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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