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Mass COVID tests of Myanmar migrant workers in Phuket fail to find infections

Mass COVID tests of Myanmar migrant workers in Phuket fail to find infections

PHUKET: Tests of more than 7,000 migrant workers on the island have so far failed to identify any persons as infected with COVID-19, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief has reported.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 23 December 2020, 12:07PM

Health officials across the island began mass tests of migrant workers at worker’s camps and workplaces on Monday, PPHO Chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew confirmed at the press conference last night (Dec 22),

“There have been no COVID-19 infected people found,” he said.

So far 56 workers have been found to have recently returned from high-risk areas, Dr Thanit noted.

The 56 workers had returned from Samut Sakhon province after Dec 1.

Property in Phuket

“We will look into these cases with deeper investigation. We are waiting for their COVID-19 test results, which should be available on Dec 23 [today],” he said.

According to a report posted by the PPHO, in total so far 7,426 people at 134 camps in Phuket were checked for COVID-19 on Monday and Tuesday (Dec 21-22), as follows:

  • 3,164 people at 39 camps in Mueang District checked, 13 people were considered as high-risk
  • 919 people at 17 camps in Kathu District  checked, 14 people were considered as high-risk
  • 3,343 people at 58 camps in Thalang District checked, 29 people people were considered as high-risk

In announcing the crackdown in checking Myanmar nationals arriving back in Phuket earlier this month, Phuket Vice Governor Phichet Panaphong confirmed, “Phuket has about 59,000 migrant workers, especially Myanmar nationals, which comprise about 80% of all the migrant workers in the province.”

As of last year, the estimated population of the Phuket City Municipality area was just over 79,000.

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Pascale | 26 December 2020 - 14:38:42

@PN  Comment ?

Kurt | 26 December 2020 - 12:13:59

J-12, Germans have excellent healthcare system provided and insured.
The Germans coming to Thailand come primary for holiday, and next for doing some small medical matters on the side they left out of their German insurance. Like dental, small skin treatments, new reading glasses, etc. Hardly saving money, but having here the relaxed time to do it. Exceptions there. But not 'many'.

Kurt | 25 December 2020 - 13:22:52

J-12 comment of:.."But merely one of a choice".. is a truth as a cow. An 'open door' answer, so to say. Question is why wealthy Thai people choose medical treatment abroad and in Thailand if the medical care in ( private) hospitals is of foreign levels?

LALALA | 25 December 2020 - 08:29:23

I am not talking about plastic surgery and tooth implants HubertK. And even this ones I would no do in LOS as there are cheaper and most important better options available elsewhere.

Jor12 | 25 December 2020 - 03:45:22 still at a loss as to what you consider "world class." As stated, Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and Thailand which you point out consider their health care as world class.  As stated 2 people getting heath care anywhere is  a matter of choice and possibly to be closer to family. Nothing to do with service.

HubertK | 24 December 2020 - 21:31:30

@LALAL  I know quite a lot people from Germany who come to Thailand for health treatment and with the money saved compared to Germany can spend a few weeks holidays afterwards. Apart from that you can find many testimonials from satisfied customers in Hospitals or on the internet. Why is that if everything is so bad here as you always state ?

LALALA | 24 December 2020 - 18:41:02

Jor 12...Because that's what the Thai authorities are advertising. And why do you think that the elite of LOS is getting their treatments abroad ? Surely not because LOS has a worldclass healthcare system as advertised.

Jor12 | 24 December 2020 - 15:53:41

Tralala....Why must health care according to you have to hinge on "world class standard"? (whatever that means) I am sure that citizens in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa would not agree with you on that one. 2 people seeking
medical treatment elsewhere is certainly not indicative of systemic failure in a health system, but merely one of choice.

Kurt | 24 December 2020 - 14:53:09

Indeed, General vice premier Prawit went often for medical treatment to Swiss. Perhaps same time check/clean some of his watches there as Swiss is the watch/clock country of the world. And so other very High So's go there, to Usa, Singapore and indeed UAE as well.

LALALA | 24 December 2020 - 12:58:14

And yes Galong, temperature check are you know that most covid cases are actually asymptomatic ?

LALALA | 24 December 2020 - 12:52:04

And to Hubert, its not only my experience. I know from numerous people that they left LOS for any more serious treatment as they have been misdiagnosed in LOS, treatment wasn't available or it was cheaper in their home countries. This includes 2 people from Germany by the way.

LALALA | 24 December 2020 - 12:49:54

Galong, it is about the quality of service and education and skills of doctors and equipment standard not about the general availability to the public. The Elite in LOS goes for medical treatment abroad, to Singapore, the UAE, mostly to Europe or the US for special treatments. Simply because Thai Healthcare is NOT world class standard. 

Galong | 24 December 2020 - 12:04:29

H2538 "for a few more than the elite" Thai Social Security covers almost everything. It is available to anyone who is working, has worked, or who want it. A person can pay into the SS system and have it. Everyone in our company, no matter position, has SS. It's not just for the 'elite' in management. The Thai SS system website is full of accurate information. Check it out ins...

Galong | 24 December 2020 - 11:46:09

H2538 the government OBVIOUSLY shutdown the country to prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed! This is not a reflection on the quality of the healthcare system. It's a sign of planning.

Galong | 24 December 2020 - 11:44:08

Temperature checks are SCREENING. It's an efficient and effective way to ID potential infected persons on a mass scale. Once flagged, then proper tests are (hopefully) given.

Timothy - Vachira does not represent every hospital in Thailand. The Mission is also a government hospital. A simple search for 'healthcare quality by country' supported my position. 

Kurt | 24 December 2020 - 10:46:17

Problem 'Vachira-', and Patong hospital, is that they are equipped only for the official number (on paper) of people on Phuket, not for the real number of people on the island. It is uncivilized that Phuket Government still refuse to address/handle this serious matter. I feel for the medical staff in both hospitals.

HubertK | 24 December 2020 - 09:03:12

@Lalala  And because you had a bad experience, the whole health care system is bad ? I had a bad experience in Germany. Does that make the whole system bad over there too ?

Timothy | 24 December 2020 - 08:43:45

Yeah right Galong....Vachira is where one receives "world class healthcare". I've visited friends there. Patients stacked outdoors. Forty patients in a room with family members sleeping on the floor next to them and having to take care of most needs themselves. Dirty, no aircon, open windows with flies and mosquitos flying around...real world class.  

Galong | 24 December 2020 - 07:28:48

H2538 I have world class healthcare through the Thai Social Security System, which is what all working Thai can have. Shutting down has to do with controlling the spread of the pandemic, NOT the quality of the healthcare system. That's a false equivalency pure and simple.

H2538 | 23 December 2020 - 22:20:57

Galong, have you thought about why the Government more or less have had to close down the country last 8 months? Could it be something to do with  good enough healthcare for a few more than the elite?

Jor12 | 23 December 2020 - 19:10:29

quinault... it will tell you that you have a higher or lower than normal body temperature.

Kurt | 23 December 2020 - 18:57:12

Don't they know by now that just taking temperature is NOT testing? We all on phuket get temperature taken many times a day when entering shops. That is NOT testing! It is NOTHING, just a government spreading of false safe feelings.

LALALA | 23 December 2020 - 18:56:56

Yes Galong, they are geniuses, they are even able to determine a covid infection with a thermometer, they surely deserve a top ten spot...LOL. And its about personal experience and not dubious statistics.

quinault11 | 23 December 2020 - 18:04:29

what will temperature checking result?

Galong | 23 December 2020 - 17:27:51

@LALALA if you actually went to the slight effort to research where Thailand's healthcare system ranks against other countries, you'd find that the Kingdom is almost always in the top ten in quality healthcare. If [people] have had bad experiences here, it's likely due to [their] personality. [* Comment edited -- Ed]


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