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Phuket Governor announces forced quarantine for arrivals from South Korea, blanks all other risk areas

Phuket Governor announces forced quarantine for arrivals from South Korea, blanks all other risk areas

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana yesterday (Mar 6) presided over a meeting of the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at which four quarantine zones were announced where South Koreans are to remain for 14 days before being allowed to integrate with the island’s general population.

CoronavirusCOVID-19healthimmigrationtourismtransport
By Khunanya Wanchanwet

Saturday 7 March 2020, 11:36AM


Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana explaining yesterday (Mar 6) that arrivals from South Korea – but oddly only those arriving from South Korea, not from any of the five other identified ‘risk areas’ – were subject to 14 days of forced quarantine on landing in Phuket. Photo: PR Dept

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana explaining yesterday (Mar 6) that arrivals from South Korea – but oddly only those arriving from South Korea, not from any of the five other identified ‘risk areas’ – were subject to 14 days of forced quarantine on landing in Phuket. Photo: PR Dept

However, according to a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket, see report here), the forced quarantine applies to any persons entering arriving in Phuket from South Korea – not to any visitors arriving from any of the five other “risk areas” identified by the Ministry of Public Health two days ago as requiring a mandatory “self-quarantine” of 14 days.

The failure to address any quarantine requirements of visitors arriving from any of the five other risk areas – China, Hong Kong, Macao, Italy, and Iran – follows none of the 2,500-plus people on board the Costa Fortuna cruise liner arriving in Patong yesterday being allowed to come ashore because there were 64 Italians on board. (See story here.)

The Costa Fortuna departed Phuket yesterday and is now offshore Penang in Malaysia en route back to Singapore.

At the meeting yesterday, held at the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office in Phuket Town, Governor Phakaphong said, “After the announcement in the Government Gazette came into effect on Mar 6, the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee therefore is holding this urgent meeting to support the situation to observe the symptoms of those traveling from the republic of Korea.

“To support the situation, measures have been issued for surveillance, prevention, observation of groups traveling from Korea in line with Section 34 of the Communicable Disease Control Act 2015 to protect the safety of Phuket people,” he said.

Governor Phakaphong explained that four quarantine zones have been set up where arrivals from South Korea must stay for 14 days, as follows:

1) Phuket Disaster Prevention and Mitigation College in Srisoonthorn

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2) Government housing at Bang Wad Dam in Kathu

3) Sirinath National Park in Sakoo, south of the airport

4) National Scout Organisation of Thailand facilities in Rassada

“Travelers from the Republic of Korea must undergo inspection, surveillance, prevention, control and observation by separating, quarantining or controlling at the places specified by the Phuket Communicable Disease Committee until they are treated or no longer under suspicion of being infected,” he said.

“Whoever violates or fails to comply with this order shall be liable to a fine not exceeding B20,000 under Section 51 of the Communicable Disease Act 2015,” Governor Phakaphong warned.

By law, government officers were legally empowered to summon any person to give statements or give facts or make explanations in writing or to send documents or any evidence for examination for consideration, Governor Phakaphong explained.

“This includes entering houses, schools, places or vehicles that have or suspected dangerous communicable diseases or epidemics to be watched for the prevention and control of the spread of the disease,” he said.

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Kurt | 08 March 2020 - 09:31:07

The best I can guess is that Phuket Governor forgot to say that his ruling is mend for returning Thai 'formal' and 'informal' (illegal, about 160,000!) workers from S-Korea.

Capricornball | 07 March 2020 - 15:17:57

Oh my...more upper level bumbling by Phuket officials.  This country is chasing its tail, not knowing who, how or when to impose travel restrictions, then opting to do it in an arbitrary and offensive manner.  One thing is for sure... by allowing the cruise ship to unload, the main concern for officials is getting a few baht pumping in whenever possible and at any cost.

Papa paul | 07 March 2020 - 14:39:35

I think the patients escaped from the asylum and are now TRYING to run the country. If this was not serious I would call it a comedy of errors. What a shamozle.

Shwe | 07 March 2020 - 12:45:58

China has more infections and deaths than any other country, but this moron is ignoring that, but maybe he has vested interest in Chinese tourist, could not govern a party in a brewery

Sandbar | 07 March 2020 - 12:39:29

So if travellers who come from either China, Hong Kong, Macao, Italy or Iran and have been holidaying in South Korea then fly into Phuket, are they excempt from quaritine?

Kurt | 07 March 2020 - 12:27:23

Why the Phuket Governor only picked South Korea from the list of 'dangerous' countries? Is this well thought thru? Or just a doing for reason to do something?

Kurt | 07 March 2020 - 11:50:49

So, now no South Koreans will visit Phuket as long this quarantine rule is in force. It are just the Thai workers, documented or not, returning from Korea being detained. That will be not many. Most Thai working in Korea are not from Phuket, but from central- and north Thailand.  Question: Are there still flights from Korea arriving on Phuket island?

 

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