A total of 4,068 tourists and ship crew and staff will arrive in Phuket on two cruise liners tomorrow (Feb 13), Mr Wiwat revealed at a press briefing held at PPHO office in Phuket Town yesterday.
Scheduled to arrive at Phuket Deep Sea Port at 7am is a Seabourn Ovation cruise from Hong Kong carrying 919 people, comprising 487 tourists and 432 crew and ship staff.
The MV Quantum of the Seas cruise liner from Singapore is to arrive in Patong at 10am with 3,149 people on board, comprising 1,530 passengers and 1,619 crew and ship staff, Mr Wiwat explained.
On Friday (Feb 14), a Celebrity Constellation cruise will arrive just after midday, and on Saturday a Star Clipper cruise will arrive at 5:30am, Mr Wiwat said.
Mr Wiwat explained that his office has yet to receive information about the number of passengers and crew to arrive on on the Celebrity Constellation cruise and Star Clipper cruise.
Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Thanit Sermkaew said that health officers will be on hand to screen any tourists who choose to come ashore during while cruise ships are in Phuket.
“As we always do,” he said.
“PPHO officers have been screening people and following up the Wuhan situation closely. Officers are still screening people for elevated body temperature at Phuket International Airport, bus terminals, piers around the island, and other places,” Dr Thanit said.
Chief Thanit added that according to information provided from screening tourist arrivals in Phuket, the number of people suspected of being infected “keeps decreasing”, but declined to elaborate further, not even mentioning how many people in Phuket were currently under observation.
Chief Thanit and Mr Wiwat were speaking at the “daily update” meeting to brief the public on the current situation in Phuket concerning the coronavirus.
Present at the meeting were PPHO Deputy Chief Dr Krit Sakulpat, Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Dr Chalermpong Sukontapol and other relevant officials.
Mr Wiwat assured, “There are no confirmed reports of people infected with the virus on board, as some people believe. It is a different cruise ship.”
The reference to the “infected” cruise liners follows Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul ordering officials to not let any passengers or crew on the Westerdam cruise ship from Japan to disembark at the Laem Chabang port.
That order follows Japan itself not allowing any persons on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship to disembark. The ship, holding off the Japan coast, now has 174 people confirmed as infected with the virus.
The Diamond Princess, which originally had 3,700 passengers and crew on board, has become the largest single cluster of the newly named COVID-19 disease outside its origin in China, where it has now killed more than 1,100 people.