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

Caitlin Ashworth



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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  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


    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


    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


    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


    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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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.

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