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  • Covid: Large outbreaks in Thailand on the wane - warnings about workplace/ public place infections

    Covid: Large outbreaks in Thailand on the wane - warnings about workplace/ public place infections

     

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    Image: Daily News

     

    In a Covid-19 briefing Dr Thaweesap Siraprphasiri suggested that Thais should look at the situation in Malaysia and Myanmar.

     

    Malaysia had experienced a clear and extensive second wave of infection and there were 3,300 new daily cases reported. The country is under travel restrictions and lockdowns in most places.

     

    In Myanmar there were 600-1000 new infections. 

     

    On Friday, Thailand reported 188 - 154 infected domestically and 34 from outside, while no new deaths had been reported.

     

    On Saturday, one new fatality was reported, along with 230 new infections. 

     

    In a Daily News report it was suggested that large scale outbreaks in Thailand were now probably over but smaller outbreaks were being reported in areas like workplaces and in public areas. 

     

    In referencing the widespread infection in neighboring countries Dr Thaweesap urged people in Thailand to continue protecting themselves against the virus.

     

    *Post updated with COVID-19 stats from Saturday. 

     

    Source: Daily News

     

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    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-01-16
     
    16 January 2021
    1201863
  • Uncertainty over availability of COVID-19 vaccinations for expats in Thailand

    Uncertainty over availability of COVID-19 vaccinations for expats in Thailand 

     

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    REUTERS FILE PHOTO for reference only

     

    As the Thai government gears up to start vaccinating citizens against COVID-19, it is far from certain when (or even if) vaccinations will be available for expats in Thailand. 

     

    Thailand’s vaccination program begins in February with frontline healthcare workers and those deemed most vulnerable to be among the first to be vaccinated.

     

    Those located in areas deemed to be ‘high risk’, such as Samut Sakohon, Bangkok, Chonburi, Chantanburi, Trat and Rayong will be among the first recipients.

     

    From May, vaccinations will then start to be given to the general population with the Thai government saying it aims to vaccinate 30 million people by the end of the year.

     

    In early 2022, in what will be the third phase of vaccinations, 70% of the general population will be vaccinated so that herd immunity can be developed, Thailand’s Disease Control Department has said. 

     

    Thailand has ordered 61 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which will be produced by local firm, Siam Bioscience for domestic use and export, as well as also ordering a million doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac, which it expects to receive the first 200,000 doses next month.

     

    However, when the vaccinations will be available to expats in Thailand is not known.

     

    Expats who work in Thailand and pay into the social security system may be eligible for a vaccination but the situation is yet to be clarified by the Thai government.

     

    On Wednesday, the British Embassy in Bangkok posted on Thaivisa to confirm that as yet, it has no instructions regarding vaccinations for British nationals in Thailand. 

     

    Posting courtesy of the exclusive agreement the British Embassy Consular Team has with Thaivisa, the Embassy said:

     

    “We really appreciate what a worrying time this is, and how important it is to have the right information about vaccines. At the moment there aren't any additional instructions for Brits living overseas. As soon as we have any, we will let you know in this forum and via our Travel Advice.

     

    “We would also encourage you to subscribe and receive email alerts that will include changes in travel restrictions and other COVID-19 related updates. Here is the link: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand

     

    *if you wish to ask the British Embassy Consular Team a question, you can do so here

     

    Meanwhile, for Americans in Thailand, the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok recently revealed that the US government has no plans to provide vaccinations for its citizens overseas. 

     

    “As part of our efforts to give U.S. citizens timely information so that they can make informed choices about travel abroad, the Department advises that the United States government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas”, the US Embassy said in an alert.

     

    “U.S. citizens traveling or residing overseas should follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination”.

     

    thai+visa_news.jpg

    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-01-14
     
    14 January 2021
    1201506
  • PM promises "Fast - Safe - Transparent - Comprehensive" vaccine program - no mention of foreigners.

    PM promises "Fast - Safe - Transparent - Comprehensive" vaccine program - no mention of foreigners.

     

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    Image: Daily News

     

    Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has urged the health authorities to conduct a fast Covid-19 vaccine rollout. 

     

    Yet health minister Anutin Charnvirakul admitted one of the vaccines won't arrive in Thailand until JUNE. 

     

    There was also no mention of the word "foreigners" in the Daily News report - just Thai people. 

     

    Anutin addressed the press after a one hour briefing with Prayuth about the vaccination program. 

     

    He said that the PM had ordered a fast, safe, comprehensive and transparent rollout free from political interference or influence. 

     

    Promising "equality" he said that everyone would be vaccinated in a year in what would be the health department's biggest vaccination program ever. 

     

    Health workers would be first.

     

    No mention was made of foreigners living in Thailand, just Thais. 

     

    He would not stand in the way of other authorities who plan to purchase their own vaccine lots. This was not an abrogation of responsibility on behalf of the government, he said. 

     

    Places like downtown Khon Kaen and Bangkok have suggested they will purchase millions of doses and vaccinate themselves.

     

    In the capital alone a spokesman said earlier this week that a budget was available for 5 million jabs.

     

    Anutin said that 26 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine had been bought and the first lot would arrive in June. Regarding Sinovac the company is still seeking registration of the vaccine in China and it would also need to be approved by the Thai FDA. 

     

    Ministerial aide Dr Sophon Mekthon told the press that the first members of the public to get the vaccine would be Thai people over 60, the chronically sick with diseases like diabetes, lung infections and high blood pressure. 

     

    Children under 16 or 18 - a 10 million member group - would have to wait.

     

    Source: Daily News

     

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    16 January 2021
    1201805
  • COVID-19 vaccines only to be administered to those over 18

    COVID-19 vaccines only to be administered to those over 18

    Praphorn Praphornkul

     

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    BANGKOK (NNT) - The subcommittee managing COVID-19 vaccination has decided that inoculation will focus on those over the age of 18, when the first batch arrives in February.

     

    Director-General of the Department of Disease Control, Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong, department adviser Dr. Tawee Chotiwittayansunan and Head of the Chulalongkorn University Center for Excellence in Clinical Virology, Dr. Yong Poovorawan, said that a vaccination plan has been approved, a team to disseminate news and information will be formed, vaccination training will begin and teams to monitor inoculated individuals and collect data on the vaccine will be formed.

     

    The body also decided that, in light of the limited information on COVID-19 vaccines, an academic study team should be established. All new bodies formed by the subcommittee are to meet urgently to conclude necessary developments by February.

     

    Dr. Yong explained that the overall purpose of vaccination is to limit the severity of any infection, with some vaccinations which prevent infection entirely and others mitigate the more severe symptoms in the infected. He acknowledged that, due to the novelty of the virus, definitive information is limited, but assured the objective is to reduce infections and their severity. People under the age of 18 will not yet receive the vaccination, once it arrives, as testing on the age-group has yet to be conducted.

     

    Those who are inoculated will be reviewed every four weeks and be provided with treatment for any side effects, in line with National Health Security Office protocols. If widespread severe reactions are detected, vaccination will be stopped immediately. The subcommittee reminded that vaccination is only one weapon against COVID-19 and personal precautions should continue.

     

    Initial vaccination will take place on a voluntary basis, with registration to open once the relevant bodies have concluded the process.

     

    nnt.jpg

    -- © Copyright NNT 2021-01-17
     
    17 January 2021
    1201928
  • Expats may need to take COVID-19 test in order to renew extensions of stay: Richard Barrow

    Expats may need to take COVID-19 test in order to renew extensions of stay: Richard Barrow

     

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    Image: Reuters file photo

     

    Expats in Thailand may soon be required to take a COVID-19 test in order to extend their extensions of stay or so called retirement or marriage visas, according to Richard Barrow.

     

    Posting on Twitter on Saturday evening, popular travel blogger Richard shared a document published in the Royal Gazette that said foreigners are required to take a COVID-19 not only to visit Thailand but also extend their stay.

     

    You can read Richard's Twitter thread below:

     

     

     

    “This document was published in the Royal Gazette on 25th December. The part that is underlined says it will become law 30 days later. So on 25th January. As usual, not everything is clear and to be transparent here, there has been no announcement by Immigration yet”, read the Tweet by Richard.

     

    “From what I understand, this is for everyone who is entering Thailand and for everyone already here and need to extend their stay. It is also needed for those people who are applying for residency. The document doesn’t say how far in advance you need to get the COVID test done.

     

    “I will of course post more information here once Immigration make an official announcement with the details. But as we all know, that will probably come the day before. I’m sure you have many questions. So do immigration officials I spoke to. We all have to wait for head office”, Richard added.

     

    Richard’s Twitter thread comes as Thai news site Thansettakij on Thursday reported that “Coronavirus 2019 or COVID-19” had been added to the list of “prohibited diseases” for foreigners entering Thailand or those who apply for residency. It does not explicitly say those applying for an extension of stay.

     

    At this stage, it is worth noting the other “prohibited diseases” listed:

     

    1. Leprosy

    2. Tuberculosis 

    3. Lymphatic filariasis 

    4. Disease, drug abuse

    5. Syphilis of the third stage

     

    Expats who have previously submitted an application for an extension of stay for either retirement, marriage or being a parent to a Thai child will note that there has never been a requirement to complete a test for any of the “prohibited diseases”.

     

    A syphilis test may be required  when a foreigner applies for a work permit for the first time. 

     

    However, there has never been the same requirement for anyone applying for an extension of stay based on retirement or marriage.

     

    Nor has there ever been a requirement for anyone entering Thailand to complete a test for any of the above diseases. (Can you imagine the repercussions if Thailand required the 40 million tourists it received pre-COVID to complete a Syphilis test before entering the country!)

     

    Thaivisa’s advice - wait for further information on this one. Despite being published in Royal Gazette, this may not apply for the vast majority of people reading this post. Don’t panic!

     

    thai+visa_news.jpg

    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-01-16
     

     

    16 January 2021
    1201873
  • Thailand reports 374 new COVID-19 cases

    Thailand reports 374 new COVID-19 cases

     

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    Thailand reported 374 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.

     

    Of the new cases, 364 were local transmissions, 10 were imported from people entering quarantine.

     

    Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin also said 109 people had been discharged from hospital having made a full recovery. 

     

    2,969 people remain in hospital or held in a migrant worker quarantine centre.

     

    Sunday’s cases bring the total number of COVID-19 infections in Thailand to 12,045, with 70 deaths.

     

    The number of new infections and total cases in Thailand since 14 Dec is as follows:
     
    14 Dec: +28 (4,237)
    15 Dec: +9 (4,246)
    16 Dec: +15 (4,261)
    17 Dec: +20 (4,281)
    18 Dec: +16 (4,297)
    19 Dec: +34 (4,331)
    20 Dec: +576 (4,907)
    21 Dec: +382 (5,289)
    22 Dec: +427 (5,716)
    23 Dec: +46 (5,762)
    24 Dec: +67 (5,829)
    25 Dec: +81 (5,910)
    26 Dec: +110 (6,020)
    27 Dec: +121 (6,141)
    28 Dec: +144 (6,285)
    29 Dec: +155 (6,440)
    30 Dec: +250 (6,690)
    31 Dec: +194 (6,884)
    1 Jan: +279 (7,163)
    2 Jan: +216 (7,379) 
    3 Jan: +315 (7,694)
    4 Jan: +745 (8,439)
    5 Jan: +527 (8,966)
    6 Jan:+365 (9,331)
    7 Jan:+305 (9,636)
    8 Jan:+205 (9,841)
    9 Jan:+212 (10,053)
    10 Jan:+245 (10,298)
    11 Jan:+249 (10,547)
    12 Jan:+287 (10,834)
    13 Jan:+157 (10,991)
    14 Jan:+271 (11,262)
    15 Jan:+188 (11,450)
    16 Jan:+230 (11,680)
    17 Jan:+374 (12,045)
     

    thai+visa_news.jpg

    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-01-17
     
    17 January 2021
    1201963
  • In honour of Teacher’s Day, here are 70 photos of cute Thai teachers

    In honour of Teacher’s Day, here are 70 photos of cute Thai teachers

     

    Thailand honours its teachers on 16th January every year by giving them a day off in recognition of  their hard work throughout the year.

     

    While this year falls on a Saturday and what with COVID-19 and online learning perhaps meaning that teachers miss out on their day’s holiday, Thaivisa would like to honour all the teachers in Thailand, who for the most part work long hours for little pay.

     

    In celebration of Teacher’s Day, here are 70 of Thailand’s cutest teachers.

     

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    Images: 

     

    @KrunatadeeTH

    @TeacherNaRak

    dek-d.com

    jarm.com

    petmaya.com

    Sanook.com

    springnews.co.th

     

    thai+visa_news.jpg

    -- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2021-01-15
     
    15 January 2021
    1201692
  • Pakistan commends Thailand’s handling of COVID-19

    Pakistan commends Thailand’s handling of COVID-19

    Praphorn Praphornkul

     

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    BANGKOK (NNT) - Pakistan has commended Thailand on its handling of COVID-19 and preparations for once the outbreak subsides.

     

    Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan HE Asim Iftikhar Ahmad met today with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Chanvirakul to discuss the COVID-19 situation, applauding Thailand for effective management of the disease, in particular for progressing development of a vaccine. The diplomat underlined Thailand and Pakistan are cooperating against the disease and noted his country’s interest in promoting Bhuddist tourism along with the Eastern Economic Corridor, where it will consider trade promotion measures once COVID-19 subsides.

     

    DPM Anutin affirmed priority has been given to controlling the outbreak and developing a vaccine, noting cooperation between countries is needed to increase resources. On tourism, he remarked that it would be beneficial if Pakistan were to provide Visa On Arrival to Thai toursists when the situation improves in the future.

     

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    -- © Copyright NNT 2021-01-17
     
    17 January 2021
    1201938
  • Thailand Sold Itself as a Paradise Covid Retreat. No One Came

    Thailand Sold Itself as a Paradise Covid Retreat. No One Came

    Randy Thanthong-Knight, Bloomberg News

     

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    (Bloomberg) -- It’s hard to imagine a more luxurious place to spend two weeks of quarantine than the Anantara Phuket Suites & Villas in Thailand, where visitors are pampered in private residences that can have their own pool and courtyard.

     

    Yet more than three months after the resort and more than a hundred like it reopened to extended-stay travelers in an attempt to revive Thailand’s battered economy, foreign arrivals have failed to meet even rock-bottom expectations. Just 346 overseas visitors have entered the country on average each month on special visas since October, according to the Thailand Longstay Company, which helps facilitate the program. That’s well below the government’s target of about 1,200 and a tiny fraction of the more than 3 million who came before the pandemic.

     

    The tepid response to Thailand’s highly publicized reopening illustrates the difficulties facing tourist-dependent countries as they try to shore up economic growth while also protecting citizens from Covid-19 before vaccines become widely available.

     

    Thailand had hoped to lure retirees escaping the European winter and others who could stay for an extended period. They would have to go through quarantine, but that could be done in the comfort of high-end resorts in a country that had been relatively unscathed by the pandemic. After two weeks, Thailand would be theirs to roam for as long as nine months.

     

    Full story: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/thailand-sold-itself-as-a-paradise-covid-retreat-no-one-came-1.1549383

     

    Bloomberg.jpg

    -- © Copyright Bloomberg 2021-01-16
     
    16 January 2021
    1201789
  • Okay given for Bt300 foreign tourist entry fee

    Okay given for Bt300 foreign tourist entry fee

    By The Nation

     

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    Tourism and Sports Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn (Photo credit: Thai Government)

     

    The National Tourism Policy Committee has approved the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s proposal to collect a Bt300 fee from every tourist entering the country, said minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn on Thursday.

     

    The online fee will become effective once the measure is published in the Royal Gazette.

     

    The money collected will go to the tourism promotion fund.

     

    Phipat said the fee would help fund management and development of Thai tourism, as well as insurance for foreign tourists during their stay.

     

    The next step is for state agencies to draw up details of the fee collection.

     

    About 10 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand this year.

     

    Meanwhile the committee also viewed the status of the Special Tourist Visa (STV) scheme, which came into effect in September last year.

     

    As of January 11, a total of 1,114 tourists had entered Thailand on STVs, with another 123 set to arrive this month.

     

    Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/business/30401251

     

     

    nation.jpg

    -- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2021-01-15
     
    14 January 2021
    1201618