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Infected Sandbox tourist vaccinated with Sinopharm

Infected Sandbox tourist vaccinated with Sinopharm

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon has confirmed that the Phuket Sandbox tourist now confirmed as infected with COVID-19 was already fully vaccinated with Sinopharm.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 8 July 2021, 12:27PM

However, Dr Kusak urged the public not to panic over international arrivals bringing the virus to Phuket.

“Worry more about domestic arrivals,” he said.

The tourist was confirmed infected after a RT-PCR test was conducted on a swab sample taken at Phuket International Airport when the man landed on Tuesday* (July 6). The test results became available late Tuesday night.

“He was one of 14 passengers on Emirates flight EK378, which arrived in Phuket at 12:30pm on July 6. He had been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm in October-November last year,” Dr Kusak said. 

“He tested negative in his home country before departure. However, there are many methods used to test for COVID-19, and we found him positive,” he said.

“The other 13 passengers on the flight have been considered high risk and taken to quarantine at an alternative local quarantine [ALQ] venue for 14 days,” Dr Kusak added.

“This is normal for us and does not affect Phuket much because we find three to five new cases every day. We have already had two cases that were infected from abroad. Those cases came to Phuket by boat,” he said.

“Since opening under the Phuket Sandbox scheme on July 1, about 2,400 arrivals have come to Phuket, and we have found only one person infected, which is 0.04% of all [Sandbox] arrivals. The number is very low and does not affect anything,” Dr Kusak assured.

“Do not panic. We can treat it as a normal case. Our medical staff and officers have worked hard every day to control the outbreak. I am confident that we can handle this,” he said.

“I think we should be more worried about domestic arrivals than those coming from abroad,” he said.

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“People in from risk areas, which we know includes Bangkok and the surrounding area and the four deep south provinces, you need to isolate and quarantine yourself to monitor for signs of infection to help protect Phuket Sandbox. If you have any symptoms [of infection], go see a doctor and do not withhold any information from your timeline [of movements provided to health officials],” Dr Kusak said.

“We all have to unite together to help keep Phuket Sandbox going because eyes around the world and Thailand are looking at us. If Phuket Sandbox fails or needs to be canceled, then [reopening tourism in] other provinces that are to be the next ‘sandbox’ destinations will be canceled too,” 

“Do not forget to wear a face mask, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing. Avoid meeting or gathering with large numbers of people,” Dr Kusak concluded.

Dr Kusak also noted that from July 1-7 Phuket had recorded 25 new cases of infection.

According to the PPHO daily report for yesterday (July 7), Phuket recorded four new cases of infection, including the infected Sandbox tourist.

The new infections brought the total number of COVID infections recorded on the island since Apr 3 to 759.

Of those, 714 had been discharged from hospital care, while 47 remained under medical care and supervision.

Since Apr 3 Phuket has suffered seven deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The PPHO’s updated map showing the locations of infections across the island since Apr 3 reported as follows:

  • Wichit - 94 infections
  • Patong - 80
  • Phuket Town - 81
  • Rassada - 71
  • Kathu - 60
  • Chalong - 53
  • Rawai - 47
  • Cherng Talay - 45
  • Thepkrasattri - 38
  • Srisoonthorn - 38
  • Kamala - 33
  • Karon - 30
  • Koh Kaew - 27
  • Mai Khao - 13
  • Pa Khlok - 10
  • Sakhu - 9

* Correction: The man arrived on Tuesday, not Saturday. Our apologies. The error is regretted.

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megamind | 09 July 2021 - 19:40:09

Then let me know why the local Or Bor Tor locals are giving the "restaurant" license to all the bars ... So now they can stay open until very late, serve alcohol and make the ladies turn at the tables obviously without a mask !!

Kurt | 09 July 2021 - 12:33:23

As not much is known about how long the mainly provided chinese vaccines in Thailand protect, time to start considering ok with it just for 6 months ( like cholera vacine), than check and re-vaccinate. Still much to learn about strength of vaccines. So, full speed ahead with vaccine production collecting.

Kurt | 09 July 2021 - 12:25:51

As the Covid virus will remain among us world wide, I miss Phuket Officialdom future thinking/vision about that. So far, no signals at all that there is a 'New Normal' starting up.  Mind you, Covid is here already 1.5 years! Till now its all just  looking forward for 'Old  Normal'. That infra structure had/has promising emotional/pocket peace giving thai scam/kick back a place. 

Kurt | 09 July 2021 - 10:34:40

--- in a rotating way. Every other week the market turn for other entrepreneurs.

Kurt | 09 July 2021 - 10:32:28

1: Just 1 person on 2400 arrivals tested positive, so that Thai COE is good money business. 2:Many ways of testing? Please, explain. 3:Dr Kusak's advice.." do avoid crowded places". Why he not advice first Phuket Officialdom not to create crowded place facilities, like a Patong Beach Festival, and full opening of 'weekend markets'? Open weekend markets just 40-50%, in a rotat...

Paulnou | 09 July 2021 - 09:05:36

Paranoïa at its best !!! Well orchestred by government & medias. In 2018, 44.589 Casualties recorded from flu & pneumonias in Thaïland, how many Covid cases and âges of the lost ones within last 18 months ? Take precautions and live on.. 

Madeinswiss | 09 July 2021 - 02:01:06

If you more affraid with thai people going to Phuket and you want protect Phuket island, why only asking PCR test and not like tourists vaccine +PCR test +tracing gps+sha hotel? 

treasurefish | 08 July 2021 - 17:43:12

WOW!!! Thailand is really making some outrageous decisions. I feel so sorry for all the innocent people on the flight who got high quality vaccines, and made other good choices - just to be thrown into farang jail for two weeks! Unfortunately, Thais are will suffer the most from these crazy decisions by their ruling class. 

phkt-2016 | 08 July 2021 - 16:44:58

Thanks Dr. Kusak- your explanation makes sense- please no panic overone sand box tourist case  . Focus more on internal infections as cases particularly in the deep south and the Bangkok are rising rapidly.

DeKaaskopp | 08 July 2021 - 15:22:56

July6 wasn't a Saturday !!!!!

[Tuesday it was - thank you. Story fixed. Much appreciated - Ed]

Christy Sweet | 08 July 2021 - 13:57:45

Ah... a mandatory 2 week quarantine for the rest of the group is a great way to get some cash flowing out of insurance- known as trickle up. Another quality product at the public's expense from capitalism run amok.  

Paddy | 08 July 2021 - 13:26:41

Why did it take 3 days to get the test results ??? Why do the other 13 have to quarantine for 2 weeks ?? Why can't they just get a test and be cleared, they are supposed to get the second test after their 3rd day here anyway . This will put an end to any hope of anyone wanting to come here.

CaptainJack69 | 08 July 2021 - 13:19:33

Maybe Thailand shouldn't be accepting those vaccines that are known to be inadequately effective, that is to say the Chinese ones. Oh, wait, then they'd have to admit their own vaccine program has been a waste of time. Swings and roundabouts.

Apparently the tests are a waste of time too. So how do we know this isn't a false positive?

Oh what a mess.

Fascinated | 08 July 2021 - 12:33:20

'Don't worry about this lot coming, worry about the other lot coming'- classic.


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