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Phuket daily Covid-19 hits 10, 3 short of Sandbox threshold



PHOTO: Covid-19 numbers get closer to threshold for the Phuket Sandbox. (via Wikimedia)

As Covid-19 surges throughout Thailand and the provinces in the south and around Bangkok enact curfews and other lockdown measures, Phuket has been relatively safe with just a trickle of infections. Yesterday for the first time in weeks though, Phuket recorded double-digit new Covid-19 infections, edging closer to the threshold for reconsidering the Sandbox scheme.

Phuket Provincial Public Health Office reported in their daily Covid-19 situation report that yesterday Phuket saw 10 new infections throughout the province. With daily Covid-19 infections in Thailand surpassing 9,000 now, the number is still very low, but it does inch closer to one benchmark officials set for the Phuket Sandbox scheme.

The provisions of the Sandbox said that the plan could be reconsidered, modified or even cancelled if weekly infection rates surpassed 90. If daily infections climb a little more to reach a daily average of 13 people, they would hit that 90 cases threshold that could hamper or end the Sandbox. Other qualifiers are if hospital beds reach 80%, or infections are found in more than 6 villages spanning Phuket’s 3 districts, or if outbreaks occur where contact tracing is unable to confirm their origin.

For now though, the Phuket Sandbox is still safe and the Covid-19 numbers are still low, though this uptick to 10 yesterday will have officials on close watch as it nears the threshold. The island has experienced a trickle of new cases, mostly seeming to have come from overland entry, prompting the government to cancel the option of a 14-day quarantine for untested and unvaccinated travellers and implement a rule more in line with flights that all arrivals by land or sea must be vaccinated or have a negative test within 72 hours.

Only 1 case of Covid-19 has been found in international travellers, but has caused controversy as a total of 20 people, 13 travellers, have been moved to Alternative Local Quarantine facilities as a result, with 12 requesting to be sent home. The Thaiger interviewed one of them this morning in a new video.

Since the start of the third wave of Covid-19 began in April, Phuket has seen 776 infections now, with all but 60 discharged from medical care already. In total, 7 people have lost their lives in Phuket due to Covid-19. All the new infections today were found in Wichit, Phuket Town, and Rassada.

SOURCE: The Phuket 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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