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All bridges to Phuket to close late night as health officials ‘exhausted’

All bridges to Phuket to close late night as health officials ‘exhausted’

PHUKET: All bridges onto and off the island are to be closed to all traffic, except emergency service vehicles and trucks delivering goods, from 11pm to 5am each night to help exhausted health officers cope with the volume of people being checked for COVID-19, Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong confirmed. 

Wednesday 28 April 2021, 01:15PM

“Phuket Check Point at Tha Chatchai will be closed from 11pm to 5am each night,” V/Gov Piyapong explained after the meeting of the Communicable Disease Committee yesterday (Apr 27).

“The checkpoint has been open 24 hours, our staff are exhausted, and only a few vehicles pass through the checkpoint in the nighttime,” he said.

“To make the management at the checkpoint better, we have decided to close the checkpoint during the night. However, we have exempted vehicles transporting necessary goods and other essential services. These people must apply for approval in advance, as we have already informed operators to follow the rule,” he added. 

“For those who are worried about the exact hours and when the checkpoint will be closed, please follow up official announcements. The official order may come in one to two days. I just want to inform the public so they can prepare,” V/Gov Piyapong said.

“The closure [during the night] will last about two weeks, it will not be for the long term,” he added.

V/Gov Piyapong also explained that the committee had resolved to reduce the number of people allowed to attend activities from 50 down to 30.

“Previously, we allowed not more than 50 people, but right now we have reduced that to 30 people, except for meetings held by officials or traditional ceremonies, such as funerals, which can still be held with strict disease control measures [and with prior approval from local authorities],” he said

“During the meeting we were asked about people holding celebrations. I would say a celebration is a type of gathering that is banned, no matter how many people gather,” he said.

The third issue discussed and resolved by the committee yesterday was cockfighting, he added.

“An operator of a cockfight venue asked that although the venues have been ordered closed, can cock owners conduct training at the venue,” V/Gov Piyapong said.

“The venues for cock fighting, fish fighting, bull fighting and any kind of gambling must be closed for both fighting and training,” he said clearly.

“Additionally, I want to point out that drinking alcohol in public places was banned in the first order [issued for the current outbreak],” V/Gov Piyapong noted.

“In the order, we gave only one example like beaches, but you must understand the concept of public places. We mean every public place which may not be [specifically] mentioned in the order,” he added.

“For reopening tutorial schools, we will consider that later,” V/Gov Piyapong said.

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Foot | 28 April 2021 - 16:20:40

So, there was sufficient staff for 24 hour checks of hundreds or thousands of vehicles.  Now, because of COVID, the staff is exhausted even though the work load had considerably lessened.  Unless there has been a layoff of some of the staff or loss due to COVID hospitalization, why are those remaining exhausted?

lelecuneo | 28 April 2021 - 14:24:34

for once that they actually do some work.....


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