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Phuket officials plan to vaccinate 100,000 people next month

Maya Taylor

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Phuket officials plan to vaccinate 100,000 people next month | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ วัคซีนภูเก็ต (PR Phuket)

Officials on the southern island of Phuket are aiming to vaccinate 100,000 residents as a first step in meeting the deadline for a July 1 re-opening. Under the approved “Sandbox” model, foreign tourists can enter Phuket from that date without having to undergo mandatory quarantine, provided 70% of the island’s population has been vaccinated. A tall order…

Nation Thailand reports that Phuket governor, Narong Woonclew, has met with the relevant agencies and community leaders to discuss how vaccine doses will be allocated. He is calling on all Phuket residents to prepare for vaccination by signing up on the provincial health office website.

In order to meet the criteria for the planned July 1 re-opening, at least 466,587 Phuket residents need to receive 2 vaccine doses. At the meeting, officials agreed an initial goal of vaccinating 100,000 residents next month. Narong says Phuket will then receive a further 300,000 doses in May, followed by 200,000 in June, and 260,000 in July. This adds up to a total of 920,000 doses.

The Thaiger recently conducted an informal poll to gauge the response to the “Sandbox” plan. The responses seem to indicate a degree of scepticism among the local expat population, with 54% believing the plan will fail. Many point to an unwillingness among Thais to accept the vaccine, while others say the government is ignoring the fact that many countries have placed travel restrictions on their citizens. The plan also appears to ignore the expat population on the island.

Despite the less-than-enthusiastic response in some quarters, Phuket’s governor is urging residents to register for vaccination before March 31, adding that if at least 50,000 people don’t register, future vaccine procurement may be affected.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    ” if at least 50,000 people don’t register…”

    That’s a tenth of the number required to be vaccinated, FFS! 😂

  2. Avatar

    Bill

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    As much as IJ comments can perturb me sometimes, I must say that the comments section wouldn’t be the same without him. Shout out to IJ today

  3. Avatar

    Jason

    Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    Numbers sound good. In my country they will be producing one million doses each week. It sounds like a lot, but with a population of 26 million, it will take a year to vaccinate the entire population. So let’s not be too wowed by the numbers. Do the math 🙂

  4. Avatar

    Kuddly Ken

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 9:29 am

    It has been reported only Thai nationals are eligible to register for vaccination, at least in Phuket. Does this mean foreigners will be part of the 30% non ‘herd’ and will need to use the conveniently established private and expensive vaccination program?

  5. Avatar

    Malc Thai

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    So they want to open phuket July 1st after everyone vaccinated and with 260,000 vaccines to arrive in July?

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World

India sees record Covid-19 infections, oxygen shortages

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India sees record Covid-19 infections, oxygen shortages | Thaiger
PHOTO: India's Covid-19 infections spread while oxygen supplies dwindle.

India is experiencing record infections and deaths due to Covid-19 and is now running dangerously low on oxygen supplies. The countries second wave of the virus includes a dangerous virus variant that is spreading quickly and has infected 3.5 million people just this month. In the last 24 hours, 295,000 new infections occurred with just over 2,000 deaths. Prime minister Narendra Modi said that India was in for a big fight and that the second wave of Covid-19 came like a storm.

India had done relatively well during the first wave of the coronavirus for a country dense with 1.3 billion inhabitants. In the last few weeks though people have let their guard down with millions attending religious festivals cricket matches huge weddings, and political rallies around the country. This coinciding with delays and even stopping of production for Covid-19 vaccines and medication along with a lack of oxygen being generated in India is leading to new levels of crisis.

With oxygen supplies dwindling throughout India, relatives of Covid-19 patients are buying black-market oxygen supplies for hyper-inflated prices. Some hospitals are said to be down to their last few hours of oxygen supplies. The health minister of New Delhi is pleading with the government to focus on the oxygen supply chain in India before it devolves into a serious crisis.

Mumbai is the centre of this most recent surge and oxygen shortages there are no better. One doctor said in the event of an oxygen shortage they would usually just relocate patients to another hospital, but now no hospital has the needed surplus. The prime minister said that the government, federal and local, along with private enterprise are working to increase oxygen supplies in India.

New Delhi is in the middle of a week-long lockdown and several other Indian States are facing shut down this weekend. Several countries are cancelling flights or moving India to advisory lists, urging their citizens not to travel there. The United Kingdom and the United States have both flagged India as unsafe to travel, while New Zealand and Hong Kong have completely banned flights.

Vaccination has been hit or miss in India, with early criticism for exporting jobs produced there while so few had been administered locally. Now India has stopped exporting AstraZeneca vaccines, and more than 130 million jabs have been given though supplies have still been limited. Data is expected in the next few weeks about the effect of the Indian Covid-19 variant. As of now, India is second to only the US in total cases with 15.6 million infections and over 180,000 deaths.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test

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Phuket requires Covid-19 vaccination or 72-hour test | Thaiger
FILE PHOTO: Checkpoints in Phuket will only allow Covid-19 tested or vaccinated travellers in.

To help wrangle the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in Phuket, strict controls for everyone entering the island go into effect today until the end of April. The provincial communicable disease committee approved the measures in an effort to stop the proliferation of Covid-19 in the province. The new regulations state that only people who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine or have tested to be Coronavirus-free within 3 days of arrival, will be allowed to enter Phuket. Proper certification or documentation must be presented to verify this information – either a Covid-19 vaccination certificate or the results of a recent negative Covid-19 test.

Anyone attempting to enter Phuket without two jabs of the vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within the last 72 hours will be charged 300 baht for a rapid antigen test at their port of entry. These tests generate results in about 15 minutes and then negative-tested visitors will be allowed to proceed. If a person receives the test and is diagnosed positive for Covid-19 they will be sent to medical facilities immediately for treatment.

All entrants to Phuket are also required to use the Mor Chana Covid-19 contact tracing app to check in and record their travel timelines. That mobile app is available at gophuget.com.

The new restrictions apply to local and foreign travellers except for people making deliveries that are not staying overnight. Those people will get a special certification from their companies to present at the checkpoint entrance to the island.

Phuket is now classified as a Red Zone province, one of 19 provinces throughout Thailand where infections are on the rise. 208 current Covid-19 infections were registered at the start of this week in Phuket.

In response to the increasing Covid-19 infections in Phuket, Surat Thani has made special restrictions for anyone travelling from Phuket to Surat Thani. Those people will be required to scan and register their trip through the “Save Surat” website before being quarantined for 14 days.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand to purchase additional 35 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine

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Thailand to purchase additional 35 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/ PM Prayut Chan-o-cha

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the Thai government will purchase another 35 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in addition to the 65 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. The prime minister made a post on his Facebook page today announcing that Thailand will produce the additional doses from 2 or possibly 3 companies.

Out of the 35 million additional doses, 10 million to 15 million will be purchased by the private sector, led by the Board of Trade of Thailand. A government committee tasked with Covid-19 vaccine procurement made the decision to acquire 35 million more doses, according to Prayut.

Prayut also recently announced that the government plans to purchase 5 to 10 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech. The prime minister told reporters that the government is “still waiting for quotations and terms and conditions,” but they expect the vaccines to be delivered within the second half of the year.

So far, 572,000 people in Thailand have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to Reuters. The government plans to vaccinate half the population, or 35 million people, by the end of the year.

The Thai government has been criticized for heavily relying on AstraZeneca as the primary vaccine against the coronavirus. The vaccine will be locally produced by Siam Bioscience and the first 6 million doses are expected to be available by June.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Reuters

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