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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.

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COVID 19

In Videos: India starts to recover from COVID-19 surge.

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China administers 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

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China has administered 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The current vaccination campaign is the largest vaccine drive in the history of China.

Since late March, China has been increasing its vaccination efforts. According to their National health Committee, it took China 25 days to climb from 100 million doses to 200 million doses, 16 days to increase from 200 million to 300 million, and six days from 800 million to 900 million.

According to the Deputy Head of the National Health Committee Zeng Yixin, they aim to vaccinate 70% of the population by the end of this year.

A total of 21 COVID-19 vaccines are in clinical trial in China while only three have been granted emergency use within the country.

While China is accelerating its vaccination efforts, it has also been concurrently aiding the rest of the world in providing vaccines. Up till date, they have donated and supplies more than 350 million doses of the vaccines to 80 countries.

China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan stated that “Chinese vaccines are playing an increasingly greater role as the country works to fulfill its commitment of making COVID-19 vaccines a global public good,”.

 

Source: Xinhua News Agency.

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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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