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Samui Covid-19: 14 new Black Club infections, 2nd cluster

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PHOTO: ShaSa and Black Club in Koh Samui report Covid-19 infections. (via ShaSa / Facebook)

[UPDATE 9 pm: Information on Black Club staff with Covid-19 has been updated, as well as Bangkok Airways Samui flight cancellations and Bangkok Hospital bed shortage details.]

The emergence of Covid-19 in Koh Samui has caused some upheaval for the residents as more infections and more details are revealed each day. 14 new infections were diagnosed today on the island, a result of the 600 people tested in the fallout of the Black Bamboo Club outbreak. One case was found in Koh Tao as well.

[UPDATE:] Sources say that the Covid-19 ready bed supply at Bangkok Hospital in Chaweng has been exhausted, as new infections filled every available bed. 6 people remain on a waiting list to transfer from the government hospital on the other side of the island. Asymptomatic people are being quarantined at the Aura Hotel in Lamai, the site of an earlier Covid-19 case quarantine of a French woman in Samui in October of last year. Reports say the infections and patient symptoms are mostly mild to moderate.

The Black Bamboo Club in Chaweng had been essentially operating without restriction for months with DJs playing and drinks being served until dawn each night while publicly advertising the party events seemingly without any fear of being prosecuted for breaking emergency decree regulations.  Once a clubgoer caught Covid-19 the infection spread through the unmasked and undistanced crowd like wildfire. After 20 infections the first day, 38 more the second day, and 14 more today, 72 Covid-19 positive people have been identified so far in the cluster centred at the Samui nightclub.

A rumour had circulated that staff from the Black Club were in the ICU with severe Covid-19 infections. 4 staff members including the manager and a security team member are hospitalised with Covid-19, one since Monday, but none are in severe condition requiring an ICU stay. A good possibility exists that more staff will be confirmed Covid-19 positive in the coming days.

A commenter on a local Facebook group said they had observed ambulances picking up potentially infected people on Soi Reggae, Chaweng’s red-light district where many girls head to Black Club late night looking for customers.

Another Covid-19 mini-cluster in Samui has been overshadowed by the outbreak caused by the Black Club, but seems to have spread to at least 3 people who stayed at ShaSa Resort and Residences, a luxury property far from the party in Chaweng. The hotel, situated in the quiet south of the island on Laem Set beach, is designated as an Alternative State Quarantine hotel and as such, hosted several international arrivals in the Samui Plus programme.

On July 20, a 47 year old Singaporean man stayed there who later travelled to Koh Tao on July 23 and began to feel sick. He was diagnosed with Covid-19 on July 25. A 34 year old man who also stayed at ShaSa upon arriving to Koh Samui July 20 was later diagnosed with Covid-19 as well. The third related infection appears to have been identified today in Koh Tao, the one new infection there.

Meanwhile, 20 people arrived yesterday internationally to the Samui Plus programme along with 26 from the Phuket Sandbox scheme. Bangkok Airways just announced however that they are cancelling their flights from Phuket to Koh Samui, hampering the sealed route plan between the two tourism test zones.

113 people total have entered under the Plus program with 7 travelling to Koh Phangan and 1 to Koh Tao. 1 person considered part of the Samui Plus programme has tested positive for Covid-19 so far.

SOURCE: Ministry of Public Health

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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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