The two orders by Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana to “shut down” the areas to try to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus were dated as issued yesterday (Apr 5), but were posted publicly in the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department official Facebook page after 10pm last night.
Both orders were worded to come into effect on Apr 6, less than two hours after the public was notified.
All non-essential vehicles are now banned from entering or leaving the two subdistricts, including all public transport buses, said the orders.
People are asked to say in their homes, and public health teams will be deployed to check the areas for the virus.
Any persons in the areas who start to experience any symptoms of infection are to report to officials immediately.
Rawai Municipality and Karon Municipality have been ordered to ensure important public areas are santised in their respective areas.
Checkpoints into Karon have been set up at the “Three Bays Viewpoint” (officially called the “Karon View Point”), at the entrance to Freedom Beach and on Kata Hill.
A checkpoint has been set up in front of the Tesco store near the Rawai beachfront, and Rawai officers will also be stationed at the Karon View Point, which is located on the border of Karon and Rawai subdistricts, said the order for Rawai.
However, the order made no mention of a checkpoint at Chalong Circle, one of the main traffic entry opints to Rawai and which sits right on the northern border of the Rawai municipal area.
The Rawai shutdown follows Rawai health officials discovering Russian tourists staying at a condo project in the area who they believe had been staying in Patong.
"Health officials confirmed that some of them came from Patong. Some of them claimed they came from Kathu, but we do not believe them,” Mayor Aroon told The Phuket News this morning (Apr 6).
“Most of them Russian tourists, not expats,” he added.
“None of them were showing any signs of infection, but we asked them to isolate themselves for 14 days. Officials will follow up and keep a close eye on them,” Mayor Aroon said.
Both orders issued by Governor Phakaphong noted, “[We] ask people in the area not to leave their homes or place of residence to protect themselves from infection and [because] they may be a carrier and spread the CONVID-19 virus to other people
However, they also pointed out that breach of the order would violate Section 52 of the Communicable Disease Act 2015, which may incur a penalty of up to one year in prison or a fine of up to B100,000, or both.
Both orders are in effect until further notice.
Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot