A reply has been recieved from Prisoners Abroad regarding the original and it actually opened more questions. See what you think
Thank you for your e-mail.
This was the first we had heard about an outbreak of the H1N1 virus at Bang Kwang. We therefore made enquiries with the British Embassy in Bangkok. They informed us as follows:
It was confirmed by Dr Manop - Director of Medicine at Bank Kwang - that a contingency plan is in place and that they have ordered enough Tamiflu to cover every prisoner. Personal supplies of Tamiflu will not be permitted.
As they represent the greatest risk in terms of passing on the infection, all officers have been instructed to wear masks and alcohol spray is readily available. There is lesser chance of an out-break via visitors as they are not in direct contact with the prisoners. Masks will be mandatory from this week with mandatory spraying of all hands with alcohol at the entry gates. I cannot confirm that prisoners are also being required to wear masks at their own expense. There are, apparently, H1N1 awareness programmes daily on the internal tanoid systems and information posters everywhere.
Dr Manop confirmed there have been 5 suspected H1N1 cases, all of whom have been isolated. We were not informed of any fatalities amongst prisoners or staff. The next peak is expected next week August 11 through 18 - but there has been no suggestion of calling off visits at this stage. However, contact visits of any kind will be put on hold.
Hope the above information is helpful
A reply was called for
Thank you for that Matthew
This information does go someway towards confirming what we have been told. However a couple of points if I may.
All of the awareness programmes and posters are in Thai and nothing has been distributed in other languages. Will the British Embassy be rectifying this?
Also the Thai Public Health Ministry, whilst having announced free anti-viral drugs for the Thai people, have not indicated that this extends to foreigners nor for prisoners. I suspect that this means that both tourists and prisoners will have to pay for thier anti-virals. If this does indeed become the case will Prisoners Abroad
or the British Embassy help financially or a better option, work with the Thai Department of Correction to ensure that all BNO's get the drugs as required free of charge.
Once again Thank you for your reply
recieved back from PA
We are not sure whether the British Embassy will be translating posters etc. Perhaps you would like to mention this as a suggestion to them?:
The information we were provided with indicates that Tamiflu stocks will be made available to all prisoners, not just Thai nationals. There has been no suggestion that foreign prisoners will need to pay for Tamiflu.
If it does turn out that foreign prisoners are being asked to cover these costs, and negotiations between the British Embassy and the Thai authorities are unsuccessful at getting the Thai authorities to cover such costs, then the Prisoners Abroad Medical Fund would be available to those whose families/friends are not in a position to support them. This fund covers the costs of essential treatment and medication for prisoners where appropriate.
The original blog was picked up by a Journalist and published on thaivisa.com and since then has been translated into various languages. Thanks go to that man for taking the time to blog and also adding more information that I was unaware off.
Be well and be happy