Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong announced the news at the meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee yesterday (Aug 9), said a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).
“A Covid Care Center will be set up in the three districts [Phuket comprises only three Districts: Muang, Kathu and Thalang]. The centres are to handle people who have tested positive by antigen test kits but have no symptoms,” V/Gov Pichet said, according to the report.
“We will also receive a budget from Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization [PPAO, or OrBorJor] to buy 5,000 test kits,” he added.
The report made no mention of whether any people required to stay at a Covid Care Center (abbreviated to “CCC”) will undergo any RT-PCR tests to confirm they are actually infected with COVID-19.
The report also did not mention how long such people will be required to stay at a CCC, though current provincial policy is to detain people for 14 days.
The report also did not mention whether or not Phuket health officials recognise whether asymptomatic patients were at risk of infecting others with COVID-19.
The report did note Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon saying that many more COVID infections were expected as “proactive screening” continues across the island.
“From the proactive case screening, the number of infected people is likely to increase among both Thai people and migrant workers because we have found new clusters at workplaces, establishments and in communities,” he said.
“So, brothers and sisters, please strictly follow the disease control measures while at the workplace and at other establishments, as well as follow the DMHTTA* measures while in public,” Dr Kusak said.
The move comes as Phuket officials struggle to increase the number of ‘local quarantine’ venues across the island as COVID infections across Phuket have skyrocketed over the past two weeks, with weekly total infections remaining in the hundreds.
“Right now, we have six hotels as local quarantine (LQ) venues with 729 rooms. Of those rooms, 703 rooms are occupied,” Dr Kusak confirmed last Wednesday (Aug 4).
The move also comes while the number of “green” patients currently listed under medical care for treatment of COVID-19 continue to spiral upward. As of yesterday the PPHO reported 341 “green” patients in care, an increase of 21 reported on Sunday (Aug 8).
The Centre for COVID Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok has classified the seriousness of COVID infections according to three colours: Red, Yellow and Green.
A ‘Green’ patient is recognised as suffering the following mild symptoms of infections, as follows: sore throat; anosmia (loss of taste/smell); cough; runny nose; rashes; diarrhea; red eyes; and a body temperature over 37.5°C.
Meanwhile, 300 beds have been set up in a meeting hall at Phuket Rajabhat University (PRU) in Rassada which has been designated as the second field hospital for “light green” cases on the island.
* The Thai Ministry of Public Health defines its D-M-H-T-T-A COVID-prevention measures as:
D : Distancing
M : Mask wearing
H : Hand washing
T : Temperature
T : Testing
A : Application (MorChana)