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Thailand reports 103 new coronavirus and four new deaths; total cases at 1,978

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5 minutes ago, Guderian said:

Thailand had the first case of Covid-19 recorded outside China on 13th January. As we all know, until very recently the Thai government did little or nothing to stop the spread of the virus. Indeed, by refusing to close the borders to Chinese tourists and even encouraging them to still travel here, it seemed to be actively encouraging the virus to spread further. 

 

We've all seen in Italy, Spain and now the US how alarmingly fast the virus spreads once it gets going, with the number of new cases doubling every few days. And yet somehow that hasn't happened in Thailand, in spite of the government apparently (but hopefully unwittingly) doing its level best to maximise the chances of the pandemic spreading like wildfire here.

 

Some people, I know, will claim that there's a hidden epidemic going on in Thailand with thousands of cases every day being concealed from the public to hide the true numbers, but if that's so then I'm afraid I don't see any evidence of it. We have members with Thai partners all over the country, so where are the live reports from TV members of people collapsing coughing in the streets, or hospitals overflowing with dead bodies and medics desperately triaging patients for the few ventilators available, as is happening in northern Italy and Madrid? I don't see them, so it's not unreasonable to conclude that it's not happening, or on a much smaller scale than some people here seem to think is the case.

 

There may be a number of reasons for this, my favourite explanation is still that the virus doesn't much like the heat and humidity here and so can't transmit itself as effectively as it does in colder, drier climes. The fact that most Thais spend a lot of time outdoors rather than stuck at close quarters in a stuffy small room probably helps as well. It may also be that the original strain back in January was a mild version, while now the world is facing a different, more aggressive mutation, which hasn't has enough time to get going here yet (though the original strain here was presumably the same one that caused Wuhan to be isolated, and that was hardly a mild version given how many deaths it caused).

 

Yes, the official numbers are probably an artifact of limited testing, but they're not inconsistent with what I see when I drive around Pattaya. There's no sign of a plague in action other than the government's response in closing things down, when to judge by what's happened in Europe and the US we should be recording thousands of new cases daily and probably a thousand or more deaths. But I just don't see it happening on the ground, does anybody else?

Interesting post. I have a feeling that you are partially correct. 

 

It's also possible that many Thais have been infected, but don't show symptoms. Maybe it's a mild infection due to, as you mention, the heat.

I have been reading news from UK newspapers and watching the news from British TV and I am surprised at the number of cases are of people returning from Thailand. Maybe they didn't pick it up here, but in the plane. I don't know, but a few weeks ago we had very few reported cases and yet all these people returning to the UK were infected.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Guderian said:

There's no sign of a plague in action other than the government's response in closing things down, when to judge by what's happened in Europe and the US we should be recording thousands of new cases daily and probably a thousand or more deaths. But I just don't see it happening on the ground, does anybody else?

All I see on my once a week shopping tour in CM is a much reduced number of like shoppers.  Same on my near empty looking Mooban. but that's not to say there could be hundreds at each of the 12 or so hospitals who are given meds and told to go home and self-isolate. Has anybody ventured into one in the last few days? 

 

The proof of the pudding could be when my local food market reopens today. I anticipate a drop in numbers, which could mean anything - although to be fair, practically every Thai is wearing a mask, is having their temperature measured at each superstore and is clearly conscious of the threat of contamination.

Edited by stephenterry
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25 minutes ago, Guderian said:

There may be a number of reasons for this, my favourite explanation is still that the virus doesn't much like the heat and humidity here and so can't transmit itself as effectively as it does in colder, drier climes. The fact that most Thais spend a lot of time outdoors rather than stuck at close quarters in a stuffy small room probably helps as well.

Would it not be ironic if you were correct and that the order to stay home cooped up with others in fact worsened the spread?

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45 minutes ago, ThailandRyan said:

There is no curve.....its a flat line....how many months will it need to stretch until all the numbers are played out........just pull the band aid of quickly and put the real numbers up, we are already in a state of emergency with curfews and such.  

Why you expect a curve, the straight line is very good for me and also for the government otherwise the fire cover extends 24 by 24

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I won't quote Guderian's full post again, just save some space, but agree with many of the comments raised.

 

At the end of the day, we are in the middle of this pandemic and it is, by definition, 'novel'.

So, any assertions made are in reality best estimates at this point.

 

In particular I think there is some mileage in the following  :

- There is already some preliminary medical research indicating transmission rates are reasonably reduced in hot (check) and humid (check) weather environments. (This has been referenced and discussed elsewhere in the numerous CV threads).

- Most people are somewhat cynical on the government figures but where is the evidence of any concealed mass outbreak? I do not believe they would be able to brush this under the carpet in the current media age.

- What is a known fact is that the human respiratory system is weaker in cold weather and is more susceptible to infection. In addition, it is thought that going through winter generally reduces the overall strength of the immune system. Hence the annual seasonal winter flu season experienced in many parts of the world.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Jajazazajaja said:

I’m just not buying that there are hundreds if not thousands of deaths that are being hushed up with hurried cremations.

There was a report a few days ago in the NY Times on the hospital medical staff in NY City where a nurse said: 

 

"Patients struggling to breathe with lungs that sounded like sandpaper had crowded the hospital."

 

I don't think that could be occurring in Thai hospitals with the Thai hospital staff complicit in saying that this type condition was something other than the COVID-19.

 

 

Edited by SkyFax

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Guderian said:

There may be a number of reasons for this, my favourite explanation is still that the virus doesn't much like the heat and humidity here and so can't transmit itself as effectively as it does in colder, drier climes. The fact that most Thais spend a lot of time outdoors rather than stuck at close quarters in a stuffy small room probably helps as well.

As further evidence of this look at the transmission from the air con boxing stadium, with spectators jammed in and yelling. Compare this to the outside demonstrations in late Feb and mid March, everybody wore a mask and it was outside. I haven't heard of any transmission from these demos.

 

Is anyone aware how many cases have transmitted outside in open air? Another factor is culture, Thais don't hug, kiss or even shake hands. They don't talk much on public transport and are generally reserved.

 

The figures may not be accurate, but if it was really bad we'd be seeing evidence. For example during the drug war friends reported gun shots at night and stories of BIL etc. being shot.

Edited by mixed
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Posted (edited)

When you go in the detail by Province it is easy for all to see that the number of positive cases is being under reported. Casing point being Isaan. Using the Dept. Of Disease Control website http://covid19.ddc.moph.go.th/en I looked at the number of confirmed CV19 cases for the 10 largest Isaan Provinces. The numbers look incredulous, E.G. Khon Kaen, Sakon Nakhon, especially given the mass exodus of jobless Thais from Bangkok, Pattaya etc back to their family villages and the lack of controlled social distancing. 

 

No doubt Governors of certain Provinces are under declaring the numbers to garner "brownie points"..

 

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Edited by Forza2002
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It might also be the fact that people might have mild symptons so its not really added to the count.

 

Look around the world, you dont see pictures of people suffering etc.  Its more of a case of the critical rather than the mild.  I suspect.  Add in the mild symptons of people who have covid who might think its flu, then i would expect it would have the true number of infections.  

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