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Omicron cases spur Bangla ATK blitz

PHUKET: Following 11 staffers at venues on Bangla Rd, Patong, testing positive for Omicron, the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) and the Patong Development Foundation, founded by Patong businessman Preechavude ‘Prab’ Keesin, have set up a centre for all workers on Bangla Rd to be tested for B40.

By The Phuket News

Monday 3 January 2022, 12:19PM

The “proactive screening centre”, open from 7pm to 11pm each night, has been set up in front of Baan Kamnan (the subdistrict chief’s house) in Soi Foodland, behind the Hollywood nightclub.

PEBA President Weerawit Kreuasombat explained that the move is to have all people working on Bangla Rd tested for COVID-19 every seven days.

“To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to society and communities as much as possible,” he said.

The tests being used are antigen test kits (ATKs).

“It has come to the point where we need to work together sincerely and earnestly again. We must join forces to fight in order to maintain the balance of public health and the economy of Patong for as long as possible, because Bangla Rd at present is a very important tourist attraction in Phuket,” Mr Weerawit said.

“As can be seen in pictures of New Year’s Eve, Patong has always been one of the most popular international tourist destinations [in Phuket],” he said.

“For this reason, we seek cooperation from owners, employees and operators. as well as other business people on Soi Bangla, to come to be tested by ATK at the car park at the kamnan’s house every seven days to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 as much as possible,” he added.

“The ATK tests meet Thai FDA standards and are available at an affordable price to alleviate the burden of expenses for our Bangla brothers and sisters as much as possible,” Mr Weerawit noted.

“The test fee is only B40, which is probably the cheapest price in the country, and there are no other costs involved, including free advice on what to do and coordinating with the government for those who test positive,” Mr Weerawit pointed out.

“We also ask for cooperation from all involved at the checkpoint to enter Soi Bangla to raise the level of strictness for all entrepreneurs and tourists who come to Bangla Rd to strictly comply with D-M-H-T-T-A measures in Phuket,” he added.

“If everyone does not cooperate in the initial detection of infection, this would make various business operations difficult to continue. or may result in government policies such as curbs on selling alcohol or reduced opening hours in the future,” he warned.

Avista Grande Phuket Karon - MGallery

The move to open the ATK test centre follows 11 Thai women working on Bangla Rd being confirmed as infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The news was confirmed by two reports posted online by the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior, on Saturday night (Jan 1).

The 11 women initially tested positive for COVID-19 last Tuesday (Dec 28). The women were Identified by proactive screening conducted by staff from Patong Hospital using antigen test kits (ATKs).

Meanwhile, the Phuket Info Center has issued an update on the number of international arrivals who have now been confirmed as infected with Omicron.

The update was issued as a notice only, marked as sourced by the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO).

The update marks 19 more international arrivals testing positive for the Omicron variant, bringing the total number of people in Phuket recognised as infected with Omicron to 144.

All 19 reported were Test & Go arrivals who tested positive on landing at Phuket International Airport on Dec 29.

The tourists had arrived from Australia, the US, Belgium, the UK, Indonesia, Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Lithuania, the report noted.

Phuket officials finally recognised local transmission of Omicron on the island last Wednesday night.

On Dec 23, two Thai women and one Thai male were all marked as confirmed as infected at Mission Hospital Phuket. On Dec 24, one Thai male was also confirmed at Mission Hospital Phuket, said the report.

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Uncle | 04 January 2022 - 15:38:41

Maveric - very simple ! Test - find those with the virus - the in quarantine depending upon how severe - i.e. - that way - simply, help save lives ! 

maverick | 04 January 2022 - 11:59:16

Testing for what may I ask - we might as well shut down the Phuket economy again and hide under our beds - when is common sense going to rear it’s ugly head nobody is dying people 

Uncle | 04 January 2022 - 11:20:28

To many of you - yes - ATK testing is needed but - not only on Bangla Road.   And - we don't read much about tracing.  Take f.i. the resent covid cluster amongst caddies at the golf club near Layan.  One can only wonder - what tracing takes place, to find /  contact the many golf players that played with those caddies ?  An ATK test is needed EVERY DAY!

Kurt | 04 January 2022 - 09:40:54

In a few months time we will know that the rapid spreading of Omicron virus started at last weekend mass gatherings and at Bangla Rd were it continues spreading. Bangla Rd, the Omicron epic centre of Phuket.

Kurt | 04 January 2022 - 09:32:14

I don't understand that PPHO, responsible for Phuket Health, agrees to leave the Bangla Rd health conditions in hands of PEBA ( commercial club) with their B40 ATK test once a week for the entertainment workers. Such doing is almost criminal negligence, knowing about Omicron spreading ablebility.

JohnC | 04 January 2022 - 09:18:17

@dekasskopp. Neither are you, or you are just as greedy as the other business owners are. Everyone LOSES even more if the whole island goes under lockdown again because of greedy [people] pushing to stay open when it is no longer safe to do so.

DeKaaskopp | 03 January 2022 - 20:58:41

@ Capricornball    They care only about themselve? Everyone looses if their is a closure.The owner and the worker.You are not much of a business person obviously.
@Nasa12  Really you are not that informed as you pretend to be.

Nasa12 | 03 January 2022 - 15:30:47

Well Mr Prab Keesin and his PEBA, are the biggest of Time- Share scamming in Phuket. And this farang and Indian people are on the street already whit the scratch card. 

Capricornball | 03 January 2022 - 13:30:40

Be serious, these guys act like they actually give a s#!^ about night workers. Prab Keesin and his PEBA lackey only care about keeping their venues open and keeping the baht flowwing. This is all at the expense of public health, including the prostitutes and the rest of the underbelly of Thai tourism. If they cared, they would be testing every day and covering ALL the costs.


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