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COVID situation ‘more serious’

COVID situation ‘more serious’

THAILAND: The Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) yesterday (Dec 27) admitted the current novel coronavirus outbreak is more serious than the first wave early this year and urged the public to comply with disease control measures so drastic measures would not be needed.

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By Bangkok Post

Monday 28 December 2020, 08:59AM


Migrant workers and migrant health volunteers clap their hands to welcome Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who inspected measures to handle the COVID-19 outbreak at the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon province yesterday (Dec 27). The market and Sri Muang dormitory are designated as off-limits areas for disease control. Photo: Apichit Jinakul.

Migrant workers and migrant health volunteers clap their hands to welcome Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who inspected measures to handle the COVID-19 outbreak at the Central Shrimp Market in Samut Sakhon province yesterday (Dec 27). The market and Sri Muang dormitory are designated as off-limits areas for disease control. Photo: Apichit Jinakul.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the CCSA, said the number of infections jumped by over a thousand over a short period of time, suggesting the spread of the virus this time is far more serious than the first wave, which began at the start of the year.

A total of 121 new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday, 94 of which were local transmissions.

The number of accumulated cases rose to 6,141, compared with 4,331 before the outbreak in Samut Sakhon began in mid-December.

COVID-19 cases linked to Talad Klang Kung (Central Shrimp Market) in Samut Sakhon have now been found in 38 other provinces, the CCSA spokesman said, adding Sukhothai, Lop Buri and Surin reported their first linked cases yesterday.

However, Dr Taweesilp said health officials are better prepared and more experienced than they were when the pandemic first hit the country.

The public also have easier access to face masks now, he added.

“So whether or not the disease control measures will be intensified will depend on how much the public cooperates. If we cooperate, there will be no need to enforce the law, impose lockdowns or a curfew. The government doesn’t want to impose restrictions,” he said.

Dr Taweesilp said everyone should continue wearing face masks in public and avoid large gatherings, saying they can still hold small parties with close friends and family members.

He also took to task the gamblers in Rayong for withholding information about their activities, which could hamper health officials’ efforts to contain the virus.

As previously reported, in addition to Samut Sakhon’s shrimp market, a new cluster of COVID-19 infections was found in Rayong, which is linked to a local underground casino in Muang district.

The area has been declared a maximum control zone – where the tightest COVID-19 control measures apply – after 27 new infections were confirmed in a single day on Saturday.

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The number has increased to 85 as of yesterday.

Dr Taweesilp said similar incidents have been reported in Japan, South Korea, and Australia, where new cases were linked to “grey” or possibly illegal activities.

Authorities will pay special attention to illegal activities following the discovery of the Rayong cluster, he said, before calling on Rayong residents to comply with social distancing measures.

“When there are confirmed cases, the impacts are vast. It’s not limited to the infected people. Others are affected. The entire province is affected,” he said.

Dr Taweesilp said the Public Health Ministry will also speed up COVID-19 testing, after it was slammed for being slow in providing public updates relating to the new confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging the public to use the “Mor Chana” application to track COVID-19 cases around them, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said.

Mr Anucha said the application was a collaboration between state organisations and private developers, aimed at providing data to the Department of Disease Control to boost its efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

The application, launched in April, can help warn individuals who have been exposed to infected patients by using GPS and Bluetooth technology to track their location.

Meanwhile, Bangkok residents are calling on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to provide more detailed information about the movement of confirmed COVID-19 patients and speed up its investigation.

They are responding to a Facebook post by Pongsakorn Kwanmuang, spokesman for the BMA, which said 58 cases were found in the capital between Dec 20-26. He also said 16 more tested positive yesterday, raising concerns about public safety. Netizens said they need information to assess their risks of infections.

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cyberspider | 31 December 2020 - 16:20:59

cpfleger: I dont know how to solve this. It will take long time before vaccine will be available for so many people. And we still dont know how long the immunity lasts. We had to cancel our Thailand vacation in 2020, and im losing my hopes for 2021. :( 
I wouldnt mind 2 weeks quarantine, if i could stay for 2-3 months. But i cant get much more than 2 weeks leave at work.

cpfleger | 30 December 2020 - 23:02:49

@kurt @cyberspider: 
I am pretty sure that there won't be many tourists heading to TH when they still force them to go through a Q even vaccinated. 
Maybe TH should take care to order enough vaccines NOW for all Thais instead?! Current dose order number is ridiculous, sacrificing people for homemade (plus profits for the usual profiteers)?

cyberspider | 30 December 2020 - 04:46:27

..And there is more. Vaccine is not used for children. (in my country it will not be given to anyone below 18 years old) And as they are mostly asymptomatic carriers, they would still have to spend their holidays in quarantine..
...having time of their lives of course :) /sarc

cyberspider | 30 December 2020 - 04:38:27

Kurt: tourism delay? It looks like its dead for good with current international attitude to covid. I used to have hopes for vaccine, but it looks like that its not a solution at all. 
It reduces infection rate only marginally, all people still can get infected. Only with vaccine, they will be protected against symptoms and illness, so they will be asymptomatic carriers for few days.

Kurt | 29 December 2020 - 10:51:12

...as now we go to face more closures, job losses, lock downs, and a further delay of starting up international traveling/tourism. The present Thailand outlook is gloomy.

Kurt | 29 December 2020 - 10:47:27

After seeing the photo of this article I am not surprised that minister Anutin got Covid-19 infected during his visit there. And reading today in BP .."Sweeping closures in city".. with predictions of astonishing Covid figures to look forward too Thailand should not longer wait to start up vaccinations.  Any day delay brings Thailand further behind in Covid-19 Pandemic fighting as .....

Sandbar | 29 December 2020 - 02:57:42

A Q code system is now being used in Australia in every bussiness place, shopping centre, pubs, resturants where the government can inform citizens if they haved been exposed to a virus hot spot or out break. News years eve celabrations have been cancelled and  numbers have been strictly capped in resturants cafes and home celabrations. International travlers are still banned from entry.

CaptainJack69 | 28 December 2020 - 12:46:07

"avoid large gatherings"... and what exactly is going on in the picture? "Maximum control area"...?

 

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