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A South Korean soldier tested positive for Covid-19 after returning home from Thailand. The soldier was in Rayong from November 2 to 6 for Cobra Gold, Thailand’s annual military training exercise.

The soldier tested positive during a mandatory screening at a South Korea airport. Thai health officials are investigating the case and are urging residents in Rayong not to panic.

All foreign soldiers involved in the 5-day Cobra Gold training were required to quarantine for 14 days upon entering Thailand and test negative for Covid-19 twice before being released. Health officials speculate the soldier may not have contracted the virus in Thailand. In some cases, the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

A total of 202 Thai and foreign military authorities participated in Cobra Gold. Foreign participants were from the United States, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China and India.

The Public Health Ministry is requiring those who were in close contact with the infected soldier to quarantine for 14 days. Those at the training who did not come in close contact with the soldier are advised to self-quarantine at their homes and look out for any symptoms over the next 2 weeks.

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  • 2 weeks later...


Drugmaker AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed its COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective, buoying the prospects of a relatively cheap, easy-to-store product that may become the vaccine of choice for the developing world.

The results are based on an interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine.

AstraZeneca is the third major drug company to report late-stage data for a potential COVID-19 vaccine as the world waits for scientific breakthroughs that will end a pandemic that has pummeled the world economy and led to 1.4 million deaths. But unlike the others, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t have to be stored at freezer temperatures, making it potentially easier to distribute, especially in developing countries.

“I think these are really exciting results,” Dr. Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the trial, said at a news conference. “Because the vaccine can be stored at fridge temperatures, it can be distributed around the world using the normal immunization distribution system. And so our goal … to make sure that we have a vaccine that was accessible everywhere, I think we’ve actually managed to do that.”

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As more vaccine trials wrap up, it’s also becoming clear how much these vaccines will cost. In the U.S., the first batch of select vaccines will be paid for by the government. However, it’s to be determined who will be eligible to receive free doses and how much out-of-pocket costs will be down the road.


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I think the better strategy was to engage the Chinese early on and befriend them. They were ground zero. They could have provided information to help the world deal with it better. Ignore them blaming us or anyone and get as much info, even if its behind the scenes. There is time for finger pointing afterwards in a post mortem....no pun intended. 

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