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Songkran in Phuket: Road safety clampdown coming

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The water-splashing riot of the Songkran Festival draws near and with it the Phuket authorities’ annual road safety clampdown.

Between April 12 and 18 police are promising to strictly enforce Thailand’s often-neglected traffic laws. In particular, officers will be on the lookout for drink driving, speeding and motorcycle riders without helmets.

Twenty-four-hour checkpoints will be erected at the following locations around Phuket:

1. Muang Mai Village, Thepkrasattri Road

2. Baan Sapam School, Thepkrasattri Road

3. Chao Fa Thani housing estate, Chao Fa East Road

4. Tah Chat Chai Checkpoint

5. Cherng Talay Police Station

6. Tha Rua Intersection

7. Patong Hill Intersection, Sirirat Road

8. Thung Thong Police Station, Baramee Road

9. Phuket Fantasea, Kamala

10. Patong-Kamala Road

11. Surin Beach

12. Nai Harn Lake

Police will also check buses to ensure they are safe. They are asking the public to inform them by calling 1548 if bus drivers are drunk, drive too fast or fail to swap drivers after driving long distances.

The plans were announced at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall late last month chaired by Vice Governor Smith Palawatwichai and attended by officials from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, the Public Health Office, the Land Transport Office and the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization.

V/Gov Smith said 60 were injured and four killed during the Songkran period last year. In Thailand as a whole there were 4,332 injuries and 373 deaths.

Most of the accidents involve motorcycles ridden by drivers who are drunk and riding too fast,” he said.

This year we are aiming to reduce the number of accidents and deaths by 5 percent from last year,” he added.

The deputy director of Phuket Public Health Office, Dr Wiwat Seetamanotch, said most of those injured or killed were 15 to 20 year olds. Most accidents happened between 5 and 6pm and around 1am, when most nightclubs shut.

Dr Wiwat said the punishments for drink driving were not harsh enough.

The punishment should be jail as an example to other drink drivers,” he said.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat

 

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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… 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

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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