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Phuket holds fast to Omicron policy

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew presided over a press conference today (Jan 24) which saw no major changes to any policies regarding tourism and the treatment of people confirmed as infected with Omicron.

By The Phuket News

Monday 24 January 2022, 06:45PM

Governor Narong made no announcements to any changes in policy regarding tourism or the treatment of Omicron patients. Photo: PR Phuket

Governor Narong made no announcements to any changes in policy regarding tourism or the treatment of Omicron patients. Photo: PR Phuket

Even the Test & Go tourist-entry scheme reopening to applications on Feb 1 was not mentioned at all.

Speaking at the old Phuket Provincial Hall today, Governor Narong continued to call on people to follow the COVID-prevention measures and to wear a face mask at all times while in public, wash their hands frequently and to register to receive the fourth-dose ‘booster’ vaccination injection.

Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office (PPHO), said that the number of new infections in Phuket was falling, both for those infected in Phuket and for foreign tourists arriving on the island.

“Phuket province still has strict measures to prevent and control the disease,” Dr Kusak said.

He reminded people who test positive by antigen test kit (ATK) to contact the Aunjai Clinic at 076-254200 to receive instructions and advice on what to do, depending on the severity of their infection.

People in Patong who test positive by ATK can call an ‘EOC’ team (“Emergency Operations Centre) at 089-4741877, he added.

Alternatively, people may contact the Kathu District Public Health or add Line Home Isolate@Patong. People in Thalang District can inform their village headman or other community leaders, or call at 0652059200-1, he said.

“There will be staff to help assess the level of symptoms. For patients with no symptoms or few symptoms and no risk factors such as congenital disease, patients can go to Home Isolation or Community Isolation. Staff will follow up with enquiries and ongoing care, along with providing medicines and essentials until the patient has recovered,” Dr Kusak said.

“Phuket Province currently has 1,874 infected people who are in the Home Isolation system,” he added.

Provincial officials are pushing ahead with the mass vaccination ‘booster’ campaign, and people are encouraged to register for their fourth-dose booster jab through the PhuketMustWin website, he said.

“At present in Phuket the number of people vaccinated with their first dose is over 88%, the second dose is over 85%, the third dose is over 50%, and the fourth dose is about 8%,” Dr Kusak noted.

Internal - Phuket Live Radio 89.5

“From vaccinations, Phuket residents have immunity to fight the disease when infected. Most of the patients are asymptomatic and have few symptoms; 95% are Green patients and can self-medicate and self-isolate at home,” he said.

Rewat Areerob, President of Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO or OrBorJor), said that the PPAO has proceeded to buy doses of the Moderna vaccine for vaccination injections.

The first delivery of 21,000 doses will arrive tomorrow (Jan 25). Details of who the vaccination doses will be provided to as a priority have yet to be announced.

Dr Weerasak Lorthongkham, Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, said that while 95% of the people currently confirmed as infected COVID, most likely the Omicron variant, 61% of the patient beds at the Field Hospital at the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) Phuket campus in Kathu were occupied, and 37% of the patient beds available at the Field Hospital at Phuket Rajabhat University were also occupied.

Dr Lersak Leenanitikul, Deputy Director of the Secondary and Tertiary Mission Group Vachira Phuket Hospital, pointed out that the country’s first electronic medical certificate was now available through Vachira Phuket Hospital, via the website https://www.vachiraphuket.go.th/ 

Nantasiri Ronnasiri, Director of the Phuket office Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said that during the 207 days July 1, 2021 to Jan 23, 2022 there were 248,497 tourists coming to Phuket under the Phuket Sandbox project.

Foreign tourists entering Thailand under the Phuket Sandbox scheme stayed on average eight nights, spending on average B55,000 per person. The scheme during that period had generated B13.76 billion in direct income, resulting in B32.61bn in circulating income in the economy, she said.

Patchalee Chaopolkrong, of the Phuket Provincial Education Office, reported that the reopening of schools to on-site classes had gone well, with no clusters of infections reported.

Watcharin Rattanachu, Chief of the Phuket Fisheries Office, reported that his officers had investigated the reports of a crocodile sighted off Bang Tao Beach. He confirmed that the sighting was nothing more than a sunken trunk of a coconut tree several hundred metres offshore from the beach.

“Therefore, people should not panic. However, if people see any foreign matter, they can report it to the Provincial Fisheries Office in order to inform the correct officials to investigate and find out the facts about the report,” he said.

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ematt | 25 January 2022 - 19:40:39

Anything else, Kurt?

Kurt | 25 January 2022 - 16:27:19

...Let immunity work out now on Phuket..  This moment the fascination of Phuket Officialdom with weak Omicron becomes just hysterical and contra productive in getting the island back on her feet. Astonishing that Phuket is not putting more practise efforts on face masks. Further than bla-bla we don't experience in de streets and shops. Very weak Phuket Government.

Kurt | 25 January 2022 - 16:19:33

Safe part Phuket 'high season', must now say Test&Go will restart 1 Feb.  Next: 1: Tourists should arrived fully vaccinated + booster. 2: Stop further vaccination locals after they received 2 +1 vaccinations. 3: Only give a 4th vaccination to health workers in hospitals and airport. Let population further undergo the Omicron virus as it is not deadly when healthy/ vaccinated. Let immun...

Kurt | 25 January 2022 - 14:06:05

Delta time is over. It is Omicron now, not life threatening, less dangerous than driving Thailand roads. 'We' have to be cautious that this virus thing not becomes a kind of business industry in hands of people who getting rich of it or enforce their power due to it... Signs that it is already going to be that way are clearly there. See and add all the overcharges tourists experience.

Kurt | 25 January 2022 - 13:52:08

Announced by governor? Than doubt it is there.  No word about restart of Test & Go, just 1 week before 1 Feb? Than forget touristm for February. In Europe virologists start to advice to give Omicron virus more free space as t is not dramatically dangerous but can contribute to natural immunity build up. The few positive dying people have underlaying diseases, dying anyway. Make choices.


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