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Covid Alert @ Level 4

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  • Covid Alert @ Level 4

    Thailand’s Covid alert back at Level 4, CCSA says no lockdowns

    As infections continue to rise sharply across the country, the government has raised the Covid alert to Level 4 nationwide. The move comes as the number of severe cases and deaths also continues to rise, with most of the deaths reported in the elderly, the unvaccinated, and those with underlying health conditions. However, the CCSA has stated that lockdowns will not be implemented in order to curb the spread. Instead, disease prevention and containment measures are to be ramped up across the country, according to a Bangkok Post report.

    According to the Public Health Ministry, there has been a noticeable spike in infections among family members and close acquaintances as a result of dining out together, playing sports, and attending weddings and funerals. Kiattiphum Wongrajit, permanent secretary for public health, says that if people drop their guard and fail to adhere to disease prevention measures, there could be a return to tougher restrictions.

    The Bangkok Post reports that across the country, infections are increasing in all groups, but in particular, those of working age and children. The Department of Disease Control is paying close attention to the situation in 18 tourism provinces. Of those, Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket, Kanchanaburi, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nonthaburi, and Pathum Thani have reported fluctuating case numbers but the overall trend is climbing.

    The CCSA meets tomorrow to assess the latest situation, while reviewing measures aimed at boosting economic recovery. Spokeswoman Apisamai Srirangson says that from tomorrow, the focus of the government’s Covid task force will be on the number of severe cases and deaths. She adds that while there are no lockdown plans, the country is not yet ready to follow other countries in relaxing restrictions.

    “While the CCSA is unlikely to bring back lockdowns, Thailand still cannot afford to relax virus curbs in the same way as other countries have done. We have to come up with our own approach.”
    Apisamai also addressed rumours that the Test & Go entry scheme could once again be suspended, saying Thailand’s health system can still cope with the number of overseas arrivals testing positive.

  • #2
    Covid-19 patients found on Bangkok streets waiting for treatment after cases spike

    Today, Thailand’s CCSA reported new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours have reached 21,232 with 39 Covid-related deaths. Thai media and volunteer groups are also reporting that the availability of beds is “at a crisis point”. Photos of patients being left to wait for treatment on the street or on temple grounds are also being shared around social media. Authorities insist that the situation “is under control”. They claim there are beds and medicine available and enough for the current level of Covid patients.

    The volunteer Facebook page ‘Survive Sai Mai’ (Sai Mai is a district in Bangkok) posted a video of a 60 year old man who had become infected with Covid-19 and was waiting for treatment at a temple in Bangkok.

    Another volunteer Facebook page ‘Zendai’ also shared photos of a man found laying on the street complaining that he was gasping for air and was tired. He tested positive for Covid-19 and is now receiving treatment. There’s also another viral story about a mother with a one year old daughter waving for help from her balcony because they had become infected but weren’t able to find a hospital or contact anyone to get treatment.

    Yesterday, the Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul, explained to reporters that the photos and claims of the alleged Covid-19 patients left on the streets and other public locations “were not accurate”. He had checked with his team and did not find any records of the incidents.

    “I also watched the news and didn’t ignore what’s happening. I asked the secretary and other directors to check, but no one was left on the road. Beds were still available. We now operate a Home Isolation system also.”
    An officer from Bangkok Emergency Medical Centre or Erawan Centre also insisted that residents can contact a hotline on 1669 (in Thai only) if they have severe symptoms. He believed that a “miscommunication” caused someone be left on the street. The officer said that the centre might not know whether patients were infected or not because there was no document to confirm, so the centre didn’t send a car to pick them up. The officer said he was sorry for the lack of compassion and vowed the Erawan Centre “would improve and fix the problem”.

    Numerous other online stories claim that they were refused testing by hospitals “because it was a weekend”, and some claimed they were unable to contact the 1330 hotline to join the home isolation system.

    The National Health Security Office says that 1330 hotline has received over 20,000 calls per day, and that’s why people were unable to make contact. They say that the solution, in that case, is to contact via the Line app or complete self-registration through an online form instead, but did not comment on residents who were unable to afford a smartphone or internet services.


    • #3
      US government tells citizens to avoid travel to Hong Kong, New Zealand – and Thailand

      Americans are being told to avoid travel to Thailand, Hong Kong, and New Zealand, due to the rise in Covid-19 infections in each country. According to a Reuters report, the travel advisory was issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has raised its travel alert for Thailand to “Level Four: Very High”.

      In total, the US is recommending citizens avoid travel to around 135 countries. Another 33 countries are at “Level 3: High”. Meanwhile, Anguilla, Cape Verde, Fiji, Mexico, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates have all been lowered to Level 3. Just 29 countries are at “Level 2: Moderate” or “Level 1: Low”.

      The CDC is advising Americans who are not vaccinated to avoid travel, adding that even if vaccinated, travellers to Thailand risk contracting Covid-19.

      “If you must travel to Thailand, make sure you are vaccinated and up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines before travel. Even if you are up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines, you may still be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19.”
      The Bangkok Post reports that Thailand has recorded 18,943 new infections today, down from yesterday’s 21,162. There were 69 Covid-related deaths, up from 65 yesterday. Hong Kong reported 25,150 new cases yesterday, with 280 deaths. Authorities there are struggling to contain the outbreak, with many of the elderly unvaccinated population enduring the worst of the wave.

      The city has now reported a total of 500,000 infections, with most of its 2,000+ deaths reported in the last 2 weeks. According to the Reuters report, in the week to March 6, Hong Kong reported the most deaths per million people worldwide. The US CDC raised its travel advisory for Hong Kong to Level 3 last week.