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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket businesses beg to allow import of private vaccines

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Businesses beg for private vaccine importing to meet the July 1st vaccination deadline.

With the July 1 deadline for reopening to internationals travellers approaching and Covid-19 spreading rapidly, Phuket industry leaders are begging the Thai government to allow private importing of vaccines. Phuket’s sandbox plan required a 70% vaccinated resident policy, which looks unattainable, in order to allow tourism without quarantine again. With the pandemic spread across all 77 provinces now, vaccines that had been earmarked for Phuket may be rerouted to more urgent situations.

The Phuket Tourist Association understands this need but believes pushing to restart tourism to save the economy is vital also. So in response, private sector businesses are asking for approval to import vaccines on their own. Pledging to use their own budget and local administrative organisations, they await approval to proceed in vaccinating and reopening.

Tour operators, especially German and Scandinavian companies, want to resume operations in Thailand and start landing international flights in Phuket again, according to the Thailand Hotels Association Southern chapter. They insist it’s imperative to hold true to its announcement and show the world that Thailand is reliable for tourism again.

The Phuket Tourism Council, Phuket Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Phuket Industries, have all banded together with private companies and local government to support privatized vaccines. The Phuket Tourism Council said businesses had asked permission since January without approval, but many regions had already set aside funds to purchase vaccines, and even made contact with some foreign vaccine makers.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed yesterday to open the gates to the private sector helping the government to purchase, import, and distribute vaccines to the people of Thailand, and businesses in Phuket are pleading to allow them to vaccinate on their own so the 200,000 vaccines already administered aren’t in vain. With Sinovac and AstraZeneca currently available for import, and Johnson & Johnson recently gaining approval, plus Siam Bioscience producing the AstraZeneca vaccine here in Thailand, many criticize the government’s slow progress in vaccinating the population. Calls are growing to allow private importing, and Phuket businesses are ready to take up the charge.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    zig

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    good luck…this would be great the the almighty powers that be won’t allow their pockets to be compromised

  2. Avatar

    David Pilkington

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    ‘ . . . Phuket industry leaders are begging the Thai government to allow private importing of vaccines. . . ‘ What the hell must these poor guys be thinking re their government’s performance? . . . ‘Prayut & Co need a good shaking’, or stronger I guess.

    You have to feel sorry for them, especially with having made their July 1 plans.

  3. Avatar

    Jeff

    Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 11:51 pm

    July 1 was gone long ago. I’m hoping for a September or at worst an October 1st opening up in Phuket and other places. Seeing that they just showed the world that they have no confidence in the vaccines (removed 7 day quarantine for vaccinated foreigners, who really shouldn’t have any if they arrive Covid free) why would anyone think this government can figure it out at all. Get a visa and a negative covid 19 test within 3 days of departing and you’re free to visit the US….where many states are open with no masks required while outside. Those are mostly red states, too.

  4. Avatar

    wayno

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 2:36 am

    Phukets problems are self inflicted due to greed. Come to Phuket over Song Kran with no restrictions……

  5. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 3:28 am

    The people of phuket are still trying to buy their way to the front of the que for vacinnes in a futile attempt to try to save their
    dead tourist industry.
    Perhaps if they look to the west across the adaman sea they will see a far greater need than theirs.
    It’s called india.1000’s of people every day are dying prematurely for want of vaccine.do you genuinely believe your tourism industry is more important than thise people living?it is very unlikely the well educated and socially responsible alleged german and scandinavia tourists are unaware of this situation also.the greed and shortsightedness the islands taxi drivers are world famous for clearly does not end there.

  6. Avatar

    James

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 4:43 am

    The Thai government, not the virus, has destroyed the tourism industry. Any chance of people coming in July is over as nobody will plan a trip when the rules can change by the day. Maybe October or later, and we’ll see what businesses have survived.

  7. Avatar

    Sai Yuan George

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 5:01 am

    @Jeff – You are 100% right mate. I kind of thought the same when the news came out today. The increased number of Covid cases are not a tourist related problem but a local Thai problem. Increasing the ASQ days again to 14 days for fully vaccinated tourists is insane. And now you are not allowed to leave your room during the 14 days quarantine anymore. The old rule was that you can leave your room after 6 or 7 days for 45 minutes a day. That little treat is cancelled too. OMG

  8. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 11:12 am

    “Increasing the ASQ days again to 14 days for fully vaccinated tourists is insane”

    How is anyone supposed to know if tourists are “fully vaccinated” or not?

    According to UK Border Control it’s impossible to verify ANY “vaccination passports” and they find over 100 forgeries EVERY DAY just from spelling mistakes!

    Canada says the same thing – the “vaccine passports” are useless / until they can be verified, and that isn’t possible yet.

    Returning to the 14 days quarantine won’t solve the current “wave”, agreed, but at least it’ll stop it being made any worse.

  9. Avatar

    Harry1

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 11:12 am

    phuket was promised a new conference centre,a new incinerator along with koh samui and still waiting ? acquiring a leading vaccine at this very late stage is wishful thinking, even the government wont be able to,a very disappointing situation not just for phuket but the country

  10. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    “… a very disappointing situation not just for phuket but the country…”

    Maybe the rest of “the country” don’t care as much about Phuket as Phuket does, and they’re actually quite happy to see some equity over vaccine distribution and foreign and domestic tourism controlled and put on hold until other issues have been resolved, such as a nationwide vaccine roll out and an international vaccination validation system.

  11. Avatar

    Suua

    Friday, April 30, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Much the same as Nazi’ism is constantly highlighted lest people should forget……it’s imperative that this is constantly highlighted to remind people how this started…..lest it should be forgotten.

  12. Avatar

    Dean Millard

    Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    I was looking at September, but it’s looking dicey now

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

3 organisers of Phuket’s Kolour superspreader event charged

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: 3 managers involved in the Kolour superspreader event have been charged.

As Thailand still wrestles to control the third wave of Covid-19, much of which stems from entertainment venues in Bangkok and a massive party in Phuket, Patong police announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour superspreader event will be charged under the Emergency Decree. The case report was filed with the public prosecutor yesterday according to the Patong police chief, confirming that 3 people will be prosecuted for the event.

The Kolour Beachside Festival was held April 2 and 3 with events at Café Del Mar Phuket in Kamala, and Shelter Phuket Dance and Night Club and Illuzion Nightclub, both in Patong. Before the festival, Phuket had gone more than a hundred days without any new Covid-19 infections, but by April 7 the Phuket provincial Public Health office announced 8 new infections, half of which had been at the Kolour parties. In the following weeks, officials plead for attendees to be tested as infections spread.

Charges were delayed in being filed to the Phuket Public Prosecutor’s office as a special investigation committee was ordered to be created to oversee the investigation at the request of Region 8’s Police Commander. That committee brought together officials from various law enforcement in the area including the Patong Police, Kamala Police, Phuket Provincial Police, and the Region 8 Police to investigate the Kolour event before anyone was charged.

The manager of Café Del Mar, along with the managing director and the manager of Shelter and Illuzion, which are under the same management team, will be charged for the Kolour festival violating Thailand’s Emergency Decree that was declared to help protect the country from Covid-19 outbreaks. A breach of the Emergency Decree can be held liable for up to 40,000 Baht and 2 years in jail under Section 9 of the Decree.

The latter 2 are also facing charges of operating an unlicensed entertainment venue. This carries the possibility of another year in prison and a fine of up to 60,000 baht, in accordance with Thai Law under Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via Bumrungrad Hospital

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure have the highest risk of death followed by patients infected with the coronavirus who underlying conditions of diabetes or high cholesterol, according to data from Thailand’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 486 coronavirus-related deaths. Out of those fatalities, 392 were reported after April 1. Using data from the recent wave of infections, the CCSA found that those infected with Covid-19 who also have high blood pressure are at the most at risk of death, followed by those who are diabetic and those who have high cholesterol.

Others who are at risk of severe infection or death if infected with Covid-19 include those with chronic kidney disease, heart disease, obesity or lung disease.

Most of the deaths since April 1 have been in Bangkok, making up 46% of the death count in the recent wave, followed and provinces just outside the capital. Most patients who died while infected with Covid-19 have been over 60 years old with underlying health conditions. Several young adults, in their 20s and 30s, who died while infected with Covid-19, had underlying conditions of diabetes and obesity.

Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure at high risk of death -CCSA | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: PR Thai Government

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Human Right Watch calls for Thailand to immediately act on Covid-19 outbreaks at prisons

Tanutam Thawan

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Chiang Mai prison / Photo via Department of Corrections ประชาสัมพันธ์ กรมราชทัณฑ์

In response to the recent Covid-19 outbreaks in Thailand prisons, the Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying Thai authorities need to take immediate steps to tackle overcrowding in prisons and release inmates that do not pose a serious risk to the public. The organisation also notes that under international human rights law, the government must provide equal and accessible health care to the inmates, adding that Thailand must act quickly to ensure the infected prisoners are properly treated.

Yesterday, Thailand’s Department of Corrections reported 2,835 inmates at 2 Bangkok prisons tested positive for Covid-19, adding to the hundreds of cases at prisons in Chiang Mai and in the southern province Narathiwat by the Malaysia border. Out of the new cases, 1,795 at Bangkok Remand Prison, making up more than half the prison population. The other 1,040 infections are inmates at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution.

HRW says those held in Thailand’s overcrowded prisons are at “grave risk” of Covid-19. After the outbreak in Narathiwat in early April, prison visits were suspended to prevent the spread of Covid-19. HRW Asia director Brad Adams says authorities had been warned about the situation.

“Many people warned the Thai authorities that they needed to act proactively to avoid such a situation, but it seems they got caught sleeping at the switch.”

Under international law, the Thai government is obligated to provide adequate healthcare to prisoners, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, Brad says. He adds that to prevent the spread of Covid-19, some prisoners should be released to reduce overcrowding and congestion.

“Besides providing health care and virus testing, the authorities should reduce the detainee population through the supervised release of those held on politically motivated charges or for minor offences, or who face greater risk from underlying health conditions.”

HRW says Thailand should take immediate steps to tackle the longstanding problem of overcrowding in prisons and consider the supervised release of inmates who at a high risk of severe infection if they were to contract Covid-19. Those charged with minor offences or who are in pre-trial detention for minor, nonviolent crimes should also be considered for release, HRW says.

SOURCE: HRW

 

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