Cherng Talay villages Moo 2, 3 and 5 have been under lockdown since April 13, when the island underwent its “Tambon Lockdown”, preventing any non-essential travel between any of Phuket’s 17 subdistricts. Phuket was the only province in the country to have travel between subdistricts banned to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
However, when the Tambon Lockdown was lifted on April 30, the three villages in Cherng Talay and four other areas on the island remained under lockdown as at that time there had been recently confirmed cases of people infected with the virus in those areas.
Since then, with the exception of Bangla Rd in Patong, those lockdowns have been lifted – except for those in Cherng Talay.
The lockdown in Soi Bang Chee Lao in Moo 2, Rassada, was lifted last Friday (May 8), and the lockdown in Moo Baan Prachasamakhee in Koh Kaew was lifted yesterday (May 13).
Thanit Sermkaew, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office, only on Monday this week confirmed that the lockdown restrictions in place in Bang Tao were set to be lifted today (May 14) – as long as there are no new confirmed infections in those areas.
That has not happened, and there have been no announcements to explain to people in those areas why they are still under lockdown.
Even the elected “mayor” of those areas, Mr MaAnn, is waiting for any instructions.
“Those areas [Moo 2, 3 amd 5] are still under lockdown because I have not received any order from the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee to remove the lockdown restrictions,” Mr MaAnn told The Phuket News today.
Mr MaAnn also pointed out that he had no idea when the restrictions would lifted, or whether he is to enforce any restrictions on Cherng Talay Moo 4, where a new confirmed infection was reported on Sunday.
“I have no idea. I must wait for the Provincial Government and Communicable Disease Committee to issue an order. I do not know their criteria for lifting lockdowns in each area, so I cannot make any predictions,” he said.
“I am not enforcing any lockdown on Moo 4 because I have not received an order to do so,” he added.
“In my opinion, I do not want to rush to lift the lockdowns, as I want to ensure that COVID-19 will not spread throughout the communities again,” Mr MaAnn said.
“It may not be worth it if the lockdown is lifted to allow people to reopen their businesses only to have another wave of the virus spreading throughout the area. I really want to make sure first,” he added.
Dr Thanit assured The Phuket News on Monday, “We have already screened those areas and we have investigated the people at risk who were close to these four cases. I will give updates about the new four cases later.”
However, Dr Thanit has been continually unavailable for comment on the issue, and no other top-ranking provincial officials have made any public comments about whether or not any action will be taken in the areas where four new cases were confirmed as infected on Sunday.
All four cases were in different areas on the island, and not in any areas under lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus. The locations of the four new cases were reported as at Soi Pasak 4 in Moo 4, Cherng Talay; Soi Nasua off Chao Fa West Rd in Moo 4, Wichit; an undisclosed address in Moo 3, Wichit, and in Patong.