The order follows the increase in infections from Thais returning from Tachileik in Myanmar to Mae Sai in Chiang Rai. It also follows concerns that Myanmar nationals are entering Thailand illegally, and consequently avoiding being tested for the virus.
Phang Nga Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada yesterday said that the situation had arisen from people being smuggled into the country by using natural channels, and resulting in COVID-19 infections, reported the Phang Nga office of the Public Relations Department.
“As a result, those who are close both directly and indirectly with this group are at risk of infection. Coupled with the long weekend [Dec 10-13] and the New Year season coming, these factors are causing more people to travel to various destinations,” he said.
“In addition, Thai nationals and foreigners entering the right way are also being found to be infected with COVID-19, a concern that there may be another wave of the virus and further infections,” he added.
“I have therefore instructed local leaders at the district, subdistrict and village levels – and all people – to help each other to look out for people who enter or live in the village.
“If a visitor is found without being screened or reported to the village headman or other assigned staff, immediately notify your community leaders,” Governor Chamroen said.
“In addition, all people must wear a face mask when going out at all times. This is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the risk of infection,” he said.
“Also, wash your hands with alcohol gel when touching public objects and do not underestimate the epidemic situation, which you cannot predict when you might become infected. Until the vaccine becomes available and used, which is the only treatment to be trusted, wearing a mask is the most important thing to prevent the spread of infections.”
Governor Chamroen yesterday also pointed out that he issued another order last Thursday (Dec 3) for officials to intensify their surveillance efforts and prepare for and monitor any developments that may cause a new wave of infections.
“I wish all people to practice safety for their own health as well,” he said.
The provincial order issued last Thursday required all people entering Phang Nga from an area where COVID-19 infections have been found to report to the assigned infectious disease control officer at the subdistrict (tambon) level and follow the advice of the communicable disease control officer.
The order also instructed all people in Phang Nga province to wear a mask or a cloth over the nose and mouth when leaving the house. Failure to do so may result in legal action, the order warned.
Governor Chamroen was among the first provincial governors in the South to raise COVID protection measures over concerns of people returning from areas where infections were found, including Myanmar, when he ramped up efforts in September.