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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket finds 4 Covid infections from newly-mandated rapid antigen tests



Stock photo via Pixabay

Phuket is reporting 4 new Covid-19 infections from those arriving from red zone provinces on the first day of the new requirement for such travellers to undergo rapid antigen tests. As of Thursday, all people arriving from the 17 red zoned provinces must undergo the test if they can’t prove that they have been fully vaccinated or have received a negative Covid test within 72 hours before arriving. Phuket itself is also a red zone province.

Thursday saw 1,051 arrivals at Phuket International Airport. 958 underwent rapid antigen testing, with 2 receiving positive Covid results. 9,338 people arrived by road that same day, with 2 more testing positive. Despite the expectation of the tests creating a traffic jam at the airport, the Phuket Vice Governor says the process actually only takes 15-20 minutes. But, in Thai time, that number could be doubled.

(Thaiger readers said it was taking some people up to 90 minutes to get their results back).

Phuket health officials reported 13 new Covid infections yesterday, bringing the total to 292 during the current outbreak. A second field hospital is also currently being set up at Phuket Rajabhat University, just north of Phuket Town.  The first field hospital is already set up at the Prince of Songkhla University Phuket Campus in Kathu and has 170 beds. Currently, however, only 70 to 80 patients are being treated there. The new field hospital will only be used as a backup if the first one is full.

Yesterday, Thailand reported the highest amount of daily infections since the pandemic began, at 2,070 with 4 deaths. And, today, that number has risen even more as 2,839 new infections have been reported to the CCSA in the past 24 hours. 8 more deaths have also been reported. It’s also the highest number of deaths to be recorded in a single day as well.

The new sharp rise in infections since the last outbreak began is concerning many in the healthcare industry and in the general population in regards to having enough staff and facilities to handle the influx of Covid patients.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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  1. Ted

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 11:36 am

    The failed Songkran will not only have Phuket missing out on yet another “dream-plan”, i.e. Sandbox, the tourist dependent island will now also lose domestic travelers.

    If this keep going, mrs and I will not do our planned 1 month vacation in the south. This will not only hurt Phuket but Krabi and Pang-na/Khao Lak also.

    The 500 thb now, is similar to what it before cost to leave DMK on a international flight and my best guess is that the [500] cash will end up in the same place as before…peoples pockets!

    Having said that, even if it were free for foreigners, as it is for Thais, I’d still not fly down. Have an insurance with Aetna, that have said they will cover any difficulties I might get from C19, so am not afraid of being infected. All this is just parts in a big package which takes away all the ‘holiday feeling’ one is looking for in a vacation…the mandatory test as well as all the other rules [continuing] popping up.

  2. J West

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Any truth to the reports that the Rapid Testing has been turning up false positives and reacts positive to saline? I’m not traveling to Phuket but wouldn’t want to be “whisked off” to an internment camp by accident.

    2) is there any truth to reports that the internment camps won’t feed farang in custody?

  3. Jason

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    In many ways this is a test of Phuket Provinces ability to accept international tourists with safety of everyone….residents, workers and tourists. Other countries are watching with interest and many tourists will make their decision on what happens in the weeks and months to come.

  4. FrederickHobbs

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    A more useful report would have included what happened to the people at the airport or bridge who tested positive.
    Thai people go where and cost ?
    Foreign people go where and cost ?

  5. Paul

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 9:01 pm

    We had to get tested driving in from Khao Lak to Phuket yesterday (23rd April) on the way to the airport to fly back to Bangkok. Luckily negative. A VIP Thai family we know also driving in from Khao Lak (to the airport) didn’t have to get tested! They were allowed passage through. No consistency at all. They’ll never be able to control the virus if they pick and choose who to stop!

  6. Toby Andrews

    Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    I would not trust any Thai test on foreigners. They have so much to gain if the foreigner is positive.
    An expensive ambulance to a hospital or quarantine that costs plenty.
    And there are no second opinions.

  7. Simon Small

    Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 12:41 am

    “Thai people go where and cost ?
    Foreign people go where and cost?”

    Same place – one of the two field hospitals at the PRU or PSU.

    Same cost – free.

    “Any truth to the reports that the Rapid Testing has been turning up false positives and reacts positive to saline?”

    Not to saline, but false positives (25%) are likely; you can have another test, but only once in quarantine and if you pay.

    “is there any truth to reports that the internment camps won’t feed farang in custody?”

    No. You can order your own meals though if you have a mobile and have them delivered (Food Panda, friends, etc) as field hospital / army food is “basic”.

    “They have so much to gain if the foreigner is positive.
    An expensive ambulance to a hospital or quarantine that costs plenty.”

    Only if the foreigner wants to pay for it – otherwise it’s free, and you can drive yourself if you want to.

    “And there are no second opinions”

    You can have as many as you want and are prepared to pay for.

  8. Im Sbricks

    Monday, April 26, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    If you are driving alone and test positive.. with mild or no symptoms.. you should be able to drive back to your own home, where ever that is in Thailand. Youd dont even have to leave the car to refuel here. No need to go to a special camp.
    For people on flights, they should offer a taxi style service to home with contained rear section for the infected Person. Yes, it would be an expensive service but many would pay for that, rather than go into a field camp hospital.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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