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Phuket beach pollution readings to remain secret

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) will not post the pollution readings of its seawater quality tests online, the Phuket Gazette has confirmed.

Instead, the center will publish only its self-determined star rating system, PMBC Director Ukkrit Satapoomin told the Gazette this week.

The PMBC issued a press release last week announcing that the reports were now available online in English (click here). However, the star ratings only reveal whether the PMBC considers the water at Phuket’s famous beaches as very good, good, fair, poor or very poor.

In its most recent report, labelled “Marine water quality along the coastline of Phuket in 2013”, the PMBC declared that the seawater at Patong Beach was in “good condition”.

However, Dr Ukkrit explained that the improvement in the water quality was due to “seasonal variations”.

“The improvement in the water quality is due to the fact there is less rain, which means fewer pollutants are being washed into the bay,” he said.

The water in the northern and central areas of Patong Bay were declared to be in “fair” condition.

However, Dr Ukkrit declined to explain why the water quality was different in these areas.

The public posting of the PMBC’s water-quality ratings follows an order by Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut in August this year (story here).

That order followed ambassadors from 17 European nations travelling to Phuket to raise awareness of beach safety issues (story here).

Dr Ukkrit clarified that the water quality tests conducted by the PMBC were independent of the now defunct “beach star ratings” attributed by the Pollution Control Department (see ‘Phuket beach ratings dead’, click here).

“We have been collecting seawater samples from along the Andaman coast and testing it for quality for many years now,” he said.

Dr Ukkrit did not elaborate why the work he was doing was not brought to Governor Maitri’s attention or that of Phuket-based Regional Environmental Office 15 Chief Pornsri Suthanaruk, who were both present to observe the “launch” of the water-quality tests at Patong Beach on August 23, which are to take place once every two months*(story here).

Dr Ukkrit did explain that the most recent ratings posted online were from October, as some of the equipment required to test sea water quality had recently broken.

“It’s fixed now and we should have the latest ratings online soon,” he said.

* The original report said tests were done fortnightly.

— Irfarn Jamdukor

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

Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment

The Thaiger

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Man’s body discovered hanged in a Phuket Town apartment | The Thaiger

A man has been found hanged in Phuket Town apartment yesterday. Police are treating the cases as a suicide at the moment.

The man was found hanged from the apartment’s ceiling fan. His lifeless body was discovered around 11am after neighbours complained to the manager about the smell coming from the man’s room.

Police and the local Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers attended the scene. Police later confirmed the incident happened in room on the 3rd floor of an apartment lock in Soi Phoonphol Soi 1, Talat Nuea in Phuket Town. Police said the man was 35-45 years of age and had a 29 year old girlfriend from Chumphon. He was paying 1,000 baht a month and had been renting the room for 2 months. Police estimate that the man had been dead for at least 3 days.

Police told media that the man had used, what appeared to be a dress, tied around his neck and then to the room’s roof fan. The apartment manager told police that he had been late on on his recent rent, speculating that the man may have been suffering financial hardship.

The man’s identity has not been released at this stage.

His body was taken to Vachira Hospital for an autopsy.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai) or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai).

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