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Phuket

Thaksin rejects “pearly’ underpasses

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, in Phuket today for just one hour, turned down a proposal to build two underpasses on the bypass road at a cost of 800 million baht.

Instead, he said, the provincial authorities should look at the example of Dindaeng in Bangkok, where a single tunnel, long enough to reach from Phuket’s Samkong intersection to the Darasamut School intersection, was built for 600 million baht.

“The price is too high,” he said, referring to the plan for two underpasses. “Are they going to be decorated with pearls?”

During the 10-minute meeting with provincial authorities at the airport, he declined to make a decision on the expansion to four lanes of Chao Fa West Rd and Wiset Rd from the Darasamut intersection to Rawai, a project estimated at 260 million baht.

“I will ask the Department of Highways and the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning [in Bangkok] to examine the traffic in Phuket carefully to resolve any problems on this road,” he said. He set no date for a decision.

The Governor of Phuket, Udomsak Usawarangkura, did not present other road projects, particularly the planned Chalong-Patong road, to the Prime Minister.

He did, however, receive the go-ahead to buy the abandoned Payathai Hospital, on Si Sena Rd in Phuket City, and refurbish it as an annex to the Wachira Phuket Hospital.

The PM assigned Deputy Finance Minister Varathep Ratanakorn, to coordinate this plan, because the hospital is currently the property of the Asset Management Corp, the body set up by the government to take over non-performing loans from Thai banks.

PM Thaksin also agreed to allocate a budget of 34 million baht to buy weapons for police in Phuket.

Gov Udomsak pointed out that security in Phuket depends entirely upon the local police force because there are no army bases on the island.

“We need 34 million baht to buy weapons such as handguns, along with ammunition and body armor, to support the police in Phuket,” he told the PM. The Prime Minister assented.

Earlier, PM Thaksin was greeted on his arrival by car from Phang Nga by local Thai Rak Thai supporters wearing party jackets and led by the Dr Sriyada Palimapan, the TRT candidate for the coming general election.

Also there to greet the PM was local politician Wisut Santikul – though not wearing a TRT jacket, having yet to make a decision whether he too will stand as a TRT candidate.

After spending half an hour greeting his supporters, the Prime Minister went into his 10-minute meeting with the Governor and his team.

He then spent another 20 minutes listening to complaints from local people, before climbing into his car for the onward journey to Krabi. He will spend the night there, before returning to Bangkok tomorrow.

 

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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)

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… “We 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

Thaiger

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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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