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Big Phi Phi meeting makes small progress

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KOH PHI PHI DON: Some 200 local people attended a meeting on Saturday with Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop and a passel of senior government officials.

They were hoping for solutions to many tsunami-related problems, especially an end to the ban on building permanent structures, but came away shaking their heads in disappointment at the continuing lack of progress.

Phankam Kitithorakul, Chairman of the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), the local authority responsible for the Phi Phi Islands, told the Gazette that he was unhappy with the result of the meeting.

It was the same as all the previous meetings held to discuss Phi Phi’s future, he said – a lot of talk but no decisions.

“I expect that the next meeting, scheduled for January 27, which will be chaired by the Governor of Krabi, will also result in no progress,” K. Phankam added.

The meeting was scheduled to begin at 9:30 am, but did not get underway until DPM Suwat’s helicopter touched down just before 11 am.

The Deputy PM ordered the Director-General of the Marine Department, Tawanrat Onsira, to speed up the rebuilding of the pier at Phi Phi but heard that, despite the passage of a year, the department had yet to receive satisfactory bids for the 200-million-baht project.

Nonetheless, he took the opportunity to admonish local longtail boatmen, saying, “After the new pier is finished, boatmen here must do things in a much more orderly and safe way – such as picking up tourists and delivering them at the pier.

“We must turn back Phi Phi back into a paradise for tourists, so there must be no more mooring of boats along the beach, as there is now,” he said.

DPM Suwat also ordered the Organization for Specific Areas Administration for Sustainable Tourism Promotion (OSAASTP) to speed up construction of evacuation routes on Koh Phi Phi Don, saying that when this job was complete, “everything can start”.

He appeared to step back from the original government announcement that no rebuilding would be allowed, ever, on the low-lying land between Ton Sai Bay and Loh Dalam Bay.

“We banned construction,” he explained, “because we were worried that if we announced that people could start rebuilding, they might [block] areas through which we plan to have evacuation routes.”

The Director of the Organization for Specific Areas Administration for Sustainable Tourism Promotion (OSAASTP), Dr Salawud Chiayowan, said that it would take another six months of planning before work could begin on the evacuation routes. On hearing this, the crowd booed.

But when DPM Suwat insisted that planning be completed within a month, the crowd cheered.

Representatives of the boatmen asked the Deputy PM to waive the national park fee imposed on those visiting Maya Bay, because, they said, the number of tourists had gone down since it was introduced. The fee was recently increased to 200 baht per head for foreigners.

However, the Director-General of the National Park, Wildlife and Plants Conservation Department, Damrong Phidet – whose officials have been particularly zealous in their collection of the fee – said that if the fee were waived for Maya Bay, then fees would have to be waived for all national parks throughout Thailand.

DPM Suwat waved off further questions, saying, “I will leave the problem of permanent housing for tsunami victims, the evacuation route, and water and electricity supply to the next meeting with the Governor of Krabi on January 27.”

He then checked out the still unreconstructed pier before heading back to his helicopter.

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Events

Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs

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Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to get its own version of the popular game MONOPOLY and its creators want your help with ideas for the specialised tokens. ‘MONOPOLY: Phuket Edition’ was announced last month which will see the street art on the board game replaced with that of famous places around Thailand’s famous tourist destination. Such art will include beaches, hotels, shops, markets and other popular attractions.

Jennifer Lau from Winning Moves UK, is producing the game under official license from Monopoly brand owners, Hasbro. Lau says the tokens will feature a holiday theme. The token’s departure from the original theme of wheelbarrows, boots, iron, and thimbles as well as popular sports cars and hats.

“We have had a wealth of emails and suggestions coming in for Phuket, so thank you for each and every single one of them! We are taking them all into consideration whilst putting together the design of the game.”

“We wanted to change the tokens so that they would be more suitable for an island like Phuket, where so many people like to go on holiday to.”

“There will be six themed tokens that replace the original and we want to hear your suggestions for what these tokens should be!”

Bangkok has already been featured in the Monopoly game as it came out for purchase back in 2018.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

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Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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