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Olympics: Medalists come home to heroes’ welcome

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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Rousing welcome
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: Thailand’s Olympic athletes returned home to a resounding heroes’ welcome yesterday after capturing three medals – including two silver – at the London Games.

The Kingdom finished 57th out of 205 countries that competed in the sporting extravaganza.

The stars were boxer Kaew Pongprayoon and weightlifter Pimsiri Sirikaew, who took silver in the light-flyweight 49kg class and the women’s 58kg division, respectively, while Chanatip Sonkham claimed a bronze in the women’s 49kg taekwondo event.

Even before the Thai Airways flight from London landed at about 3pm, a huge crowd had gathered at the arrival terminal, reminiscent of scenes four years ago when Thai athletes flew back from the Beijing Games with four medals, including two gold.

It was raining heavily yesterday when TG917 landed with the country’s Olympic sporting stars on board. Thousands of fans, including 200 from Kamphaeng Phet – boxer Kaew’s hometown – who arrived on three buses, and 20 of Chanatip’s classmates from Satree Phatthalung School, made it to Suvarnabhumi Airport earlier to cheer their heroes.

On arrival, the athletes were taken to the airport’s VIP Lounge. On seeing his mother Mali, Kaew rushed to prostrate himself in front of her. It sparked an emotional scene when both mother and son hugged each other. Mali gave her beloved son kisses and Kaew did likewise.

“I did it, mum. I did it. I love you the most, mum,” Kaew said, after his silver-medal bout early on Sunday (Mother’s Day).

“Winning no gold does not matter. You already did your best, son,” Mali told Kaew.

Ichitan green tea billionaire Tan Passakornnatee was there, and presented a 10 million cash cheque to the boxer, as promised.

When the Olympic team walked out to the arrival lounge, a major celebration broke out, with drums being beaten and hordes of fans and reporters greeting them, some carrying bouquets of flowers.

With garlands placed around their necks, the athletes seemed dazed by the grand reception. And the big crowd burst into excited screams as Kaew and Chanatip showed up, with fans shouting their heroes’ names and their chants echoing in the terminal.

Weightlifter Pimsiri, who flew back earlier, and other Olympians, including swimmers and badminton players, also went out to greet their team-mates.

When all the athletes took to a stage, with the three heroes flashing their medals, the audience broke into thunderous applause.

Generous sponsors started to present cash incentives and various rewards to the medalists, plus others who finished in fourth place or performed well at the Games.

From then, it was a carnival-like atmosphere. The athletes waved to the crowd, while being taken on a tour in open-top buses through the streets of Bangkok.

The bus parade to cheer the top athletes’ success was wet until the rain surprisingly stopped moments before the celebration procession arrived at Victory Monument. There, tens of thousands of supporters lined the route, shouting “Thailand! Thailand!”

Many took photos of the sports stars on their mobile phones.

Kaew stood on the open-top bus, waving happily to the large crowd. Pimsiri and Chanatip did the same from separate convertible Peugeot cars.

Traffic at Victory Monument stood still as a large number of passers-by stopped to wave and shout to the athletes, but the mood was cheerful. Drivers were all smiles, and many got out of their cars to wave to their heroes.

Heading to Siam Paragon, the procession received an amazing greeting from supporters lining both sides of the street in central Bangkok.

At the shopping mall, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra congratulated them and organized a public function to acknowledge the Olympians’ performances.

The prime minister presented certificates to all 37 Thai athletes who took part in the Olympics, which ran from July 27 until Sunday. Cash incentives from the National Sports Development Fund totaling 20 million baht were also given away to the three who returned with medals, as well as the staff coaches and their sports associations.

Each of the two silver medalists got 6mn baht, and the bronze medalist received 4mn.

Thai medalists from the recent Asian Beach Games in China also took part in the party hosted by the prime minister. They got 26.6mn baht in awards from the government.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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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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Phuket

Thai Vietjet resumes Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, launches promotion on air fare

The Thaiger

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Thai Vietjet resumes Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, launches promotion on air fare | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Vietjet

The following is a press release from Thai Vietjet on its new promotion “Welcome Back to the Sky” and the resumption of Phuket-Chiang Rai flights.

Thai Vietjet today announced the flight resumption of its domestic cross-regional service between Phuket – Chiang Rai, in response to the increasing travel demand after the government began relaxing travel measures in each province. The airline will resume the service for four (04) round-trip flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with the flight duration around 2 hours and 5 minutes, starting from 26 February 2021 onwards. The flight details are as follows:

Flight No.Departure from PhuketArrival at Chiang Rai Flight No. Departure from Chiang RaiArrival in Phuket
VZ4008:15am10:20amVZ40110:50am12:55pm

In addition, the airline also announced the resumption of other domestic cross-regional services including the flight between Hat Yai – Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai – Nakhon Si Thammarat from 19 March 2021 onwards.

Following the service resumption announcement, the airline launched special promotion “Welcome Back to the Sky”, offering special fares from just THB 99 (not inclusive of taxes, fees, surcharges, and add-ons) for Thai Vietjet’s flights between Phuket – Chiang Rai and the flights to/from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi). The special fares are available for booking from 24 – 28 February 2021, with travel period between 8 March – 30 June 2021 on SkyFUN.vietjetair.com

As the COVID-19 situation is under control, Thai Vietjet has been adding flight frequency in line with the increasing demand for travel. The airline has also recently introduced its new product on SkyFUN, the ‘TRIP EASY PLUS’ – travel insurance with coverage of COVID-19 starting from THB 180, which provides further convenience and travel confidence to passengers to travel with the highest level of safety during the pandemic. For more information, please visit https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/insurance.

The promotional fares are available on SkyFUN.vietjetair.com, applied to Thai Vietjet’s domestic flights in Thailand from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani, Hat Yai , Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani and the domestic cross-regional flight Phuket – Chiang Rai. The tickets are also available on all other distribution channels including www.vietjetair.com, mobile app “Vietjet Air”, via Facebook at facebook.com/VietJetThailand by clicking “Booking” tab, as well as travel agencies and booking offices. Payment can be easily made with ‘True Money Wallet’ and international debit/credit cards.

Thai Vietjet is committed to providing on time scheduled flights with the highest safety complied with the standards and regulations of the relevant authorities. Thai Vietjet was named the fastest growing low-cost airline in Thailand 2020 by The Global Business Outlook Award. The airline also owns one of the worlds newest and most modern fleet with an average age of only 2.7 years and was awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars by the world’s only safety and product rating website airlineratings.com. The carrier has been strictly performing aircraft disinfection dailythroughout its fleet in compliance with Thai Ministry of Public Health.

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