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Vaccine rollout underway in Phuket as province receives 4,000 doses

Maya Taylor

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Vaccine rollout underway in Phuket as province receives 4,000 doses | Thaiger
PHOTO: Prachachat

The southern island of Phuket has kicked off its vaccine rollout, after taking delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab. Vaccine administration began yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

Nation Thailand reports that Vachira Phuket Hospital is administering the vaccines, with capacity to vaccinate 400 people a day. However, in order to meet Phuket’s target of 1,000 – 1,500 a day, doses are also being distributed to other hospitals on the island.

Phuket has been decimated by Covid-19, with international tourism plummeting and countless tourism-reliant businesses shut for good. The island is expected to take delivery of a further 16,000 vaccine doses, due to being prioritised as an “economically significant” province. After that, another 48,000 doses are expected in April or May, bringing the island’s total number of doses to 68,000. Frontline healthcare workers, tourism workers, and people over the age of 60 will be prioritised.

In 2019, Phuket welcomed around 10 million foreign visitors. According to the local tourism association, it has since lost about 80% of its tourism-related businesses, due to the pandemic.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 11:03 am

    Nice to see Thailand still intends to prioritizing the four economic zones. While I think opening by July will be tough to pull off,
    It’s nice to see they are going to try.

  2. Avatar

    Rasputin

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 11:34 am

    First line Health workers should be the first to be vaccinated but the 500 “at risk officials” I wonder what the criteria was to include them in the at risk group? I doubt if they have ever been in contact with potentially infected people in their lives.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    So Phuket’s received 4,000 doses, with a “plan” to receive 64,000 more in the next three months …

    … at that rate, with two doses each, vaccinating the planned 70% of the island’s population so vaccinated tourists can be allowed back without quarantine will be done by spring 2024 … ?

    … and by the big day, “1 October 2021”, maybe 20% will have been vaccinated … ?

  4. Avatar

    Jason

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    I think the sooner the Island of Phuket gets vaccinated, the sooner vaccinated international tourists can return with confidence and no quarantine. Phuket international Airport can take direct flights from other low risk countries and slowly move forward with confidence.

  5. Avatar

    Stardust

    Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 5:35 pm

    And still there is no disclosure from Sinovacs vaccine datas. And as we read in another article a thai doctor gave fake vaccines for covid 19 and it was just water. So why Sinovac doesnt disclosure the datas as demanded from who and many countries. And how can there be a aproval without suffient datas?!

  6. Avatar

    Clive G

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 1:13 am

    Phuket hasn’t been decimated by COVID-19, it’s been decimated by the government reaction to Covid. I’m not worried about getting the virus, I already caught it on the plane back from Thailand a year ago January. I’m more worried about measures like mask wearing that would spoil my holiday if I came again

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Stardust, there’s plenty of “disclosure” even if you’re unable to read it. Try the Lancet, for starters. 😴

  8. Avatar

    Alavan

    Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    At risk officials are probably immigration and customer officers, and some other people working at the international airport

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Phuket

Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy

Maya Taylor

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Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy | Thaiger
PHOTO: Flickr / dronepicr

Expats living in Thailand are up in arms after Phuket officials confirmed that foreigners arriving on the island would have to pay for a rapid Covid-19 test that is free for Thais. The testing requirement is part of new restrictions now in force to combat the spread of the virus. However, it is not the cost of the test – 500 baht – that has angered so many expats, but the fact that officials see nothing wrong with charging people based on their nationality.

On Monday it was announced that EVERYONE arriving in Phuket would have to pay 300 baht if they needed the ‘rapid covid test’. But that was amended the next day. Now we have the latest example of 2-tier pricing in Thailand (below).

The news was shared by travel blogger Richard Barrow on his Facebook page and has so far generated over 430 comments (and still growing), most of them furious…

“Unbelievable. I know Thailand is xenophobic, but for the authorities to do that is an absolute disgrace. They can piss off. I’ll take my business elsewhere in future.”

“I pay Thai taxes, I have for 16 years! am happy to bring my money elsewhere then!”

“Phuketians: “Tourists please come back.” Also Phuketians: “500b khap.”

It was not just foreigners commenting however, with at least one Thai person condemning the policy…

“I feel so so ashamed of how my country (or its government) so desperately wants more money to continue their corruption. Any possible ways they can rip you off – they will do shamelessly.”

Effective yesterday, anyone flying in to Phuket from elsewhere in the country must take a rapid Covid-19 test, unless they have taken a negative PCR test within the last 72 hours or can prove they’ve received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. With less than 1% of the country vaccinated – almost none of them foreigners – the second requirement is unlikely to be met by many.

Foreigners who have to take the rapid test, regardless of whether they are tax-paying work permit holders or retirees contributing to the economy, long-term residents or married to a Thai, will have to pay 500 baht. For Thais, it is free. The focus of expat anger is not the cost, but the principle, which is being roundly condemned as xenophobic.

Foreigners employed in the Kingdom in particular, are angered, given that they have been paying tax for years and have social security coverage. In response, Phuket health officials have issued an “explanation” – that manages to explain very little.

Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile, while the new restrictions apply to everyone arriving by air, for those arriving by road, only people coming from the high-risk “red” provinces need to meet the entry requirements.

And, just as a footnote, if your rapid covid test conducted by airport officials happens to come back positive you will be whisked away to a Phuket field hospital for a 14 day stay.

Expats condemn Phuket’s “xenophobic” rapid-test payment policy | News by ThaigerSOURCE: TPN

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

No one answered PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s calls to Covid-19 hotlines

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No one answered PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s calls to Covid-19 hotlines | Thaiger
Photo via Wikimedia

No one answered PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s calls to the country’s Covid-19 hotlines. The prime minister is now ordering more staff to work for both the 1668 and 1669 Covid-19 hotlines to make sure calls don’t go unanswered. There is now an official LINE account primarily for Covid-19 patients requesting hospital beds after the hotlines were “overwhelmed” with callers, a spokesperson said.

After both of his calls to the hotlines went unanswered, Prayut says he wants to look into how the hotlines are managed.

“I tried both numbers, but nobody answered. I want to find out if this is because there are too few health personnel manning the lines, or if they are too busy tending to patients in hospitals.”

With the recent wave of infections at a record high with more than 18,000 active cases, more than doubling the last wave’s peak, hospitals have turned down Covid patients due to a shortage of beds. Recent reports say some Covid patients have been denied a ride in an ambulance. Prayut says he wants both problems to be dealt with immediately.

“I want the Public Health Ministry to urgently deal with this problem. I can’t accept the fact that entire families are getting infected because they are being denied medical help.”

A spokesperson for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said at a recent press conference that there are thousands of calls made to the 2 hotline numbers and not enough people to answer.

Covid-19 patients seeking a hospital bed can send a LINE message to @sabaideebot with their name, lab results, ID number, telephone number and address.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,470 new Covid-19 infections, 7 deaths, provincial totals

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Covid UPDATE: 1,470 new Covid-19 infections, 7 deaths, provincial totals | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูล COVID-19

1,470 new Covid-19 infections and 7 deaths were reported today by the CCSA. 446 new cases are in Bangkok which remains the hotzone of new infections, although the latest outbreak has now spread to most Thai provinces. Out of the 7 deaths, one was a 24 year old Thai woman with a history of visiting an entertainment venue in the southern province Surat Thani where other Covid-19 infections were reported.

The young woman’s death is a rare case as the vast majority of Covid-related deaths in Thailand are the elderly or older adults with pre-existing conditions. Health officials say the woman suffered from obesity and died 3 days after testing positive for the virus. At present, there are 18,148 patients in state care… 14,555 in hospitals and 3,593 in field hospitals.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported a total of 48,113 Covid-19 infections and 117 coronavirus-related deaths.

The other Covid-related fatalities include…

  • 68 year old Thai woman with pre-existing conditions of asthma
  • 83 year old man from Bangkok with pre-existing conditions of high blood pressure
  • 80 year old woman with pre-existing conditions of diabetes
  • 45 year old woman in Bangkok with high blood pressure
  • 59 year old man in Bangkok with pre-existing conditions of diabetes
  • 86 year old man in Bangkok with pre-existing conditions of heart disease

Here are the provincial totals for today, as published by the NBT…

Covid UPDATE: 1,470 new Covid-19 infections, 7 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Covid UPDATE: 1,470 new Covid-19 infections, 7 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: CCSA | Pattaya News | Nation Thailand

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