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Hong Kong shuns Bangkok, Phuket not affected

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Hong Kong shuns Bangkok, Phuket not affected | The Thaiger
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Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Hong Kong travel agents yesterday announced the cancellation of all tours to Bangkok until at least April 21 because of the political violence in the Thai capital.

Earth Times reports that around 80 tour groups with more than 1,000 people will be affected by the suspension of the tours, which began at the weekend when Hong Kong issued a travel warning on visits to Bangkok.

A black alert – Hong Kong’s highest level of travel warning – was issued by the SAR government. Bangkok is just over two hours by plane from Hong Kong and attracts thousands of Hong Kong people every week for short package trips.

Hong Kong’s alert is focused on Bangkok only and does not cite Phuket. The island resort province, accessible by many direct flights from Hong Kong, including those of Dragonair and Air Asia, remains calm. Other than economically, Phuket has not been affected by the more three weeks of anti-government protests in Bangkok.

Pressure mounts on government

Reuters/Bangkok Post
Thailand’s army chief called yesterday for early elections, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva whose party may face prosecution over funding activities, Reuters reports.

“The current issue now is about dissolution of parliament, so my understanding is we just need to dissolve the House,” Thai army chief Anupong Paochinda told a news conference.

Thailand’s Election Commission has also ruled that Abhisit’s Democrat Party could face prosecution over funding irregularities.

The Bangkok Post, citing unnamed sources, said Abhisit could dissolve parliament in six months, three months sooner than his most recent proposal. He has to call an election by end of next year in any case.

Thai economy feels impact of protests

Bloomberg
Thai stocks fell the most in six months after the clash between soldiers and protesters on Saturday, prompting foreign investors to extend their biggest sale of the nation’s equities in two months.

The benchmark SET Index fell 3.6 percent to 761.66 as of 10:33am in Bangkok, the lowest since October 15. The cost to protect Thai government bonds rose to a three-week high, while the baht traded near a 22-month high.

“Some overseas investors will be so jittery that they may rush to reduce their investments,” said Vana Bulbon, chief executive officer of UOB Asset Management (Thailand) Co.

“No one expected that many deaths, and this situation further worsens the political crisis,” she said.

Phuket Marriott special room rates

Asia Travel Tips
All three of Courtyard by Marriott’s resorts in Phuket have launched a ‘Hot Summer, Hot Offer’ promotion which must be booked by April 30, 2010 for stays before May 31.

The resorts in Phuket’s Patong, Kamala and Surin beach areas are offering rates from 3,199 baht net per room per night. The rate includes all local taxes and service charges.

Included in the Phuket package is accommodation in a “Deluxe” room, a free daily buffet breakfast in Momo Café, a 500-baht credit for use at the resort’s food and beverage outlets, and a 20% discount on all Spa treatments for the duration of the stay.

— Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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