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  • French Woman Contracted COVID after Quarantine

    French Woman Contracted COVID after Quarantine




    BANGKOK, Oct 24 (TNA) – The Department of Disease Control admitted that a French woman contracted the novel coronavirus after her 14-day quarantine and her case possibly showed local infection.

    Dr Sophon Iamsirithaworn, director of general communicable diseases at the department, said the French woman aged 57 arrived from Limoges together with her husband and son on Sept 30 on the TG933 flight of Thai Airways International.


    They stayed at an alternative state quarantine facility in Samut Prakan province for 14 days and tested negative twice.


    Full story: https://tna.mcot.net/english-news-569424



    -- © Copyright TNA 2020-10-25
    24 October 2020
  • Quarantine for tourists could be reduced to 10 days – or even none: Anutin

    Quarantine for tourists could be reduced to 10 days – or even none: Anutin

    By The Nation




    The Public Health Ministry aims to reduce quarantine for tourists to 10 days.


    Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced the target on Wednesday, as Thailand received its first foreign tourists since closing the country in March.


    The batch of 39 tourists from Shanghai were tested for Covid-19 before arriving in Bangkok and would undergo the full 14-day quarantine under current rules, said Anutin.


    He added that progress was being made to reduce the quarantine period while guaranteeing safety so that tourists gradually returned.


    “The truth is, the Public Health Ministry is ready for the change but other relevant agencies still have requested time to adjust. So we have to wait and work together.


    “The Department of Disease Control proposed reducing quarantine to 10 days to begin with,” Anutin said.


    "I have said that if we are confident, we do not have to be afraid since the goal is finding the safest period for quarantine. If we find a good method, it may be reduced to five, four, three days or even none.”


    However, Anutin said he was opposed to lifting all entry restrictions, a move taken by some countries in Europe, where Covid-19 cases have begun to surge again.


    He said quarantine was still effective and had achieved great results over the last 5-6 months, adding that Thailand still needs to focus on halting the disease at its borders, especially in Mae Sot district, Tak province.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30396551



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-10-21



    21 October 2020
  • Three Ways to Acquire COVID Vaccines

    Three Ways to Acquire COVID Vaccines




    BANGKOK, Oct 24 (TNA) – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered officials to acquire COVID-19 vaccines through three ways, intending to make a vaccine available for Thai people at the same time as in other countries.

    Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said that in the latest meeting of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration, the prime minister ordered the Ministry of Public Health and other relevant organizations to quickly acquire vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to make sure that Thailand would have such a vaccine when other countries would.


    The government allocated 1 billion baht to the National Vaccine Institute and vaccine acquisition was being conducted via three ways.


    Full story: https://tna.mcot.net/english-news/line-today-english-news-569410



    -- © Copyright TNA 2020-10-25
    24 October 2020
  • French tourist among four new Covid-19 cases

    French tourist among four new Covid-19 cases





    There were four new Covid-19 cases over a 24-hour period, including three cases in state quarantine and a domestic infection, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said on Saturday.



    Of the three returnees, one patient, aged 38, had arrived from Austria and two, aged 26 and 38, had returned from Hong Kong. All the Thai nationals were female.


    The domestic case was a 57-year-old French tourist, who visited Koh Samui in Surat Thani province with her husband and son.


    Koh Samui Hospital showed a positive result on October 21, and the result was again confirmed by the Regional Medical Sciences Centre 11 in Surat Thani on October 22.


    However, her husband and son have tested negative. Further information on the French tourist can be checked here.


    As of Saturday, the number of confirmed cases in Thailand increased to 3,731 (783 in state quarantine), 143 are in hospital, 3,529 have recovered and been discharged and 59 have died.



    According to Worldometer, as of 9am on Friday, the number of confirmed global cases had risen to 42.46 million, 31.42 million have recovered, 76,477 are in serious condition and 1.14 million have died.

    Thailand ranks 146th for most cases in the world.


    The US has the most number, with 8.74 million, followed by India (7.81 million), Brazil (5.35 million), Russia (1.48 million) and Spain (1.11 million).


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30396703



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-10-24
    24 October 2020
  • Chula virologist unravels mystery of global Covid death tolls

    Chula virologist unravels mystery of global Covid death tolls

    By The Nation



    Dr Yong Poovorawan


    A specialist in virology at Chulalongkorn University has highlighted the huge differences in Covid-19 death tolls from country to country across the globe.


    Dr Yong Poovorawan said that that China had registered 200 times fewer Covid-19 deaths per million people than the US.


    The area of the globe with the highest Covid-19 death toll was the Americas, with the US recording 659 deaths per million and Brazil recording 708, he added in a Facebook post on Friday.


    "In Europe, the UK and Spain's death per million people are 600 and 696, respectively," he said.


    "In Asia, India's death toll per million people is 79 – higher than China where the Covid-19 outbreak has killed just three people per million.


    “Thailand's deaths per million people is 0.9," he added.


    Dr Yong said the huge differences in Covid-19 death tolls were due to various factors, including median age of the population, Covid-19 prevention methods and DNA.


    "Most Covid-19 patients are old, while the median age of Americans is definitely higher than Indians," he said, adding that Japan's Covid-19 death toll is only 13 people per million despite its high median age.


    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30396320



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-10-16
    16 October 2020
  • SURVEY: Digital Nomads--Good for Thailand or not?

    Korn Chatikavanij, a former finance minister, has suggested that Thailand specifically court digital nomads to work in Thailand.  In your opinion, is this a worthwhile endeavor?  


    Feel free to leave a comment.


    Read more here:   https://forum.thaivisa.com/topic/1187354-make-thailand-a-hub-for-digital-nomads-suggests-influential-thai-politician/


    16 October 2020
  • Quarantine Tales #1: Thaivisa talks to expats in quarantine: “It’s all very professional just don’t ask for an Irish coffee”

    Quarantine Tales #1: Thaivisa talks to expats in quarantine: “It’s all very professional just don’t ask for an Irish coffee”



    Image: Reuters file photo


    Today Thaivisa begins a series of stories examining in detail what it is like to undergo - some say endure - what has become known as Alternative State Quarantine or Alternative Local State Quarantine.


    At present this is the 14 day period that foreigners returning or visiting Thailand must spend in a participating hotel either in the Bangkok area or in designated facilities outside the capital. It includes all the tests necessary for Covid-19 before people are free to really arrive in Thailand, albeit still tracked by an app. 


    Currently there is no sidestepping this requirement and many people abroad who want to return to loved ones or property - who want to resume their lives in Thailand - are accepting that fronting up the cash and going through quarantine is the only answer.


    More and more hotels are applying to the government to take part in places as far removed as Pattaya and Samui.


    This past week we began by ending "The Stranded" series with a 60 year old British man who managed to get through the hoops and hassles of the paperwork and return to Thailand to go through the quarantine in Bangkok. He was less than complimentary but that was just one person's voice. 


    Today we feature the founder and former owner of Thaivisa, George, who is currently in quarantine after returning to Thailand from Sweden, via Cambodia.


    George found himself stuck outside of Thailand after having to go back to Sweden to deal with an urgent family matter. 


    His initial attempts to begin the process to return to Thailand via the Thai Embassy in Stockholm failed, as did the same request at the Thai Consulate in Amsterdam, with both failing to reply to several emails and phone calls.


    George then decided that he stood a better chance of being able to enter Thailand from a neighboring country. He managed to find a flight to Cambodia (via Stockholm, Amsterdam and Doha) and was able to base himself in Phnom Penh for the past month while he attended to some business interests and worked on arranging his entry into Thailand.


    In Cambodia, he registered via the Thai Embassy’s Facebook page for a flight back to Thailand and was able to obtain all the necessary documentation required to enter, such as a Fit to Fly certificate, CoE, proof of negative COVID test. 


    His insurance coverage was obtained from Tune Insurance and cost 9,000 baht. 


    "Anyone stuck in Cambodia can use the once monthly repatriation charter flights. 18K THB one-way", George said.


    "It's organized by Royal Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh and a Thai travel agency. Very friendly Embassy staff who went to any length to get everybody a CoE."


    "There were about 60 passengers on my 14 October flight. Next one is on 10 Nov"




    On Oct 14 he flew back to Thailand.


    “They must have checked all my paperwork about five times”, George said.


    “But all in all, everything was very professional the way it is being handled in Thailand”. 


    When George arrived at Suvarnabhumi, rather than being met by officials in hazmat suits he said it just seemed to be airport staff wearing surgical masks.


    “They were very welcoming”, he said.


    “They took us through immigration in groups of 10 and then to minivans with two people per minivan as they took us to our hotel”.


    “I’m staying at the Maple Hotel in Bang Na, it’s near Ikea, and has cost 38,000 THB for the room, which I didn’t think was too expensive”.


    George had looked at several different options for quarantine but said he didn’t see the point of paying extra for a hotel in central Bangkok when he wouldn’t have been able to leave anyway!


    “The hotel is good and again the staff have been really professional”.


    “Here the staff are wearing protective suits and face shields, but you really don’t come into contact with them anyway”. 


    Once checked in he saw a doctor and had temperature taken and did a swab test.


    He was then shown to his room, where he had to stay for the first five days. 


    After five days he was allowed to go to the rooftop exercise area, where guests can visit for up to one hour per day. Visits to the exercise area must be booked in advance. 


    Roof top exercise area at Maple Hotel


    He gets given three meals per day which he chooses from a menu. 


    “Overall the food has been good. Some days it has been better than others, but it’s pretty good. I had fish and chips yesterday and it was good”.


    Once the food arrives it is placed on a tray outside his door. He doesn’t actually come into contact with anyone.


    If he wants snacks, he sends a message to hotel staff using Line and they send someone to 7 Eleven. 


    “If you need anything at all, you just contact the staff on Line and they get back to you right away. They are very helpful”.


    George has his temperature taken three times per day, as is standard. He is also due to have another COVID-19 test on Oct 25 with the results due two days later, in preparation for him leaving. 


    When asked about the impact being locked in a room had on his mental health, George said he found days 2 and 3 most difficult, when he suddenly started to feel a little isolated.


    But regular video and voice calls to friends, work and plenty of Netflix has helped him pass the time. 


    “The calls are really important, connecting with friends is a good way to keep your sanity”.


    George did say however that he feels anyone who perhaps has struggled with anxiety or depression in the past may find quarantine difficult. 


    He said the hotel staff have been very supportive and as well as checking on his physical health, also show concern with regards to the mental wellbeing of anyone in quarantine. 


    A few other points George raised:


    There is absolutely no alcohol available to anyone in quarantine.


    “I cheekily tried to order an Irish coffee but was told cannot!”


    “They wouldn’t even let me keep paracetamol in the room”.


    Screenshot 2020-10-24 at 12.51.07.png


    As well as the three meals per day, room service is also available.


    “I’ve ordered room service a few times, which has been good. And if I need anything else I message them on Line and they go to 7-Eleven or Villa for me. But using apps like FoodPanda or Grab is not allowed”.


    George also had a couple of tips for anyone who is due to enter quarantine.


    “Bring your own power cable!”


    “I have my laptop, tablet and phone and hotel rooms normally only have a few power sockets.”


    “I brought my own and it has been really useful”.


    “Also, bring your own cutlery!”


    “I hate using plastic cutlery and all the food they give you comes with a plastic knife and fork”.


    “I brought my own knife and fork with me from Sweden and it has proved to be a small comfort”.


    “Finally, bring your own tea bags!”


    George is due to leave quarantine on 29 Oct. Doctors have told him they recommend further self isolation of 14 days once he returns to his house in Thailand. 


    “So far, it hasn’t been too bad”.


    “My advice to people would be to fully research all the different options available to you and where possible bring a few home comforts to make the stay a little easier.




    ASQ: Maple Hotel

    Cost: 38,000 Baht

    Insurance: Tune Insurance, 9,000 baht

    Tip: Bring a power cable and your own cutlery!



    Have you been in quarantine in Thailand? What was your experience like? Do you have any tips for others regarding quarantine?


     Share your story with us by emailing support@thaivisa.com



    Some photos of the food the hotel has been giving guests



    Western breakfast



    Fish and chips



    Pork loin and mashed potato



    Chicken with black pepper



    The all important power adapter - "a must", according to George






    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-10-24










    24 October 2020
  • TAT announces compulsory medical insurance for foreign visitors

    TAT announces compulsory medical insurance for foreign visitors




    Bangkok, 23 October, 2020 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to share the latest announcement from the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) that foreign visitors will be able to purchase compulsory COVID-19 insurance policy online prior to visiting the Kingdom.


    TAT Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, said, “A medical insurance policy with at least USD $100,000 coverage or about 3.16 million Baht for possible COVID-19 treatment is among the official documents required from foreign visitors planning to visit Thailand during this challenging public health crisis.


    “TAT hopes the COVID-19 insurance protection programme, under the regulation of the OIC, offers additional peace-of-mind for foreign visitors and hopefully makes it easier for inbound travellers before departing from their country of origin,” Mr. Yuthasak added.


    The Thai General Association (TGIA) and the Thai Life Assurance Association (TLAA) plus 16 leading and non-life insurance companies in Thailand are partnering together with the oversight according to regulations from the OIC to offer the COVID-19 insurance protection programme to foreign visitors.


    Foreign travellers will enjoy the following advantages of purchasing an OIC-endorsed medical insurance policy, which is available online at https://covid19.tgia.org/:


    • The insurance policy has been approved by the Thai government and can be used in the Thai visa application process. Coverage begins immediately upon arrival in Thailand.
    • No need for advance payment or out-of-pocket expenses when admitted at private hospitals nationwide. Insurance coverage does not exceed USD $100,000 or about 3.16 million Baht.
    • In the case of death from COVID-19 infection, the insurance company will provide a life insurance benefit of USD $100,000 or about 3.16 million Baht to the beneficiary.
    • The insurance premium cost is reasonable, the process is overseen by the OIC, and purchase can be done efficiently online.
    • Thailand’s public health infrastructure and healthcare facilities,  as well as healthcare professionals are recognised as some of the best in Asia for treating infectious diseases.


    The OIC-endorsed COVID-19 insurance packages vary from 30 days to one year. The premium ranges from 1,600-4,800 Baht for 30 days of coverage; from 2,880-8,640 Baht for 60 days; from 3,840 – 12,160 Baht for 90 days; from 7,680 – 23,040 Baht for 120 days, and from 14,400 – 43,200 Baht for one year.


    TAT highly recommends foreigners planning to visit Thailand to enquire at the Royal Thai Embassy/Consulate-General in their home country before making any bookings.


    Source: https://www.tatnews.org/2020/10/tat-announces-compulsory-medical-insurance-for-foreign-visitors/

    23 October 2020
  • Thailand enters cold season today (Oct 22)

    Thailand enters cold season today



    Cr.Maria Shanina


    Thailand is officially entering the cold season today (Thursday), as temperatures in the northern, northeastern, central and eastern regions drop below 23C, said Korravee Sitthichivapark, Deputy Director-General of the Meteorological Department.


    She said that low altitude winds have changed course, from westerly to easterly or southeasterly, adding that the average temperature, measured by  weather stations in the north, northeast, central and eastern regions, is under 23oC.


    She also said that there may be scattered light rain over the upper part of Thailand, and the southern region is entering its rainy season. Regarding the tropical storm, which is now over the South China Sea, Korravee said that it is yet to be determined whether or when it will hit Vietnam, but the situation will become much clearer early next week.


    Source: https://www.thaipbsworld.com/thailand-enters-cold-season-today/





    22 October 2020
  • Govt warehouse agency in trouble over suspected graft

    Govt warehouse agency in trouble over suspected graft

    By The Nation




    Five private firms are thinking about suing the Public Warehouse Organisation (PWO) over alleged corruption related to a Bt112-billion purchase deal for surgical gloves.


    The organisation reportedly closed the deal with local company, Guardian Gloves, on August 13 and the contract showed Pol Colonel Roongroj, then-acting PWO director, as the buyer.


    Meanwhile, seven companies had signed a separate deal with PWO worth Bt186 billion. However, one of the firms, KK Oil and Gas Company, is accusing the government of refusing to help the private sector amid the Covid-19 outbreak and forcing them to lose revenue by blocking exports at a time when global demand for surgical gloves was 15 times higher than usual. The company also accused the authorities of corruption.


    The company also suggested that PWO sign a new deal with Guardian Gloves, or there may be negative consequences leading to the private companies suing PWO.


    Roonroj said the initial deal was not approved by the PWO board, adding that mistakes may have been made but there was no corruption.


    Full story: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30396606



    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2020-10-22
    22 October 2020