Anutin vows to have half of population jabbed once Covid-19 vaccine released #SootinClaimon.Com

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Anutin vows to have half of population jabbed once Covid-19 vaccine released

NationalOct 19. 2020Public Health Minister Anutin CharnvirakulPublic Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul 

By The Nation

Siam Bioscience Group has been chosen to produce the Covid-19 vaccine once the human trials conducted by Oxford University and AstraZeneca prove to be successful.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced on Monday that the vaccine will initially be tried out on Thais in their mid-60s, with the eventual target of covering at least 50 per cent of the population.

The Public Health Ministry is working on ensuring a sufficient supply of the vaccine by pre-booking through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility, using bilateral agreements or negotiating for technology transfer.

Thailand is also developing vaccines using seven codes, namely mRNA, DNA, viral-like particle, protein subunit, viral vector, as well as inactivated and live attenuated vaccination. There are nine agencies involved, including private and public universities.

So far, three studies based on mRNA, DNA and plant-based vaccine have entered the Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials. It is difficult to conduct human trials domestically because Thailand does not have enough Covid-19 patients.

Dr Supakit Sirilak, the Public Health Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, said approximately 65 million doses will have to be reserved if half of the population, or some 30 million people are to be vaccinated.

He added that some 40 per cent of the doses will be reserved with COVAX, 40 per cent with AstraZeneca and 20 per cent with other sources.

“Siam Bioscience has the potential to produce up to 200 million doses. Once the technology transfer agreement is signed, the Thai side will have to be trained on production processes. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is expected to pass Phase 3 testing and production should start in December. After that it needs to register with the FDA in the UK and Thailand, before we can start producing the vaccine mid next year,” said Nakorn Premsri, director of the National Vaccine Institute.

Meanwhile, the price of the vaccine has yet to be set clearly. Initially, COVAX priced each dose at US$10.55 (Bt329), but AstraZeneca has said its vaccines will be a lot cheaper.

Police deny online crackdown despite moves against media outlets #SootinClaimon.Com

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Police deny online crackdown despite moves against media outlets

NationalOct 19. 2020

By The Nation

Police have confirmed the authenticity of a leaked document revealing their actions against social media, but deny a crackdown on internet freedom is underway.

The document, released by the Free Youth protest movement, shows police have targeted the Free Youth’s Facebook page for allegedly violating the emergency decree by spreading information that could incite unrest. In response Free Youth opened a Telegram messaging account, but this is now being scrutinised by authorities.

Assistant national police chief Jaruwat Wisaya on Monday confirmed police had asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and Digital Economy and Society Ministry to consider whether protester’s social media accounts were breaking the emergency law. Police also asked the NBTC to check four media outlets – Voice TV, Prachathai website, The Reporters and The Standard.

Jaruwat said police would have to follow procedures by applying for a court order first before suspending or censoring any online outlets found to be breaking the law.

He denied that police had policies or orders to restrict or shut down media, adding that allegations against media outlets would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

However, he said a media and information management committee had been set up under the emergency decree to monitor news and information that might affect national security.

Chaired by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry’s permanent Secretary, the committee will inform police when action should be taken against media and social media outlets.

Related story:

74 held over past three days of protests, police threaten to detain more

Telegram targeted in media crackdown #SootinClaimon.Com

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Telegram targeted in media crackdown

NationalOct 19. 2020

By The Nation

The government moved to block communications on the Telegram messaging app on Monday, claiming they pose a threat to national security under the special emergency decree.

After police moved to shut down its Facebook page on Friday, the Free Youth movement called for protesters to switch to the Telegram messaging app.

The Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to delete information on Telegram, claiming it violated the emergency decree imposed last Thursday in response to escalating anti-government protests.

The decree bans gatherings of five or more people and dissemination of information that threatens public order.

The pro-democracy Free Youth movement opened the Telegram account after national police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk asked the NBTC to close its Facebook page along with four media outlets – Voice TV, Prachathai.com, The Reporters and The Standard.

Government critics condemned the move as a slide back towards dictatorship.

Political crisis worries private sector despite consistent rise in industrial confidence #SootinClaimon.Com

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Political crisis worries private sector despite consistent rise in industrial confidence

NationalOct 19. 2020Supant Mongkolsutee, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)Supant Mongkolsutee, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) 

By The Nation

The Thai Industrial confidence index in September improved for the fifth consecutive month, however a majority of business owners have expressed concern about the political situation.

The index rose to 85.2 in September, increasing from 84.0 in August, Supan Mongkolsutee, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), said.

He said the survey results pointed to expanding domestic demand over the previous month after the government relaxed lockdown measures, helping economic activities in the country recover.

The recent economic stimulus and measures to help small and medium-sized entrepreneurs have helped improve domestic purchasing power. This is reflected by the index of orders, sales, production and turnover, which increased in both durable and non-durable products, Suphan said. Meanwhile, the export and shipping sectors showed positive signs after several countries eased Covid-19 control measures, causing trading partners to import more products from Thailand

According to a survey of 1,301 entrepreneurs covering 45 industry groups nationwide in September, it was found that 55.3 per cent of operators were concerned about the domestic political situation, 40.4 per cent about oil prices and interest rates, and 36.8 per cent about loans.

Factors alleviating the operators’ concerns were the recovering world economy (65.7 per cent), the exchange rate (42.4 per cent — mostly exporters).

The index forecast dropped to 93.3 from 94.5 in August. The drop was due to concerns about the second round of Covid-19, both domestic and abroad, especially the situation of the outbreak in neighbouring countries.

Many countries have enforced more lockdown measures. This will put pressure on the recovery of the Thai export sector in the future. Moreover, the end of the debt moratorium in October may affect the liquidity of businesses and the purchasing power in the country.

However, the issues that industrial sectors want the state to take are: accelerate budget disbursement through public investment projects, both central and regional, to help stimulate the economy; offer additional financial measures to help SMEs after the end of the debt moratorium in October; and, encourage government agencies to purchase and hire products from domestic entrepreneurs.

More than 1,000 doctors protest violence against protesters #SootinClaimon.Com

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More than 1,000 doctors protest violence against protesters

NationalOct 19. 2020

By The Nation

The number of doctors who have signed a petition protesting violence against anti-government protesters has risen from 386 to 1,008.

On Monday, medics issued a statement condemning policing of the rally on Friday (October 16), when water cannon was used to clear protesters from Pathumwan Intersection and an ambulance was blocked while transporting a casualty.

The statement said medical personnel had to treat every person without discrimination under any circumstance and protect the rights and privacy of patients.

The doctors also demanded that authorities follow international regulations and stop using violence against peaceful protests, while ensuring that hospitals are safe and neutral locations.

International regulations forbid the use of chemical irritants against peaceful protesters, the medics said. Protesters complained of a burning sensation in their eyes and skin after being targeted by water cannon on Friday.

The government should heed international standards and open a space for people who want to voice their opinion, the doctors added.

74 held over past three days of protests, police threaten to detain more #SootinClaimon.Com

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74 held over past three days of protests, police threaten to detain more

NationalOct 19. 2020Left : Shinawatra Chankrajang  Right : Dr Tossaporn SerirakLeft : Shinawatra Chankrajang Right : Dr Tossaporn Serirak 

By The Nation

Police said the “severe” state of emergency gives them the power to arrest anyone considered to be breaking the law, adding that arrest warrants are being sought for protesters who allegedly broke the traffic police box at Bang Na intersection on Sunday night.

Over 24 hours, police have detained Shinawatra Chankrajang and Dr Tossaporn Serirak for allegedly violating the emergency decree. So far, some 74 protest leaders and demonstrators have been arrested.

Deputy Metropolitan Police chief Pol General Piya Tawichai said on Monday that protesters have been using three key areas as assembly points in Bangkok, namely Victory Monument where some 12,000 to 14,000 gathered, Asoke intersection with 2,000 people and Bang Na intersection with approximately 3,500 people. He reckons some 20,000 protesters have taken to the streets over the past three days.

Meanwhile, 12 police teams have been prepared to deal with protesters if they gather on Monday.

Extraordinary Parliament session considered, Prayut says #SootinClaimon.Com

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Extraordinary Parliament session considered, Prayut says

NationalOct 19. 2020Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha 

By The Nation

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Monday that the government was considering reopening Parliament for an extraordinary session to ease political tensions.

He said the Cabinet will discuss the issue when it meets on Tuesday. The premier also said that there were no plans to extend the state of emergency to other provinces apart from Bangkok, adding that the government has done its best to make compromises with the protesters.

The prime minister slapped the capital with a “severe” state of emergency at 4am on October 15 in a bid to control the protesters, who want Prayut and his government to resign, the charter made more democratic and the monarchy reformed.

Meanwhile, Parliament President Chuan Leekpai said most representatives of political parties and Cabinet members who met on Monday agreed with the option of holding an extraordinary Parliamentary session. He said Prayut will be informed of this resolution right away.

Free Youth slams moves to shut down media, resurfaces with new Facebook page #SootinClaimon.Com

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Free Youth slams moves to shut down media, resurfaces with new Facebook page

NationalOct 19. 2020

By The Nation

The pro-democracy group Free Youth has set up a new Facebook page, “Free YOUTH V.2”, and is condemning the government for threatening media.

New National Police chief Pol General Suwat Jangyodsuk on Friday signed an official document to block access to Voice TV, Prachathai.com as well as the Facebook pages of The Reporters, The Standard and the Free Youth movement.

The reason given was that the media delivers information that is misunderstood by the public and can affect national security.

“We and other media may be shut down by the government. Moves to impede the media is the act of a dictator, not democracy as they claim,” was the message posted on Free Youth’s new Facebook page.

The group also spoke of the incident in which a Prachathai reporter was arrested on Friday, when police directed water cannons at protesters in a bid to disperse the crowds.

The reporter was released a few hours later after being fined.

Free Youth said a true democracy means a free media that can freely inform the public.

Meanwhile, assistant National Police chief Pol Lt-General Jaruwat Waisaya said there was no policy restricting the freedom of media, but that police only wanted to handle “problematic information”.

Diamonds are a dog’s best friend #SootinClaimon.Com

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Diamonds are a dog’s best friend

NationalOct 19. 2020

By The NationA stray dog’s life has made a complete turnaround after it was adopted by a drunk man and turned into a celebrity.

Yutthaphum Kaewekhem woke up one morning to find a dog in his bed and later learned that he had stolen the stray from outside a restaurant after a drunken night out.

The story went viral online and Yutthaphum decided to do the right thing and adopt the mutt, much to the joy of all animal lovers.

The dog, now living a life of luxury, recently posed for photos sporting diamond jewellery.

The images of the dog called “Moo Ta” were posted on Yutthaphum’s Facebook account with the message: “Don’t leave a dog with a gay man.”

Ebbing tide strands dugong #SootinClaimon.Com

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Ebbing tide strands dugong

NationalOct 19. 2020

By The Nation

A hungry dugong was found crying for help on a beach in Trang province on Sunday after the tide ebbed and left it stranded.

The animal was found on Laem To Chai beach by Libong villagers at around 7.30am. It is a 1.8-metres-long female weighing around 220 kilograms.

Chaiyapruek Veerawong, chief of the Koh Libong Wildlife No Hunting Area, reported that villager Lerd Yodsri came to him asking for help as he was unable to move the animal on his own.

When wildlife officials arrived, they found clumps of halophila and other types of seagrass, which they believe drew the dugong to shallow waters and left it stranded when the tide ebbed.

Lerd was awarded for his act of kindness so others can also be motivated to help save wildlife.