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Phuket Media: The Phuket Gazette joins the Big Blue Wave

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Media: The Phuket Gazette joins the Big Blue Wave | Thaiger

PHUKET: The Phuket Gazette and the Phuket Bulletin, operators of mega-station Blue Wave 90.5 FM, have entered into a partnership to carry Gazette content throughout the Andaman region, with Phuket, Krabi and Phang-nga at its epicenter.

The new wave starts rolling on Monday morning (October 24).

Blue Wave was established in 2006 and is the Andaman’s largest English-language broadcaster. All programming is in stereo and the station has become well known for its particular genre of music – cool, easy and sophisticated.

It is this, according to station manager and program director Oscar Chitamitre, that has enabled the station to penetrate through and well beyond the ‘expat community’, and into the larger and faster-growing world of ‘international Thais’.

“One of the reasons we’ve partnered with the Gazette is that we share the same view of the market. Phuket is in fact a market of many communities and we try to appeal to a general audience – not to any particular or exclusive group. This gives us a much broader base of listeners.

“Our focus is to entertain and inform people who live in the Andaman region, not just on Phuket Island. Our brand is easy for anyone to listen to and is understood, recognized, and enjoyed by both Thai and foreign listeners.”

Oranee (‘Ann’) Hildebrand, managing director of the Gazette, agrees.

“I am myself what many foreigners speak of as an ‘international Thai’. I love foreign travel, worked in New Zealand in my twenties, and enjoy mingling with people from all over the world. My husband is Swiss and my kids are luk kreung. And, yes – Blue Wave has long been my favorite radio station,” she says.

Among Phuket’s ‘Big Eight’, mainstream radio stations, Blue Wave 90.5 FM is the only one broadcasting in English.

The island also has about 30 smaller stations registered with ‘community’ licenses, of which two or three broadcast in English.

Will the tie-up with the Gazette mean a lot more talk on Blue Wave?

No, says Oscar. “But it will mean more local news and certainly more coverage of events.”

For the Gazette, founded in 1993, the radio partnership means an important new vehicle for community information and enhanced options for advertisers.

“The only thing we’ve not had until now was access to big radio, says Gazette General Manager Natthira (‘Anna’) Susangrat.

“Advertising values are all about ‘reach’. We have that with the newspaper, by far Phuket’s largest with a national circulation of 35,000 copies through our partner The Nation.

We have the only Phuket newspaper ‘reach’ on airlines, having been aboard Dragonair from Hong Kong for close to a decade now, to which we added earlier this year all flights of all ten major airlines flying into Thailand (Bangkok and Phuket) from overseas.

“We also have Phuket’s biggest reach in television where our partnership with Nation Broadcasting has favored PGTV with six prime-time, half-hour shows every week on UBC/True Visions. Those shows start with Phuket Lifestyle on November 5 and Phuket Talk on November 6,” Ms Nathira says.

“And we have it on the Web where Google gives us the highest page popularity ranking accorded any site in or about Phuket.

“Finally, now, we’ve rounded it all out with radio by giving advertisers the biggest reach in the Andaman, and listeners a well balanced offering of music and information,” she concludes.

— Phuket Gazette / Blue Wave

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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

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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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