Speaking at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday, Vice Governor Phichet noted that Phuket has suffered a ”huge impact” from the COVID19 situation, notably the economic crisis that has ensued.
“It is now found that Phuket Province has had a huge impact from the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, but after the CCSA [Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration] began to relax the measures [to prevent further spread of the virus], the Phuket Provincial Government eased the restrictions to enter Phuket, and this is helping to stimulate tourism and the province’s economy,” he said.
“As Phuket is mainly dependent on the tourism industry, it has suffered a heavy impact, and after the easing of restrictions, various measures to stimulate the economy must be planned,” he added.
“The private sector has been instrumental in introducing various measures to encourage Thai tourists to travel in Phuket. They have organized a lot of discount promotions, whether it is a room or a different restaurant. There are also various events being organised, such as seafood fairs and various sporting events, and there have been requests for cooperation from various government agencies across the country to organise seminars in Phuket.
“This is to drive up spending in the province in order to drive and stimulate the province’s economy further,” he added.
Screening all arrivals to Phuket remained vital for protecting the island’s prospects of recovery, V/Gov Phichet added.
Phuket Provincial health Office (PPHO) Chief Thanit Sermkaew agreed.
“All sectors must continue to strictly monitor and screen [for signs of infection],” he said.
A total of 98,256 people had registered via www.gophuget.com in order to enter the province from Jan 9 to Feb 1, he noted.
According to information provided by EOCs (Emergency Operations Centres) on the island, the number of people who entered Phuket on Feb 2-3 totalled just 2,339.
Over the two days, zero people arrived from the “Red group 1” province of Samut Sakhon, he said.
A total of 1,122 people arrived form the secondary group of “Red group 4 provinces”, while only 136 people arrived from the 20 “Orange group” provinces, he added.
A further 774 arrived from the 17 “Yellow group” provinces over the two days, and 1,429 people arrived from the remaining 35 “Green group” provinces, he noted.
Dr Thanit also pointed out that Phuket from July 1 last year through to Feb 5 this year Phuket had only 126 foreign international arrivals enter the province via Phuket International airport.
Of those, 17 were still observing their mandatory 14-day quarantine.
A total of 258 flight captains and air crew arrived via the airport during that time, with 56 of those arriving from countries that required a quarantine after landing in Phuket, he said.
Of the 56, 39 observed their quarantine at ASQs, he noted, he added.
The number of people entering Phuket by boat from July 1 last year through to Feb 5 totalled 1,007, with 899 of those people arriving on cargo ships and the remaining 108 arriving on yachts, he said.
Of the yacht arrivals, 90 had completed their quarantine, Dr Thanit said.
Tight COVID controls were still being applied to all migrant workers on the island, which he noted now totalled 67,400.
Public relations campaigns to create and maintain awareness of preventing the spread of COVID-19 were still essential, Dr Thanit added.
“People at all levels, from the Governor’s Office to village headmen and the local villagers must continue to observe the control measures, including the wearing of face masks,” he said.