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Phuket calls for ‘endemic’ designation

BANGKOK: Phuket is offering itself as the first province to declare the spread of COVID-19 as an endemic despite a growing number of infections among tourists, according to an official.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 21 February 2022, 09:18AM

Vice Governor of Phuket Pichet Panapong. Photo: PR Phuket / file

Vice Governor of Phuket Pichet Panapong. Photo: PR Phuket / file

“Phuket would be delighted to be the first province for the declaration,” Vice Governor of Phuket Pichet Panapong said on Sunday (Feb 20), reports the Bangkok Post.

“I hope this will help alleviate concerns about the virus and [shift] focus to economic restoration instead.”

Endemic status is given if a province’s infection rate does not exceed 10,000 new cases per day, while the fatality rate does not exceed 0.1%, and more than 80% of at-risk people have received two coronavirus vaccine doses, he said, citing the National Communicable Disease Committee.

Mr Pichet said the province also will ask the government to shorten the quarantine period from 10 to five days.

In the first five days, an infected person should be required to quarantine at home, a hospitel or hospital before being permitted to resume their lives for another five days under strict COVID-19 prevention measures to solve work leave issues, he said.

The daily report on the number of new COVID-19 infections should be cancelled and instead focus on reports of moderate-to-severe cases, he said.

Thai Residential

Mr Pichet insisted Phuket is safe as it has sufficient resources to take care of locals and visitors.

The province has also expedited giving vaccine jabs to young children, together with various measures including making face masks mandatory, he said.

It has also worked with a clinic to provide basic COVID-19 treatments and advice for the provincial administration, while distributing favipiravir pills among patients with mild symptoms and providing isolation measures, he said.

However, the infection rate among tourists is still a major problem as up to 3% of them were found to be infected while 4% were detected in second tests, he said.

On Saturday, Phuket logged 549 domestic cases, including 67 from people under the sandbox scheme and 49 from the Test & Go scheme.

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maverick | 22 February 2022 - 11:04:55

Ever heard of computers Kurt been processing bills for many years - dinosaur 

Kurt | 22 February 2022 - 00:34:08

Maverick wrong again! I get my TrueVisions bill electronical. But my bill is not the point. Electonically or paper bills, both have to be processed by people in a office. To diverse employment on Phuket such administration could have their offices on Phuket. How many time we hear in shops and businesses; 'Oh, that has to come from BKK", or "Oh, that is depend on BKK'? 

maverick | 21 February 2022 - 14:30:08

Why don’t you get your true vision bill electronically Kurt, could come from anywhere then !

Kurt | 21 February 2022 - 13:23:28

Maverick misses the point. It's not about mass industralization, It is about clean diversity. Why my TrueVisions bill must come from BKK? Set up administrative centers on Phuket for many businesses. No need for deep water port, we have Phuket airport. Have lesser of these polluting poisoning smoking tourist busses around.

Kurt | 21 February 2022 - 12:48:45

Kamala Pete hits nail on the head. I also expressed several times that Phuket should diverse and not keep putting all her egs in the very one tourist basket, but start to diverse and have environmental clean manufacturing industry as well. It will ask investments, and that is what Phuket Hi-So's don't like. They only like to suck money out of the island. 

maverick | 21 February 2022 - 12:30:18

Kampala Pete@ how do you think the roads in Phuket will cope with mass industrialization? Only one way off the Island, and no deep water port...plenty of better locations across Thailand especially in the South.

christysweet | 21 February 2022 - 12:08:21

Tourism cash is just too easy a mark for corruption is why Phuket resists divesting from tourism. Covid is not the last pandemic and there will be other pitfalls to over reliance on  unsustainable  environmental  degradation.

Kamala Pete | 21 February 2022 - 11:41:39

With residential and tourist areas located on the western side and the industrial and warehouse areas along the eastern side it could be a very prosperous development strategy.

Kamala Pete | 21 February 2022 - 11:37:12

Perhaps its time to shift Phuket's focus from tourism to trading and manufacturing. It is well placed as a hub. Boat and ship building, fruit and vegetable canneries and vehicle assembly plants would all provide far more employment and income than tourists. 

Nasa12 | 21 February 2022 - 09:45:02

Phuket it’s NOT safe, in one or to weeks time, many hotels most close down because to many workers are sick, and many new turist are sick when they coming to Phuket. And why did they close down many schools in phuket last week.   


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