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The President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and head of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center, Thanawat Polwichai, has calculated that the third wave of COVID-19 infections is costing the country 100 billion baht a month in lost economic activity and is decreasing demand for labor by about 148,000 people a month; he is also calling for vaccination efforts to be sped up and the recovery of the economy to be accelerated. The economist suggested that the Government inject 200-300 billion baht into the financial system to spur activity and to provide aid to businesses, especially SMEs. Proposed courses of action include bolstering SME liquidity, finding revenue sources for them, and suspending debt repayments. He also believes that, even if the situation ends by June this year, it will take two years for businesses to return to normal and 15 months for provincial economies to normalize, with regard to consumption and investment. (23/04/2021)
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Researchers at the Synchrotron Light Research Institute (SLRI) in Thailand applied advanced science to develop and upgrade fabric from local natural fiber for use in surgical masks. The study was conducted by comparing the structures and properties of disposable surgical masks with other masks made of different fibers and weaving patterns. The silk fabric woven in a newly developed pattern achieves up to 85% of PM 2.5 and 0.3 micron filtration capacity, which is much higher than a muslin mask can do, at only 16-18% filtration. The upgrading of fabrics can lead to fabrics with more value, not only to make mask wearers look more elegant but also to come up with fabrics for different practical uses. The silk masks are also environmentally friendly. The body of knowledge gained from this research is beneficial in the design and development of innovations in natural-fiber fabrics with various weave patterns that have the required qualifications. In addition, more employment and higher incomes will occur in local communities. (23/04/2021)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has personally vowed to support Thailands Covid-19 battle and has agreed to supply Thailand with Sputnik V vaccine via a government-to-government contract. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Thursday that the Russian breakthrough came after he instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to try to secure purchases of the Sputnik vaccine. The agreement came after talks between the two governments as Thailand battles a new wave of Covid-19 that emerged late last month. (23/04/2021)
Thailands economic growth rate projection for this year is expected to shrink to 1.6%, from 2.8%, due to the new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest forecast by the Economic and Business Forecast Centre of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University. The report says that many more people have been infected by coronavirus during the new wave, which started on April 1st,prompting the government to impose several preventive measures and restrictions. (23/04/2021)
Thai government will be reaching out to countries upstream of the Mekong River to help address fluctuations in the water level, which affect villagers and fishermen in seven provinces of Thailand. The committee has ordered the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with China on mutual water management guidelines from the Lancang, the Chinese name for the upper part of Mekong River, to other parts of this international river. The National Water Command projects the water level in the Mekong River will fluctuate once again from April to May, as high water volume is expected in the early months of this years rainy season. (23/04/2021)
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His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua and Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana graciously donated 13.9 million baht to buy COVID-19 testing reagents for Phramongkutklao Hospital and Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital. This aims to help medical workers to test more people during the new outbreak of the virus. (23/04/2021)
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The 45 provinces reporting more than 50 cumulative cases in the new wave (1-22 April, 2021) are Uttaradit (51). Roi Et (53), Prae (54), Tak (55), Phattalung (59), Nakhon Panom (61), Kanchanaburi (62), Phayao (63), Mahasaramkam (67), Buriram (67), Chantaburi (73), Prachinbur i (74) .Saraburi (75), Lopburi (75), Si Saket (84), Nakhon Si Thammarat (100), Ratchaburi (141), Supan buri (145), Ubon Ratchathani (151), Lampang (154), Nakhon Sawan (166), Chachoengsao (173), Khon Kaen (176), Phitsanuloke (191), Lamphun (201),Chiang Rai (211), Ayutthaya (217), Sa Kaew (220), Udon Thani (221), Phuket (251), Phetchaburi (253), Surat Thani (272), Nakhon Ratchasima (273), Nakhon Pathom (291), Rayong (308),Songkhla (348), Pathum Thani (369), Narathiwat (441), Samut Sakhon (496), Samut Prakan (826), Prachuab Khirikhan (897), Nonthaburi (911), Chonburi (1,540), Chiang Mai (2,597), and Bangkok (4,775). (23/04/2021)
The CCSA has stated that the Prime Minister has assigned an appropriate number of staff for the medical emergency hotlines 1669, 1668, and 1330 which people may consult about medical emergencies and request beds for persons who are infected with COVID-19. Therefore, people who call in will have experts to consult with and make requests for beds in a more effective way. (23/04/2021)
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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has increased the number of ambulances to transport patients to hospitals urgently. This service, which covers all 50 districts in Bangkok, is targeting from 100 up to 300 cases per day. Members of the public who need to transfer a patient may call hotline 1669 or 1330 for 24-hour service. Another quick available channel is the Sabaideebot Line application, by adding @sabideebot, which can inform cases to staff directly. (22/04/2021)
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As the number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has been increasing daily, there is also a report of more than 500 cases found in southern border provinces. There are new rules on the Thai-Malaysian border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thai people are currently allowed to return to Thailand through only four permanent checkpoints: Su-ngai Kolok checkpoint in Narathiwat, Betong checkpoint in Yala, Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla, and Wang Prachan checkpoint in Satun. The checkpoints will be operated three days a week Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each checkpoint is allowed to accommodate no more than 125 returnees per day. This new rule does not apply to border trading, so imported and exported goods are allowed normally. Consumer goods for personal use, however, must strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures. (22/04/2021)
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The CCSA stated that there is a free taxi service provided by Rajavithi Hospital to serve COVID-19 patients from Rajavithi Hospital and other medical facilities as requested. Taxi pick-up and drop-off for COVID-19 patients are available free of charge from 09.00 to 19.00 hr only in Bangkok and metropolitan areas. For more information, contact tel. 096-771-1687. (22/04/2021)
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According to the CCSA, the situation now in Chiang Mai is slightly improved, with fewer infections; however, the number nationwide is not stable, so we still need to be very careful. There have been new clusters reported in Ang Thong, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, and Nakhon Ratchasima. (22/04/2021)
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The Ministry of Public Health has stated that it will start the vaccination of the public nationwide from 1 June onward, as, prior to that, it aims to vaccinate medical staff and people in the high-risk areas first to reduce the spread of the virus. The ministry has also ordered all provinces to accelerate the vaccination for 300,000 frontline health workers and the risk groups of people nationwide, so that it is finished by this week. It is expected that the infection rate will continue to decrease. (22/04/2021)
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On the International Baccalaureat (IB) tests conducted in international schools which take place worldwide at the same time, the request to conduct these tests are under consideration by the CCSA. If the request is approved, they will be conducted with strictest public health measure. (22/04/2021)
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In the new wave of COVID-19 transmission in April, the Ministry of Public Health has warned that people who are at a high risk are the elderly and persons with congenital diseases. The rate is higher for those with other serious health conditions or a weakened immune system. Along with everyone else, they should continue to wear masks properly, keep physical distancing, wash their hands often and avoid crowded places. (22/04/2021)
Thailand will procure an additional 35 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from other 2 or 3 companies, on top of the 65 million from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, according to a post on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-chas Facebook on Wednesday morning. The decision to buy the additional doses was reached at a meeting of the working committee, tasked with procuring COVID-19 vaccines. (22/04/2021)
Airports of Thailand (AOT) Public Company has closed its head office, opposite Don Mueang international airport, and its safety control centre inside the airport, after more than 30 staff were found to have contracted COVID-19. AOT CEO Nitinai Sirisamatthakarn said today that he has ordered the companys head office closed immediately, for three days, after 19 staff were found to be infected, with the rest of the staff being told to work from home. (22/04/2021)
The Ministry of Public Health has disclosed that a COVID-19 infected mother, or a mother with a risk of infection, can still feed her baby because the virus has not been found in breast milk, according to medical research. The recommended way is to pump the milk and have a healthy person feed the baby with a baby bottle. But if it is necessary for the mother to breastfeed her own baby, she should follow these instructions for the safety of them both: wash hands at least 20 seconds before and after touching the baby, the mother should wear a face mask the whole time, and clean the breast pump and baby bottles and heat them to destroy the virus. However, if the mother is coughing or sneezing, she should avoid getting close to the baby and ask someone to bottle feed the baby, instead. (22/04/2021)
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, together with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul, visited Erawan 2 field hospital, the 4th field hospital of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) located at Bangkok Arena Stadium, Nong Chok district.COVID-19 infected patients will be color-coded according to their symptoms, that is, green is for patients with asymptomatic and mild symptoms who will be sent to a field hospital or a hospitel, while patients who are categorized as yellow or red will be hospitalized. (22/04/2021)
In order tocope with the rising number of COVID-19 patients, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has a planto set up hospitels by converting hotels into the symptom surveillance area for the patients with an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection or those with mild or moderate symptoms. Setting up hospitelscan help the main hospitals to have enough beds for the critically ill patients with the highest efficiency.The COVID-19 infected persons can receive attention from medical personnelin the hospitel, and they can also help prevent further transmission of the virus into their community. (22/04/2021)

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