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Phuket

Latest toll: 66 dead, 691 injured

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Latest toll: 66 dead, 691 injured | Thaiger

PHUKET: Kawee Sukunthamath, Chief of the Phuket Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), early this evening said that 66 people were confirmed dead by the tidal wave which ravaged Phuket’s coastline this morning. Of the dead, 20 were foreigners. Another 691 people were reported injured, and 22 more were missing.

Phuket International Airport resumed normal inbound and outbound flight services at about 5 pm this afternoon, after debris left strewn across the runway by the tsunami was cleared off.

Traffic onto and off the island has been redirected over Tao Thepkrasattri Bridge, as the older Sarasin Bridge will remain closed until the government is confident that Phuket is no longer in danger of being hit by a second wave.

In the meantime, many coastal residents have moved inland, fearful that another wave might strike the island.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to arrive in Phuket at about 7:30 pm, to inspect the damage and speak to people suffering from the wave’s devastation.

People concerned for the welfare of friends and relatives believed to be on or near the coast when the wave hit can call the emergency rescue center at 076-214492 or 01-6432755. For calls from outside Thailand, the numbers are (66 76) 214492 or (66 1) 643 2755.

Local police stations may also be able to help. They can be reached by dialling 191 and asking for the district police station for the area concerned.

If calling from outside Thailand, the number for Phuket Provincial Police Headquarters is Tel: 66 76-212046. Phuket Tourist Police may be reached at Tel: 66 76-355015, if dialing from outside the Kingdom.

Readers may find the list of telephone numbers for some of the embassies in Bangkok useful. The numbers are, to the best of the Gazette‘s knowledge, up-to-date. Expect to hear a recorded message giving another number for the emergency duty officer.

Australia 66(0) 2 287 2680

Belgium 66 (0) 2 679 5454

Canada 66 (0) 2 636 0540

China 66 (0) 2 245 7032-3 or 2 245 7036

Denmark 66 (0) 2 213 2021-5 or 245 7036

Finland 66 (0) 2 256 9306-9

France 66 (06) 2 657 5100

Germany 66 (0) 2 287 9000

Ireland 66 (0) 638 0303

Israel 66 (0) 2 260 4854-9

Italy 66 (0) 2 285 4090-3

Japan 66 (0) 2 252 6151-9

South Korea 66 (0) 2 247 7537

Netherlands 66 (0) 2 254 7701-5

New Zealand 66 (0) 2 254 2530

Norway 66 (0) 2 261 0230-5

Russia 66 (0) 2 234 9824

Singapore 66 (0) 2 286 1434

South Korea 66 (0) 2 247 7537

Spain 66 (0) 2 252 6112

Sweden 66 (0) 2 263 7211 or 2 263 7239

Switzerland 66 (0) 2 253 0156

Taiwan 66 (0) 2 670 0200-1

United Kingdom 66 (0) 2 3058333

USA 66 (0) 2 205 4000

Readers should note that Phuket has experienced many disruptions to both landline phone services and mobile phone networks throughout the day, and may experience difficulty in getting through.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

12 Covid-19 violators busted drinking on Patong Beach

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A group drinking on the beach was arrested for violating Covid-19 restrictions. (via Freepik)

12 violators of Covid-19 restrictions, of Thai and foreign origin, have been arrested and taken into custody by police for gathering and drinking in public on Patong Beach. The Covid-19 measures currently in place in Phuket ban all get-togethers involving alcohol, limiting the number that can drink together to just 2 people. The group were arrested for violating this order and for drinking in public.

According to the police the group had 3 foreign men in it along with 5 Thai women and 3 Thai ladyboys, so for those keen at maths the details of the 12th person were not revealed. The Covid-19 rule violators were arrested Friday night in Patong on the walkway along the beach on Thaweewong Road, the popular beachfront road.

Police noted the specifics of their liquor stash, confirming that the group had 2 bottles and 8 cans of Thai beer, 2 imported beers, 4 wine coolers, 4 soda waters, and 2 bottles of Thai liquor. The stash was confiscated by the police.

The perpetrators were brought to Phuket town to the Phuket City Police Station. There they were met by the Phuket Vice governors and medical personnel from Vachira Phuket Hospital. The medics administered swab sample Covid-19 test to each member of the group of restriction violators.

The Vice Governor reminded people that these restrictions were put in place after more than 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 from a small group of people drinking together. That is why the regulations allow just two people together when alcohol is involved. He stressed that police and government officials have been instructed to crack down on violators to try to quickly curb the spread of Covid-19 for a chance at reopening to international tourism July 1st.

Officials asked the public to work together to attempt to eliminate the spread of Covid-19 in Phuket and instructed anybody who sees violators of the Covid-19 restrictions to contact the police immediately. Sentence and fine details were not yet available for the group of 12.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 mask violators in Phuket forced to exercise

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Pushups instead of a 6,000 baht fine at a Phuket checkpoint yesterday. (via video screenshot)

For those who have more pounds on their body than pounds in their pocket, exercise punishment seen in Phuket yesterday for mask violators may or may not be welcome. Officials have walked back the strict 6,000 baht punishment for the first warning against someone not wearing a mask and were spotted forcing those who have gone out without a mask to do exercise on the street.

The people forced to exercise were at a Covid-19 checkpoint in the Rawai subdistrict, where the Chalong Police along with local medical workers were checking people yesterday. The checkpoint was set up in an effort to push one hundred per cent mask compliance to stop the spread of Covid-19 on Phuket.

Not only were they checking everyone who passed by to make sure they had their masks, but also to correct those who were wearing their masks improperly. We’ve all seen the people who seem to think that a mask on their chin or underneath their nose is somehow just as effective as a properly worn mask, or at least that they can get away with “wearing a mask” while limiting their personal inconvenience.

Officials were quick to point out that the overwhelming majority of people passing through the checkpoint, both foreigners and Thai, did have their masks with them and were wearing them properly. But they did catch more than 10 people not wearing their face mask or not using them correctly.

Authorities decided to let them off with a first soft warning by moving bodies instead of moving baht. Police made violators do exercise right there on the street in hopes of shaming them into making better decisions next time. All violators did have their names and details taken down with a promise that if they were caught again proper traditional fines would be handed down.

No word yet on any plans to make this punishment into a Tik-Tok Channel.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Tourism

Thai public health and tourism ministers on Phuket to push the July 1 Sandbox reopening

Tim Newton

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Bangkok has sent a couple of ministerial heavyweights to Phuket today to keep pushing the July 1 ‘Sandbox’ bandwagon, insisting that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated tourists from July 1.

The Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul ,along with the Sports and Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, are doing the island PR tour today delivering a message from the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who is confirming that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated international tourists from the start of July.

Phuket has continued to rack up between 10-20 new Covid infections each day over the past week and still has hundreds of people listed as ‘active cases’. As of today 22% of the island has been vaccinated.

The original Phuket Sandbox model was intended to be quarantine-free. That issue was not made clear during today’s PR trip from the 2 ministers. The full details of how Phuket will open to international tourists, how those tourists might get to Phuket, or where they will visit on an island with its tourist infrastructure shutdown, have not been provided at this stage. It has also not been discussed how long the international tourists will have to remain on Phuket before travelling to other parts of the country.

The Phuket Governor welcomed the prime ministerial delegation to Provincial Hall at lunchtime saying that Phuket would progress with its plans to launch the Phuket Sandbox from July 1.

โ€œAll stakeholders who are frontline warriors working to solve the problem of the Covid epidemic situation have earned the goodwill and concern from Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also believes that Phuket is ready to prepare for the opening of the Phuket Tourism Sandbox on July 1 for sure.”

Phuket Province generated several hundreds of billions of baht of income for the country per year and Thailand relies heavily on tourism income. Indeed, second to Bangkok, Phuket was the government’s golden goose delivering decades of high tourism receipt returns.

Speaking to The Phuket News, Anutin said…

“The government is ready to act as soon as possible. This has been clearly proved, such as by the large number of vaccine doses that Phuket has been allocated to vaccinate the people in the area to cover all groups and be as safe as possible as the โ€˜Phuket Model’.

โ€œWhen the economy is good, everyone gets better, so use patience to believe that good things will follow”.

Another 100,000 Sinovac vaccines arrived on the island to be formerly handed over today by Minister Anutin. An additional 100,000 doses will arrive on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca vaccines are also due to arrive from June, daily reserved for people over 60 years old or people who have other health conditions which require the AZ vaccine instead of the Chinese manufactured Sinovac.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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