Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul will get their Covid-19 jabs on Sunday, a day before vaccination is rolled out across the country.
“The PM will be vaccinated at [Nonthaburi’s] Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute on Sunday morning,” Sophos Mekthon, chairman of the government subcommittee on Covid-19 vaccines, said on Friday.
Kiattiphum Wongrajit, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary, will be on hand to explain the vaccination appointment procedure to Prayut, he added.
The procedure entails registration with an ID card, a brief physical check-up, signing a vaccine permission form, monitoring for symptoms after vaccination, and making an appointment for the second shot.
“The prime minister will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in line with the vaccine’s guidelines,” said Sophos.
Members of the public will be vaccinated from Monday (March 1) onwards.
The number of new Covid-19 cases in Thailand fell below 50 for the first time since the second wave hit the country in December last year, with 45 people testing positive on Friday.
Of them, eight are returnees in quarantine facilities, and 32 picked up the infection while visiting high-risk areas.
Samut Sakhon led with 14 cases, followed by five in Nakhon Nayok, three each in Bangkok, Chai Nat and Nakhon Pathom, two in Saraburi and one each in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Samut Prakan.
Meanwhile, proactive testing led to the discovery of five cases, all in Samut Sakhon.
Of the infected travellers, two are from France and one each from Germany, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Pakistan, UK and Kuwait.
Meanwhile, 218 patients have recovered and been discharged.
As of Friday, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand had risen to 25,809. Of these, 23,056 had been contracted locally, including 14,485 who were found via proactive testing, while 2,753 were returnees.
So far, 24,952 have recovered and been discharged, 774 are still being treated and the death toll remains unchanged at 83.
Meanwhile, according to Worldometer as of 12am, the number of confirmed cases globally had risen to 113.55 million (up by 16,784), 89.13 million of whom have recovered, 21.9 million are active cases (91,392 in severe condition) and 2.52 million have died (up by 984). Thailand ranks 114th in the global list of most cases, which is topped by the US with 29.05 million, followed by India with 11.06 million, Brazil 10.39 million, Russia 4.21 million and the United Kingdom 4.15 million.
Pathum Thani reopens two markets that were Covid-19 hotspots
NationalFeb 26. 2021File photo of Covid-19 testing at Pornpat Market
By THE NATION
The Pathum Thani public health office on Thursday announced that Pornpat and Suchart markets in Thanyaburi district would be allowed to open effective immediately, while merchants can occupy a maximum of 30 per cent of selling areas so as to promote social distancing.
The two markets had been ordered shut for cleaning and disinfection since February 9 after some Covid-19 cases were traced back there.
The provincial health office had undertaken proactive testing of nearly 20,000 people around the markets and nearby communities from February 9-24, and found 498 people positive for Covid-19, or 2.58 per cent of those tested.
“Most of the infected people showed no symptoms and were Thai merchants in markets and migrant workers,” said the office.
As of Thursday, Pathum Thani has reported a total of 522 patients, 262 are under hospitalisation and 260 have been cured with no fatality.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT) on Thursday allowed airline operators to serve food and drinks to passengers, as well as sell souvenirs on board the plane for domestic flights.
The serving of in-flight food and drinks, except for emergency, had been prohibited by the CAAT since December last year in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The CAAT had also prohibited the distribution of newspapers, magazines or any pamphlets to passengers in-flight except those related to safety, in order to reduce touching surfaces that could spread the virus.
“Airlines still need to strictly follow Covid-19 preventive measures, including having passengers and staff wearing face masks at all times, except when eating or drinking,” said CAAT chairman Suttipong Kongpool.
“Along with allowing in-flight meals, souvenirs are allowed to be sold to passengers on board as well.”
Ra Ngae Police Station was alerted to a fatal bombing and gunfight incident between patrolling soldiers and suspected insurgents in Narathiwat province at 6.50am on Thursday.
At the scene of the attack in Bor Ngor subdistrict — a forest behind a rubber plantation — police found the bodies of two dead officers, namely Bahari Marusa and Sornram Ratcharak, of the Army’s volunteer scouting units, and one officer, Tiwakorn Boonsaen, who suffered a minor injury. They were sent to Ra Ngae Hospital for autopsy and treatment.
Officers of the scouting unit told police that they were sleeping in tents after patrolling the areas when an unknown number of insurgents threw pipe bombs into one of the tents, and after an explosion they fired at the tent with automatic weapons and fled the scene, resulting in deaths of the two officers and one getting injured.
Police found four unexploded pipe bombs and 30 bullet casings of M-16 assault rifle. The scouting unit also reported that one shotgun and two AK-47 rifles were missing and speculated that the insurgents must have stolen them during the attack.
Officials are searching the areas for clues about the suspected insurgents, but have yet to find anything.
Pilots from Air Squadron 7 of the Royal Thai Air Force brought sheets of gold, silver and copper alloy aboard the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jet on Wednesday and flew above the Gulf of Thailand east of Koh Samui in Surat Thani province.
Photo credit: Facebook @wing7RTAF
The jet flew at Mach 1.29 speed, or 1,446 kilometres per hour at an altitude of 36,000 foot.
Photo credit: Facebook @wing7RTAF
The sheets of precious metals had been blessed by various Buddhist monks from all over the country, and will later be melted to make statuettes of Prince Chakrabongse Bhuvanath, son of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and the founder of Royal Aeronautical Service on March 3 at the Navaminda Kasatriyadhiraj Royal Air Force Academy in Bangkok’s Don Muang district.
Photo credit: Facebook @wing7RTAF
The Royal Thai Air Force is planning to build statuettes of the Prince and give them to all air squadrons nationwide to remind its personnel of his work and dedication in establishing the Royal Aeronautical Service, a forerunner to the modern Royal Thai Air Force.
The Thailand Meteorological Department said on Friday that a thermal low covers upper Thailand, resulting in hot weather with haze during the day in the areas. The morning will remain cool in the upper North and upper Northeast due to westerly winds from the Himalayan range blowing over the areas.
Meanwhile, the weak easterly wind across the Gulf of Thailand causes weak winds and waves over the Gulf and the Andaman Sea.
During February 28-March 3, another moderate high pressure will extend to cover the Northeast and the South China Sea, while the southerly and southeasterly winds bring humidity from the South China Sea to the lower Northeast, the Central, the East including Bangkok and its vicinity. Hot days are forecast over the areas with thunderstorm and gusty winds in some areas.
The weather forecast for the next 24 hours:
North: Cool to cold weather in the morning, hot weather with haze during the day; temperature lows of 15-20 degrees Celsius, highs of 34-38°C; temperature on hilltops is likely to drop to 6-15°C.
Northeast: Cool in the morning, hot with haze during the day; temperature lows of 17-22°C, highs of 35-38°C; temperature on hilltops is likely to drop to 11-15°C.
Central: Partly cloudy, hot weather with haze during the day; temperature lows of 21-23°C, highs of 37-38°C.
East: Partly cloudy and hot weather during the day; temperature lows of 22-24°C, highs of 32-37°C; waves less than a metre high and a metre offshore.
South (east coast): Partly cloudy; temperature lows of 19-22°C, highs of 31-35°C; waves a metre high.
South (west coast): Partly cloudy; temperature lows of 17-23°C, highs of 33-36°C; waves less than a metre high and 1 metre offshore.
Bangkok and surrounding areas: Partly cloudy, hot weather with haze during the day; temperature lows of 23-25°C, highs of 34-37°C.
A recent survey conducted jointly by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) office in London and global data and market research giant YouGov shed some light on the future of the tourism sector once the Covid crisis is over.
Of the 4,127 respondents, 75 per cent planning to travel abroad said they were willing to be inoculated if required, with the caveat that people above the age of 55 be given preference.
Meanwhile, 41 per cent of those planning trips disagreed with mandatory quarantine measures at destination countries, though 52 per cent said they were fine with up to five days in quarantine.
Of those planning to travel, 62 per cent are above 50 years of age and are considering countries that have had few Covid-19 cases.
Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT’s deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, said based on this survey, at least 9 per cent or up to 6 million people are hoping to travel to Thailand in 2021.
Another online survey conducted by TAT’s Stockholm office found that 99 per cent of travellers from the Nordic region are concerned about getting infected after travel arrangements have been confirmed.
Of those surveyed, 62 per cent said they wanted to spend this winter in Thailand if there are no restrictions. Their top destinations of choice were Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak, followed by Koh Samui, Koh Pha-ngan, Koh Tao, Bangkok and Hua Hin.
However, 68 per cent of the respondents said they would cancel their plans if the 14-day quarantine is mandatory, while 26 per cent said they would still travel, though 13 per cent said they wanted the quarantine period to be cut to 10 days.
Separately, a survey in France conducted by the Online Travel Agents platforms, which includes Opodo, eDreams and Go Voy, found that once success with Covid-19 vaccines was announced, visits to tourism websites rose by 15 per cent.
The most searched for destinations were Dubai (49 per cent), Marrakesh (27 per cent) and Bangkok (25 per cent).
Of the browsers, 20 per cent checked out cleanliness and safety measures in place at hotels and tourist attractions, 20 per cent checked out tourist destinations, while 18 per cent hunted for last-minute deals.
A survey in the Americas conducted by MMGY Myriad found that most American travellers did not cancel their bookings, but instead postponed them for seven months to one year. The survey showed that American travellers focused on certificates issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), and most of them were planning to go on solo trips.
“Flexibility to reschedule is the top priority for American tourists, followed by safety. These tourists are looking for safety, no quarantine, flexibility and no deposit,” Siripakorn said.
The Mega Travel Trends report released by media firm Skift Research showed that the travel industry will only recover in 2023 and will only return to pre-Covid levels by 2025.
Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang announced on his Facebook page on Thursday that the capital would from March start vaccinating the first batch of people considered to be at high risk of contracting Covid-19.https://www.youtube.com/embed/gsWsZThzHfw?rel=0
Aswin visited Bang Khun Thian Geriatric Hostipal on Thursday to check if the hospital was ready for vaccinations.
He would check the “readiness of the whole operation”, right from start – in which the elderly and medical personnel would be injected – to finish, in which those vaccinated would be allowed to return home, he said.
Bang Khun Thian Geriatric, Luang Phor Taweesak Chutinataro Uthit, Ratchaphiphat, Bang Khun Thian 1, Bangpakok 9 International, Bangmod, PMG, Nakhonthon and Boonyavej are among the hospitals in Bangkok that will provide vaccinations.