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Phuket tops investor sentiment for Thai property

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Phuket tops investor sentiment for Thai property | Thaiger
Phuket NEWS Hound

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

PHUKET: Various measures are being taken in Thailand to promote tourism as foreigners have not yet returned in the aftermath of the political violence.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organizing a series of events and campaigns to restore tourism, including the Tourism Fair 2010, the Golf and Dive Expo, Amazing Thailand Grand Sale, and Thailand Travel Mart 2010.

In addition, the TAT is joining hands with Thai Airways and the private sector to invite 1,000 foreign writers and travel companies to the Kingdom to observe the tourism situation in the wake of the political unrest.

The Nation reports that the efforts may be starting to take effect. Mike Batchelor, managing director for investment sales in Asia at Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, says investor sentiment for medium term trading in Phuket and Bangkok is positive at 39.7 per cent and 22.2 per cent, respectively.

Phuket Punchline comedy returns

The Open Press
Due to be held on June 22, the Phuket Punchline Comedy Club is returning again this month, with another international line-up.

The evening of laughter will start at 8pm and continue to about 11pm, at Phuket’s Mercure Hotel in Patong.

American comedian Arj Baker will be topping the bill. He has, among other things, appeared impressively in the hit comedy series ‘Flight of the Conchords’.

Rob Deering and Caimh McDonnell are the supporting acts.

The event in sponsored by the Phuket Gazette.

Tickets for the show can be purchased in advance from a number of outlets around Phuket, at a cost of 960 baht, and tickets on the day cost 1,200 baht. For advance ticket sales locations, click here.

Cheap deals to Phuket

Bangkok Airways and its tour subsidiary, Bangkok Travel Club, have launched Bin-Khum (Value Flights) holiday packages to Phuket.

The Bin Khum package for Phuket is priced from 7,100 baht, and is available for two people travelling together, inclusive of roundtrip fares in economy class, two nights’ accommodation with daily breakfast, and airport transfers.

The packages are also available for Chiangmai and Koh Samui, starting from 5,900 baht and 8,700 baht, respectively.

More cheapies in the air

In response to an alarming dip in travel demand over the last two months, Etihad Airways has introduced more promotional campaigns to win back customers over the next quarter.

The airline believes it can make headway in the outbound travel market from Thailand as there are now signs the country is gathering steam as a tourist destination.

Etihad has extended its fare promotions to June 15 for sales, and to July 31 for the outbound travel sector.

All-inclusive economy class fares for this promotion are: 27,550 baht to Frankfurt; 27,295 to Munich; 26,900 to Geneva; 26,890 to Milan; 29,385 to Manchester; 28,245 to Paris; 27,335 to Brussels; and 26,850 to Casablanca, among others.

World Cup betting police
Police across Thailand are setting up special 24-hour centres to crack down on betting ahead of the World Cup 2010.

Under the kingdom’s gambling law (which is more than 70 years old), gamblers face fines of 1,000 baht or jail terms of up to one year.

The Economic and Business Forecast Centre at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce estimates that Thai people will spend 37.2 billion baht (approx USD 1.2 billion) gambling on this year’s World Cup.

“At Bangkok Metropolitan Police, we have already started a centre and it will run around the clock until the World Cup ends,” said spokesman Major General Piya Uthayo, adding that each provincial force, including Phuket, would set up its own centre.

Human trafficking ring uncovered

Pattaya Daily News
Thai police from the Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) have successfully arrested a key individual allegedly involved with the illegal trafficking of Thai women for prostitution in Bahrain.

The suspect, Thai national Sureerat Chaiphrom, 34, was arrested after a joint international investigation revealed her as key in the trafficking of seven Thai women who had recently escaped the network and reported to the Thai Embassy in Bahrain.

The arrest was made on June 1 while Miss Chaiphrom was eating at the Royal Garden Plaza McDonalds in Pattaya.

Miss Chaiphrom has been charged with collaborating with a transnational human trafficking gang, kidnapping, and detention of persons against their will.

The seven Thai women in Bahrain had been deceived into leaving the Kingdom for legal work purposes, the newspaper says.

— 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 struggles towards herd immunity, vaccine rollout slow in other provinces

Tanutam Thawan



Photo via Facebook/ วัคซีนภูเก็ต (PR Phuket)

So far, 22% of the population in Phuket is fully vaccinated against Covid-19 while the majority of provinces in Thailand have not vaccinated any of the residents, according to data compiled by researcher Peter Scully.

Bangkok, the epicentre of recent infections with more than 15,000 confirmed cases since April 1, has only fully vaccinated 1% of the population. Around 10 million people live in Bangkok. Surrounding areas Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, and Nonthaburi, which have all been hit hard by the recent outbreak, have each only fully vaccinated 1% of their populations.

Despite the recent wave of coronavirus infections, which has made up more than half of Thailand’s cumulative count of confirmed cases and virus-related deaths, the Thai government says they are still moving forward with plans to reopen Phuket to vaccinated tourists by July 1.

The island province has been rolling out a mass vaccination campaign in an effort to administer the 2-dose vaccine to 70% of the population by the end of June to reach herd immunity and reopen to foreign tourists. Tourism officials also plan to reopen Krabi, Phang Nga, Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai.

It’s unclear exactly how many vaccines have been administered on the island of Koh Samui where health officials are rolling out a mass vaccination campaign. Some expats who work as English teachers on the island say they have received the vaccine. According to Peter’s data, 2% of the population in Surat Thani, which includes Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan, have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Province Population fully vaccinated
Bangkok 1%
Nonthaburi 1%
Phang Nga 1%
Phuket 22%
Ranong 1%
Rayong 1%
Samut Prakan 1%
Samut Sakhon 7%
Surat Thani 2%
Tak 3%

*Data compiled by Peter Scully


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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Rising Phuket Covid-19 infections may cause ICU shortage

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: ICU beds may be in short supply in Phuket soon.

A shortage of ICU beds in Phuket may be coming soon according to an epidemiologist at the main government hospital, Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town. The Phuket governor held a live broadcast press conference where the doctor explained that, with the spread of the B.117 variant, which is more transmissible and often leads to pneumonia, she fears beds might fill quickly as infection numbers increase across the province.

The first and second wave of Covid-19 saw very little pneumonia, but national reports on the third wave show about one-in-four infections have pneumonia symptoms. Only 10% of cases in Phuket have severe symptoms, while 30% have light pneumonia symptoms, and about 50% see no symptoms.

Still, even 10% may require a lot of ventilators and overwhelm the health care system. At the government hospital, there are 200 beds available, but only 19 ICU beds for severe cases. ICU beds are already half full, and the number of pneumonia patients who may soon require those beds is growing quickly. An 80% bed occupancy is considered a critical situation for the ICU.

Infection rates have been high in Phuket, per capita, and experts warn that the island desperately needs to reduce the number of new infections immediately to avoid an ICU bed shortage catastrophe. The vice governor said that proactive screening has been stepped up, especially in Rawai, Cherng Talay, and Mai Khao, and health officials will expand to other at-risk areas. They’re hoping proactive screening will be more effective than asking people for 14 day self quarantines.

Phuket currently has 476 people receiving treatment for Covid-19 with all but 1 originating in the province. 253 of those people have been discharged from the hospital, and the remaining patients are spread between 7 area hospitals while an additional 73 patients are receiving treatment at field hospitals.

Outbreaks have been spreading to different areas recently with Phuket town, Cherng Talay, Wichit, and Rassada currently marked as hotspots. With the frequent movement, the government is asking people to call 191 to report areas that may have many infections. The governor vowed that medical staff would then provide proactive testing and give care to those with Covid-19 already in order to slow spread and prevent an ICU bed shortage in Phuket.

Below are the latest figures for infections around Phuket.

  • Wichit ‒ 48 infections
  • Patong ‒ 45
  • Phuket Town – 44 (Talad Yai 27, Talad Neua 17)
  • Rassada ‒ 44
  • Cherng Talay ‒ 43
  • Kathu ‒ 38
  • Chalong ‒ 34
  • Kamala ‒ 32
  • Srisoonthorn ‒ 29
  • Rawai ‒ 26
  • Thepkrasattri ‒ 19
  • Koh Kaew ‒ 13
  • Pa Khlok ‒ 10
  • Mai Khao ‒ 8
  • Sakhu ‒ 8
  • Karon ‒ 7

SOURCE:The Phuket News


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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Investigation: Was 91 year old woman’s death from Covid-19?

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Medical workers take safety precautions dealing with the 91 year old woman's body. (via NWI Times)

Medical staff are investigating the remains of a 91 year old woman whose body was found last night in order to determine if Covid-19 was a factor in her death. The woman was found in her home in Karon, Phuket, after police, rescue workers, and a medical team from the Phuket Provincial Hospital arrived around 6:30 p.m. She was found on the floor at the foot of her bed and her body was recovered using Covid-19 safety measures. The entire home was sprayed with a disinfectant for sanitation. The woman, Puan Kingkaew, was considered high risk for Covid-19 as she was treated about a week before her death at Chalong Hospital next to a woman that was later determined to have the Coronavirus.

That woman, an unnamed 74 year old, had entered the hospital on April 28 feeling dizzy and was later discharged after receiving treatment and medication. She was readmitted on the 30th with complaints of diarrhoea and dizziness. At some point on April 30, she was in the bed next Puan whose death is being investigated for Covid-19 involvement. The next day her symptoms worsened to include difficulty breathing and a fever and doctors x-rayed her lungs and tested her for Coronavirus before moving her to an isolation room. The following day, test results confirmed that the woman did have Covid-19, prompting Chalong Hospital to close until May 10.

The hospital director said that as many as 45 medical personnel and employees were exposed to the woman, and have been admitted to a local quarantine facility at the Royal Paradise and Spa Hospital in Patong. 14 more employees were considered low risk and told to self-quarantine at home and pay attention to any sign of infection.

In addition to the staff, four patients were considered at risk to exposure from the woman, and they and their families were transferred to Dibuk hospital for further treatment. Chalong Hospital announced they will still reopen on the 10th as planned, but if an outbreak of Covid-19 is identified that plan may change.

Meanwhile, medical personnel at Vachira Phuket Hospital are investigating further if the death of the 91 year old woman found in her home did in fact have Covid-19 and succumbed to her infection or complication. A recent case involving an elderly woman dying at home with Covid-19 while waiting for a hospital bed sparked national interest and mourning.

SOURCE: Phuket News


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