Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

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Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

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Ministry floats ideas on exit strategy

38 provinces may be reopened first

20 Apr 2020

The Public Health Ministry has proposed five requirements for an exit strategy from the Covid-19 lockdown, starting with 32 provinces.

At a joint meeting between ministry officials and deans of faculties of medicine on how to ease the lockdown, all agreed some measures have to be relaxed although a return to pre-crisis normality is out of the question, said Kamnuan Ungchusak, an adviser to the Disease Control Department and to the public health minister on the Covid-19 situation.

The meeting came up with five pre-requisites for the exit strategy. They will be proposed to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration for approval.

First, the screening of inbound visitors must remain stringent and facilities for 14-day state quarantine must be ready at all times.

Each province must have a laboratory for tests and a system to look for infections among at-risk groups, highly populated communities, labourers and risk areas.

Second, all Thais must agree to observe good hygiene practices such as wearing masks when going to public places, observing social distancing and refraining from assembling. They must also come to terms with the fact that they can no longer lead a normal life after Covid-19.

Third, the private sector, led by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, ฺBoard of Trade of Thailand and Federation of Thai Industries, must consider categorising the types of businesses to be reopened based on their risks (high, medium and low) and rethink processes to minimise the risks, Dr Kamnaun said.

Such changes must be based on four criteria. The private sector must set an appropriate ratio between the number of customers and a service area unit, he said.

Activities must not involve shouting or a lot of verbal exchange. The places of business must be airy and well ventilated. Distancing within a service area must also be defined.

High-risk businesses will not be allowed to open at this early stage. Medium-risk businesses, which manage to minimise risks, can reopen, he said.

He cited as examples of medium-risk businesses hair salons, eateries and department stores.

“However, there must be no campaigns aimed at drawing large crowds to a certain spot such as flash sales. Operators must also redesign their service areas by calculating how many people they can serve in an hour. They must also find ways to prevent long queues at restrooms.

“Besides, they must have applications to screen customers and log their entry and exit times for fast tracking in case of emergencies. For instance, an operator must know how many customers are being served at a given time.”

Schools categorised as low-risk, such as those in the provinces which are generally not crowded, can be opened. Air-conditioned ones must adopt certain measures such as changing layouts with social distancing in mind.

In any case, all schools remain shut until July by the government’s order.

Places with low risk such as public parks can be reopened for people to exercise or walk. “They may not allow assemblies and group activities.”

He admitted high-risk businesses, such as bars, karaokes, entertainment places and gambling dens, would have to be closed for a long time.

“However, if the situation warrants closures of more businesses in the future, the order will not be universal and apply only to problematic places.”

Fifth, the country must have in place a realtime monitoring system for infections at the national, provincial and district levels so people know the situation in each area.

“We are confident if we can meet these requirements, we’ll move forward. However, not all 77 provinces will go ahead at the same pace. They will be allowed to reopen based on risks and by area.”

Based on the April 14 data, Dr Kamnuan said, 32 provinces are free of infections. “So 3-4 of these provinces may be opened first by the end of April. If the situation is under control, another 38 provinces with low numbers of cases will be reopened in the following two weeks, or in May. The seven provinces where infections slowly spread but with no large outbreaks will be reopened in June.”

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/ge ... t-strategy

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Undaunted »

It seems rather well thought out, time will tell.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Jun »

That seems like a broadly sensible strategy for the next few months.
In common with many other governments, they have not declared anything looking beyond that.

The "screening of inbound visitors and facilities for 14 day quarantine must be available at all times" is interesting.

So it may be screening, or where required, screening + quarantine ?

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by odd »

Agreed-that all seems very sensible-let's hope that everyone will play their full part in making this successful.

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Dodger »

The approach they're taking is based on textbook "Risk Management" which only makes sense.

The BIG PROBLEM they're up against is "Bangkok" where 29 of the last 33 cases were reported. How they accomplish mitigating the "high risk" in the capital city long-term will be one for the record books.

They said on the news last night that Chonburi was one of the provinces reopening in June versus May...but, according to the article, bars, karaoke's and entertainment venues will remain closed for a very long time. Could this be the break the BIB have been looking for?

Everyone's lifestyle will be forced to change in some regard...as if they haven't already.

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Gaybutton »

Dodger wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:01 am
Everyone's lifestyle will be forced to change in some regard...as if they haven't already.
I think we all need to be prepared for a "new normal" for quite some time to come.

I'm sorry if the bars will not be able to reopen any time soon, but there are plenty of boys on the apps. While I realize many prefer the bars and enjoy having a drink or two, the apps and keeping a bottle of booze in your hotel room may have to suffice for the foreseeable future.

Certainly the bars will eventually be able to reopen. It's anybody's guess just when that will be and how many have survived, but some of us, including me, have predicted a "resurrection" of the Pattaya gay bar scene. If we're right and Pattaya drops this absurd "family oriented" holiday spot idea and lets Pattaya return to the way it was, it may turn out to be worth the wait. I hope so, anyway. And I hope all of us live long enough to see that happen and remain healthy enough to enjoy it if it does.

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Jun »

Dodger wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 9:01 am
Everyone's lifestyle will be forced to change in some regard...as if they haven't already.
Right now, there is widespread support for the restrictions in many countries and quite right too.

However, it will get to the point where anyone at low risk will be tired of all these measures and governments will see some push back from populations.
Remember, anyone with a >10% probability of dying from Covid would probably view this quite differently to those with a 0.2% probability.

Incidentally, the death rate per capita curve in Sweden is already leveling off, like many other western countries. The difference is that Sweden has hardly any of the restrictions applied elsewhere.
It's too early to treat this as a definitive result, but if that trend continues for a few more weeks, questions will be asked in other countries.

Also, now that Roche has a presumably reliable antibody test, it should be possible to do sample testing to establish levels of herd immunity in some selected countries.

Edit: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the ... paying-off

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

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CCSA panel comes up with guidelines for reopening venues

Apr 22. 2020

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has established a working group to come up with measures and procedures for venues nationwide.

The panel has set up a manual for operators listing measures and procedures, such as allowing customers to spend no more than an hour in a venue, refrain from large gatherings, being noisy and sharing things. Operators are also required to keep their venues well ventilated, screen customers’ body temperature, insist they wear masks and clean frequently touched surfaces.

“Provinces will be categorised based on the number of new Covid-19 cases they have had – those with no new cases, limited number of local transmissions, and sustained local transmissions,” a CCSA official said.

“As of April 14, seven provinces were categorised as those with sustained local transmission, namely Bangkok, Chonburi, Phuket, Nonthaburi, Samut Prakan, Yala and Pattani.”

The panel has also specified requirements for operators based on the risk of their venues:

Low risk: Operators will be allowed to register to reopen their venue at all local administration centres or via online;

Moderate risk: Operators must improve the hygiene standards of their venue before registering for the resumption of operation with the Municipality Office or the sub-district administration centre;

High risk: The reopening of these venues will be left up to the discretion of the Provincial Administration Organisation.

“We have also created a mobile application which allows people to evaluate operators and this data will be sent to the Local Administration Organisation and Provincial Administration Organisation to monitor,” the official said.

The official added that all Provincial Administration Organisations must make preparations before opening provincial borders, such as screening people effectively, introducing hygiene measures, evaluating the risk of infection in each venue and postponing the opening of high-risk sites such as entertainment venues, pubs, bars, karaoke places and lottery shops.

Meanwhile, Kalin Sarasin, president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, who is chairing the working group, said the final decision on whether businesses will be allowed to open lies in the hands of the prime minister.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/303 ... l_referral

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

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Thai Prime Minister says he will not bow to growing public pressure around easing restrictions and closures and that the health of the country comes first

By Adam Judd

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, stated yesterday afternoon from the Government House in Bangkok that he will not bow to increasing private and public pressure on easing restrictions and closures of business caused by rules to control the Covid19 Coronavirus.

In a public address following a meeting by the Thai Cabinet that was centered around measures being taken to control the Covid-19 Coronavirus, Prime Minister Prayut stated that the priority was the health of the people and that although he deeply sympathized and understood the pain of the people, with an estimated ten million out of work currently, that he must ensure a potential deadly second wave doesn’t take place first before reopening a large majority of the countries economy.

Prime Minister Prayut also stated that government officials were being asked to find ways to help the millions out of work and with closed businesses without simply going down the financial aid direction and giving out more money. He gave an example such as alleviating electricity bills for certain groups.

He also suggested that private business owners who want to reopen their businesses give suggestions to the government on how openings could possibly be done in medium and high risk areas, such as shopping and entertainment, while still ensuring social distancing, hygiene measures and other actions to control the spread of Covid-19. The prime minister added that if a business could not find a way to do so they would not be able to open in the near future.

The Prime Minister also thanked the many private sector individuals and businesses that were helping with charity events across the nation and helping those in need but urged them to ensure they contacted their local authorities and followed proper social distancing and line management strategies at their events.

He concluded with saying the Cabinet and the CCSA (Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration) would meet at the end of the month to discuss any possible easing of restrictions or closures.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/04/22/t ... mes-first/

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Re: Thailand's virus "exit strategy"

Post by Gaybutton »

I suppose what we're waiting for now is whether any restrictions and lockdowns will really be lifted on May 1. No definitive word yet at the time of this post.

Even if some restrictions are lifted, the possibility exists they could be reimposed if necessary.

Of course, whatever details emerge, no matter where in Thailand, we will try to get them posted here.

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