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Hopes high worst of Phuket COVID outbreak is over

Hopes high worst of Phuket COVID outbreak is over

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew expects to see a clear change for Phuket’s infection situation within one week, with lower numbers of new infected cases reported daily.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 1 September 2021, 01:27PM

“From discussion with, and analysis by, health officers, we expect that we will clearly see a change within one week,” Governor Narong told the press after the meeting of Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Provincial Hall last night (Aug 31). 

“From the meeting, we talked together about the infection situation and economic situation in Phuket, which we must pay much attention to while our number of new infected cases keeps getting higher. We have worked and tried our best to control the number,” he said. 

“We fully realise that we must solve this problem as soon as possible, as right now it is much easier for all of us to become infected,” Governor Narong said. 

Joining Governor Narong in speaking with the press were Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon and Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol, who was clearly looking tired.

“We are pretty confident that within one week, we will have lower numbers of new infected cases, as we have already conducted the proactive case screening in many risk areas across the island,” Dr Chalermpong said.

“The remaining areas that we have not gone to are not crowded communities or communities that have a high number of infected people,” he added.

Dr Kusak continued, “We have conducted proactive screening in areas of big clusters [of infections], which are migrant workers in the fishing industry and at construction sites. Today, we went to test sea gypsies in Ban Sapam in Koh Kaew, as we have already tested sea gypsies at Laem Tukkae on Koh Siray and in Rawai.

“In Ban Sapam, we tested 248 people and found 100 people infected, or about 40% [of the community],” Dr Kusak noted.

“We still have sea gypsies in Mai Khao that we have not conducted proactive screening, but as a community they are not crowded together,” he said.

Not explained in the video press conference after the meeting last night, but reported by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) at 8:55pm last night was that during the meeting Dr Chalermpong had presented a ‘Quick Win’ strategy to battle the surge in COVID-19 infections in Phuket.

HeadStart International School Phuket

The four point strategy was explained as follows:

1. Measures to stop any movement of people on the island and any activity that is necessary.  

2. Proactive case screening will focus more on target groups of people who are more than 60 years old, patients with any of seven chronic diseases [recognised as at higher risk of contracting COVID-19], and women more than 12 weeks pregnant. Local administrative organisations will take more part in this cooperation by monitoring the targeted people in their responsible areas.

3. Infected people will be separated into groups and receive treatment at different venues, as follows:

  • ‘Green’-coded patients [experiencing no symptoms of infection] will be allowed to quarantine at home, at organisational quarantine venues, at factory quarantine venues or at venues set by local administrative organisations.
  • ‘Yellow’-coded patients [experiencing only light symptoms of infection] will be taken into field hospitals.
  • ‘Red’-coded patients will be treated at hospitals.

4. The booster (third) dose of AstraZeneca will be provided to people in Phuket within September. The vaccinations will be completed in one month, like in April [sic]. 

The Phuket News notes that “completing” administering third booster jabs by the end of this month might be problematic considering that only 77% of the target population to be vaccinated ‒ not 77% of the actual population on the island ‒ have received their second vaccination injection, according to Phuket officials themselves.

According to the latest report for yesterday (Aug 31), posted by PR Phuket at midday today (Sept 1), a total of 361,430 people in Phuket have received their second vaccination injection, and are considered “fully vaccinated” ‒ amounting to 77% of the original 466,587 target population to be vaccinated.

Of note, officials began reporting the 466,587 target number as the actual population on the island in mid-June, with national figures including Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha relaying the same information ‒ despite Dr Chalermpong and Dr Kusak both earlier explaining that this was only the target to be vaccinated ‒ not the actual number of people on the island.

Of note, as of today, Phuket officials still have not made the claim that Phuket has reached herd immunity by achieving the number of vaccinations claimed ‒ despite that being the espoused goal of the mass vaccination campaign.


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Christy Sweet | 05 September 2021 - 10:17:44

Timothy, Ditto. Last year sometime TPN told us the valueless insult comments would no longer be allowed- can we please get back to that policy? 

Timothy | 05 September 2021 - 07:56:26

maverick, the latest expert on everything, keeping us up on how well the hospitals are doing, then tells us Patong hospital no longer doing walk ups. I'd rather read a hundred comments from Kurt than one or two from ematt or maverick. Your whining about Kurt is worse than any so-called whining he does. Arrogant, condescending, rude and boring.    

Kurt | 04 September 2021 - 17:11:12

Emat, stop insinuating all the time about what Kurt is thinking/doing/admitting, nonsense based on nothing. Write your own comments, as being invited to do so..

maverick | 04 September 2021 - 16:30:19

Incidentally, heard yesterday that Patong Hospital no longer doing walk -ins for the moment at least -no explanation 

maverick | 04 September 2021 - 16:28:26

Kurt@ sorry but you can only cry wolf for so long, why not just say up front you don’t want to VAX, instead of whining about Thai’s not wanting  to help you. But please spare us the carping about vaccination efforts , the local hospitals are doing a fantastic job.

ematt | 04 September 2021 - 12:55:55

So now Kurt admits that, even though he can walk into Patong Hospital and get AZ, he doesn’t want it. Put up or shut up Kurt. Everyone is sick of your whining. 

Kurt | 03 September 2021 - 23:40:58

A yellow-code infected feels just like having a flu. No need for being admitted in a 'field hospital. Stay home in self isolation is enough. Feeling discomfort? Take paracetamol.

Christy Sweet | 03 September 2021 - 19:50:14

I do believe Pash in a typo frenzy has coined a new term- Infectionated!   I like it. 

Christy Sweet | 03 September 2021 - 19:41:03

Kurt please get the Crap O Vac, it may well be the diff between a serious illness that ruins your health- or worse, and a relatively minor  bout of the flu'ish yucks.

Christy Sweet | 03 September 2021 - 19:38:41

Vachira wanted to to test me before a simple procedure. Nope. Went back to Mission where it wasn't required (a bit cheaper, too turned out) Sad state of affairs when people are afraid  of incarceration  over a viral test. Or is it just  migrant workers having Due Process stripped from them? No clear answer so I will take it as Westerners too are subject to the same rule that was just implement...

PAsh | 03 September 2021 - 16:37:16

If you make people with mild symptoms go into field hospitals they wont report the infcetionand they will avoid testing Wake up. Let them go home its the sensible option followed by most countries. 

PAsh | 03 September 2021 - 16:34:33

People with mild symptoms certainly dont need feild hopitals thats asking for more trouble not less. Trust the people to go home and have some humanity. Infection is NOT disease. 

Kurt | 03 September 2021 - 11:15:16

@Maverick, I never red about Patong hospital is vaccinating. Sinovac 'sugar water' I not want, is not recognized by my home country and my international health insurance not accept it. After 5 month protection stops. Present AZ are dump amounts from countries who not longer vaccinate with it, due to doubts in relation with Covid Delta variants. 

maverick | 03 September 2021 - 09:40:34

Kurt@ anyone can walk into Patong Hospital and get 1st or second jab AZ or Sinovac, those not vexed are because they choose not to there are no longer any excuses - personal choice 

skip | 03 September 2021 - 00:52:48

The unvexxinated reinfection rate after exposure compared to the breakthrough rate in the vexxinated of 6000 hospitalised people using the T-cell test showed 1% to 47%. The current positives cant go away if they keep vexxinating. Your promised vexxination passports will expire every 2 months unless you get the booster vexxines. The vexxine is causing the lockdowns. Dont shoot the messenger.

Kurt | 02 September 2021 - 13:32:15

@JohnC, Fact is I know normal Thai on Phuket who are not yet vaccinated. Among them Thai wives of foreigners. If it would be true what you wrote we would have by now herd immunity. Fact is, there is no herd immunity on Phuket. Why? Simply not all Thais are vaccinated, not with AZ, or with other vaccines. The 3rd jab  talk, what for? Vaccinate first ALL on Phuket normal 2 jabs.

JohnC | 02 September 2021 - 09:26:25

@foot. Check your facts. When I got my second jab of Astra Zeneca all the NORMAL Thais were also receiving the same vaccine.

Kurt | 02 September 2021 - 09:15:20

A month ago he said: 'In 2 weeks time". based on nothing. Now we read: "in 1 week time". Based on nothing. They do a lot of pep talk among themselves. But population experience differently. That is a fact.

Manneken pis | 01 September 2021 - 23:02:09

Even the yellow coded patients should be allowed to self medicate at home. And as for those here who claim the sinovac is not working: over 2000 cases and only 34 people considered red patients. How exactly is that not working?

maverick | 01 September 2021 - 14:53:12

Vaccines provide protection from serious illness including the much maligned Sinovac, they won’t prevent infection and transmission that could take years keeping in mind vaccine development normally takes up to 10 years - any vaccine is better than nothing if you are vulnerable.Of course it’s not for everyone , personal choice .....

Foot | 01 September 2021 - 13:37:08

Remember, since Sinovac is all normal Thai can get, and it's only 51% effective, half the Thais in Phuket are not protected.


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