The teams were deployed yesterday as part of a new strategy to counter the high number of infections, which have remained above 200 for the past two weeks.
The initial goal announced was for the teams to test 25,000 people in a three-day intensive campaign that was announced as to conclude today (Sept 23).
Officials have yet to announce whether or not the teams, which have been working with medical staff from other provinces in the Ministry of Public Health Region 11 office, responsible for Upper Southern Thailand, will continue their campaign tomorrow (Sept 24).
Of note, Public Health Deputy Permanent Secretary Yongyot Thammawut was present in Phuket yesterday to observe the teams in action.
The teams tested 2,593 people yesterday (Sept 22) by using antigen test kits (ATKs), with 115 returning positive results.
The teams also provided 472 vaccination injections, and identified 82 people in the community not previously recorded with health officials as “Group 608” (see definition at end of story) patients, meaning they are at great risk of developing serious symptoms of infection if they contract COVID-19.
In Muang District, teams set up at Soi Samkong 1, on Thungkha Rd and along Soi Paniang, 344 people were tested, with 35 testing positive.
In the Soi Kingkaew area in Rassada, another team tested 311 people, with 26 testing positive. The team also provided vaccination injections to 77 people and dispensed medication to 18 people in need, said a report by the PPHO.
At Saphan Hin, 564 people were tested, with only14 testing positive. A total of 320 vaccination injections were provided and 54 people were identified as Group 608 patients. Medication was given to just 11 people.
Elsewhere in Wichit, a team at Wichit Songkram Soi 4 tested 393 people, with 13 testing positive, and 24 vaccination injections were administered.
In Soi Koktanode, Chalong, 157 people were tested, with six testing positive, and 86 people received vaccination injections, while in Soi Plukjae, Karon, just three of 81 people tested returned positive results.
Another team at the Kian Waterfall in Patong tested 285 people, with just three people testing positive.
Similar results returned from Thalang, said the report, with three of 295 tested returning positive results at Baan Nai Yang in Sakhu, and only two people testing positive from the 163 people tested at Baa Kor En in Mai Khao.
However, attention turned quickly to Cherng Talay on the first day of the campaign on Tuesday (Sept 21). Throughout Tuesday the teams tested 1,581 people in total, with 97 people testing positive.
In Baan Bang Tao in Cherng Talay, 38 people of 254 tested returned positive results.
On Phuket’s east coast, at Ao Kung Mosque in Pa Khlok, 10 of 201 people tested positive for the virus.
In Kathu, only six people tested positive at the site set up at Kathu Municipality where 283 people were tested, but 23 of the 321 people tested at the Sikor Market returned positive results.
The number of positive cases identified in Phuket Town was much more subdued, with only eight people testing positive from the 289 tested by ATKs at the Community Hall in Talad Yai.
At Baan Kuku School in Rassada, nine of 147 people tested positive, while only three of 86 people tested positive at Bang Chee Lao Mosque, also in Rassada.
* ‘Group 608’ has become Phuket officials’ preferred term for higher at risk patients, comprising people over 60 years old along with those suffering from any of the seven recognised medical conditions that place patients at higher risk of developing serious signs of infection, plus women more than 12 weeks pregnant.