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COVID 19

The ugly side of Thailand’s latest COVID-19 outbreak

Mariyam Mohamed

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Photo by: Adam Dean.

After months without a single confirmed case of local transmission in Bangkok, the pandemic has now radiated from luxury nightclubs to the warrens of slums that hug Bangkok’s highways and railroad tracks.

According to Thailand health ministry officials, Thailand’s biggest and deadliest coronavirus outbreak is linked to the famous Krystal and Emerald nightclubs which caters to the rich and famous. Many people linked to the club have tested positive, including an ambassador and a government minister.

The infections have spread to the less privileged and cramped areas where social distancing is impossible. It has also spread to prisons, construction camps and factories.

In late May 2021, Thailand reported more than 5,800 cases on a single day. The total number of infections now stands above 175,000.  As many western nations approach a semblance of normalcy, Thailand is among one of the countries impacted by the late-outbreak of the virus in Southeast Asia, where vaccines are not yet adequately available. Thailand is counting on AstraZeneca vaccine production by a local company that has never manufactured vaccines before.

However, Thailand’s elite book overseas tours to get vaccinated abroad. Most of the infected poor in need of treatment are forced to wait for beds at government field hospitals set up in stadiums or other areas.

During this pandemic inequality and corruption has increased where less privileged suffer the most. Many have lost their jobs and are dependent on government welfare. The social issues arising from the pandemic are even more severe than the economic impact. However, less priority is given to increasing social issues.

COVID 19

India’s Telangana to lift all COVID-19 restrictions.

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South Indian state of Telangana has announced that it would be lifting COVID-19 restrictions in the state. The announcement stated that the restrictions would be lifted starting today.

According to Telangana state authorities, the restrictions, including night time curfews will be lifted starting today. However, they still urged the people to follow COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing.

The decision was made by a cabinet meeting with Telanganu Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. This comes after the state saw a drop in its number of new positive cases.

However, health professionals have warned that an inevitable third wave of COVID-19 will come to India in the coming months. They have warned to strictly follow health guidelines.

India has recorded over 29 million cases of COVID-19 with over 385,137 deaths.

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COVID 19

WHO: 30-40 countries unable to give second shot of COVID-19 vaccine.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that 30-40 countries are unable o provide the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. They also stated that most of the countries experiencing shortage of vaccines were those who administered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes as India banned the export of all COVID-19 vaccines. This includes the AstraZeneca vaccine being produced by the serum institute of India. The vaccines were planned to be distributed through the WHO led COVAX program.

Bruce Alyward, a senior advisor at WHO stated that “We have a huge number of countries currently that have had to suspend the rollout of their second doses of vaccine,”. He also noted that Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East as well as neighbors of India are affected by the shortage.

WHO Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals Katherine O’Brien stated that many of those countries are at the verge of exhausting their supply of vaccines. She also warned that the current situation was brought by discontinuous supply chains and that it could cause a loss of confidence by the public.

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COVID 19

HEOC: Over Five COVID-19 variants spreading in the Maldives.

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Health Emergency Operations Center (HEOC) has confirmed the spread of over five COVID-19 variants in Maldives.

In a press conference on Tuesday evening, HEOC spokesperson and epidemiologist Dr. Nazla Rafeeg stated that the results identified the existence of the variants Delta, Alpha, G, GR, and Sub Lineage (Peru/Chile) in Maldives and a percentage of other variants. Dr. Nazla Rafeeg said the samples sent for sequencing are taken from both locals and foreigners and are sent in batches of 30 samples.

According to Dr. Nazla Rafeeg, 27 percent of the samples tested positive for the Delta variant -first discovered in India, 20 percent for Alpha variant – first discovered in the United Kingdom, and 13 percent for G variant.

She said that HEOC plans on sending more samples, and also increasing the number samples that can be sent for sequencing.

the risk of new variants from across the world getting imported to Maldives is high with the borders open said Dr Nazla Rafeeq.

Maldives experienced a massive surge in COVID-19 cases in April and May, resulting in a steep rise in fatalities with 88 COVID-19 deaths in May, alone.

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