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Six apply to run in April 23 by-election

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Six apply to run in April 23 by-election | Thaiger

PHUKET: Six people have applied to run in the April 23 parliamentary by-elections in Phuket, four of them in District 1, which covers Phuket City and the immediate area, and two in District 2, covering the rest of the island.

The Phuket Election Commission (PEC) will take just a few days to determine which of the candidates will qualify to run, the PEC’s chief said today.

The Commission accepted applications for candidacy over the weekend. However, only Thai Rak Thai (TRT) District 1 candidate Dr Sriyada Palimapan chose to register on Saturday. The remaining five candidates all registered yesterday, April 9. In Chinese numerology the number 9 is thought to be more auspicious.

In the April 2 poll both TRT candidates ran unopposed, but both failed to get the minimum 20% of eligible votes required to claim a seat. The vast majority of voters in both districts ticked the “no vote” box on their ballot cards.

The TRT’s District 2 candidate, Wisut Santikul, arrived at Phuket Provincial Hall late yesterday afternoon with a small band of supporters.

They were outnumbered by a contingent of anti-TRT protesters who greeted K. Wisut with songs such as Nak Phaen Din (which roughly translates as “You’re a waste of space”), and chanted “Thaksin Get Out!” and “Ai Na Liam” (Damned Squareface! – a reference to caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s facial structure).

Undaunted, K. Wisut, a former Vice-President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization, told the Gazette, “I don’t feel any pressure and I still want to work as a politician.

“I want to work in Parliament, not along a roadside,” he added in reference to his detractors, who were lined up along the street.

“I will have to improve the people’s understanding of me. I believe that there about 20,000 TRT supporters in District 2 and I need more of them to come out and support me on election day,” he said.

Also filing his candidacy yesterday was Prayoon Poonchan, of the little-known Pattana Chart Thai Party, who was defeated in the April 2 poll in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. If the PEC rules that he is qualified to run in Phuket, the vote tally needed by K. Wisut will drop to just 5% of all eligible voters – a number he should be able to reach easily, if returns in the last poll are any indication.

Registering their candidacies in District 1 yesterday were Thavorn Permpoon of the Thai Chuay Thai Party and Pol Sgt Panya Borirak of the Pattana Chart Thai Party, both of whom were disqualified in the previous poll by the 90-day rule.

They are joined by Thongchai Kaewthong of the Siam Party, a newcomer to the race.

PEC Director Kittipong Thiengkunagrit said his agency would review the qualifications of all the applicants and make a ruling on their legitimacy in a few days’ time.

Members of the locally powerful Democrat Party, which will boycott this election as it did the last, have charged that the TRT is paying small party members to run so that TRT candidates can skirt the 20% requirement.

 

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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

ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Phuket are close to a “critical” low

Tanutam Thawan

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Covid-19 patients in severe condition may have to been transferred from a government hospital in Phuket to a private hospital as the number of available hospital beds at public intensive care units in Phuket is close to a “critical” low, according to Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Chalermpong Sukontapol.

There are 9 ICU rooms at the Vachira Phuket Hospital. 5 are being used for Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms while the other 4 rooms are for those with mild symptoms and are under observation before being moved to another bed.

“If the 9 rooms are full of severe symptom cases, that will be a big critical stage. We may need to transfer our patients to other provinces or private hospitals, which may involve additional costs.”

He says 50% of the Covid-19 patients in Phuket are asymptomatic while 30% have mild symptoms and 10% have severe symptoms. For most of those with severe symptoms, the virus has moved to their lungs and they are in need of special equipment, like ventilators, to help them breathe and Charlempong says those patients need to be under close observation.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

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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 (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

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… β€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,”

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

Tanutam Thawan

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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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