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Covid-19 testing units ready for tourists at Phuket International Airport

Caitlin Ashworth

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Covid-19 testing units ready for tourists at Phuket International Airport | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ปชส. จังหวัดภูเก็ต

Covid-19 mobile testing units are now stationed at the Phuket International Airport, ready to test foreign tourists, but there’s been some confusion exactly when they will arrive. Foreign tourists on the Special Tourist Visa were set to fly in from Guangzhou, China and arrive in Phuket today, then the Phuket governor said the trip is postponed, and then the Thai Health Minister said the travellers are still arriving today.

Officials from the Ministry of Public Health were at the Phuket airport yesterday and handed over 3 Covid-19 testing unit trucks. The mobile test labs are intended to collect samples test foreign tourists for the virus when they arrive (whenever that is), according to the director of the ministry’s Institute for Urban Disease Control and Prevention in Bangkok, Anek Mungaomklang.

“The trucks can be used to collect test samples and go to conduct tests in other areas quickly. It will also reduce tourists’ time waiting for test results at the airport.”

Medical staff use glove attachments on the lab window to conduct the tests without coming in contact with the tourists. A microphone in the van allows them to communicate with those outside.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew said during a video broadcast yesterday that he asked for the trip to be delayed because many locals fear the tourists could cause a second wave of Covid-19 infections. Anek says tourists will be Covid-19 free and 100% safe before leaving their alternative state quarantine hotels.

“Local people can count on our quality lab system for sure.”

He says the ministry is responsible for putting measures in place to prevent another outbreak.

“For local government, they have to well prepare alternative local quarantine venues and others to avoid problems from having tourists in Phuket.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

ภูเก็ตรองอธิบดีกรมควบคุมโรค เผยประสิทธิภาพระบบแล็บตรวจโควิด-19 ท่าอากาศยานภูเก็ต มีความพร้อม 100 เปอร์เซ็นต์…

Posted by ปชส. จังหวัดภูเก็ต on Wednesday, 7 October 2020

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    … and the tests are how accurate?

    93 to 97%? … and that’s assuming that the virus has had time to develop, which takes 3 to 14 days …

    That’s some 40 incorrect results for a standard international flight – which is reduced by a factor of over 1,000 with 14 days quarantine and tests during and at the end of quarantine.

    The quality of the current tests is simply not good enough yet to end the need for quarantine.

  2. Avatar

    Nipral

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    This tale of Chinese tourists is getting ludicrous not to say moronic.
    Let’s admit that this government is getting utterly funny with this incredible story.
    Keep going folks, we like it !
    But how are you gonna explain that none shows up eventually ???!!!

  3. Avatar

    TS

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Boss! the plane boss the plane! ?

  4. Avatar

    Thomas Easton

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    What a dinky little biosafety truck!! you can see by that alone the Thai authorities aren’t expecting to get too many people into Thailand, I mean how many staff can fit into that dinky toy…. I hope to god they have a lot more than just that one lmao

  5. Avatar

    Jason

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    The Chinese tourists arrival has been postponed and no refunds?? This story is becoming more fantastic as time goes on! Can we really imagine any tourist lining up to come toThailand under these conditions? If the experience of Chinese tourists in my country is anything to go by, they will arrive on a China Southern aeroplane, stay in a chinese owned quarantine hotel. Go on a chinese owned tour bus. Stay in a chinese owned hotel. Go to chinese owned restaurants and get back on a China Southern areoplane and return to China. Net income to Thailand….close to nothing. Time to realise that the “Dirty Farangs”, arrive on a Thai Airways plane, stay at Thai owned hotels, hire Thai owned scooters, eat street food and dine at Thai owned restaurants, buy Thai goods and go home on Thai Airways (ok…maybe a foreign airline…only because Thai Airways didn’t have a flight to suit them). Chinese tourists bring less income to the average Thai who, right now, needs the income more than ever!! China is wealthy for a reason…..the money only goes fromone Chinese pocket to another.

  6. Avatar

    Don R

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    We should talk about the love-HATE relationship Thais have with tourism. There’s no denying that tourism has helped develop Thailand into a high-income, fully industrialized nation. However, over the last two decades the ugly side of tourism had begun to outweigh the benefits. Prior to the big scary virus, foreigners could expect a rather cold reception in Thailand. It was more than obvious that Thais wanted your money and nothing else to do with you. (Thais can be the nicest people in the world… IF you get to know them personally)

    The next major industry in Thailand is agriculture. In my opinion, rice paddies won’t produce enough prosperity for the entire population. Nonetheless, it’s really up to Thai people to choose for themselves if they like life better without tourists.

  7. Avatar

    Frank A

    Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    Just Great, slap a few stickers on an old ice cream truck, and you have a bio lab. But you forgot to print a big banner and taking the classic group photo with the people behind the idea.

    Well done, hope you don’t expect to many tourists coming.

  8. Avatar

    TS

    Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Take whatever that stupid looking thing is away. Nobody’s coming you donkey dongs. Beyond ridiculous already.
    There never were nor will there ever be chinese, Scandinavian, or any other foreiners coming to participate in your expensive go to jail scam. Anyone who shows up for it is being paid to save your face.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Chiang Mai

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half

Tim Newton

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Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | Thaiger

The TAT, ever the optimists regarding anything tourism related, even domestic tourism, predict that the Bangkok clusters that have emerged in the week before the Songkran break could reduce traffic and spending by up to half.

Today the CCSA is reporting 789 new infections and one additional death. 522 were local infections, mostly walk-ins to Bangkok hospitals, 259 were discovered through track and tracing. The remaining 8 were found in quarantine from overseas arrivals. In Phuket, another 17 cases have been reported today, taking the island’s week total to 43.

Tourism officials slash Songkran travel expectations by half | News by ThaigerGRAPH: Worldometer figures for Thailand, up to April 9

A 68 year old man from Nakhon Pathom province died on April 4 but wasn’t reported until today. The CCSA report that he died from Covid and “complications”. 33 other former patients have recovered and been discharged.

Last week the TAT estimated 3.2 million domestic trips would circulate 12 billion baht for the Thai economy. But the Tourism Authority has now slashed their estimates by half after hotels, airlines and bus companies reported mass cancellations in the last few days. Other provinces are reporting less than 20% cancellations. Although this weekend will see a lot of travel, Songkran doesn’t formally start until next Tuesday and the TAT expect there could be additional fallout as travellers decide to have a staycation for Songkran instead heading home.

Bangkok Post reports that 70% of travellers to Prachuap Khiri Khan and Hua Hin have already cancelled hotel bookings. Similar cancellations have been reported in Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. Many other provinces, particularly in the north east and north, are also enforcing quarantine on arrivals or additional paperwork to try and protect their provinces from any of the Bangkok clusters.

8 north eastern provinces rare now requiring 10 or 14 day quarantine periods for anyone arriving from areas where new clusters have been reported. Chiang Mai provincial officials say that tourists from Samut Prakan, Nakhon Pathom, Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi – basically Bangkok and surrounding provinces – must complete a 14 day mandatory quarantine or conduct a test for Covid when they arrive.

The reality is that the travel and quarantine changes are outstripping the ability to communicate them all. Anyone crossing into other provinces in the next few day, especially if you’re travelling from Bangkok and surrounding provincial ‘red zones’ can expect some additional paperwork or a Covid test. Or even quarantine.

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Education

Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation”

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Phuket student protests and is flunked as “not loyal to the nation” | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Student protests led to one student not graduating due to being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”

After participating in protests for student’s rights, a Phuket student was barred from graduating 9th grade, moving from middle school to high school, charged with being “not loyal to the nation, institution of the monarchy”. The student had advocated against mandatory uniforms and for student’s liberties. He told reporters that the school started paying attention to his actions last year when he participated in rallies in solidarity with students across Thailand. The school’s student affairs office received a copy of posts he made on social media encouraging others to join the cause. The school ordered a stop to his political actions, but he and his friends disregarded warnings and violated school rules when they handed out white ribbons to classmates. They received a warning from the student affairs office.

Student protests have increased after pro-democracy demonstrations surged in July last year, empowering many Thai people to speak out against injustices, including students’ rights and liberties. People from schools across the nation have been banding together in solidarity to bring their issues to public light.

On graduation day, all the students were promoted into high school, except for the one student protestor, says the Bad Student protest group. The theme of the day focused on dedication to the monarchy, country and religion, and specifically how students should be obedient. The student said he has received support from friends, but his parents remain neutral and his teachers have been completely silent on the matter. He is frustrated that he was punished for his right to express himself. He plans on testing with incoming students to re-enrol in the same school, and if he is not accepted because of the disloyalty charge, he will pursue legal ramifications, suing the school for blocking his right to an education over the student’s protests.

The student believes he needs to speak out to prevent school administrators from imposing on more students’ rights. He advocates for diversity in schools and ending prejudices, with increased liberties and freedoms for students.

“Schools must teach children to be able to think by themselves, not force children to think like them. Schools should create opportunities for students to express their ideas more freely.”

SOURCE: Prachatai

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket

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16 more Covid infections reported today in Phuket | Thaiger
iTrip.com

Phuket is reporting 16 more infections today. It follows visits from Bangkok and last weekend’s Kolour Beachside parties that have resulted in a number of new Covid infections. The number of new infections has reached 26. But deputy governor Vikrom Jakthee says the province has been successful in containing the new outbreak “due to its quick response measures which now include shuttering bars and nightlife venues.

One of the confirmed cases is a male teacher from Headstart International School in Kathu who, after attending the parties on the weekend, was back teaching students on Monday and Tuesday. The school has sent a letter to all parents advising them of the situation and organising testing for anyone who may have come in contact with the teacher.

The closure order in Phuket comes just as the island province was expecting to get an influx of visitors for Songkran, the Thai New Year. Many bar and club owners were expecting some increased traffic during the holiday week. Phuket officials say they will explain to bar and club owners why they decided to close the venues during the critical week for business.

Vikrom previously cited the start of the island’s Covid vaccine roll-out of Covid starting to head towards a herd immunity in time for the province’s proposed July reopening to international tourists. But he admitted that the sudden appearance of the coronavirus on the island again will force officials to reevaluate the schedule for reopening. He also said that almost all cases were in younger age groups of people in their 20s and 30s.

“Today, the number of infected people reported in Phuket has reached 26, many are from entertainment venues. This figure is relatively high. It jumped from 10 to 26 cases. We will invite operators of entertainment places in for discussions.”

Partygoers who went to any of the Kolour Beachside parties in Phuket last weekend are being asked to visit a local hospital for a Covid test. The parties hosted more than 3,000 people, drawing concern after a musician tested positive for Covid-19, having attended all 3 parties. The Phuket Provincial Government and Phuket Provincial Public Health Office released a statement yesterday advising all partygoers to get tested.

“Those who attended the Kolour parties from April 2 to 3 at Shelter Phuket Dance & Night Club in Patong, Cafe Del Mar Phuket in Kamala and Illuzion nightclub on Bangla Road in Patong are asked to get tested.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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