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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

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

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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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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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. Avatar

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

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.

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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