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Dengue outbreak could reach 150,000 in Thailand

With more than 40 deaths and almost 40,000 cases of dengue fever reported in Thailand so far this year, health experts are warning this could be the largest-ever epidemic.

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With more than 40 deaths and almost 40,000 cases of dengue fever reported in Thailand so far this year, health experts are warning this could be the largest-ever epidemic.

“About 25 years ago we had a dengue outbreak of around 170,000 cases,” Pornthep Siriwanarangsun, the director of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, told IRIN. “This year, we expect 150,000 to 200,000 cases.”

Up to 200 people could die in a worst-case scenario, he said. Even if dengue cases surpass the 1987 record, the death toll that year of more than 1,000 is unlikely to be exceeded owing to improved health care and preventive measures.

There is still no vaccine for dengue, a mosquito-borne disease.

There is still no vaccine for dengue, a mosquito-borne disease.

 

Health officials claim that unseasonably wet and warm weather has made the situation worse, allowing mosquitoes to reproduce at a rapid rate. In May, the country reported 16,500 dengue cases, almost three times as many as in the previous month. In June there could be up to 30,000 cases, they say.

“Our country is now on high alert because we had way too many cases last month,” Siriwanarangsun said. “It’s normal to have only 50,000 to 70,000 cases each year.”

Dengue fever in Thailand
YearCasesDeathsCase Fatality Rate (CFR)
200930,48090.03%
201060,770350.06%
201138,639160.04%
201278,542820.10%
201339,029*440.11%
*Figures from 1 January to 31 May 2013. Higher numbers expected in summer monsoon season.The worst-recorded epidemic occurred in 1987 which saw more than 174,000 cases and 1,007 deaths, with a CFR of 0.6 percent. Thai officials caution that 2013 may see 150,000 to 200,000 cases with up to 200 dead.
Sources: WHO, Thailand Ministry of Public Health

IRIN Asia | Record dengue season predicted in Thailand | Thailand | Health & Nutrition.

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AstraZeneca Approves Thailand’s Vaccine Factory

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BANGKOK (NNT) – AstraZeneca has approved safety standards at Thailand’s vaccine factory and will send the first batch of raw materials for vaccine production in June.

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Skin-lightening products market to reach US$31 billion by 2024

In emerging Asian and African economies, the natural aspiration to enhance one’s circumstances has led to rapid growth in the market for skin-lightening products, which is projected to reach US$31 billion by 2024.

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

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Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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