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Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

Phuket Governor orders ‘Patong Shutdown’

PHUKET: Patong has been “shut down” by order of the Phuket Governor, with all non-essential travel in or out of the tourism town denied in the hope of preventing a major outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the island.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 5 April 2020, 12:46AM

Phuket Governor issued the order earlier today, with public agencies posting the official notices at about 11pm tonight (Apr 4).

The order came into effect at midnight (00:01am, Apr 5).

Police checkpoints have been set up on the three main roads into Patong:

- in front of the Kathu Police Station, on Phra Baramee Rd in Kathu (the road that continues over Patong Hill)

- in front of Simon Cabaret on Sirirat Rd (at the southern end of Patong)

- in front of Ban Kalim School on the Kamala-Patong Rd (at the northern end of Patong.)

The only vehicles permitted through the checkpoints are those carrying necessary consumer goods and other items needed by public health and other officials in order to carry out their checks for the disease, Governor Phakaphong said.

Patong has fast become the epicentre of COVID-19 infections, with more than half the 109 cases of confirmed infections announced by local health officials being related to places or people in Patong, with most of those being related to the Bangla nightlife area.

“Phuket has a large number of hidden populations and tourists who are at risk of COVID-19. Many of the infections have been located at Soi Bangla, Patong. This area must be investigated,” Governor Phakaphong said.

Phuket Public Health Office Chief Dr Thanit Sermkaew said that delay in confirming that Patong had become a hotbed for the disease was COVID-19’s long incubation period.

“An infected person initially may not show any symptoms, resulting in delayed confirmation that the person is infected,” he said.

Health officials on Thursday (Apr 2) began checks in Patong, Dr Thanit said.

“We found 200 people at risk,” he noted.

An intensive effort by health officials will begin today (Apr 5) and  continue through Monday, Dr Thanit added.

“By random testing of additional risk groups, we expect to identify 1,000 at-risk people,” he said.

“Everyone, every household in Patong” will be checked, Governor Phakaphong assured.

“People with fever will be quarantined in a designated place. The government will provide food to look after them,” Governor Phakaphong explained.

“Patong Municipality will clean, disinfect every location, every house in Patong,” he added.

The official order declaring the “Patong shutdown” noted that any persons found breaching the order were punishable under Section 52 of the Communicable Disease Act 2015, which may result in up to one year in jail or a fine of up to B100,000 or both.

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Christy Sweet | 08 April 2020 - 09:28:18

The virus does not "survive" because it is not alive. Think of it as a bot.  And yes,  it  can remain transmittable for days, not mere hours. Latching onto bacteria is one way it achieves this, which is why constant reusing  of cloth face masks is going to boomerang on us all. 

ThorFinger | 07 April 2020 - 16:36:59

I'm wrong again,  so sorry.  It is 3-19 HOURS, not days lol. So sorry. 

ThorFinger | 07 April 2020 - 15:52:55

Keep calm everyone. Thailand is doing an amazing job under incredibly difficult circumstances. The fatality rate of 0.97% is a third of what the rest of the world has seen and puts it at around the same level of common flu. Keep safe and wash your hands :)

ThorFinger | 07 April 2020 - 15:50:08

No Christy, that's not correct. I've put the wrong times down. It is actually 3-19 days under laboratory conditions (tests conducted in Europe),  which means it lasts a lot less outside of lab. It does depend on the type of surface greatly. But even if you take the most exaggerated time period, it is still only 72 hours maximum (reports from South Korea).

Christy Sweet | 07 April 2020 - 11:08:43

That is not true about how long it remains available- it can be days.. 

ThorFinger | 07 April 2020 - 09:24:42

Remembering of course that the virus only survives 10-19 hours outside of the human body. If bangla is closed for one day and night the virus will be dead. 
I support the temperature testing and hand sanitizing being carried out. Patong is doing a great job of control without panic. 
Now if we can just fix the pedestrian crossings to make them safer while we have this outbreak id feel a lot safe

Hermann1 | 05 April 2020 - 17:12:23

Khun Gerry, why are you so fascinated with Kurt ? He comments on here by invitation.You only react on his comment.Tell us what you think about the situation.

GerryT81 | 05 April 2020 - 15:46:42

R,actually not much of an opinion from yourself regarding the article ! The same defending of someone as usual.Did you ever asked yourself why people's comments are reduced to 6 now ? Because everyone got fed up with Xxxx's comments. Except you, of course.

Rorri_2 | 05 April 2020 - 12:34:20

"f you feel bullied here all the time as a foreigner," read K's comment again... nowhere did he say he felt "bullied,"... fake news, go back to bed with your mates, some of you say anything simply to be put down those who actually have something to say, they are entitled to their opinion, how about you having one, regarding the article. Give a counter comment.

geoffphuket | 05 April 2020 - 12:22:23

@Nipral. Easy: through Surin Beach, Cherngtalay, to the Heroines Monument... and then the main road to Phuket town. 

Dicko | 05 April 2020 - 12:17:07

Comes across as excessive (and poorly thought out) actions considering "more than half the 109 cases of confirmed infections... in Patong". What are they not admitting to? 60+ infections, all of whom have been found and locked up, would suggest this is under control. If it isn't, if the number of infections are in fact much higher (which we all believe) it's really time for the t...

Nasa12 | 05 April 2020 - 12:12:01

Last day I was going in to Tesco Lotus, and they take my temperature in the door. And funny a have +32.2 And they telling me I’m good. And a saying no, whit that temp a am not good. You have right Kurt.  

Nipral | 05 April 2020 - 11:54:10

how ca we get from Kamala to Phuket Town then ?

GerryT81 | 05 April 2020 - 11:18:32

Kurt,if you feel bullied here all the time as a foreigner,I have a solution to your problem. Relocate as soon as airports open again !

Kurt | 05 April 2020 - 10:36:25

Compare the bullying of relative small expat/retirees group on Phuket with all kind of immigration 'reportings', with the hundreds of thousands thai living hidden, illegal 
 working in illegal hotels, restaurants, car wash stations, massage- and hair shops and whatever you can imagine. Than it is clear Phuket Government is not in control the same way Immigration is.

Kurt | 05 April 2020 - 10:27:52

As Governor and PPHO have no clue were 'hidden' Patong workers work or live, just a Patong lockdown is not enough. There are hundreds of thousands 'hidden' Thai on Phuket, as we red a while ago. Not enforcing registration laws is now 'punishing' Phuket Government. Because Patong Lockdown many workers living in surrounding towns will not return now to Patong. Even more '...

Kurt | 05 April 2020 - 10:13:13

Comment Dr Thanit proves: !: To little to late. 2: Temp taking at supermarkets give a fake feeling of 'good health'. People can be in incubation time and infect others already. Yes, a great number 'hidden-', why not call is not registered thai people, on Phuket? Responsibility of Government!  Many Patong workers have rooms in Kathu, Kamala, Kata, Chalong, as Patong rooms are expens...

Nipral | 05 April 2020 - 09:59:35

how do you get from Kamala to Phuket Town then ?

ematt | 05 April 2020 - 09:34:26

Well done. Aggressive, pro-active steps toward containment. Of course the bitter, alienated, hateful crowd will still criticise and complain....

CaptainJack69 | 05 April 2020 - 02:18:32

The police do realise that there are 2 roads that join Phra Barami AFTER their checkpoint don't they? And lots of residences and businesses on the Kathu side too? Why don't they block the road further up? 'Cos they'd have to leave their comfy little air conditioned office that's why.


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