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Phuket health chief moves to dampen Starbucks COVID fears

Phuket health chief moves to dampen Starbucks COVID fears

PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon has gone public to confirm that only one person confirmed as infected with COVID-19 has been traced to have visited a Starbucks café, but he also confirmed that 24 people were being treated as “high-risk” contacts and were now under observation at a LQ (local quarantine) venue.

By The Phuket News

Monday 5 July 2021, 02:31PM

The explanation came after the Phuket Provincial Information Center posted an alert on Saturday (July 3) and asked Starbucks customers who visited stores at Central Phuket shopping mall to be tested for COVID-19 at a hospital near their home.

Those who visited Starbucks located on floor G of the Floresta building at Central Phuket during the following times and dates were requested to present themselves for testing.

  • June 25, between 12:30pm to 1:50pm.
  • June 27, between 9am to midday.
  • June 28, between 10am to 7pm.
  • June 29, between 10am to 1pm.

Additionally, customers of the Starbucks cafe situated on the first floor of the Festival building at Central Phuket on June 27 between 1pm to 1:45pm were asked to present themselves to a hospital for testing.

“The local resident was found to be infected on July 2 and had already received one injection of vaccine. The person went to the coffee shops on June 25, 27, 28 and 29. The person also had a relative coming from a high-risk area,” Dr Kusak said in a post online after 8pm last night (July 4).

Dr Kusak gave no details about which vaccine the person had been administered, or which high-risk area the relative was arriving from.

“After the PPHO announced the alert, we received a lot of calls from customers of the shop, so the disease investigation was conducted very fast and effectively,” he said. 

“A total of 24 people, comprising shop staff and customers, are considered high-risk and are now in quarantine at an LQ venue,” he added.

“The Starbucks stores have been cleansed up and are open as normal,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Kusak also explained that about 500 foreign tourists per day have arrived on the island since the Phuket Sandbox reopening last Thursday (July 1).

So far all foreign tourist arrivals have tested negative for COVID-19, he said.

“Even though most of our people are vaccinated, everyone still needs to wear a facemask, wash their hands and maintain social distancing,” Dr Kusak said.


Dr Kusak’s claims that “most of our people are vaccinated” comes as the PPHO itself today reported that as of yesterday (July 4) only 67% of the target number of people in Phuket to be vaccinated ‒ not 67% of the actual number of people in Phuket ‒ have received their second vaccination injection and are now considered “fully vaccinated”.

The report noted that 312,210 people had received their second injection.

The number of people in Phuket now reported to have received one vaccination injection has now grown to 392,009, said the report, marking an increase of only 1% of the 466,587 target over the past four days.

Meanwhile, The Phuket News over the weekend continued to receive reports from foreigners being turned away from vaccination centres after being confirmed by the Phuket Must Win website as registered to receive a state-provided vaccination.

One foreigner, a resident in Phuket for many years, told The Phuket News that she was refused because of a complication with her 90-day reporting with Phuket Immigration.

Another person reported that their registration with Phuket Must Win was first approved then later cancelled over their original permit to stay being issued in Chiang Mai some two years ago.

Phuket officials are maintaining their public silence on any announcements regarding foreigners in Phuket being approved ‒ or not ‒ to receive a state-provided vaccination.

To date the only announcements in English that non-working foreigners in Phuket, mainly long-stay expats and retirees, can receive a state-provided vaccination were made on June 17 (see here and here).

The Phuket News has received reports of non-working foreigners receiving vaccinations, but the who is being approved and who is not has yet to be publicly explained.

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Sandbar | 06 July 2021 - 03:31:10

Vietnam has now ordered all foreigners with tourists visas to leave the country..lets hope Thailand will not follow....just another way to get rid of the problem! 

Espanol | 06 July 2021 - 00:48:17

That's the real risk of Phuket sandbox program:
If any PCR test out of four is positive (even false positive) on even if negative but you go to same venue where a positive went, you will be imprisoned into hospital for "observation". 

Kurt | 05 July 2021 - 20:03:52

One can't make up the nonsense. What has vaccination to do with a 90 day report, a cancellation coz of 2 years ago registering Chiang Mai. And first approved, than people  turned away. The constant refusal of Officialdom to give clarity. It is plain vaccination sabotage or dumb way of handling this important vaccination process. Is really only the transport scamming 'functional' workin...

Nasa12 | 05 July 2021 - 14:37:30

On Saturday 3 July was Sentra Phuket packed whit people, no car parking available in the 3 parking house. So we drive back home. 


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