UPDATE: Phuket officials on Tuesday (May 19) decided to revise their report for May 18 to include the woman in their totals, and posted an "updated" version for their report for today. See story here.
The report of zero new confirmed cases by Phuket officials today comes as Taweesilp Visanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA), announced at a regular briefing this morning that a woman in Phuket was one of the country’s three new confirmed cases today.
The confirmed case in Phuket was a resident of Phuket who recently returned from Prachinburi. The woman, 27 years old, worked as a staffer at a grocery store, Mr Taweesilp in his broadcast address.
She had contact with a person confirmed as infected with the virus, but herself remained asymptomatic, he said.
The woman was confirmed as infected with COVID-19 after she returned to Phuket on Friday (May 15), Mr Taweesilp added.
No explanation so far has been given for the discrepancy between the cases reported by Phuket officials and national-level officials in Bangkok, though the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department has informed The Phuket News that this issue will be discussed at a meeting later today.
Of note, four new cases reported on May 10, including a police officer in Patong, were dismissed by Deputy Public Health Minister Deputy Public Health Minister Sathit Pitutecha last Thursday.
However, Phuket officials have yet to deduct those four cases from the island’s total of confirmed cases, and the four cases also have yet to be deducted from the tally of infections for the country.
Meanwhile, the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department of Thailand (PR Phuket) announced through a post on its official Facebook page this morning that the total number of confirmed cases for the island since the outbreak began remains 224.
According to the PR Phuket post this morning, so far 10,357 people had been classified as at risk of contracting COVID-19, an increase of 44 on the 10,313 reported yesterday.
Of those, 10,089 were found not infected with the virus.
The PR Phuket report also noted 6,322 people had so far been classified as Persons Under Investigation. Of those, 6,269 had been cleared.
PR Phuket this morning also reported that 53 people were receiving hospital care, comprising 18 people already confirmed as infected, and 35 people still waiting for test results, down 22 from the 75 reported yesterday.
So far three people in Phuket have died as a direct result of being infected with COVID-19, including an Australian hotel manager from Khao Lak whose family lived in Nai Harn.
“All confirmed COVID-19 cases are receiving hospital treatment,” the Phuket Provincial Health Office, which serves as the Phuket Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Incident Command Center, noted in their report today.
Regarding specified businesses, including malls, markets and restaurants, being allowed to re-open, the PPHO warned that each venue must strictly follow the health guidelines set out. Such businesses must make sure each venue has adequate ventilation, that no buffets are served, and no food service stations are to allow common use utensils that cannot be cleaned immediately after use.
The drinking of alcoholic beverages at all food distribution locations is still prohibited, the PPHO also cautioned.
People providing food and business services and their customers are to wear a face mask at all times, and maintain a distance of at least one to two metres from other people, the PPHO noted
“Do not touch fresh food directly, such as meat, seafood. If paying with cash, people must not touch hands with the merchant directly. For example, put money in a basket.
“Also, people must frequently wash their hands with alcohol gel, and children and grandchildren are strictly prohibited from entering market areas,” the PPHO said.