Speaking at the Phuket Sandbox Operations Center this morning, Governor Narong said that the move was to accelerate the establishment of Community Isolation centres to support ‘Green’ patients, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are suffering light symptoms of infection.
According to the Ministry of Public Health head office in Bangkok, a ‘Green’ patient is recognised as suffering mild symptoms of a sore throat; anosmia (loss of taste/smell); cough; runny nose; rashes; diarrhea; red eyes; and a body temperature over 37.5°C.
Joining the Governor were Vice Governors Pichet Panaphong and Piyapong Choowong, was well as Rewat Areerob, President of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor).
Once the centres have been set up, all those involved are asked to report problems and obstacles in their operations, Governor Narong said.
The PPAO is to provide transport shuttle buses for the movement of personnel and patients at the centres, he said.
“The departments under the Ministry of Public Health, Vachira Phuket Hospital and the hospitals in Phuket together are to create a drug kit to deliver to those who test positive who come to receive treatment in the waiting area,” he said.
“On this occasion, all sectors were instructed to visit the community to take care of ‘Group 608’ [sic] patients closely. If they are found to be sick or at risk, they must be taken into the treatment process immediately,” Governor Narong said.
Wuttichai Bamrungrat, a local official at the meeting, explained that 10 new venues will open as Community Isolation centres across Phuket, as follows:
- Splash Hotel, Mai Khao, 48 rooms, opens for patients on Sept 11
- The Impress Resort, Thepkasattri, open for patients on Sept 16
- Nai Yang Beach resort, Sakhu, 60 rooms, opens for patients on Sept 11
- 4 Wat Cherng Thalay, 200 beds, opens for patients on Sept 11
- Access Resort & Villa Hotel, Karon, 130 rooms, expected to receive patients within the next week.
- Baan Phu Chalong Place, Chalong, 40 rooms, expected to receive patients within the next week.
- De Blue & Spa Rawai Hotel, Rawai, 59 rooms, expected to receive the patients by Sept 14
- Bhukitta Hotel, Phuket Town, 38 rooms, expected to receive patients by Sept 13
- Patong Resort Hotel, Patong, 80 rooms, expected to receive patients within the next week.
- Di Pantai resort, Patong, 60 rooms, expected to receive patients within the next week
The move to expand the number of “Community Isolation” centres on the island follows the number of people being held in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19 by an antigen test kit (ATK) only rising to 1,035, as of yesterday.
People are held in the quarantine detention centres until they either test negative for COVID-19 by RT-PCR test, or develop more serious symptoms of infection and are moved to a field hospital or a regular hospital for medical care and supervision.
However, the move also follows Phuket health officials on Monday (Sept 6) announcing that ‘Green’-coded patients will be asked to observe quarantine at home.
Of note, the announcement today came ahead of Governor Narong joining a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall that was chai by Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow together with Minister of Culture Itthiphol Khunpluem.
* ‘Group 608’ has become Phuket officials’ preferred term for higher at risk patients, comprising people over 60 years old (the “60”), along with those suffering from any of the seven recognised medical conditions that place patients at higher risk of developing serious signs of infection, plus women more than 12 weeks prgnant (understood as “7+1=8”,; hence 60+8, simply referred altogether as “608”).