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NEWS hound: Phuket to benefit from big airline sale

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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NEWS hound: Phuket to benefit from big airline sale | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

– A daily, pocket-sized packet of news from around the world, compiled by Phuket Gazette reporters for foreigners who want it short, sharp and straight to the point.

PHUKET: AirAsia is conducting another big sales promotion this month, offering more destinations, including Phuket, at even lower fares than their previous sale last August. Phuket is one of AirAsia’s nine regional hubs that connect to an extensive network of about 130 routes covering more than 70 destinations.

The sale is concentrated into a very narrow booking period – from yesterday until this Sunday, March 7, only – but provides for travel from September 25, 2010 through February 13, 2011, the latter three months of which include Phuket’s high season.

According to website Equity Bulls, the promotion is only available on the AirAsia websites at www.airasia.com and mobile.airasia.com.

Thai army still using discredited bomb detectors

Christian Science Monitor
The GT200, a widely discredited hand-held scanner that claims to detect bombs at a distance of 700 meters, continues to be used by the Thai military. A recent Thai government test demonstrated that the scanner failed to detect explosives hidden in four out of five containers. In response, Britain has warned foreign governments that similar detectors, including the GT200, are unreliable.

Tellingly, neither the British military nor any other NATO ally has bought the GT200 scanners. On Feb 22, two soldiers were injured when a 5-kilogram bomb was detonated by remote control in Pattani, in an area soldiers had earlier patrolled with GT200s and failed to detect the bomb.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has ordered cessation of purchases of the scanner but has not criticized the army. Political analysts say Abhisit is reluctant to challenge the military as he needs their support to contain street protests by opposition party supporters.

Cambodia struts its military – for Thailand?

The Jakarta Post
Cambodia’s military performed a public test of some 200 rocket launchers (BM21) at the airfield in Kampong Chhnang province on Thursday amid a lingering troop standoff over disputed territory with neighboring Thailand. The drill was carried out 180 kilometers from the Thai border.

“The drill is not a threat or a show of force against neigboring countries or foreign countries…. It is about the strengthening of the abilities of our forces in order to fulfill the duties of national defense against invaders,” a spokesman for the Cambodian government said.

Cambodia and Thailand have been locked in nationalist tensions at their disputed border since July 2008, when Cambodia’s 11th century Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Thailand out of Asian Cup finals

The Bangkok Post
Iran scored in the 89th minute on Wednesday night to defeat Thailand 1-0 and officially deny the team a place at next year’s Asian Cup finals. Javad Nekounam scored a superb 89th-minute header to put the Thais out of the tournament for the first time in 22 years.

Brian Robson, the former England and Manchester United captain, and the manager of the current Thai team, has had a miserable start to a four-year contract, and it is far from certain he will be around when Thailand starts preparing for the World Cup 2014 qualifiers. Thailand finished third and struggled to make headway against a full-strength Iranian side lifted by a sparse but enthusiastic crowd at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium.

— Gazette Editors

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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)

Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing

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Phuket begs Kolour attendees to come for Covid-19 testing | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Kolour in the park was more pleasant in 2018 before Covid-19.

Health officials in Phuket put out a public statement this week compelling all foreigners who attended clubs and Kolour events to report for Covid-19 testing. As many might expect, the response has been lacklustre at best. Spreading the message around the foreigner and expat community in Phuket, the message is aimed at the multitudes of people, mostly foreign who attended Kolour and related events that turned into a Covid-19 superspreader event. Many foreigners have not come forward, much to health officials chagrin.

Online and on social media, foreigners and Thais shed light on why this urgent public health request is going largely unheeded. Foreigners fear the repercussions of coming forward, especially since Thailand is not allowing staying home or elsewhere in isolation if someone tests positive for Covid-19. Quarantine is mandatory, and with infection numbers exploding across the country, many fear the less-than-posh comforts of being quarantined in an emergency field hospital.

Cost is the other factor that likely is preventing foreigners from turning themselves in to be tested for Covid-19. While Phuket health officials may test people for free, anyone found infected with Covid-19 will be financially responsible for all the costs of their treatment and quarantine. Foreigners with limited financial resources, especially after a year of holing up in Thailand to ride out the Coronavirus, may resist reporting to authorities when they cannot afford the mandatory quarantine and medical treatment.

Perhaps recognizing this hesitation, the message includes a plea for all attendees to self-quarantine and self-monitor for any symptoms over the next week, even if they fail to report or test negative. The note also reminds everyone to wear masks in public at all times. The statement to the public also instructed anyone who attended any of the Covid-19 spreading nightlife events to report to the Acute Respiratory Infection Clinic area of Vachira General Hospital to receive a Covid-19 swab test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions

Tim Newton

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Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | Thaiger

Three of Thailand’s biggest expat areas are seeing sharp rises in new infections, partly from pre-Songkran traffic. The Songkran holidays, now officially over (but will see many people taking today off and making a weekend Songkran extension), and the government says they are expecting to see a rise in the cases numbers reported in the popular holiday locations.

Chon Buri Public Health office says they now have a total of 910 infections since April 1. They have 103 new cases in the past 24 hours. Most new cases are in Bang Lamung district which includes Pattaya City with 47, Siracha with 12) & Chon buri City with 8.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

Meanwhile Phuket has a total of 142 infections recorded on the island with the Governor still insisting there will be no need for a lockdown. Here’s a breakdown of the areas and the numbers of recorded infections so far (below).

Governor Narong announced that the Phuket Infectious Disease Control Committee won’t be implementing an official lockdown, but will “strictly raise the intensity of public health measures to counter the spread of Covid-19″.

“Everyone should wear a face mask, maintain social distancing, wash their hands frequently and install the Mor Chana app (available for free from App Store and Google Play Store).”

A meeting of the CCSA, chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to upgrade restrictions in red zone areas around the country, which includes Phuket and Pattaya. Read more about the latest red and orange zones HERE.

Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin brace for increased restrictions | News by Thaiger

For Hua Hin expats, there’s been 100 new Covid-19 infections announced in Prachuap Khiri Khan in the past 24 hours, 75 cases from Hua Hin. This takes the total in the province since April 1 to 625. Hua Hin accounts for nearly 90% of the district’s total cases.

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Transport

Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui

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Footbridges stop luxury yacht travelling from Phuket to Samui | Thaiger
PHOTO: Thailand's version of the Suez Canal blockage.

Footbridges in Phuket stood in the way of a luxury yacht travelling from its home in Phuket to Koh Samui when the boat was too tall to pass. Police received a call around 8 pm last night from the truck driver after his trailer carrying the yacht had trouble getting under one of several bridges for walkers to pass over the highway. The boat was travelling down Thepkrasattri Road, where it was stopped by the bridge near Baan Tha Reua School. The boat also had trouble at the pedestrian bridge at the Provincial Electricity Authority Thalang Branch and the bridge at Baan Lipon School in Srisoonthorn.

All the bridges were supposed to have a 5-metre clearance, though one observer speculated that all the repaving of the road over the years may have raised the road and lowered the clearance. Traffic police responded to the first bridge incident by sending officers to direct traffic and make sure bikes and cars didn’t pass and impeded progress on freeing the boat. The second incident about 30 minutes later was resolved by letting air out of the truck’s tires to lower it just enough to pass under the bridge. The third snag prompted the driver to go in person to the Thalang Police station to request help yet again.

This time police were less amused and suggested the truck driver try to resolve the issue himself and call back to the police only if he was unable to free the luxury yacht. A traffic police officer went to follow up with the stranded boat at the end of his shift and found the driver had given up and decided to return the yacht to its Phuket origin at Boat Lagoon Marina in Koh Kaew. The boat, now damaged from the bridge bumps, wasn’t going to make it to Surat Thani to be sailed to Koh Samui on this journey. The boat radar had broken off on one of the bridges. No word on any major damage to the pedestrian bridges.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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