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Extra doses of Covid vaccine lined up for tourist provinces

Maya Taylor



PHOTO: Facebook / Anutin Charnvirakul

Thailand’s Culture Ministry and the Tourism and Sports Ministry says provinces considered major tourist destinations could be given extra doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome says the government is being asked to agree to the proposal in order to boost residents’ confidence and help local economies. The chosen provinces included Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya), and Surat Thani.

The Bangkok Post reports that the first doses of China’s Sinovac jab have been distributed in tourist provinces, with 2,500 going to Koh Samui, 4,700 sent to Pattaya, 3,500 to Chiang Mai, and 4,000 to the resort island of Phuket. More doses will follow in June and September. In June, the breakdown will be 16,000 for Samui, 50,000 for Pattaya, 32,000 for Chiang Mai, and 16,000 for Phuket. In September, Phuket will take delivery of a further 48,000 doses, Samui will receive another 16,000, and Chiang Mai and Pattaya will receive 48,000 doses each.

Officials are also in talks as to what the Songkran celebrations will look like this year, after the PM confirmed the holiday will go ahead. Prayut Chan-o-cha says he has asked the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to discuss guidelines for the celebrations with relevant agencies and to submit a proposal to cabinet next week.

“The situation has now improved. With the collaboration of everyone, the Songkran events can be held. But what type of events will be held and how will have to be discussed to ensure they will not affect disease control measures. They may be less fun but still safe.”

It’s unclear if certain practices that are not particularly traditional, but have become associated with Songkran, such as foam parties and pick-up trucks splashing water on roads, will be given the green light this year.

Itthiphol suggests that the splashing of water be allowed to go ahead, given the low number of daily new infections.

“It should get the green light because the daily number of new Covid-19 cases has dropped from 3 digits to only 2 digits.”

However, he adds that this year’s Songkran celebrations should focus more on religious and cultural activities like making merit and pouring water on Buddha statues and onto the palms of the elderly. There has also been talk of participants being required to wear face shields, masks, and raincoats as protection against contamination, and maintaining social distancing when giving traditional greetings to the elderly.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar


    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Peanuts ! Thailand will never get any immunity…
    No need to take any repulsive mesures against tourists : none will come anyway !!!

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Prioritizing the tourist areas is sign of good things to come.

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