PATONG: An investigation by the Ministry of Public Health has found that seafood and water in Phuket – including drinking, well and sea water – is free of contamination following the tsunami.
The announcement was made by the Permanent Secretary for Public Health, Dr Wanchai Thienthaworn, during a visit to Patong Hospital.
The Director General of the Department of Medical Science (DMC), Dr Paijit Warachit, said that scientists from the DMC had conducted tests that confirmed the waters around the island are not contaminated by nickel or other heavy metals, nor by bacteria. The salinity of the seawater was found to be normal.
DMC scientists also tested seafood caught from 10 different locations in the Andaman Sea, and found that these, too, were free of toxins.
Dr Paijit noted that rumors persisted that some sea creatures had been eating corpses. “Seafood is safe and people will not catch any diseases from eating it,” he said. “The rumors should now end.”
Dr Somyos Charoensakdi, the Director General of the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that well water in Phuket and Phang Nga Provinces was free of contaminants and therefore safe.
He also said that the vast majority of wells in the tsunami-hit areas have now been restored to use and that mosquito-eradication procedures in the affected areas have been successful.
He also stated that the DOH, in conjunction with Patong Municipality, will host a “Safe Food” street festival, the aim of which will be to restore public confidence in seafood. A date for the event has not yet been set.
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