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Phuket health officials call for increased vigilance as island reports Omicron spike

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/dee m

Health officials in Phuket are urging tourism operators to be more cautious and adhere strictly to disease prevention measures as Omicron cases rise. Koosak Kookiatkul from Phuket’s Public Health Office says businesses must avail of antigen tests regularly to screen for new infections. The Bangkok Post reports that the island has now detected 144 cases of the highly-contagious Omicron variant.

According to the report, active case-finding along Patong’s infamous Soi Bangla on December 28 resulted in 11 Omicron cases. Koosak says it’s imperative that businesses in the area enforce strict Covid-19 prevention measures to curb the spread of the virus. It’s understood businesses along the popular Soi Bangla have 300 antigen test kits for use on tourists each week and all workers are fully vaccinated. However, Koosak says they must still adhere to measures including social distancing, mask-wearing, regular hand-washing, temperature-checking, and contact-tracing.

The Bangkok Post reports that Weerawich Kruasombat, who heads up the union of Patong entertainment venue operators, has urged all members to strictly comply with Covid-19 prevention measures to combat the spread of the virus.

“Bangla Road is very important to Phuket. For this reason, I would like to ask for the cooperation of owners, managers and other staff to have an ATK test every 7 days at the parking lot behind Hollywood Phuket to cut the risk of contagion.”

Meanwhile, in eastern Thailand, Chon Buri governor Phakarathon Tianchai has expressed concern at a rise in Omicron cases there, saying many people have dropped their guard due to reports that the variant is milder. He is calling on everyone to be more cautious as infections surge. Further tests show that 80% of new cases in the province are the Omicron variant.

Phakarathon says restaurants and tourism operators in Chon Buri must continue screening both workers and customers before entry. He has warned that failure to do so could see them shut down.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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