Speaking at a special meeting convened at Phuket Provincial Hall early this afternoon “to prepare for the opening of the ‘Phuket Sandbox 1 July’ policy”, Mr Anutin brought good tidings from Prime Minister Prayut, who did not attend today, despite the announcement yesterday evening.
Present to receive the message at Provincial Hall today were Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, the island’s three Vice Governors, President of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) Rewat Areerob along with a hos tof officials from relevant government departments on the island as well as representatives from Phuket’s private sector.
“All stakeholders who are frontline warriors working to solve the problem of the COVID-19 epidemic situation have earned the goodwill and concern from General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also believes that Phuket is ready to prepare for the opening of the Phuket Tourism Sandbox on July 1 for sure,” Mr Anutin said.
“Phuket will be a pilot province that will bring the economy back up. In the past, Phuket Province generated several hundreds of billions of baht of income for the country per year and Thailand relies heavily on tourism income.
“Phuket is therefore an outpost to revive the economy for whatever country the government can support [in receiving international tourists from]. The government is ready to act as soon as possible. This has been clearly proved, such as by the large number of vaccine doses that Phuket has been allocated to vaccinate the people in the area to cover all groups and be as safe as possible as the ‘Phuket Model’,” he added.
Mr Anutin reiterated that all people should be patient and persevere, saying that he believed that through vaccines “it will be game over”.
“When the economy is good, everyone gets better, so use patience to believe that good things will follow,” he said.
As part of his visit, Mr Anutin is to hand over 100,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine ‘CoronaVac’ to Phuket officials in order to continue the mass-vaccination campaign on the island.
Another 100,000 doses are to arrive in Phuket on May 18, Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol explained yesterday (May 14).
Phuket officials are to receive the first delivery of AstraZeneca vaccine doses early next month, to be used to vaccinate people over 60 years of age and those suffering from serious medical conditions.
The mass-vaccination campaign will continue with the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccinations throughout May and June, inoculating some 440,000 people on the island in time for Phuket to reopen to selected international tourists from July 1, he said.