thundershowers.

Source: Thailand Meteorological Department

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

Prayut lists vaccine procurement plan, dismisses claims of tardiness #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000038

Prayut lists vaccine procurement plan, dismisses claims of tardiness


A batch of 500,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be delivered to Thailand on Saturday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Prayut lists vaccine procurement plan, dismisses claims of tardiness

He added that an additional 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be delivered in May, though the final decision will depend on the Chinese government.

The premier added that private hospitals are willing to help administer the inoculations, which should speed up the process.

Meanwhile, up to 6 million doses of the locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine should be ready for distribution in June and production will speed up from July onwards to ensure 61 million doses are administered by the end of the year.

“The National Vaccine Institute is negotiating with Pfizer and up to 10 million doses will likely be delivered between July and the end of the year, provided the price and conditions can be agreed upon. A Thai company is also developing a vaccine, but that will be considered later,” Prayut said.

As for complaints on social media about the government not allowing private firms to import Covid-19 vaccines, Prayut said he had instructed the Public Health Ministry to do this all along. However, he said, the procedure of procuring vaccines is a long-winded process and manufacturers have not been able to keep up with the demand.

The prime minister also defended his government, saying it had not been slow in procuring the vaccine and people should not believe everything they hear. “Health officials have hastened the inoculation procedure nationwide, especially in Bangkok. The government has also reserved vaccines for emergency and promises to create herd immunity as soon as possible,” he said.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

Six medics suffer blood clots, paralysis after Sinovac vaccination #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000035

Six medics suffer blood clots, paralysis after Sinovac vaccination


Six medical staff in Rayong and one in Chonburi’s Queen Savang Vadhana Memorial Hospital suffered paralysis after receiving Sinovac vaccine jabs, a health official said on Tuesday.

Six medics suffer blood clots, paralysis after Sinovac vaccination

All six staff recovered after being given drugs to dissolve blood clots in the brain, said Dr Thiravat Hemachudha, chief of Chulalongkorn University’s Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Health authorities suspect the blood clots were caused by a contaminated vaccine batch rather than the actual vaccine itself.

The Public Health Ministry said it is investigating the incident and will announce the results in a few days.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

Thais can get vaccine passports to travel overseas #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000033

Thais can get vaccine passports to travel overseas


The Royal Gazette has published guidelines on the issuance of a certificate of immunisation or a vaccine passport, which will be signed by Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

Thais can get vaccine passports to travel overseas

The certificate will be written in English and will contain the holder’s name, personal information as well as details of the Covid-19 vaccination. It can be used for travelling overseas.

This certificate will only be issued to people who have received vaccines that are registered under Thailand’s Drug Law or are certified by the World Health Organisation. The document must carry the signature of the Department of Disease Control’s director-general or chosen nominee, as well as a stamp of the agency. One vaccine passport will only certify one individual.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION

Army braces for wave of Thai returnees on Malaysia’s deadline day #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/in-focus/40000031

Army braces for wave of Thai returnees on Malaysia’s deadline day


Officials in Songkhla’s border district of Sadao are preparing to screen more Thai returnees from Malaysia, after authorities there gave overstayers and illegal migrants until Thursday (April 21) to leave the country.

Army braces for wave of Thai returnees on Malaysia’s deadline day

The 5th Infantry Division, which is responsible for border security in Songkhla, has been placed on alert to prevent illegal entry during this period.

Since April 1, security teams have repaired over 100 holes in the fence along the 86-kilometre-long Songkhla border with Malaysia, which is a notorious transit point for smugglers. The teams also arrested seven suspected smugglers, all Thai.

The deadline for undocumented foreigners to leave Malaysia resulted in 119 Thais returning on April 19, with another 181 registered to return tomorrow. All will be screened and placed in state quarantine for 14 days.

Songkhla recorded 29 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections in the province since the third wave began to 269.

Published : April 21, 2021

By : THE NATION