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Phuket and Koh Samui request bulk deliveries of AstraZeneca Covid vaccines

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Phuket and Koh Samui request bulk deliveries of AstraZeneca Covid vaccines | Thaiger

Now Thailand’s Covid vaccine roll out has begun, it is starting to gather speed. The southern resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui have made requests to the Public Health Ministry for enough doses to vaccinate the majority of the islands’ residents in anticipation of an early return to some semblance of tourism. Both holiday islands have a high reliance on tourist dollars.

Private businesses in Phuket have made a formal request for 900,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Public Health Minister (Phuket has a permanent population of around 400,000 at this time). Yesterday, Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul claimed there would be “sufficient doses in the country and Thailand would have over 1 million doses if it could secure more doses next month”, according to the Bangkok Post. Reacting to Phuket’s private sector request…

“…the request would likely be approved since the government had secured 5 million doses for June and 10 million more each month after that.”

In addition to request for the the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Minister had already allocated doses of the Sinovac vaccine – 100,000 doses for Phuket and 50,000 for Koh Samui.

The Public Health Ministry is speeding up vaccinations in Phuket and Koh Samui to prepare them for the anticipated return of foreign tourists in July.

Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on Monday spoke about the Phuket private sector’s request for 900,000 AstraZeneca doses, saying

The Minister also maintained that the Covid situation in Thailand was “under control” despite new clusters breaking out around the markets in Bang Khae, west of the Chao Phraya in Bangkok, and Samut Prakan, south and east of Bangkok.

A Bangkok Airways has been scheduled from Singapore direct to Koh Samui on July 1. The tourists would be quarantined under the Samui Sealed Route Model, according to the Tourism Association on the island. If the proposal goes to plan, Samui would be the first ‘bubble’ in Thailand to re-open to tourists, despite the restrictions that the ‘model’ requires, including 3 Covid tests and having their access to the island restricted for at least the first 7 days.

Despite the hype from Tourism Association of Koh Samui surrounding the Samui Sealed Route Model, it is still requires a quarantine with plenty of restrictions and unlikely to induce a flood of foreign tourists. Bangkok Airways has a monopoly on flights into Koh Samui.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ian Bromley

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:13 am

    It is misleading to claim that the country has secured 5 million\10 million doses. That is notional production not actual and Astra Zeneca has a dreadful track record of production, delivering only 30% of contracted doses from its long established EU factories. Here they are using a newly constructed and totally unproven facility. So expect major problems arising very soon.

  2. Avatar

    B.T.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Looks like easier is to fly to BKK do the 10 days and be free without idiotic idea.They like new ideas ,terminology which will works only in the heads of genius.

  3. Avatar

    Les Weston

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:49 am

    If the hospitals in Phuket offered vaccination packages with a price tag, I’m sure there would be plenty of people within Thailand willing to spend money on a holiday there, boosting the areas tourist trade while protecting those of us who are old enough to be concerned about catching Covid. Two weeks in Phuket would provide a nice holiday whilst allowing you to return to your home in Thailand fully vaccinated.

  4. Avatar

    David Jackson

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Why not just vaccinate on arrival anyone coming to Thailand and charge them accordingly…job done.

  5. Avatar

    Michael

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Where do they want to get that vaccine? 10 million doses a month is a lot in a time that every country is fighting for vaccines.

  6. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:34 am

    “Misleading”, Ian B?

    BS may be more realistic. 😢

  7. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 11:38 am

    “Why not just vaccinate on arrival anyone coming to Thailand and charge them accordingly…job done.”

    Because it would be pointless, David J.

    The vaccinations don’t give immediate protection or stop transmission, so anyone vaccinated on arrival would be in exactly the same position as anyone else and need to quarantine for 14 days – or, under the “revised” regs, 14, 10, 7, 3, or whatever other number gets plucked out of the hat.

  8. Avatar

    Patrick

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Non sense + jokes + fake news, will all bring us for psychiatric consultation. Any days more than 3 might only please few dozen of returnees. And with 3 days + all hassles, may be a couple of long stays tourists will show up

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

25,000 people injected with Covid-19 vaccine this week in Koh Samui

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25,000 people injected with Covid-19 vaccine this week in Koh Samui | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/เทศบาลนครเกาะสมุย

This week, 25,000 people in Koh Samui have been injected with the Covid-19 vaccine. The island plans to vaccinate 70% of its population by July to reach ‘herd immunity’ and reopen the tourist destination to vaccinated travellers, following the Phuket ‘sandbox’ model.

The vaccines were offered to the general public, including expats, at Rajabhat University, Bangkok Hospital Samui, Central Festival and Koh Samui Hospital. Yesterday was the last day for this round of injections, according to a post on the Koh Samui district Facebook page.

Reports from late last month say 50,000 doses were allocated to Koh Samui and a recent report from Pattaya News says another 50,000 doses would be distributed this week, vaccinating another 25,000 people on the island.

One expat, an English teacher on the island, says he waited 12 hours to get a vaccine at Rajabhat. He says luckily his school registered him and set him up with a queue ticket. But things were hectic, the queue numbers were called out in a random order and little to no information was given in English, he says.

The Tourism Association of Koh Samui plans to open up the island to foreign visitors in July, if everything goes to plan. Ideas for promotions are still up in the air, but the latest plan called “Samui Silk” would welcome vaccinated tourists who undergo a 7 day quarantine, the president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui said, according to Pattaya News.

“Both tourists and locals can be reassured that the reopening is safe under the Samui Silk route. The plan will allow foreign tourists to arrive in Koh Samui and to perform state quarantine for 7 days.

If the tourists are proved negative, then they are allowed to leave the local alternative state quarantine and to travel at designated locations in Samui while locals can be reassured that all tourists are disease-free.”

สมุยครบแล้ว 25,000 คน
ฉีดวัคซีนโควิด 19 รอบที่ 2

7 เมษายน 2564 เวลา 17.00 น. ณ โรงพยาบาลเกาะสมุย อำเภอเกาะสมุย…

Posted by เทศบาลนครเกาะสมุย on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

SOURCES: Koh Samui City Government | Pattaya News

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Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan’s Full Moon Party?

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Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan’s Full Moon Party? | Thaiger

A full moon used to mean a full beach of party-goers along the Haad Rin strip on Thailand’s Koh Pha Ngan. But it hasn’t been like that for a year now as the Gulf of Thailand island waits out the restrictions and border closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The crowds of backpackers and revellers aren’t flocking to the monthly event and the shops, bars and cheap accommodation along the tourist strip are shuttered and locked – some of the shop owners and staff will never return.

What started as a back-packer and hippy off-the-beaten-track adventure in the 1980s, in recent years attracted a broader clientele. It’s still a difficult place to get to – either flying in to Koh Samui on the monopolised flights of Bangkok Airways and catching a ferry, or catching a ferry from the mainland of Surat Thani. Koh Pha Ngan now has a lot more to offer than just it’s monthly party of bass-thumping beats and buckets full of…. well we don’t really know what’s in them (neither did the people who drank them).

The sound system was loud, but not very good, security is almost non-existent, good DJs are patchy and there’s a general “it will be OK” attitude that pervades the organisation of the Full Moon Party. There have been different proposals put to the organisers over the years to bring the event up to international standard beach parties, but they’ve fallen by the wayside as the organisers argue “it it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Koh Pha Ngan’s monthly beach rave had its own special attraction despite any perceived or real quality lapses.

The south-east corner of the island actually has 2 Haad Rin beaches, one facing east for sunrises and the more famous, and longer, beach that hosts the monthly beach party.

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan's Full Moon Party? | News by ThaigerThere’s still a hippy vibe on the island with its numerous yoga and spa retreats but the businesses that remain are barely hanging on without the feature act that would book out most of the accommodation for the BIG night. The Full Moon Party attracted more than 50% of the one million visitors that headed to Koh Pha Ngan every year.

The party has also attracted plenty of bad publicity, as any huge beach party would – illicit drugs, alcohol abuse, sex crimes, the garbage left after each event. And even some cases of violence. But the vast majority of visitors to Thailand’s Full Moon Party just had a damn good time!

A year-long break has allowed some reflection after nearly 4 decades of growth and popularity of the party. Locals and local businesspeople are wondering if there could be a Koh Pha Ngan without the Full Moon Party. Has the island outgrown the one-trick-pony that WAS the monthly beach rave? Could a more sustainable economy be built around wellness, spas and diving?

The island is part of a trio off the coast of Surat Thani. Koh Samui is the largest and most popular. But Koh Tao and Kho Pha Ngan have had their own share of publicity. Koh Tao with its diving and, latterly, some bad world publicity surrounding a high profile murder case and other mysterious misadventures to tourists. Koh Pha Ngan had its big party, and in the last decade or so, some excellent retreats concentrating on wellness, yoga and relaxation.

But the three islands all suffer the same core problem – an airline monopoly that makes trips to the archipelago expensive. Sure, there are ferry services but they are not 100% reliable and can take day out of your itinerary with delays, blah blah. The 3 islands have thrived despite the tyranny of distance and inconvenience. But they could have become much more mainstream if there was an open skies policy for flights to the island or the ferry infrastructure was improved. Perhaps one of the allures of the 3 islands is that they ARE hard to get to?

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan's Full Moon Party? | News by Thaiger

MAP: Google Maps

But despite the retrospection from townsfolk and businesspeople on Koh Pha Ngan, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – the island simply cannot survive without the monthly tourist invasion, despite the challenges. Cutting off 20-30,000 monthly visitors, who usually stay for a few more days either side of the party, would be a fatal blow to the island’s economy in the long term.

But the 12 month’s rest for Haad Rin and the organisers will certainly bring some changes to the event. In the short term there will be mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines, a challenge for any alcohol-fuelled social gathering. And the problems of getting there will remain. But Koh Pha Nganians are sure that the event will not only survive but thrive once the tourists start coming again.

The locals are also sure there will be a greater appreciation for the island’s natural beauty and the other tourist assets that need the same amount of investment and attention as the monthly beach party. Cutting off the island’s main economic lifeline proved that Koh Pha Ngan needed to diversify its economy.

For now they’re not sure when the tourists will start flowing back and the party resume, maybe later this year or 2022, but the beach will still be there.

And the full moon will again set in the Gulf of Thailand as the partygoers glance westwards.

Has the full moon set on Koh Pha Ngan's Full Moon Party? | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Koh Samui Travel

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Koh Samui

Foreigners charged with DUI teach English to Koh Samui probation staff

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Foreigners charged with DUI teach English to Koh Samui probation staff | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ กระทรวงยุติธรรม Ministry Of Justice, Thailand

Foreigners on Koh Samui who have been caught driving while intoxicated are now teaching English to probation officers as part of their community service.

Those with a drink driving charge are ordered by the court to complete 24 hours of community service. The foreigners have been teaching probation staff basic greetings and conversational English as well as grammar and legal terms.

A 70 year old German expat with a DUI charge says he was excited to teach English for his community service hours. The staff at the probation office also say the foreigners have been enthusiastic about teaching.

Teaching English to staff at the island’s Department of Probation is a useful community service plan and also fun, probation chief Witthawan Sunthornkhajit says.

“สนง.คุมประพฤติ เกาะสมุย” ดึงเมาแล้วขับต่างชาติ ช่วยงานสังคม-สอนภาษา เสริมทักษะเจ้าหน้าที่

Posted by กรมคุมประพฤติ Department of Probation on Friday, April 2, 2021

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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