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Hotels get crash course in disease control

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Hotels get crash course in disease control | The Thaiger

PATONG: Dr Wiwat Sitamanod of the Phuket Provincial Health Office on Wednesday said that the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is investigating claims that six tourists contracted Legionnaire’s disease while on holiday in Patong.

“The PPHO received a fax from a foreign embassy on January 9 about some of their nationals who were diagnosed as having Legionnaire’s disease after being on holiday in Phuket.

“On January 10 we investigated this claim and then held a meeting to discuss this with 50 hotels in Patong. Now foreign countries have placed emphasis [on this] and are watching Phuket about this,” he said.

Dr Wiwat declined to name the two hotels involved.

However, the MoPH website states that five tourists who have contracted the disease – two Swedes, two Finns and one Norwegian – stayed at one hotel in Phuket. A Belgian tourist, staying at a different hotel on the island, was later also confirmed as having contracted the disease.

The website states that the first five tourists infected were staying at a 400-room hotel that, under supervision of the PPHO, has since undertaken extensive cleaning of its air conditioning system, cooling towers, and water supply.

Dr Wiwat was speaking at seminar entitled “Protection and Control of Legionnaire’s” at Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa in Patong. The event was attended by more than 400 hotel employees from Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi.

In addition, a workshop was held for some 90 technicians from Phuket hotels to train them in how to keep all equipment free of Legionella bacteria.

“Now, within two weeks of the report [claiming that Legionnaire’s disease was contracted in Phuket] we must report to the European Working Group for Legionella Infections [EWGLI] the results of our investigations and what control measures we have taken.

“We must [focus on this problem] this until they are satisfied with what measures we have taken,” Dr Wiwat said.

Leaflets handed out at the seminar explained that if EWGLI is not satisfied with corrective measures taken, the organization will post on its website the names of the hotels where the disease was believed to have been contracted.

The notice will be posted for two years, or until EWGLI is satisfied with remedial action taken.

Dr Wanchai, Chief of the PPHO, declined to name the hotels involved. “I don’t want to announce the names of the hotels… PPHO officers have checked and already have the situation under control,” he said.

However, Dr Wanchai explained that to boost tourist confidence in hotels that are not sources of the disease, the PPHO has launched its “Golden Certified” project. Hotels can apply to be inspected by the PPHO, which will assess what policies and procedures the hotel has in place to protect against Legionnaire’s Disease.

To be “Golden Certified”, hotels must file with the Department of Health a certificate issued by Wachira Phuket Hospital verifying that water samples from that hotel do not contain Legionella bacteria.

PPHO Chief Dr Wanchai Satthayawuthipong explained that the project focuses not only on Legionnaire’s disease, but also on other communicable diseases. It also reviews hotel construction, fittings and furnishings to ensure the buildings themselves are not breeding grounds for germs.

The project also includes some aspects not directly related to public health issues.

“It includes staff training and whether a resort’s administrative system meets ‘quality’ standards,” he said.



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Some restrictions lifted for superyachts in the region

The Thaiger

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Some restrictions lifted for superyachts in the region | The Thaiger

PHOTO: katarocks.com

Thailand is poised to ease rules on bareboat charters as well as introducing new measures to attract more luxury and super yachts into the region.

The new measures were laid out in a presentation called “Highlighting Strategies for Attracting Yachts and Improving Safety at Sea” held at the 2019 Thailand Yacht Show and Rendezvous in Phuket.

Gordon Fernandes, Asia Pacific Superyachts co-founder, outlined new measures to attract Superyachts in the meeting attended by officials from Thailand’s Customs Department.

Representing Thailand’s Customs Department, Kanchana Suwanicho, updated delegates on the rules applying for a temporary stay for yachts as well as outlining revisions for bareboat charter rules.

ttrweekly.com reports that, under the revisions, bareboat charters will not need to hire a Thai registered captain and engineer to be present on board vessels for the sailing duration.

“Out-dated rules are being reviewed, but due to recent boating tragedies involving foreign tourists authorities are concerned about potential safety lapses.”

Stating that Thailand wants to continue being the ‘Yachting Hub for Asia’ Kanchana said bareboat charters would not be required to hire a Thai captain and engineer, but the charterer would be required to show they had qualified personnel to assume full responsibility.

The Revenue department confirmed it was actively working to resolve a stumbling block linked to Superyacht charter licences.

“Once this stumbling block has been removed foreign flagged yachts, over 30 metres long, will be allowed to legally charter in Thailand. This will be a major boom for the industry both in Phuket and across the region.”

The easing of restrictions for superyachts coming to the region has been a major issue of the founder of the Thailand Yacht Show and Singapore Yacht Show, Andy Treadwell.

Some restrictions lifted for superyachts in the region | News by The Thaiger

Attendees of the “Highlighting Strategies for Attracting Yachts and Improving Safety at Sea”

PHOTO: ttrweekly.com

Some restrictions lifted for superyachts in the region | News by The Thaiger

Gordon Fernandes, Asia Pacific Superyachts co-founder – PHOTO: Guy Nowell

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Phuket

Suspect hands himself in to police, denies charges in Saphan Hin shooting

The Thaiger

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Suspect hands himself in to police, denies charges in Saphan Hin shooting | The Thaiger

A suspect has handed himself in to police after an arrest warrant was issued over a Saphan Hin shooting last week. The suspect is denying the charges.

A Thai man was shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket last week. An arrest warrant was issued for the suspect shortly after as police went hunting for the suspect identified by witnesses.

Read more about the shooting HERE.

Wichit Police Chief Col Nikorn Somsuk says, “The suspect is 23 year old Jakkrit Sangsaard. Yesterday he presented himself to police for the shooting and carrying gun in public changes. He has denied the charges and been bailed.”

“At this stage we believe that the suspect and the dead man, Teerasak, had a previous conflict.. Teerasak stopped his motorbike and tried to fire a shot at the suspect but the gun misfired. The suspect then shot back. We are continuing our investigation.”

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Phuket

Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene

The Thaiger

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Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | The Thaiger

PHOTOS / VIDEO:  Thanakrit Asulyakul / Mana Sombat / Kanlaya Singkangrang / Kritsada Mueanhawong

Legal action has already been taken against four people who ‘removed’ beer cans after a truck carrying boxes of beer cans overturned in Phuket on January 11.

A logistic company representative has filed a report with police after more than 80,000 beer cans, valued at more than two million baht, mysteriously “vanished” after the truck overturned in Rassada.

Read more about the incident outside a Rassada 7/11 HERE.

The Phuket City Police Chief Col Sompong Thiparpakun says, “Four people have now been arrested. They have admitted that they saw other people taking beer cans, so they did too. They say they have consumed the contents of all beer cans. ”

“If evidence can be provided that other people took these beer cans and sold them, legal action will be taken against them too.”

“It was illegal to remove these items from the crash scene.”

Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger

Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger Legal action taken against people who removed beer cans from beer truck accident scene | News by The Thaiger

 

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