In Brief : Drones, ultraviolet cams at Thai border

Drones, ultraviolet cams at Thai border

BANGKOK • Thailand is stepping up border surveillance by deploying drones and ultraviolet cameras after dozens of new Covid-19 cases were found linked to a town in neighbouring Myanmar.

At least 16 people who illegally crossed the borders and avoided the mandatory 14-day quarantine have tested positive for Covid-19 since late last month, with two local transmissions traced back to the group that came from Myanmar, officials said.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday ordered officials to erect barricades along the porous border to stop illegal crossings.


Turkey may roll out China vaccine soon

ISTANBUL • Turkey could start administering China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the month, after analysis for domestic licensing is complete, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said yesterday.

Dr Koca said shipments of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine will arrive after Friday. The vaccine, which has been undergoing phase three trials in Turkey and other countries, will need another two weeks of testing and analysis, said the Sozcu newspaper.

Last month, Turkey signed a contract to buy 50 million doses of CoronaVac, to be delivered in batches between this month and February.


China vaccine shows 'up to 97% efficacy'

JAKARTA • Indonesia's state-owned pharmaceutical company Bio Farma yesterday said interim data on trials that it was conducting on vaccines produced by Chinese company Sinovac showed up to 97 per cent efficacy.

Bio Farma spokesman Iwan Setiawan did not elaborate on whether the interim result was from a late-stage clinical trial, but a Sinovac spokesman yesterday said the firm had yet to receive efficacy readings from phase three clinical trials.

Bio Farma did not provide data on how many participants got infected during the trial involving 1,600 people.

Mr Iwan said Bio Farma would wait for full results and it expected Indonesia's food and drug agency to issue emergency use authorisation late next month before mass vaccination could start.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2020, with the headline In Brief : Drones, ultraviolet cams at Thai border. Subscribe