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The Eastern Royal Rainmaking Operations Center is stepping up operations to offset drought and replenish reservoirs in aid of fruit growers. Chonburi, Chanthaburi, and Rayong are key fruit-growing provinces for the nation and have been severely hit by drought. While efforts to produce rain have been stepped up, officials have noted that weather conditions have impeded work. (14/04/2020)
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The Government encourages the public to join the "COVID-19-Free Songkran, Save the Elderly" campaign. There are several activities, which include refraining from returning to their hometowns, not celebrating any events, not pouring water on the elderly and asking for blessings, not attending activities with a large group of people, and not traveling to risk areas. These guidelines are preventive measures that will help to reduce the outbreak risk during Songkran days in Thailand. (14/04/2020)
The National Blood Service of the Thai Red Cross Society has invited COVID-19 patients who have recovered to donate their plasma to help build immunity in weaker patients. The cured patients should already be discharged from the hospital, be healthy, aged between 17-60 years, and weigh more than 50 kilograms. The donation registration has to be done online, so that the donors'health and medical records can be screened, for the safety of both the donors and the receivers. The Thai Red Cross Society also advises donors to self-quarantine at home for 14 days before donating blood, and they will be tested for the virus. So far, there are 49 recovered patients who already registered for the plasma donation. (13/04/2020)
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is launching measures to deal with the postponement of the upcoming educational semester, including preparation for online learning management nationwide during the COVID-19 situation. The learning management that MOE is focusing on is based on the following six principles: 1) To provide the safest learning management for all; 2) To enable every student to have access to learning management at home; 3) To use all the current resources we have; 4) To make decisions for learning management based on surveying the needs of students, teachers, and schools; then, MOE will give support for necessary teaching materials and equipment that are appropriate for each area; 5) To suit the educational calendar for students' learning; 6) To adapt learning schedules for greater effectiveness. (13/04/2020)
Since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is increasing, causing global shortages of medical equipment, crowd funding is taking place in Thailand, encouraging the public to participate in fundraising or donating through internet platforms. For example, the WIN- Masks project -- developed by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, in cooperation with the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS), and their partner agencies -- aims for the production of 100,000 surgical masks. Another is Taejai Hai Modngan Su COVID, which is a funding project for purchasing preventive equipment and COVID-19 insurance for medical staff. (13/04/2020)
During the Songkran holiday period this year, scheduled for 13-15 April, all temples are refraining from organizing the Songkran religious ceremonies, owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Temples are considered vulnerable sites for COVID-19 transmission because of the large gatherings of worshipers. (13/04/2020)
The Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has revealed that authorities across the country have banned sales of alcoholic beverages in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The ban period varies in different provinces, while in Bangkok it is from 10 to 20 April. (13/04/2020)
The Foreign Affairs Minister, Don Pramudwinai, said ASEAN foreign ministers have agreed to establish a COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund. The foreign ministers endorsed several collective steps to fight the pandemic, including the establishment of a COVID-19 ASEAN response fund, the sharing of information, and strategies and ways to ease the impact of the global health crisis on people and the economy. (13/04/2020)
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The Royal Thai Police have released guidance on how to conduct ourselves during the Songkran festival in 2020 to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The public has been urged not to organize activities at any level. A water celebration ban, not returning to hometowns, not pouring water to pay respects to the elderly, suspending all religious activities at temples, and avoiding activities where crowds might gather. Violators of the prohibition on social gatherings are liable to a fine of up to 40,000 baht and/or a two-year jail term. (12/04/2020)
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The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation has disclosed that Thailand has tested 71,860 samples for the virus. The testing rate per 1 million of population is 1,030 people, and the infection rate per tested sample is 3.44%. (as of 10 April 2020) (11/04/2020)
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The Department of Corrections has stated that they have strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in prisons by isolating new prisoners for 14 days, canceling the professional training programs outside the prisons, not allowing visiting, measuring body temperature, and observing prisoners and officers for symptoms closely, as well as providing knowledge on preventing the spread of the virus. It also approved the 200,000 baht budget for helping prisoners' families, in case any prisoners die from COVID-19 infection. (10/04/2020)
Many provinces in Thailand have announced a ban on alcohol sales to prevent people from gathering together. This action aims to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Rayong banned sales until 15 April. Sakon Nakhon banned them until 16 April. Bangkok and Chiang Mai are banning sales until 20 April. In Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkhram, Mukdahan, Surin, Buri Ram, Ubon Ratchathani, Lamphun, and Phitsanulok, the ban is in effect until 30 April. (10/04/2020)
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To provide the general public with necessary information and assistance more effectively during the COVID-19 situation, the Department of Disease Control (DDC) is now providing more telephone lines, from 30 to 60 lines on Call Center 1422 services. The services include Q&A and recommendation services on health problems, and the public may inform the department if they see any persons who are suspected of being infected with COVID-19. (10/04/2020)
An announcement regarding COVID-19, issued by the Royal College of Otolaryngologists - Head and Neck Surgeons of Thailand, has urged doctors to pay special attention to signs of anosmia, or loss of the sense of smell, which affects many COVID-19 patients. Anosmia was found to be more common in patients with mild symptoms of the disease. Today, researchers from several countries have called for anosmia to be added to a list of screening tools for COVID-19. (10/04/2020)
Phuket has imposed a lockdown for all 17 sub-districts for 14 days, from 00.01 Hrs. of 13 April, 2020, to 23.59 Hrs. of 26 April, 2020, or until the situation improves. The move makes Phuket the first province in Thailand to impose a total lockdown of all areas, in its sustained effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (10/04/2020)
To transform the Thailand 4.0 policy into the regions innovation and knowledge-based digital hub, the Government plans to improve infrastructure and incentives for persuading foreign companies to move their operations to Thailand. The Government also plans to spend more funds to develop sustainable smart cities, digital technology parks, speed rail links, and the three sea ports. (10/04/2020)
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The Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, has delivered a message to the general public, asking for cooperation during the state of emergency. In particular, during the days of the Songkran Festival, 13-15 April, which are not declared as holidays this year, the PM also asked for the general public to stay at home and temporarily not to hold group activities, including religious activities. (09/04/2020)
The Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with clicknic Telemedicine, has introduced the mobile application "Clicknic," which adopts telemedicine to help the public to screen themselves for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), assess their risk, decide whether to go to the hospital for treatment, and perform self-isolation tracking. This application also provides a video call platform to get medical advice from professional healthcare staff. Currently, the application can be used in Bangkok and metropolitan areas and will be expanded to provide service around the country. (09/04/2020)
Chon Buri province has ordered a lockdown in Pattaya, its most famous tourist attraction, to tackle the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The order is in effect from 9 April until further notice. People and vehicles are banned from entry and exit, except residents of Pattaya, people who work in Pattaya, and people with serious need. Any person who is considered at risk will be referred to a local medical facility. All residents of any nationality are required to wear a mask when leaving their residence. (09/04/2020)
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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperation with International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Thai Red Cross Society, is launching the mobile application "PhonPhai" to cope with the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Formerly, the Thai Red Cross Society used this app to alert its provincial chapters about disaster situations in order to get help for people rapidly. The app can analyze the information, predict the damage, and efficiently manage the aid kits. In this situation, it is being enhanced and users can inform the Red Cross about people at risk of infection and infected patients that need help. The application can be downloaded on both iOS and Android. (09/04/2020)
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