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Phuket’s upcoming reopening aims to help residents avoid poverty

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Phuket’s upcoming reopening aims to help residents avoid poverty | Thaiger

Phuket’s upcoming reopening in July is aimed at helping local residents avoid falling into poverty. According to Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong, the average monthly income of local residents before the Covid-19 pandemic sat at 43,000 baht per month. Now, Pichet says it has fallen to only 8,303 baht per month, signaling a drastic fall nearing the poverty line.

“If the tourism industry and the island’s economy does not recover, the average income in Phuket is likely to keep decreasing. In July, the average income will be only 1,964 baht.”

Pichet’s statement yesterday about the dire situation in the normally tourist-laden island, falls in line with an economic forecast that was delivered last month by Assistant Professor Chayanon Phucharoen, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Prince of Songkla University Phuket campus.

At a recent meeting, Phuket Public Health Office Chief Kusak Kukiattikoon said the Phuket government and the tourism private sector [sic] had filed a request to the central government for 933,174 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

“The number of vaccines is to be provided to 466,587 people, more than 70% of people living on the island. Phuket has 417,402 people registered in the civil registration [database] as living in Phuket. The other groups are 94,100 people working in the tourism industry who are not registered as living in Phuket, 5,250 people working in other industries, and 56,700 foreigners living on the island.”

But Kusak noted that only those 18 years of age and older could receive the vaccine, making the number of people to be vaccinated drop to 310,357. Kusak gave the quota of vaccine doses to be provided to Phuket as a total of 933,174 doses to vaccinate 466,587 people by October. But, the amount of foreigners residing in Phuket is still unclear.

And, despite the reopening potentially helping to pad local residents’ pocketbooks, many locals say they are apprehensive about receiving the Covid vaccine. But Kusak says plans are moving forward with locations being set already for people to receive inoculations.

“The PPHO will set up nine vaccination stations across the island, at: Phuket Rajabhat University, Saphan Hin stadium, Prince of Songkla University [Phuket campus], Chalong Hospital, Phuket Orchid Resort, Jungceylon shopping mall, the Angsana Convention and Exhibition hall [at the Angsana Laguna Phuket resort], the Thanyapura Health Resort and Splash Resort Phuket.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bill

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    tis better to be poor than to have the common cold for 1 week

  2. Avatar

    Bruno

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    poverty + they are not poor in Phuket they are greedy scammers – who do any methods to rip of turists ! – rude and unfriendly mafia island – !
    What about the people in Essan ? they are on way to poverty and there is not many infection cases -but no one cares about them why ?

  3. Avatar

    Steve Antcliffe

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Priceless! So, the locals average earnings were 43k baht a month, before Covid. Really?
    And Phuket is opening in July despite not having government approval for this…
    Really?
    And Jung Ceylon is going to be a vaccination centre..
    Really?

  4. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    “Pichet’s statement yesterday about the dire situation in the normally tourist-laden island, falls in line with an economic forecast that was delivered last month by Assistant Professor Chayanon Phucharoen, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism, Prince of Songkla University Phuket campus.”

    Except it doesn’t “fall in line with” the forecast, but is a complete misreading of it, taken from the media. What the forecast ACTUALLY said was that this would be the “tourism revenue per capita” NOT the “average monthly income”.

    Completely different.

  5. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    “many locals say they are apprehensive about receiving the Covid vaccine.”

    “Apprehensive”? Hardly the full story.

    “An online poll by The Phuket News poll last month revealed that Phuket people were divided on whether or not to take a COVID vaccine.

    Overall, 28% of respondents voted an outright “Yes” to taking a COVID vaccine, and a further 28% voted “It depends on the vaccine”.

    The remaining 43% voted an outright “No” to taking a COVID vaccine.
    …..
    By demographic, of the Thai nationals who took part in the poll 10.77% voted “Yes” and 14.87% voted “It depends on which vaccine”, but a huge 74.36% voted a plain “No”.”

  6. Avatar

    Roger Bruce

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    average 43.000 baht a month
    WOW some rip off going on with tourist there
    Now only 8 400 baht a month
    Hey gooba most of Thais only make 10,000 baht a month
    Glad your local residents are feeling a bit of the real world
    Don’t hold your breath those large tourist numbers will never be in Thailand again
    Your Gov stuff that up your corruption stuff that up Covid stuff that up
    Other better places near you better value and more friendly than your local Mafia
    Your days are over get used to it get a real job ..lol

    Good luck Thailand

  7. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    So the local population are averse to having the vaccinations.
    Yet ferangs have to.
    Starve, and regret your ways, even before the restrictions.
    My theory is these islanders were pirates before the tourists arrived, and lying, cheating, is in their DNA.
    I want to see their ribs showing through malnutrition.

  8. Avatar

    Ben

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 1:55 am

    At this point I’m not sure what polls to believe, or statistics. It’s clear the island’s working population and business owners have suffered great economic hardship. The government isn’t coming to the island with a money tree that’ll solve this economic crisis. It is however providing a solution that has a good chance of restarting the island’s economic engine with reasonable risk.

    The island has many constituents and I’m sure you can get any poll answer you desire depending on who you poll. Some will say we need tourists badly so give them a non quarantine alternative and some will say I’m apprehensive about taking the vaccine. Any solution will not please everyone but life has to eventually go on with something that provides the best risk/reward. If you don’t want the vaccine then that’s your choice but you’re gambling the vaccine will give you a worse outcome than potentially catching COVID. Personally I’ve gotten two doses of the Pfizer vaccine and think it’s silly to be afraid of it. I went into it thinking any side effect means my body is reacting normally to a vaccine that’s working. Turns out I had no side effects so maybe I would have been asymptomatic if I had contracted COVID but who knows. I do know that they’ve distributed hundreds of millions of jabs so far and people are not dropping like flies.

  9. Avatar

    Karl

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Wow,

    The number of foreigners residing in Phuket is unclear?

    The Immigration is crazy about TM30 and TM47. What for, if they don’t know? Thai High Tec?

  10. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Friday, March 26, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    I John, Who was that economic forecast delivered by?

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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.

Tourism

Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp”

Tim Newton

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Phuket’s July Sandbox no-quarantine model “needs a major revamp” | Thaiger
PHOTO: The monsoon waves are starting to hit Phuket's west coast

Thailand’s Sports and Tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn is acknowledging that Phuket’s ‘Sandbox’ model for a no-quarantine re-opening in July will need “a major revamp”. As the Songkran travel bubble bursts and the monsoon season waves start to roll onto the island’s west coast beaches, Phuket’s scheduled July re-boot suddenly seems a long way off.

Minister Phiphat says he plans to meet with “all related agencies” this week. Apart from the latest national re-surge in new infections, Phuket has been unable to get its hands on sufficient vaccines to meed its deadline of 70% of the island vaccinated by July 1. Thailand’s limited supplies of the vaccine – including some 930,000 doses designated for Phuket – are being rerouted to other provinces as the government prioritises the limited supply.

“We are all concerned about the reopening timeline,” he was quoted in Bangkok Post.

But the Minister did acknowledge that, if the 70% vaccination level couldn’t be met, they may consider opening some areas of the island. Exactly how that would work hasn’t been revealed at this stage.

The minister also brought up the ongoing travel bubble negotiations and says he hadn’t heard back from some of the candidates with their reaction to the current outbreak.

Flights in and out of Phuket Airport’s international terminal have been extremely patchy and the flights from feeder tourist markets will need to co-operate with any re-opening plans.

Phuket, whilst suffering a rise in new infections, hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the other popular holiday provinces, like Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Prachuap Khiri Khan (Hua Hin).

This year’s Songkran was going to be a major stepping stone for the island’s recovery and many hotels, some who had opened especially to cater for Songkran holiday traffic, noted a lot of cancellations just prior to the break.

But some island hotels have still reported high occupancy rates over the past week. One Manager, who did not want his name published, said that their hotel was almost full with Thai patrons, most who had pre-paid for their flights and accommodation and decided to go ahead anyway.

Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, the president of the Phuket Tourist Association, says that they are opposed to any lockdown as it would cripple the island, with its tourist businesses already suffering greatly. He stated that 15% of people cancelled their Songkran bookings, while 30% had postponed their trips.

The Sports and Tourism Ministers is still in quarantine after having close contact with Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 2 weeks ago.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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