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Thailand braced for infections spike after detecting UK COVID-19 variant


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2021-04-07T063359Z_1_LYNXMPEH360AC_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-THAILAND.jpeg

People receive Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine after hundreds of residents in the district tested positive for the coronavirus disease in Bangkok, Thailand, April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

 

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand has detected at least 24 cases of the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 first identified in Britain, a government health expert said on Wednesday, its first known domestic transmission of the highly contagious variant.

 

The SARS-CoV-2 variant known as B.1.1.7 has been found in more than 100 countries and has been blamed for fuelling new waves of infections in record numbers.

 

The UK variant was found in a cluster of 24 visitors to entertainment venues in Bangkok, which were detected at the weekend. Nearly 200 such venues have been closed for two weeks.

 

"We did everything to block it, and it still gets through," Yong Poovorawan, a government expert and virologist at Chulalongkorn University, told a health ministry briefing.

 

"This variant is very viral and can spread 1.7 times faster than the usual strain," he said.

 

Thailand has seen infections jump in the past week, although numbers are still low compared to some of its regional neighbours.

 

It recorded 334 new infections on Wednesday, with no new deaths, bringing its case total to 29,905 and 95 fatalities.

 

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha instructed authorities to prepare field hospitals in anticipation of a spike in infections.

Ten of his ministers and dozens of lawmakers were self-isolating on Wednesday due to exposure to positive cases.

 

"We can handle things right now and I have instructed the preparation for field hospitals in Bangkok area," Prayuth said of the rise in cases.

 

"We could need these field hospitals in case the pandemic worsens," he added.

 

Confirmation of the presence of the B.1.1.7 variant will be a setback for Thailand, which is just a week away from one of its biggest holiday periods.

 

B.1.1.7 is as much as 70% more transmissible than existing variants, and far deadlier, according to British scientists

 

Yong said he was puzzled at how community transmission had occurred given Thailand's strict border controls, quarantine and testing protocols, which in January had detected the variant in a family traveling from Britain, who were isolated.

 

Opas Karnkawinpong of the Department of Disease Control warned of thousands of new daily infections if restrictions are not followed during the holiday period.

 

Thailand is aiming to start is mass immunisation campaign from June but has been vaccinating health workers or people deemed vulnerable, with more than 300,000 recipients so far, according to the Health Ministry.

 

(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thempgumpanat; Editing by Martin Petty)

 

*this post has  been updated

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-04-07
 
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Its not often that the west (in this case the UK) copies and improves stuff. But just when you when you don't want it they improve and export something 🤣

 

Anyway this is bad news, it might increase the infection rate a lot.

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34 minutes ago, scubascuba3 said:

Good job the vaccinations here are a major success 🤥

you are right, world leading in complacency, in fact maybe it could be a new hub.

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10 minutes ago, 3MagicBeers said:

More importantly - does it have a work permit? 🧐

It works harder then the generic asian version. A result of those hardworking Brits optimizing the virus. 🤣 So maybe it needs 1.7 workpermit. 

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8 minutes ago, robblok said:

It works harder then the generic asian version. A result of those hardworking Brits optimizing the virus. 🤣 So maybe it needs 1.7 workpermit. 

 

If it works harder - i.e.  2 people doing the work of 4. Surely you'd need less work permits ???

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  • Jonathan Fairfield changed the title to Thailand braced for infections spike after detecting UK COVID-19 variant

The UK variant as we know is far more infectious and indeed more deadly. The previous dithering on the outbreak now needs to take a serious turn with head on measures to combat this or face a dark period of severe lockdown later. 

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How can Songkran be allowed, its like export the problem from Bangkok  and spread it evenly in the provinces.

CANCEL THIS POTENTIAL DISASTER NOW, it isnt to late.

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I think with Covid 19 being broadcast 24/7 on all European tv stations many here have unintentionally become conversant on this subject. With regards to the transmission of same the experts argue that for every 1 person infected up to 30 more are also likely to be infected. Of course depending on his or her movements. Even if only one is infected the number multiplies at great speed. Of course you have to factor in that Thailand has great struggles telling the truth.

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13 minutes ago, Nip said:

I think with Covid 19 being broadcast 24/7 on all European tv stations many here have unintentionally become conversant on this subject. With regards to the transmission of same the experts argue that for every 1 person infected up to 30 more are also likely to be infected. Of course depending on his or her movements. Even if only one is infected the number multiplies at great speed. Of course you have to factor in that Thailand has great struggles telling the truth.

Yes.  but the one universal constant is less than 2% fatality and this has to be put into perspective. Of something we have never experienced before. So in the first year we have to expect more death. So it is a cost analysis. Is it worth shutting the world down for a 2% fatality rate? Well yes according to some, but that some has never been exposed to poverty, warfare, malnutrition or any other hardship so of course they shirting their pants. The biggest conundrum they have ever faced is exchange rate to the baht. 

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 I only care about what's happening here. If things could be headed off before they explode here then I would be happy, but as a long range planner and someone whose primary job was to expect the unexpected then I see things in a different view than others and it makes me suspicious when I don't see a 100% effort given to shut the loop holes. 

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What is of great relevance to me and anyone else who lives in Thailand is what is happening in Thailand.... 

 

We are of course interested in whats happening elsewhere in the world, particularly where we come from, where members of our family and friends may still be. But, of most importance is of the situation where we have made our home. 

 

Don’t mistake pragmatism for pessimism - its a very strong point made by Ryan. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, richard_smith237 said:

 

what is of great relevance to me and anyone else who lives in Thailand is what is happening in Thailand.... 

 

We are of course interested in whats happening elsewhere in the world, particularly where we come from, where members of our family and friends may still be. But, of most importance is of the situation where we have made our home. 

 

Don’t mistake pragmatism for pessimism - its a very strong point made by Ryan. 

 

 

 

Yes and pragmatism I would believe would be comparing Thailand's covid response to the rest of the world. Not the tin foil hat conspiracies nor the heresay nor the rumours . The case by case numbers in regards to infection and death. Would that be fair? So until such point where the government has lost control of the virus and keeping in mind the same naysayers were predicting doom back in December when we had that outbreak. Until such point as we see the massive outbreak that is predicted I am still confident in the Thai government's ability to control the spread as they have done so far.

 

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@juliamacfarlane  foreign affairs reporter
·
A new study in Chile where the vaccine rollout has mostly relied on China's Coronvac vaccine, shows that the first shot alone does not offer protection against COVID19. It might explain why Chile's infection rate is still so high despite being one of the most vaccinated countries
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44% of all genome sequencing has been done by the UK. Sample came from Kent, original mutation could have occurred anywhere.

 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-u-k-became-world-leader-in-sequencing-the-coronavirusgenome-11612011601

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This seems to going on a tangent away from the article unfortunately.

 

From the bottom of my heart, i truly hope the Thai resilience to C19 that has been seen over the last year, wether from the tropical heat, from the spicy food, stronger bodies, better diet or whatever else has helped reduce the severity of the virus on the good people of Thailand, continues to minimalise the impact if the Kent/UK varient takes hold.

We all have loved ones in Thailand who we want to see again soon and this new development has me worried for their safety, and also fearful that all the recent advances in trying to open the country will be put on hold/cancelled.

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9 hours ago, starky said:

Yes.  but the one universal constant is less than 2% fatality and this has to be put into perspective. Of something we have never experienced before. So in the first year we have to expect more death. So it is a cost analysis. Is it worth shutting the world down for a 2% fatality rate? Well yes according to some, but that some has never been exposed to poverty, warfare, malnutrition or any other hardship so of course they shirting their pants. The biggest conundrum they have ever faced is exchange rate to the baht. 

Mortality rate is 0.28%. Under 65 it's 0.09%.

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Love the way it is said that we are doing everything we can...these people want to get out and about to see what pubs, restaurants and depaertment stores are NOT DOING.

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52 minutes ago, dennnis said:

Mortality rate is 0.28%. Under 65 it's 0.09%.

maybe, maybe not, but it was recently reported in UK that there are 1m people suffering from long term side effects. You can play down this virus as much as you want, but at the end of the day I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I have family about to dash south to visit their elderly relatives, they will go, there is no doubt, but I really wish they weren't. 

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12 hours ago, scubascuba3 said:

Good job the vaccinations here are a major success 🤥

About the same as many other countries around the world.  But not as good as some.  Of course, we don't have the infections like many countries in the West do....

 

I spoke with a guy connected to a private hospital last night.  Said some time in June they'll start offering jabs, other than AZ and the Chinese ones.  Great news!!

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1 hour ago, dennnis said:

Mortality rate is 0.28%. Under 65 it's 0.09%.

How many end up in a hospital?  How many have long covid?  Focusing on the mortality rate isn't the way to go...

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2 minutes ago, Jeffr2 said:

About the same as many other countries around the world.  But not as good as some.  Of course, we don't have the infections like many countries in the West do....

 

I spoke with a guy connected to a private hospital last night.  Said some time in June they'll start offering jabs, other than AZ and the Chinese ones.  Great news!!

Let's hope this current trend does not blow up.  I do wish the country much luck as we go onto the Thai New Year, but with what's been dealt this time I am trying to be optimistic.

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11 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

What is of great relevance to me and anyone else who lives in Thailand is what is happening in Thailand.... 

 

We are of course interested in whats happening elsewhere in the world, particularly where we come from, where members of our family and friends may still be. But, of most importance is of the situation where we have made our home. 

 

Don’t mistake pragmatism for pessimism - its a very strong point made by Ryan. 

 

 

 

Not really if you make your livelihood in tourism.

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