On Sunday, the Deputy Public Health Minister Satit Pitutecha made an appearance in Phuket to officially reopen the once upon a time popular Lard Yai Walking Street market in Phuket town.
Satit said his Phuket visit was done to “[re]open a safe, confident country without Covid-19”. He further articulated a 3 point plan to achieve this goal. The points are:
- Building safety
- Building confidence
The Deputy Health Minister expressed his desire to witness Phuket reopen and not “stumble” in the fraught laden Phuket Sandbox plan.
He also clarified the points. he said “standardisation” referred to developing/updating market standards by way of a “flea market, worth buying” campaign, also the matter of street food. That is, he wants the area inside the market to be kept clean and the food sold to be safe and hygienic, which will then build confidence (point 3)
Backtracking, he said that the markets must strictly control entrance/exit points to make sure people clear them. Handwashing facilities must also be supplied, and people must adhere to Covid safety guidelines.
On point 3, Satit said that 70% of market operators/street vendors must be vaccinated and the market itself must be assessed through the Thai Stop COVID+ measures. He did not stipulate what per cent of market operators/street vendors have currently been vaccinated.
He continued on to say that Phuket is ready for tourists, but people need to come together to ensure it works. He added that if a stumbling block appears, the problem will extend to other provinces.
He sidestepped mentioning the closure/stumbling block of the Talad Kaset Fresh market last month.
Dr Danai Teewanda, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health, who accompanied Satit spoke highly of the Thai Stop COVID+ initiative which showed through self-assessment reporting that food delivery service/tourist attractions are complying with 100% of the measures. He then cited other impressive self-assessment figures where everything, but flea markets self-reported their compliance as over 80%. Flea markets came in at 75.47%.
Dr Danai added that those who did not pass their self-assessment must improve their compliance within 1 week. Further, “business operators and employees must self-assess through the “Thai Save Thai’” to prevent the spread of Covid.
SOURCE: The Phuket News
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