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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing



FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and ‘Kolour’ events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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  1. Kim

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    It’s a disgrace and rather disgusting that whoever attended these events are not voluntarily going to take a C19 test. I sincerely hope that those who got infected and elected not to get tested will be held fully responsible for their selfish decision.

  2. luca

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    with the Thai scam rate only a crazy masochist would follow the indications of the authority, even if they tested negative I am sure they would be squeezed like lemons in this period of economic crisis.
    It seems that the infection is spreading rapidly, the only solution is the vaccine.

  3. Stefano

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    How can phuket reopen on the 1st of July if they are not able to test all the people living in phuket??

  4. gigi

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    It is time they took all foreigners by the ears and sent them back to their own country

  5. Robert Elliot

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Looks like the attendees are mostly young white westerners. If they are tourists they have likely left the country or wont bother going for testing. However if they are ESL teachers they should get tested.

  6. J West

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    In the Phuket case testing should be made mandatory for all…no exceptions. A grace period might be offered to test and trace..if attendees still have voluntarily tested, with all penalties and responsibilities that go with their own choices, then automatic quarantine followed by deportation to their home countries.

  7. Farang

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Those idiots have money to attend all this kind of nonsense parties, but not willing to have the medical team to check them out for COVID even though is free for them. And if they positive is purely their own faults. Can’t blame anyone for COVID infection. Selfish yolo

  8. Wayno

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 10:58 pm

    @Kim would you go to be tested knowing that if you test positive with NO symptoms you will be dumped into a compound with hundreds of other positive cases, sharing toilets and showers with no aircon and basic food for two weeks ? I doubt it very much.
    It is the governments fault people are reluctant to be tested.

  9. Kim

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 8:35 am

    @wayno. Come down from your high horse. Fit in or fuck off. Obnoxious foreigners like you gives the rest of us a bad rep. Don’t blame your short comings on others. The fact that you would not do the test and potentially infect other people is disgusting. If you by own free will went to party and didn’t adhere to social distancing nor wear a mask, it’s your own fault. By the way, if you go to one of the international hospitals and test positive, then you can elect to be admitted, rather simple.

  10. funny coz its true

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 9:34 am

    They did that deliberately, to stop people from getting tested. they are so transparent it hurts

  11. Mister Stretch

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Why were such things allowed, in the first place?

    Play with fire, you’ll get burned.

    Weren’t Thais taught this as children? It surely seems their adults don’t understand it, yet.

  12. ynwaps

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 9:40 am

    I’d only get tested if I had symptoms

  13. Maverick

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Allow people to self isolate if they are asymptomatic after signing an agreement to remain at home, with clear warning and checks, that failure to comply can result in criminal charges and possible deportation – would deal with the problem.

  14. Sam C

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Test all farang in Phuket ASAP, especially the under 40’s.
    Worse case scenario they have to borrow to pay for their hospitalisation
    They showed total disregard to Covid as they all believe it’s only going to be like having the flu
    Most of them probably still live with their parents (sponging off them by not paying rent) so too bad so sad if they cop 14 days in a field hospital, might just teach them a valuable life lesson

  15. thailand til i die

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    As a Thai citizen, I am relieved and grateful our country has avoided the worst of the virus (relative to other countries). That said, it is unhelpful to blame foreigners, farangs, hi sos and migrant workers. The govt is trying to avoid lockdown, or too many restrictions- we must be appreciative that we can still work and feed our family.

    The Kolours event, and Songkran travel, was and are legal, and government sanctioned. Wear masks, keep social distance and please stay safe everybody.

  16. Simon Small

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    “Come down from your high horse. Fit in or fuck off. Obnoxious foreigners like you gives the rest of us a bad rep.”

    With you 1,000,000% on this, Kim.

    It’s no surprise that Thais are starting to despise some of the farangs in Phuket and Pattaya when they see some complaining very publicly that they want borders opened so they can make a profit when most Thais very clearly don’t, and now they see others who aren’t prepared to either be tested and quarantined under the same conditions as anyone else or to pay for it if they want special treatment.

    Mandatory quarantine for those testing positive works and lets the other 99%+ of the population get on with a normal life, while only inconveniencing the 1%- for a fortnight, as New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, amongst others, have shown.

    Thais who don’t like it, like those who’ve led to big problems for everyone else in Khon Kaen and elsewhere, should be jailed as many Thais have said on social media, and farangs who don’t should be jailed, blacklisted for life, and kicked out.

    These selfish, entitled scumbags give all farangs a bad name.

  17. JDC

    Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 10:42 am

    Did no one notice that the picture published with this article is from the 2018 event?

    • Thaiger

      Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 11:02 am

      The photo is credited as such.

  18. kelvin bamfield

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 9:44 am

    People need to educate themselves = the cycles used in the testing have to be questioned – 20-25 cycles is enough – however most of the testing companies contacted are cycling at 40 + and this will often produce a false positive – please don’t slag off other people without knowing the facts

  19. Jake

    Monday, April 19, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    I was in Phuket at the time Kolour festival was going on. It was at Cafe Del Mar and was a mix of farang and thais. Cafe del Mar is mostly outdoor open air venue, which should avoid the worst type of super spreader event.

    There was another massive festival in Phuket at the time where people tested positive, which was Laguna Revive 555 Festival. I stayed right beside it. That festival was mostly Thai. Massive amount of people there for this festival.

    Let’s all be honest here, when covid cases are low, people are going out and enjoying themselves. No one are social distancing, not wearing masks. I live in Chiang Mai and before Dec of last year when cases were low, Chiang Mai nightlife was in full swing. Once cases rise, people change behavior and relax for a couple weeks. Rinse, repeat.

    Covid isn’t going away. It’s endemic. We’re going to have to figure out how to live with it.

    The saddest thing about this most recent surge is seeing how under prepared TH has been at dealing with a minor uptick in cases. We’ve had over a year to prep for a surge and if we want to open up, were going to have to figure out how to deal with much larger surges.

    We need to allow non acute cases to self isolate at home. We need to sell self testing kits at pharmacies. We need to provide people with information on how to best deal with the virus on their own and provide tele medicine.

    Thailand will have a larger outbreak at some point, and instead of pointing fingers, were going to need to figure out how to deal with it. There should be no shame in catching the virus, but there should be responsibility in not spreading once positive.

    • Thaiger

      Monday, April 19, 2021 at 1:29 pm

      Covid is NOT endemic yet, not even close, especially in Thailand.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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