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
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.