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MediaWATCH: Thai Flu Death Toll Spirals to 21

MediaWATCH: Thai Flu Death Toll Spirals to 21

Monday, July 13, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Three more deaths reported on Monday have taken the official death toll from the H1N1 virus to 21 in Thailand. Deputy permanent secretary for Public Health, Phaijit Warachit, said yesterday that the pandemic remained at level 2, where the fatality rate is at 0.4 percent of the total number of flu infections. Khun Witthaya said there was no need to ban activities in crowded places, such as concerts, pubs or bars.However, operators have been asked to make sure their establisments are hygienic and to isolate customers with flu-like symptoms. Tuition and language schools have been told to close for two weeks from Monday.

TNA, Bangkok Post Thailand's southern provinces have been hit by heavy rains, with a ferry capsizing yesterday as it headed back to Phuket from Phi Phi without passengers. Five crew, including the captain, managed to survive in an inflatable boat, said Police Lieutenant Colonel Walop Puangpaka, inspector for Phuket water police. The Post reported: ''The ferry was hit by a gigantic wave as it returned from Phi Phi without passengers. When the boat filled up with water, Crew members abandoned the vessel. The ferry is adapted from a fishing boat and could carry up to 26 passengers, an investigation found.'' Bad weather is predicted to continue.

timesonline.co.uk A 14-year-old boy from the Isle of Man has died on holiday in Thailand after he was sucked into a swimming pool vent. Nathan Clark was on holiday with his father, brother, stepbrother and stepmother in the resort of Pattaya and was due to return home this week. It is thought that he lost his goggles at the bottom of a water park pool and tried to remove a grate to fetch them before he was swept into the pool's pump system.

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jakartapost.com Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest democracy, will push for the creation of an Asean human rights body that will have the power to monitor and investigate rights abuses in the region, the Foreign Ministry says. ''We want the future rights body to be more than just an institute that educates on human rights,'' ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said. He added, however, that it was too early to talk about the kind of sanctions that would be imposed on countries that violate the rights of their citizens. Ministers from Asean nations will meet in Phuket, Thailand, from June 16-23, for the 42nd Asean Ministerial Meeting/Asean Regional Forum, during which a high level panel consisting of senior officials from member countries will present terms of reference for the creation of the Asean Human Rights Body.

abcnews.go.com President Obama will now probably have to deal with something he hoped to avoid: revisiting Bush-era scandals. Attorney General Eric Holder is likely to push forward with a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's interrogation practices on suspected terrorists, ABC News confirmed. This comes despite the White House's desire to see the issue disappear. ''We need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,'' Obama said in January. But Obama's attorney general appears to be moving forward on his own, considering whether to appoint a prosecutor to investigate interrogation practices that some have called torture.

The Nation Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has urged people in Thailand not to panic over the H1N1 influenza outbreak. Health officials announced the eighteenth fatality from the virus after the PM made his comment on his regular weekly tv program. Khun Abhisit said the people should not be careless but should not panic over the epidemic. ''Students with the flu should not go to school and working people should stop working,'' the PM said.

Reuters People who are obese but otherwise healthy may be at special risk of severe complications and death from H1N1, US researchers report. They described the cases of 10 patients at a Michigan hospital who were so ill they had to be put on ventilators. Three died. Nine of the 10 were obese, seven were severely obese, including two of the three who died. ''Of the 10 patients, nine were obese (body mass index more than 30), including seven who were extremely obese (BMI more than 40),'' doctors reported.

Associated Press Testimony wrapped up on Friday in the trial of Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as the last defence witness argued that she is innocent because the military government charged her under a constitution abolished two decades ago. The trial has drawn condemnation from the international community and Suu Kyi's local supporters, who worry the ruling junta has found an excuse to keep her detained through elections planned for next year. She is widely expected to be found guilty when the verdict is delivered, expected sometime next month.

nytimes.com P.S. Han, a teacher in Kuala Lumpur, has been using English to teach math and physics to 17-year-olds for the past six years. From 2012, he will be forced to return to using the national language, Bahasa Malaysia, after the government decided to abandon English for the two subjects in a decision some consider to be motivated by politics rather than education. The announcement last week came after months of lobbying by Malay nationalists and has raised concerns about whether Malaysia's competitiveness as a destination may suffer.

smh.com.au The head of one of Australia's most powerful Aboriginal land councils has slammed PM Kevin Rudd, saying a basic respect for indigenous culture should be enough of a reason to ban climbing up the huge monolith Uluru, formerly known as Ayer's Rock. The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park has called for an end to people climbing the 348-metre-high rock, which is sacred to indigenous people, as part of a 10-year draft plan released this week. The controversial issue sparked immediate debate over the future of the climb, which is seen by many as a drawcard for the 350,000 tourists who visit the rock each year.

Phuketwan Phuket News

Thai Army Issuing Color-Coded Permits for Asean
Latest Phuket residents who live and work within the five kilometre security zone around Laguna Phuket will be required to display a permit on cars and motorcycles during the Asean forum.
Thai Army Issuing Color-Coded Permits for Asean

Burmese 'Passports' Mark New Phuket Deal
Latest More than 90,000 lowly workers on Phuket will have the chance to legitimise their labor under a proposal discuss at high level bilateral talks on Saturday
Burmese 'Passports' Mark New Phuket Deal

Phuket Governor Orders Asean Airport Makeover
Photo Album Phuket residents and visitors will need to carry ID or passports to access all of the north of the island during the Asean Regional Forum. Prisoners will be beautifying the airport tonight.
Phuket Governor Orders Asean Airport Makeover

Patong Surf Carnival and Cleanup: Photo Special
Photo Special Patong, scene of at least one drowning in June, hosted a mini surf lifesaving carnival on Saturday and will hold a larger event on Sunday. The beach was also cleaned.
Patong Surf Carnival and Cleanup: Photo Special

Patong Hill Motorcycle Mashing: Photo Album
Photo Album Whether rain or shine, the one constant on Phuket is the needless deaths on the roads. We came across the aftermath of one mysterious incident on scenic Patong Hill.
Patong Hill Motorcycle Mashing: Photo Album

Phuket Lessons in How to Treat Resort Staff
Latest Resorts planning on laying off staff this month had better get their timing right or face the wrath of a government determined to make the Asean summit work.
Phuket Lessons in How to Treat Resort Staff

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