The PPHO marked the death in its daily COVID situation report for yesterday (Aug 3).
PPHO Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon in a live broadcast this morning (Aug 4), presided by Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, “Yesterday, I have to say sorry for our latest death case, bringing the total number of fatalities attributed to the disease to 13.
“The patient was 74 years old and had been infected since Songkran when relatives from other provinces visited,” he added.
“The patient started receiving treatment on April 23, and passed away yesterday,” Dr Kusak said.
Dr Kusak did not explain any circumstances or existing medical conditions that may have contributed to the victim’s death. He did not even confirm whether the victim was male or female.
Of note, while Phuket has already suffered 13 deaths attributed to COVID-19 since Apr 3 this year, in contrast Phuket suffered three deaths attributed to COVID-19 during the outbreak on the island last year.
“I received a report this morning that we have 27 new infected cases from the proactive screening of over 100 of vendors at the Phuket Town fresh market on Ranong Rd,” Dr Kusak said.
Officials last Friday announced that the Phuket City Fresh Market on Ong Sim Phai Rd (near the Robinson department store) had been ordered closed for one week, from last Saturday to this Friday (July 31 - Aug 6), for sanitising and other intensive cleaning, but it was not reported that any vendors or customers at the market were confirmed as infected.
“We also went to conduct the proactive screening at a fishing pier where we randomly tested about 200 people and Baan Nanai, where we tested 216 people,” Dr Kusak continued.
Baan Nanai in Tambon Thepkrasattri, in Thalang District, was ordered on lockdown last Friday (July 30), with no villagers among the 150-odd households in the village allowed into or out of the village.
“The test results will come out this afternoon, and it certainly brings our daily new cases very high number,” Dr Kusak said.
“Recently, most of the newly infected people do not have any symptoms or are considered as ‘green-zone’ patients,” Dr Kusak said.
“Right now, we have six hotels as local quarantine (LQ) venues with 729 rooms. Of those rooms, 703 rooms are occupied,” he said.
The PPHO daily COVID situation report for yesterday marked 21 new local COVID-19 infections on the island, bringing the total number of people recognised as infected with COVID-19 in Phuket since Apr 3 to 1,241.
The PPHO report also marked three new Phuket Sandbox arrivals testing positive for COVID-19.
The 21 new local infections bring the total number of new local infections on the island in the past seven days to 237, as follows:
- July 28 - 24 new cases
- July 29 - 50 new cases
- July 30 - 35 new cases
- July 31 - 39 new cases
- Aug 1 - 36 news cases
- Aug 2 - 32 news cases
- Aug 3 - 21 new cases
The total number of cases over a seven-day period peaked yesterday at 254.
The Centre of COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in Bangkok initally announced that exceeding “90 infections in one week” was reason enough to start reviewing whether or not the Phuket Sandbox scheme should be halted.
However, Dr Khajonsak Kaewjarat, Deputy Director of the Department of Disease Control (DDC) last Thursday (July 29) confirmed that exceeding 90 infections on the island within seven days was not criteria enough for Phuket officials to reconsider keeping the Phuket Sandbox scheme open.
“From the evaluation under three criteria, Phuket Sandbox can continue, but we will spend the next two weeks monitoring to see whether Phuket is still able to control the number of new infections,” Dr Khajonsak explained after a meeting with Phuket officials today (July 29).
That announcement followed Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew last Tuesday confirming outright that the Phuket Sandbox scheme allowing vaccinated tourists into Phuket would continue despite the rise in infections across Phuket.
The current total of 1,241 infected in Phuket since Apr 3 does not include nine people infected with COVID-19 in other provinces and four returning from other countries and testing positive.
The current Phuket tally also does not include 24 COVID patients brought back to Phuket under the “Bring Phuket people home” policy, or the 39 Phuket Sandbox arrivals who have tested positive for the virus after landing on the island since the Sandbox scheme began on July 1.
According to the PPHO COVID report for yesterday, 393 people were now under medical care or supervision, with a total of 879 people discharged from medical care for COVID infection since Apr 3.