ASEAN COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATES: PART 2: MYANMAR TO VIETNAM- – Here is the ASEAN status as of Friday, 7am, January 8, 2021

COVID-19 infection crosses more than 86.7 million globally as deaths cross more than 1.87 million.


The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 218 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances.


The update-1.8.2021

Sick Earth Plague Day 408

Cases globally: 






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Coronavirus Cases globally  :Deaths: Recovered:


Here is the ASEAN status as of Friday, 7am, January 8, 2021

Khmer Times


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Myanmar reported +59  new cases, taking total to 127,584 and +22 new deaths, total is at 2,766 deaths.


Myanmar Extends International Flight Ban Until January 1

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has extended the effective period of Temporary Measures to Prevent Importation of COVID-19 to Myanmar Through Air Travel until January 1, 2021, which means that all the international commercial flights flying to and from Myanmar will remain suspended.

This is an extension of the flight ban which will end on December 31 due to the high number of reported cases in the country.

The Ministry of Health and Sports first placed the ban on international commercial passenger flights to and from Myanmar on March 29, when the country started to see COVID-19 cases in its territory.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Transport and Communications is also in talks to ease the ban based on the instruction of the National-level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019, in order to help relieve the impact on the country’s economy.

Written by Ko Myo


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January 08, 2021 – 05:01 PM



Coronavirus cases in the Philippines exceed 485,000 with 1,952 new infections

Photo taken on Jan 9, 2020, shows devotees standing outside Quiapo Church during the first fiesta mass, signaling the start of Traslacion 2021.

Released/Manila Public Information Office
January 9, 2021 – 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:15 p.m.) — The health department on Saturday tallied 1,952 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the national caseload to 485,797.

This marks the highest number of new coronavirus cases logged by the agency in over three weeks and is the highest daily tally of 2021 thus far.

Of the total infections logged by the DOH, it has marked 26,784 or 5.5% as active.

Recoveries rose to 449,615 after 291 more people were reported to have beat the virus.

But another 34 fatalities were also registered by the department, raising the death toll to a grim 93,398.

Where new cases were highest

  • Davao City – 143
  • Quezon City – 98
  • Rizal – 80
  • Cavite – 77
  • Bulacan – 74

What’s new today?

Travelers from Austria are the latest to join the long list of foreign passengers barred by the Duterte administration from entering the country in a bid to keep out a variant of coronavirus that experts have found to be at least 50% more contagious than the original. The variant first emerged in the United Kingdom but has since spread to numerous countries across the globe.

Here is the full list of territories included in the travel ban:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

A measure filed in the House of Representatives seeks to allow private companies to procure coronavirus vaccines for employees and their families.

House Resolution 1453, filed by Deputy Speaker Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro City), invokes the “right of health” of Filipinos under the 1987 Constitution, calling on the government to allow the private procurement of vaccines to “attain the goal of herd immunity.”

Rodriguez also filed a companion measure, House Bill 8301, that would exempt vaccines purchased by the private sector for workers and dependents from import duties, value-added tax, excise tax and other fees.

— Bella Perez-Rubio with reports from Xave Gregorio, Gaea Katreena Cabico and The STAR/Christina Mendez


PH on alert for 3 variants

Sulu under strict lockdown as new strain found in neighboring Sabah

The Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday it is now checking if three new COVID-19 variants, including the United Kingdom variant, have entered the Philippines.“Right now we are monitoring three variants. This is the UK type variant, the South Africa variant and the variant identified in Malaysia,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, speaking in Filipino during a virtual briefingEarlier reports said that a new variant was found in Sabah, a territory claimed by both Malaysia and the Philippines.This resulted in a strict lockdown for nearby Sulu province.Vergeire said that the more than 300 samples that underwent gene sequencing for the UK variant “were just initial.”

China’s Clover gets nod for Philippine trials

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star

) – January 9, 2021 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved the application of Chinese firm Clover Biopharmaceuticals to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines for its COVID-19 vaccine.

This made Clover the second vaccine manufacturer allowed to do the trial in the Philippines, following Belgium’s Janssen, which is owned by US multinational Johnson & Johnson.

It also leaves Sinovac, another Chinese company, as the only manufacturer with pending application with the FDA.

In a statement, FDA director general Eric Domingo said they are currently awaiting response for clarification for the proposed study on the Sinovac Life science vaccine before issuing a decision on the application.

Domingo said the FDA continues to accept applications for COVID-19 vaccine trials in the Philippines.

This came as Russia’s Gamaleya Institute withdrew its application to do clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V
in the Philippines, expressing instead its interest to apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) to be able to supply the country with its vaccine.

“Gamaleya has withdrawn its application on Jan. 6… They expressed their intention to apply for EUA through a letter of intent to the FDA dated Jan. 6,” said FDA Undersecretary Rowena Guevarra during a press briefing of the Department of Health.

Domingo said Gamaleya’s submission for EUA “was pre-assessed and the applicant was instructed to comply with the lacking documents.”

In Dec. 10 last year, Belgium’s AstraZeneca had also pulled out its application for clinical trial and submitted, instead, an application for EUA on Jan. 6.

Aside from AstraZeneca, the United States’ Pfizer is also seeking an application for emergency use of COVID-19 in the Philippines.

According to Guevarra, the Task Force on Vaccine Selection and Evaluation is working with 25 “bilateral partners” that are willing to conduct clinical trials in the country. These partners are comprised of foreign “biotechnology pharmaceutical companies” in 10 countries that are also interested to do local manufacturing and distribution of vaccines in the Philippines. – Rainier Allan Ronda


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JAN 8, 2021, 8:17 PM SGT

MOH warns of SMS scams as Singapore begins Covid-19 vaccination drive

MOH put up a notice to urge people to be wary of scams regarding the vaccine.
MOH put up a notice to urge people to be wary of scams regarding the vaccine.PHOTOS: GRACE CHNG, UNSPLASH

SINGAPORE – As invitations roll out by text message for some to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations, scammers are jumping on the bandwagon to dupe other members of the public.

Text messages, purportedly from a pharmaceutical company approved to provide the Covid-19 vaccine, have asked recipients to click on a link or make a phone call to schedule appointments for vaccination.

The Ministry of Health on Thursday (Jan 7) put up a notice to urge people to be wary of such scams and to verify the authenticity of text messages before offering personal or financial information.

“The text messages are not from MOH, and MOH did not approve any pharmaceutical company to contact anyone directly. We urge recipients not to respond to the messages,” the notice said.

Ms Grace Chng, who received such a message on Tuesday, did just that.

It was from a number she did not recognise but bore the name “CHUANXIN”.

The message, which read, “Modena, an American pharmaceutical company, has been approved to provide you with Covid-19 vaccine”, instructed her to message another number on WhatsApp for registration.

“I have come across a number of scam text messages but I was surprised that this one was quite insidious. Unfortunately, these days you have to distrust before you can trust,” said the 65-year-old writer.

Singapore has kicked off its nationwide vaccination drive, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong among those receiving the jab on Friday.

The MOH has started sending out SMS invitations to those who are eligible to register for the vaccination, starting with healthcare workers.

Those who receive invitations should check that the link in the SMS ends with “” before clicking on it, said the ministry on its website.

They should also not forward messages to others, as each invitation is unique, it added.

The MOH has also warned of another scam in which calls or text messages falsely inform recipients that they had been in close proximity to someone who had tested positive for Covid-19. These messages request for personal or financial information in return for a test kit and results.

Those who wish to verify the authenticity of such messages, or have more questions on the Covid-19 vaccination exercise can call the MOH hotline on 1800-333-9999.

Spotting a scam

– No government agency will request banking account log-in details or personal particulars over the phone.

– Ignore calls from unknown numbers. Scammers may mask their actual phone numbers and display a different number using ID spoofing technology. However all incoming international calls are prefixed with a plus sign.

– Stay vigilant when receiving unexpected international calls, and reject those with spoof local numbers.

– Never disclose personal or Internet banking details and one-time password to anyone.

– For more information on scams go to the Scam Alert website or call the anti-scam hotline on 1800-722-6688.


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Last updated: Jan 09, 2021 at 11:15 hrs.


  • Total cases:9,841
  • Recovered:5,255
  • Daily New Cases:0
  • Deaths:67
  • Rank:


Thailand reports 305 new cases of COVID-19, one more death

BANGKOK (XINHUA) – Thailand yesterday confirmed 305 new COVID-19 infections and one more fatality, according to its Centre for the COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Of the new cases, 302 were domestic infections, including 109 reported in Myanmar migrants living in the Samut Sakhon province, where the latest outbreak in Thailand was first detected in mid-December, and three of the other cases were detected in people in quarantine upon arrival from abroad, CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin told a daily press conference.

The latest data raised Thailand’s total tally to 9,636, which included 7,551 domestic infections and 2,085 others in quarantine, Taweesin said.

More than 5,000 of the infections were reported since mid-December, when the new cluster of cases was first detected among migrant workers in Samut Sakhon, according to the CCSA data.

Total fatalities rose to 67, with one more death newly reported, Taweesin said.

The latest wave of infections has prompted Thai authorities to close schools, stadiums and other venues in highest-risk provinces.

Effective from yesterday until further notice, five provinces, namely Samut Sakhon, Rayong, Chonburi, Chanthaburi and Trat which were among the 28 provinces being declared as maximum control areas, have been put under “maximum control with high strict measures”.

Tougher travel restrictions will be imposed, with people trying to leave the provinces being required to produce relevant official documents to authorities for prior permission, according to the spokesman.

Due to the tightened control measures, all flights have been suspended through at least January 31 for Thai domestic airlines operating out of U-Tapao-Rayong-Pattaya International Airport located in Rayong, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.


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Update: January, 09/2021 – 07:47


With COVID-19 under control, VN tourism sector banks on domestic travel

Update: January, 09/2021 – 07:47

 Tourists visit Tràng An Landscape Complex by boats. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Đức

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam will continue to use flexible measures to stimulate the domestic tourism market as international borders remain shut due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, a top tourism official has said.

Nguyễn Trùng Khánh, Chairman of the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism, made the statement yesterday at a meeting of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports in Hà Nội.

The promotion efforts will be based on the programmes ‘Vietnamese going on tours in Việt Nam’ and ‘Việt Nam, safe and attractive tourism’, Khánh said, as domestic travel remains the “source of strength” for the tourism sector to carry on in 2021.

Many localities have organised tourism promotion campaigns – like Đà Nẵng with ‘Danang Thank You 2020’, Thừa Thiên-Huế with the forum on connecting travel and Khánh Hoà Province with a meeting for travel agencies to promote tourism in Khánh Hoà and Hà Nội.

Tourism authorities and businesses will also be expending more resources to promote tourism on social media and international channels.

In 2021, regional co-operation should be a focus, while localities with new attractions will receive more attention for promotion.

Khánh urged tourism authorities and businesses to prepare for the eventual reopening of international tourism when conditions allow, especially by coming up with new exciting tourism products and promotion campaigns.

In January 2020, the number of foreign tourists to Việt Nam reached a record high of 2 million, but with COVID-19 making its way around the world, international tourism virtually came to a halt with the Government’s decision to close the borders in late March.

In all of 2020, total foreign tourist arrivals to Việt Nam reached only 3.68 million, down 80 per cent compared to 2019, while there were 56 million domestic tourists, down by 34.1 per cent, according to a report delivered by deputy minister of culture, tourism and sports Nguyễn Văn Hùng.

Last year’s tourism revenues were estimated at VNĐ312 trillion, equal to only 58.7 per cent of the previous year’s figure.

Also according to Hùng, in 2020, Việt Nam was honoured as Asia’s leading heritage, cultural, and culinary destination at the World Travel Awards 2020, dubbed the travel industry’s Oscars, which helped raise the profile of Việt Nam in the market even more.

At the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said despite the pandemic in 2020, Việt Nam’s tourism had made considerable strides in recent years, evidenced by its sixth place in the top 10 countries with highest tourism growth.

Đam said the ministry had managed well the relations between the three aspects – culture, tourism and sports – and to harmonise them into a “vivid, abundant” picture of the country and the Vietnamese people.

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Đam said “we have no other choice but to ‘ride on the same train'”, urging the tourism sector to seize the opportunities and maximise the application of technology and digital transformation achievements to enrich tourists’ experience and obtain sustainable development.

Expressing concerns about that fact that the dominating booking services/applications in Việt Nam are all foreign-based, Deputy PM Đam asked that in 2021, the tourism ministry pay more attention to the issue and develop a domestic digital application that can be managed by the ministry. VNS

Source: world meters


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