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Phuket Governor orders ‘temporary closure’ of COVID-19 field hospitals

Phuket Governor orders ‘temporary closure’ of COVID-19 field hospitals

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana has asked for the two government field hospitals set up to treat people infected with COVID-19 to be “temporarily suspended” due to the low number of people receiving treatment at the two facilities.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 12 May 2020, 03:35PM

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana at the meeting this morning (May 12). Photo: PR Phuket

Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana at the meeting this morning (May 12). Photo: PR Phuket

The Phuket Communicable Disease Committee at Provincial Hall this morning (May 12),pointed out that Phuket had not experienced the high number of confirmed cases of people infected with COVID-19 that was predicted by health officials six weeks ago.

Governor Phakaphong pointed out that as of Mar 31 health officials had predicted that Phuket would have 677 confirmed cases by April 26.

That has not happened, he said.

“On April 26, Phuket had only 206 cases,” Gov Phakaphong explained.

As such, “Field Hospital 1” set up at the convention hall at the site of the still-under-construction new Provincial Hall on the south side of Phuket Town as of today has only 13 patients, Governor Phakaphong said.

“Field Hospital 2” set up at the Prince of Songkla University Phuket campus has just six patients, he added.

All six patients at that facility are expected to test negative for the virus when test results are returned sometime before Friday (May 15), Governor Phakaphong noted.

“Therefore we request to temporarily suspend the operation of the field hospitals. The Field Hospital 1 [at the new Provincial Hall] is to close temporarily on May 31, while Field Hospital 2 [at the PSU Phuket campus] is to close temporarily on May 15 [this Friday],” Governor Phakaphong said.

However, Governor Phakaphong stressed that the closure was to be only temporary at this stage.

“The situation must continue to be monitored and if there is no increase in the number of patients, there will be no need to use the field hospitals, but if the number of patients does increase, it may be necessary to use the field hospitals again,” he said.

Governor Phakaphong also pointed out that Phuket has a registered population of 416,582, but usually is home to up to nearly 1 million people, including foreigners from ​​more than 100 countries.

Thai Residential

“On May 6, Phuket Province had a total of 220 confirmed cases. Of those, 85 were people registered as living in Phuket, 93 were people still registered as living in other provinces 42 were foreigners of 18 nationalities.

“From that number, it can be seen that the total number of patients in Phuket compared to the population is still too high,” he warned.

“So, we request that the equipment  remains at both field hospitals until it is certain that Phuket is safe from COVID-19,” he said.

The situation concerning the field hospitals will be reviewed again this Friday, he noted.

The committee also discussed the possibility of even partially re-opening Phuket International Airport and other ports of entry to allow people back into Phuket, but decided to abstain from any decisions today.

The matter will be raised for further discussion at the committee’s next meeting, it was noted this morning.

The issue of whether the Central Phuket shopping mall should be allowed to re-open was also discussed, with the committee deciding to follow the national guidelines of not allowing any major shopping malls to open at this stage.

The same was decided for all international schools on the island.

The committee also recognised that there were still more than 4,000 tourists from many countries including Russia, France, England, Ukraine and others still on the island.

Flights to repatriate tourists stuck on the island are continuing to operate at the airport, it was noted.

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ChelseaPete | 14 May 2020 - 13:09:35

Your re opening of Phuket is way too slow. People are not suffering from the virus now but economic meltdown you are creating. Even the UK with 34,000 deaths has now opened its beaches.

Kurt | 13 May 2020 - 12:01:19

As there are no tourists, and more than 50,000 Thai gone I not believe in excessive movement of people to beaches when they open with half days restart ona weekday, not during a weekend. Now is the time.

skip | 13 May 2020 - 11:59:01

the plane full of medics that arrived in phuket was irrelevant considering that 224 people have tested positive and 90%+ of those didnt require medical attention as they were asymptomatic. the analysts doing the computer modelling need to pursue another career. the perfect lock down scenario is jail where 70% of those who were tested, tested positive in the states.

Kurt | 13 May 2020 - 11:25:32

Phuket Governor ordered closure Phuket Airport until 15 May.  Guess a phone call to Governor's office will do to hear or Phuket Airport re-opens really on 15 May. A phone call to 'your' airline probably also will do, as airlines need to know 2 days in advance to prepare for operational re-start. Right?

Kurt | 13 May 2020 - 10:57:05

Open half days 1 test-week the long stretch of Karon beach and Naiharn Beach. During opening hours send from north to south a peleton 'temperature takers' at the beaches. Than evaluate it. After all there is till end of May 1 'Field hospital' operational. Now the good time to make another step to 'New Normal'. There is no valid reason not to try out beach openings.

quinault11 | 13 May 2020 - 10:03:34

to coLivid. BEACH is not for profit.

maverick | 13 May 2020 - 06:23:13

Opening beaches will involve excessive movement of people across the island it’s why they will be the last places to open - by the time this happens it will not be safe to swim due to SW Monsoon......:-( 

harald | 12 May 2020 - 23:00:45

now very good to see, what happens with the flu from a lot people overestimated in the numbers and in dangerous too. and a lot people scared by telling only corona or covid19 and not flu

freedom3000 | 12 May 2020 - 22:43:00

It’s irresponsible- 4.000 tourist are treated like hostages! People book flights- don’t get the money back - because one night before opening- they decide again to keep the airport closed! 
I no other country tourist are treated like that. Not even a walk on the beach is possible or booking another hotel. everyone knows that scientists confirmed that the virus dies fast outdoor in heat & ...

coLivid | 12 May 2020 - 17:18:20

It seems they discuss opening everything but the beach? Is anyone discussing when to open the beach? We can go sit in restaurants and maybe they open the mall but for some reason beaches are never discussed? 

Loose Bruce | 12 May 2020 - 16:24:28

So no news on the Airport re- opening?
My wife and I have open tickets but no open airport and subsequent aircraft. Just want a date so we can plan our trip home, please!!!!


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