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Compromise for crossing the bridges upheld as national police chief visits Phuket Check Point

Compromise for crossing the bridges upheld as national police chief visits Phuket Check Point

PHUKET: National police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda visited the Phuket Check Point yesterday (Mar 31) to “encourage” the officers there, who have been inundated with at least hundreds people either wanting to come back home to Phuket or leave Phuket to get back home since the order to close the bridges linking the island with the mainland was issued on Sunday.

CoronavirusCOVID-19healthtransport
By The Phuket News

Wednesday 1 April 2020, 11:16AM


Joining Gen Chakthip yesterday was national police deputy Lt Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, with both top-ranking police officials being welcomed by Police Region 8 Commander Lt Gen Jirawat Thippayachan, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Rungrote Thakurapunyasiri and Tourist Police Region 3 Commander Maj Gen Kritsak Songmoonnak, among other officers.

“We came to encourage all officers, not only police, and to see the preparations for this tough situation,” Lt Gen Damrongsak said.

“From the Phuket Provincial Commander’s explanation, the management and working plan is quite good, but we want officers to take more proactive action to solve the problem of the [COVID-19] virus spreading as soon as possible,” he added.

“Currently, there are high number of infected in Phuket. We want to suggest that those who violate the notice should be warned first, and any repeat violations met with law enforcement. I also want police to facilitate those catching flights out of Phuket, which are still available until April 10,” he added.

During the visit, officials at the checkpoint were handed personal protection equipment, including face shields, face masks, groves and hand sanitiser.

While the officers were working, regular citizens were still queuing up to be allowed through the checkpoint in the hope of being allowed through. Some were, others weren’t.

Confusion and panic followed after the order to close the bridges was issued on Sunday night, announcing that only emergency vehicles and personnel, and those delivering medical equipment and supplies will be allowed through the checkpoint from midnight Sunday night.

Hundreds of people massed at the checkpoint, with scores of people wanting to leave the island to get home, and scores of people wanting to get back on the island to come home.

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The confusion saw Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana and Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai arriving in person in the middle of the Sunday night to quell the situation, with many people demanding the officers to let them through.

“Many of the people explained that the order was issued so quickly that they had no time to prepare,” V/Governor Supoj explained.

“We explained why we need to close the bridge to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The number of people infected in Phuket is quite high, so we have to close the bridges for safety,” he said.

A compromise was reached, with many people who could prove they need to get off the island to get home, or back on the island because they lived or worked here, being permitted to pass.

“But every single one of them was screened for possible infection,” V/Gov Supoj said.

At last report, and even during Gen Chakthip’s visit yesterday, that comprise was still being upheld.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub

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Rorri_2 | 02 April 2020 - 10:24:47

Phuket's latest import/export industry... "experts" at importing/exporting Covid-19.... dumber than dumb.

Kurt | 01 April 2020 - 22:35:58

Summarizing, Phuket is not in a LockDown at all. And closing Phuket airport on 10th? First see, than believe.
So far Government doings/actions are just empty muscle talk of Officials. What they dare to do is to little.That voluntary street curfew ( 8pm-3am) is a joke, just to keep vigilants of the street and make the police work relaxing.

Kurt | 01 April 2020 - 17:00:12

All this weak compromising of Phuket Government is not contributing to get the virus situation under control. In contrary.  Pure dumb and stupid. They even pose for photos. A Chinese student arriving from overseas back home in Chinese province were it all started. Upon arrival he was tested Covid-19 positive!!  There we start all over again from square one. Pfff

Kurt | 01 April 2020 - 13:02:12

People in and out Phuket, with or without a train of many cars. People from Phang Nga province who want to go to Phuket for work or to airport. People who just want to leave Phuket. And so on.  In one word, the bridges to Phuket are not closed. Another failing order. Watched by 7 gold plated cap police officers and Governors. A great show of Government Officialdom 'strength/authority'.

CaptainJack69 | 01 April 2020 - 12:04:00

So long as those crucial construction supplies are being let through then we can all rest easy. When we run out of food we call all eat dry-wall and concrete.

Shwe | 01 April 2020 - 12:03:40

Everyone screened for infection, they took their temperature, just means at that instant they had no fever

CaptainJack69 | 01 April 2020 - 12:02:14

"They had no time to prepare" they had 2 weeks of being told to stay in place is what they had. Honestly, it's me, me, me until something is actually enforced and then it's all "oh, well naturally I didn't think that applied to ME".

 

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