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Coronavirus Thailand

Phuket eyes lifting restrictions on Tambons that are virus-free for 14 days

Jack Burton

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Phuket eyes lifting restrictions on Tambons that are virus-free for 14 days | The Thaiger
PHOTO: The Phuket News
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Phuket’s outgoing governor Pakkapong Tawipat recently extended emergency measures in the southern province until April 30, including severe travel restrictions on the island. Now there is speculation the incoming governor, Narong Namsouw, currently the governor of the northeastern Chaiyaphum province, will extend them, though there has been no confirmation of this.

Governor Pakkapong says the provincial government is seeking opinions from all quarters about the possibility of reopening some of the island’s 17 tambons, or subdistricts, once they are free of new Covid-19 cases for 14 days.

Phuket has the highest rate of Covid-19 cases per capita in Thailand, and the highest number outside of Bangkok (197 as of today), but numbers have dropped dramatically, with only 5 new cases reported in the last week, and the recovery rate is high at well over 65%. Currently, medical and public health concerns remain in the Patong and Bang Tao subdistricts, where infections remain highest.

Pakkapong announced yesterday that he has assigned the Prince of Songkla University to collect opinions from all sectors of society, hinting that areas with no new cases for two weeks, of which there are many, could have Tambon restrictions lifted.

Right now, it is at the stage that Phuket Provincial Government is listening to opinions from all parts. We will make a proposal to the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee, but any steps must comply with the state of emergency and various measures of the National Communicable Disease Committee.”

Phuket provincial public health chief Thanit Sermkaew says easing measures to prevent the spread of the virus can only happen if no infected persons are found in a subdistrict for 14 days.

“That seems like a safe time, but if we’re to be really safe and confident, 28 days would be better under the ‘new lifestyle’ that’s being enforced during the outbreak.”

“You can see that in all 17 tambons in Phuket, there are some tambons that have reported no infections for 14 days. 8 tambons are still in a “red condition” and need to be monitored. Currently, there are still infected people in Patong and Bang Tao. We have to start counting from the day a case is found for another 14 days. In other tambons I think it’s possible to unlock the areas by the end of April since no infection has been found for more than 14 days.”

SOURCE: Phuket People’s Voice

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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Coronavirus News & Updates

New scheduled departure times for people leaving Phuket

Anukul

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New scheduled departure times for people leaving Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook@newshawkphuket

While Phuket officials have allowed tens of thousands of people to leave the island to head back to their home provinces, the Phuket provincial government only allowed Phuket residents to leave the island in their own vehicles on April 30 and May 1, being the ‘first round’ and ‘second round’ of the mass exodus.

But on the first day there was traffic jams for kilometres and general chaos around the Tha Chatchai Checkpoint, along with not-very-happy people. Only a few of the total people queueing up managed to leave the island on that first day. Since then the Phuket provincial government has set new guidelines for people who want to leave the island.

The new strategy is a time based queue registration system. Those who wish to leave Phuket must first sign up via a website booking and select a scheduled time. Tha Chatchai Checkpoint, will be open for 700 people to exit every hour starting from 5 am – 8 pm, allowing a total of 10,500 people per day.

New scheduled departure times for people leaving Phuket | News by The Thaiger

The passengers must also pass the fit-to-travel requirements at the checkpoint. This is done by providing a certificate from the ‘provincial administration for Covid-19’ which states that travellers are Covid-19 free. Inquires can be made in advance at the Phuket Provincial Police (building 191) or through their Facebook page at ‘191phuket’.

Buses and vans will also be available for people who have booked in advanced. People must reserve a specific time.

“If you do not arrive within the requested period, you must go back to register again.”

SOURCE: Phuket Police

New scheduled departure times for people leaving Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Coronavirus Thailand

Phuket reports no new Covid-19 cases for fourth day, one new death

Jack Burton

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Phuket reports no new Covid-19 cases for fourth day, one new death | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Big Buddha Phuket - opodo

The southern island province of Phuket reported no new Covid-19 cases today, a fourth consecutive day, though there was one additional death.

The man was a 63 year old hotelier from Khao Lak in neighbouring Phang Nga province on the mainland, who visited Phuket before falling ill. He travelled to Phuket between March 19-21 and first began exhibiting symptoms on March 24.

He suffered from from cystic fibrosis, a disease which affects the lungs and digestive system. He returned to Phuket for the critical treatment offered by the island’s hospitals, but succumbed to the illness yesterday.

As of today, Phuket has discharged 180 patients and retains 36 patients in hospital, with 57 still awaiting test results, whereas more than 5,000 considered “at high risk” have tested negative and been sent home. Yesterday’s death takes the island’s total to 3.

The recent downturn in numbers is especially encouraging as Phuket province has long had the highest rate of infection per capita in the kingdom, and the second-highest actual numbers of infections, after Bangkok.

SOURCE: Phuket People’s Voice

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Coronavirus Phuket

People returning from Phuket to Krabi greeted with 14 day quarantine

The Thaiger

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People returning from Phuket to Krabi greeted with 14 day quarantine | The Thaiger

Some Krabi residents, joining the exodus from Phuket after the Phuket opened its only land border at Sarasin Bridge last week, were greeted with a mandatory swab-test yesterday. 76 Krabi residents returned from Phuket yesterday,

Krabi’s governor, Kitibadee Prawit, joined public health officials and Krabi Hospital’s director in overseeing collection of swab samples from a group of 76 returnees on Tuesday. 39 had returned from areas in Phuket deemed “at high risk” for Covid-19 transmission – Cherngtalay, Patong, Kathu, and Koh Kaew.

Returnees from those high-risk areas were sent for a state-enforced 14 days holiday, aka. quarantine, at hotels provided in Krabi. The remainder were allowed to quarantine at their homes under the supervision of public health officials.

On Sunday the deputy governor of Krabi province, Somkuan Khan-ngern, claimed that the Phuket departees “had spread coronavirus to his province”.

Later he retracted the comment and apologised to the media saying that his comments were “a thoughtless accusation, made during an inspection of screening checkpoint in Ao Nang”. He said he had no intention to offend the people of Phuket.

The deputy governor had also reportedly initially refused to allow people from Phuket to enter Krabi.

The Phuket provincial administration has been allowing thousands of migrant workers and non-resident Thais to return to leave the island their home provinces. They had been stranded in Phuket, mostly without work, after the Phuket governor sealed off the land, sea and air borders of the island in early April.

Those who want to leave are being told to apply for a “Fit to Travel” permits from the provincial administration, which then have to shown to officials at the Tha Chatchai checkpoint on departure, checkpoints along the way, and their destinations. Some 50,000+ people have registered to leave Phuket since the land border partially opened last week, more than 10% of the island’s permanent population.

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