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Covid-19 infections hit Phuket schools and Bangla Road

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Bangla Road and phuket schools have both experienced a Covid-19 cluster.
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Phuket is struggling with 2 clusters of Covid-19 that have health authorities worried, with one in schools and one in the centre of tourism on Bangla Road in Patong. The Deputy Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital detailed the 2 main clusters and warned that infections are increasing on the island.

Phuket had fallen from a time when daily infections were as high as 250 per day down to about 50 cases per day, but have now climbed back up to 80 and yesterday saw 105 infections. The majority of those 105 infections were found in those 2 clusters.

In Patong, the nightlife and entertainment hub of Phuket, 24 people tested positive for Covid-19 out of 391 tested. The at-risk group were centred around the infamous Bangla Road and included tourists, locals, and staff of entertainment venues.

The outbreak sent a wave of worry through the community where bars and nightlife remain closed, but with alcohol allowed at restaurants, many venues serve food but operate as surrogate bars and clubs for the tourism industry that is slowly creeping back to life. While the businesses in Phuket want to open freely, they fear another lockdown if Covid-19 infections grow.

Phuket businesses had agreed collectively to do a deep cleaning with a 3-day shutdown in the face of a Covid-19 outbreak for any business where at least 2 infections were found. And it is rumoured that patrons and staff are being met with tighter checks for Covid-19 vaccination in the past few days and businesses attempt to self-regulate by strictly abiding by the provincial Covid-19 prevention measures.

In the case of the school infections, Phuket students have returned from online classes to on-site learning and some students were infected by family members in their home and then brought the virus to school where it spread. Vachira’s Deputy Director said family outbreaks spreading in schools has been a common problem in Phuket since schools reopened.

“Relevant agencies, including schools and provincial education authorities, are now monitoring the situation and jointly finding solutions and measures to prevent and control infections among students. We are encouraging students not to socialize with each other when classes are out of session, however, this is not an easy measure.”

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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