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Second MERS case confirmed in Thailand

A man from Oman who arrived in Bangkok on Friday was announced by the Thai Ministry of Public Health to be the second confirmed MERS- CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) case in Thailand.

Bahar Karaman

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A man from Oman was announced by the Thai Ministry of Public Health to be the second confirmed MERS- CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus) case in Thailand.

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Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakonsattayatorn told a Press conference this morning that the 71-year Omani patient received medical treatment for fever and cough in Oman for a week before he arrived in Thailand on January 22 for medical treatment at Bumrungrad hospital.

Laboratory tests at Bumrungrad and Chulalongkorn hospitals confirmed the patient was infected with MERS- CoV and was transferred to Bamrasnaradura hospital for treatment.

Thai authorities are know tracking down altogether 238 people who were in contact with the patient.

These include 218 passengers and crews of the same flight with the patient, his relative who traveled with him, a taxi driver, one hotel staff and 30 hospital staffers.

Of all the 238 people, 37 of them are put in the high risk group who have to be placed under close watch by medical staff at a place already reserved for them for 14 days which are the period for the incubation of the virus.

The high risk group comprises the patient’s relative, the taxi driver, 23 passengers, a hotel staff and 11 hospital staffers.Public Health Permanent Secretary Dr Sophon Mekthong said that Thailand has had working experience in dealing with MERS cases.

He pleaded with members of the public not to panic and to take precautions by cleaning their hands more often and avoid sharing the same spoons with the other people.

Those who returned from countries where MERS is spreading should immediately see doctors if they have fever and cough after 14 days of their arrivals. Or they can call Communicable Diseases Control Department at 1422.

Source: Thai PBS English News

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AstraZeneca Approves Thailand’s Vaccine Factory

National News Bureau of Thailand

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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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Health

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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Recent years have seen evolving awareness of systemic inequities including racism, sexism and pro-Western chauvinism.

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

Oxford Business Group

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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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