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Phuket jabs ‘Swine Flu’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket jabs ‘Swine Flu’ | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

โ€“ A daily digest of news from around the world compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

PHUKET: Around 700 service people in Phuket, comprising drivers of taxis, tuk tuks, motorbike taxis, and other vehicles for hire, along with their family members, were vaccinated against the A H1N1 virus earlier this week.

The free inoculations were provided by Patong Hospital on Monday.

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the move was part of the hospital’s safety measures which recognize that people in the hospitality and service industry are exposed to many tourists who may be carrying the virus from abroad. And giving them immunity means safety for others, the hospital says.

Official figures show that around 6,000 people in Phuket have been vaccinated to date this year.

Hainan to challenge Phuket

Peoples daily
Hainan, China has a sun-kissed coastline and numerous clean and empty beaches, “on a par with the shores of Phuket,” and life is cheaper in Sea (hai) South (nan).

School fees are half of those in Beijing, and rent for a two-bedroom apartment is approximately 1,600 yuan ($235) a month.

And you can get around in the three-wheeled san lun che far more cheaply than the infamous tuk-tuks of Phuket.

There aren’t the same professional opportunities there for expats as there are in China’s bigger cities or Phuket, though, but there will be when Hainan’s international tourism campaign springs into action, the people’s government says.

Phuket attractions closed

National News Bureau of Thailand

The National Park and Wildlife Department has announced the annual closure of the Surin and Similan islands in the Andaman Sea from this month until October 30.

The islands, located off Phang-nga province, are a major attraction for Phuket’s legions of tourists, particularly divers, recreational boaters and sightseers.

Similan National Park Chief Panumas Samsrineam said the closure covers all visits and accommodation. The closure enables natural revitalization for the resources there, he says.

The Similan Islands are soon to be proposed for addition to a “tentative list” of World Heritage sites.

The islands will re-open on November 1 as Phuket moves out of the current monsoon season.

Meanwhile, Phang-Nga Governor Yiumsuriya Palusuk suggests that tourists divert to Phang-Nga Bay as it is sheltered and can be visited all year round.

And Phuket island itself, as well as its many satellite islands, are also a viable option for tourists in the area, he notes.

Dog Conch at risk in Phuket

National News Bureau of Thailand
12,000 Dog Conch (or ‘Wing Shells’) have been released into the sea at Phuket’s Paklok Bay, where sea grass grows.

The activity was carried out under the Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation department to increase the number of Dog Conch.

The effort also aims to preserve and encourage the fertility of the ecological system there.

According to Paitoon Panchaipum, Director of the Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation Centre, the population of Dog Conch is declining as they are cash crop animals and caught for sale by local fishermen.

He asks local fishermen not to catch baby dog conch as Phuket needs mature females for breeding, and the area with sea grass is suitable for them to breed, he says.

New violence in Bangkok
 

BBC
A Thai policeman has been killed and another wounded in a drive-by shooting in the capital, Bangkok police say.

The attack occurred in the Silom financial district, close to the area where red-shirt opposition protesters have been barricaded.

A number of blasts in the same area later wounded another four policemen.

The violence came as a two-month-long stand-off continued with protesters rejecting a government offer to dissolve parliament in September.

The policeman killed last night died in hospital after being shot in the stomach, spokesman Pongsapat Pongcharoen told AFP.

He said one civilian was injured in the attack.

Police said the blasts later appeared to have been caused by grenades, but there is no confirmation as yet.

CIA sees red

Asia Times Online
During Thailand’s political protests, US officials met with numerous red shirt or UDD co-leaders, to impress on them Washington’s perception that the UDD has provoked a lot of violence, and was not a peaceful movement.

UDD spokesman Boonracong said that a US official had “incredible details” of recent violence that he believed was gathered by the “CIA and other on-the-ground informants”.

He said that US officials claimed the UDD had rigged compressed gas tanks to be used as bombs and stockpiled automatic weapons in nearby buildings โ€“ claims Boonracong characterized as “total bunk”.

“The [US] ambassador has apparently made up his mind that we have become an army,” said Boonracong, adding: “The US Embassy is not as neutral as they say they are.”

Paedophile jailed

AFP
A Canadian pleaded guilty to organising trips to his home in Thailand for men to have sex with young boys, US officials said.

John Wrenshall, 63, pleaded guilty in a US district court in New Jersey to “conspiracy to engage in sex tourism, conspiracy to produce child pornography, and distribution of child pornography”, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

Wrenshall “admitted that from at least … January 2000, he arranged trips to his home during which US citizens and others paid him to engage in sexual acts with Thai boys,” the statement read, citing court documents.

— Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive. The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… โ€œWe want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,โ€

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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Phuket

We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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