Thirty new cases of the B117, or the so-called United Kingdom variant of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), have been detected in the country, alongside the first six cases of the B1351 or the South African variant, the Department of Health said on Tuesday. It also reported two cases of mutations of interest. The new cases were part of the eighth batch of 350 samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center in the past week. The B1351 variant, which is said to have a higher transmissibility and has a potential impact on vaccine efficacy, was detected in three local cases in Pasay City, two returning overseas Filipinos from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and one unverified person. Two of the Pasay cases are active and are being managed by the city, while the third, a 40-year-old male, has recovered. Separately, 30 new cases of the UK variant were reported — 20 returning Filipinos from the Middle East, Singapore and the United States; three local cases from the ... » Learn More about More cases of Covid variants detected
The National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) is experiencing surges in the number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases as the country begins its mass vaccinations for frontline health care workers. According to the March 1 monitoring report of academe-based OCTA Research Group, the rise in the number of cases in some cities in Metro Manila has become a “serious cause for concern,” with the four-day average number of new cases at 942 and seven-day average at 762 cases, an increase of 61 percent. It said the period of negative growth rates in cases in the region had ended and that the trend had been reversed. OCTA listed the cities of Pasay, Quezon, Manila, Makati, Taguig, Malabon, Parañaque and Navotas as having upward trends in new cases. Makati, Malabon and Navotas had daily attack rates of 7 per 100,000, putting them in the high-risk area classification of the Department of Health. Pasay City had the highest attack rate in NCR, with 21.75 cases per 100,000 ... » Learn More about Metro Manila virus surges worrying – OCTA
GENEVA: The World Trade Organization faces calls led by India and South Africa to waive intellectual property (IP) rights for Covid-19 vaccines — a notion fiercely rejected by pharmaceutical giants and their host countries. The WTO will thrash out the divisive issue at its general council meeting on Monday and Tuesday as its new head Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala takes up her post. Some countries see the waiver as a shortcut to ending the novel coronavirus that has hobbled the global economy. The big idea The text proposes a temporary exemption from certain obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (Trips), so that any country can produce vaccines without worrying about patents. The waiver would also cover “industrial designs, copyright and protection of undisclosed information,” and would last “until widespread vaccination is in place globally, and the majority of the world’s population has developed immunity.” All those in favor ... » Learn More about Waiver war at WTO over Covid jab IP rights
Deputy national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas has confirmed that arrest warrants are being sought for 8 civilians implicated in the illegal smuggling of migrant workers . The Bangkok Post reports that the 8 face charges of aiding and abetting illegal immigration. The workers were trafficked from Myanmar to the central Thai province of Samut Sakhon, where the latest outbreak of Covid-19 began last month. 20 police officers are also being investigated for their role in the smuggling operation. They have been suspended from duty pending a full investigation. It’s thought there are up to 25 police officers suspected of involvement. “After tracing the migrant workers’ route into Samut Sakhon and then jobs at its shrimp market, we found that most received direct assistance from more than 20 police officials and eight civilians. They smuggled the workers across the border in Sangkhla Buri district of Kanchanaburi and then provided transport to get them to Samut Sakhon.” ... » Learn More about Arrest warrants sought for 8 civilians suspected of smuggling migrant workers
TOP 10 (non Covid) THAIGER STORIES FOR 2020 The Thaiger started 2020, as we all did, with high hopes and few clues that we were heading into a profound disruption for almost the entire year. Even as we were tapping away at the keyboards on January 1, 2020, there were stories emerging in Wuhan, China about a mysterious new respiratory disease that was starting to pop up at the provincial hospitals. But, although Covid consumed much of our top stories in 2020, there were other stories of course as life continued to stumble along in Thailand. Here are the stories, from 1 – 10, and the number of people that read each story on thethaiger.com . We’ve also added the Top 10 Covid stories for the year as well, as voted by YOU, our readers. Thai Army sniper goes on shooting rampage in Korat – up to 20 shot and killed – 124,342 February 8 “A police and army detachment is currently searching for an army sniper in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Korat city centre. The solider has shot dead ... » Learn More about WOW what a year! Thailand’s top news stories for 2020 as voted by YOU.